My6inchchallenge's Blog

Tackling difficulties and overcoming the challenges life serves up – by Dona Halliday

Archive for black men

Is God really a brother, or is he Hispanic?

“No, that one’s not sweet, neither is that one, or…” I was in BJs sniffing pineapples. I firmly believe that if certain fruits are sweet you should be able to smell the sugar…

“You so Goorgous!” I turned around and started chuckling softly as I stared into a mouth of gold teeth. “Well, thank you!” I responded, “How are YOU doing today?”

“Give me yo number so I can spou you!”

As I wondered what made this brother think that an offer to spoil me would be a good line, I smiled and said, “no, thank you, but have a good day, ok.”

I laughingly thought, you have to admire a man with confidence and at least he used his words. Some black men have a way of  just staring at you and grunting. I HATE that! Steve Harvey use to do that to Regina on the “Steve Harvey Show,” remember? I loved that show.

When I moved to the U.S. I started realizing that our diverse cultures have flavored us differently and that our black men offer up a variety of flavors. I love their individual differences. However, brothers, work on those lines! Remember your sisters are diverse and do not all respond favorable to the same things.

Speaking of cultures, let’s hop over to Piggly Wiggly, my neighborhood grocery store. As I head to the fruit and veggie section I spot one of the workers, he’s Hispanic and has been there for years. He always compliments me and he is always respectful.

“You vacation?” is normally the first question he asks after he responds to my greeting, “Como Esta?”

“No, I’ve been here.”

“I look, look, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, no see!” Then he pauses, looks me up and down–not like he wants to eat me–but as though he is really sees me, then kisses his fingers with an exclamation of “Beautiful!” He then sweeps his hand in a gesture from my head to my toes and declares, “You! Ebbrything Good! Ebbrything Good! You change your hair? I like! I like! Ebbrything good!”

Now, who wouldn’t love a compliment like that. There is something almost biblical about it that has me wondering, is God really a brother or is he Hispanic?

Later that evening I sat down with a book “Our Blended Family, God Revealed Lessons for Marital Success” written by my close friend Carletta Henderson-Youngs. I had intended to just scan it, after all it did not really apply to me, but as I started reading I was hooked as she talked about the failure of her first marriage and the commitment that both she and her husband had made to ensure that divorce was not an option in their second marriage. I realized I have a unique opportunity to learn as an outsider, (a single woman) listening to the wisdom of a married woman.

Often in marriages, the promises to spoil each other, to cherish and see each as “good” get lost somewhere along the way. The book is excellently written, but the lessons are practical and on point.

I wonder how our homes and communities would change if couples learned the art of unselfishly building up each other with their words and committing themselves to the good of the other. I wonder how future marriages would change if singles learned as outsiders looking in and developed  those relational skills now.

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Relationships – If he thinks like a dog and acts like a dog, just maybe…

Help make him a man

We all have our stories...

“I can’t believe I let another man fool me….”

We all have our stories and the way we live our stories determine not only the quantity but the quality of the baggage we lug around with us.

One look at him and she had decided she wanted him. When she found out he was already dating someone she and her friends would invite him out and exclude his girl friend. She was determined to have him. She finally got him, for a few short weeks anyway, then he moved on to someone else.

“….I had promised myself I won’t let this happen again,” she continued bitterly, “he’s such a dog…”

It’s interesting how differently we view things depending on where we are looking from. I’ve heard our women call our black men many negative things but I’m convinced that our men can only get away with some of the crap they get away with because we help create that space.

There’s this guy I had known for about 10 years and had dated him for several months when we first met. When it became evident that our values were not the same we ended the relationship. I was therefore surprised when earlier this year he said he wanted to talk with me, he had something to say but did not want me to say anything until he was through. He told me he had gotten married but had known all the time that I should have been the one. He knew we would have been happy together because we had so much in common. He wished he had been mature enough to know what was important then, he knew he would have made me happy because he would have been a good husband…

I’ve never called a man a dog. I believe if a man thinks like a dog and acts like a dog, just maybe he has not been taught how to truly be a man. I listened quietly, mentally examining everything he said, labeled them the rubbish that they were, reminded him that he had chosen the woman he was with and making HER happy was his chance to prove he could be a good husband, and ended any further communication with him.

How does a male grow into a “man”? I found myself pondering that question again this morning as I devoured the waffles my brother had made. What makes them responsible, dependable, honorable, committed, strong? So much of who we are is determined by the things we’ve seen, experienced, been taught or not taught. Where do they learn how to stay put and give support, how to be there and do the mature thing and not the easy thing?

Where did my brother learn, I wondered? He had not had a father figure, yet last week when I was ill he’d brought homemade soup and this morning before I left for church he’d showed up with homemade waffles. Where did he learn how to be a man?

In so many communities where our families bear the challenge of fatherlessness, I guess some of our men are disciplined enough to stick to the course they’ve set for themselves, some learn by trial and error, and some, I’m convinced, who seem bent on carrying on in the ways of their absentee fathers, as we, women mature, we’ve got to help by administering tough love and nudging them in the right direction.

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