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Hugs For Pain Relief

Hugs over prescription opiods

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Original post can be found here.

I just love hugging my newborn granddaughter and look forward to the day she hugs me in return. Something happens to me, something transformative. Honestly, it feels like an I.V. morphine-love drip releasing into my veins. Who needs opioids?

Indeed, research shows me that the love drip is called oxytocin. Some experts say that there are some health-related benefits of hugging to the release of oxytocin, often called “the bonding hormone” because it promotes attachment in relationships, including mothers and their newborn babies. Oxytocin is made primarily in the hypothalamus in the brain, and some of it is released into the bloodstream through the pituitary gland. But some of it remains in the brain, where it influences mood, behavior and physiology.

In a U.S. News article “The Benefits of Hugging” written by Stacy Colino, she states that a hug a day, just might keep the doctor away and that besides helping you feel close and connected to people you care about, it turns out that hugs can bring a host of health benefits to your body and mind.

Colino referred to psychologist Tiffany Field, director of the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine who explained how hugging fits in: “When you’re hugging or cuddling with someone, [he or she is] stimulating pressure receptors under your skin in a way that leads to a cascade of events including an increase in vagal activity, which puts you in a relaxed state.”

The hugging and oxytocin release that comes with it can then have trickle-down effects throughout the body, causing a decrease in heart rate and a drop in the stress hormones cortisol and norepinephrine.

There’s also some evidence that oxytocin can improve immune function and pain tolerance — pain that many have turned to opioids for relief. With regard to moods oxytocin is known to increase levels of feel-good hormones such as serotonin and dopamine, which may be why it has calming effects. “It reduces depression and anxiety, and it may have an effect on attentional disorders,” Field says. Again, these are symptoms that many have turned to opioids for relief.

In 1982 Ruth Harris started the “Hugs Not Drugs” project and was ultimately sponsored by Nancy Reagan in 1991 whose own slogan was “Just Say No” as part of the campaign on America’s war on drugs.

All of this is not to say opioids don’t have their place, but today there’s an even bigger drug epidemic and an even bigger war on opioids. Imagine where we’d be today if we’d practiced a little more hugging. “Like diet and exercise, you need a steady daily dose of hugging,” Field says. But the quality of the hugging counts, too. “If you get a flimsy hug, that’s not going to do it,” Field says. “You need a firm hug” to stimulate oxytocin release. 

So starting today, why not reach out and hug someone; what’s it going to hurt? But first, try wrapping your arms around yourself and giving a gentle but firm squeeze. You’ll be ready to go out and peddle some “Hugs Not Opioids.”

I’m headed over now to cuddle my granddaughter. I might even change a diaper!

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My Mid Year Rant 2017 – Health, Money, Motivation

Man giving advice on health, money

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My inspiration for writing this post, or in general? To help people find more clarity and focus when times are hectic, you know, as in 2017.

Why?

Because we are all overworking like chickens with our heads cut off…with bills due yesterday… and people suck… Right???? I’m always sick..and if only I could only…I’m waiting for someone to …. this is a system built to take, take, and take.

OKAY!

Modern society has really sucked us in. I just got tired. I got tired of trying to impress. I got tired of trying to live up to other’s expectations without living up to my own expectations first. I’m still learning how to cut the energy vampires out while still maintaining my values. In the age of fake news and aggressive stances in beliefs personal growth is probably one of the best things a person can do. It seems like the best what

So what am I focusing on?

Fruit for health and wellnessHealth. If you don’t have it then what do you have? Health and wellness also includes mental health! It’s not healthy to be angry all the time. Take care of the mind, take care of the body and see life change in 30 days, period.

In this current time period when someone thinks of aging, what kind of future do we imagine? Do you think of a miserable life of paying bills until your time is done? Or that you’ll be broken down by the time you’re ready to retire? Or do you envision a more pleasant ending, with you smiling and having the support of loved ones. Telling stories to the younger generation letting them know that life is difficult but that perseverance is wheat get’s you through. Can you see the difference in mindset?

Oh, and money.

Money advice
Does seeing this money create fear? Or give you hope?

People do what they need to do to achieve sustainable financial status. You need it to eat. It guides all that we do, we are judged by it, and it’s not going away anytime soon so learn how to make it, handle it, save it, and use it. If money is a priority in your life that it can be frustrating when it is not available, or in short supply. So we educate ourselves. Avoid future pitfalls, learn to save, and learn to change habits by any mean’s necessary. There is no need to “cheat” the system, to steal, or conspire. Yes there are many people who do cheat, but you have to let the universe handle them and build yourself. Like Jim Rohn said, you don’t lack money, you just lack of an idea on how to earn money. Trust me, I am still learning myself, but that is what makes it so fun!

I enjoy it when people talk about “their” generation isn’t to blame for the problems of today. The problem is when you’re not aware of your strengths and weakness. Millennials as a whole have qualities that are positive and not so positive, but were taught from the previous generation.  Blaming millennials for not having “what it takes” to handle problems of the world will not suffice. We all need improvement. Period.

DiversityFreedom to all. Let’s stop discrimination base on color, religion, sexual preference or orientation, nationality, and any kind of quality you can judge a person on. Acceptance is not easy, even that I am beginning to realize. But if you can at least learn to start empathizing with individuals different than you, then it will make life ten times easier, and make the process easier. I used to run with a macho attitude, and I’ve said and done some things in the past that I’m not proud of. Every day I’m learning how to treat the women in my life better, and respect for every woman. I’ve known gay and lesbian friends who are the greatest people you could know. What can I say? I just keep it chill and try to become a better person. You should too.

I haven’t been exercising like I should. I haven’t been prioritizing my health. Today I walk for 30 minutes. Then I’ll do some mid day kung fu… and some evening kung fu too…you can learn too. Yoga, tai chi, parkour? Yes, more.

Thank you for listening to my rant. Improve yourself and help improve the world.

Photo credit:

  1. “With A Megaphone By A Wall” by Garry Knight is licensed under CC BY 2.0
  2. “Fruit!!!” Wicker Paradiseis licensed under CC BY 2.0
  3. “Money” by Dustin Moore is licensed under CC BY 2.0
  4. “Diversity Mask” by George A. Spiva Center for the Arts is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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10 Things To Do Before The Political Uproar Gets You Down

USA Political Words

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I wanted to stay away from the issue of politics but it has been hard not to show some kind of concern for our political state.

Whether or not you’re a fan of the current administration, there are many issues up for debate and people on both sides of the coin. In America everyone has a right to a view point and the right to discuss like civilized individuals instead of shouting and fighting like brutes, I think 😐 …But you need to be in the right state of mind to discuss your viewpoint without losing poise. So here is a checklist for things that you can do before jumping into the political upheaval and running around in an uproar.

  1. Did you workout?
    Man working out playing basketball
    Can you believe it? They called me crazy!

    Easy question. Did I workout today? Yes. Picked up some 10 lbs dumb bells and lifted them over my head. Very light start just to get me ready for my lunch time workout. I’m back into my tai chi practice. Anger is energy and needs to be put to use in some way shape or form. The evidence between mood and exercise is mounting and evident so don’t just brush it under the rug. With healthcare on the fritz it seems like the more you can do to take care of yourself, the better.


  2. Did you save any money or pay off a bill today?
    Saving Money, One Dollar
    Every dollar counts…except this one in the picture. It isn’t real.

    Who doesn’t have money problems? The range of what we experience may be different, but one thing remains the same: If you ignore your finances eventually you’ll be in a situation where it’s the only thing on your mind. President Who??? It’s important to save for a rainy day. Because a rainy day could turn into a rainy week, or month, or even years. The Congressional Budget Office just release a report stating that the national debt is going to be 150% of the GDP, or Gross Domestic Product. What does that mean? Um.. not good, not good at all. Ultimately, as I’m becoming wiser I coming into the realization that I can take hold of my future financial security by planning ahead and learning from my past money mistakes. Have you ever read The Millionaire Next Door?

  3. I have Time.
    I Quiet.
    Ipod.
    I Meditate.

    Relax, that is not a tree, you are the tree, said the wise one…

  4. Begin identifying Job skills that will be needed in 5 years from now, 10 years from now, 20 years. Where do you want to be 5, 10, 20 years from now?
    Either adapt or get left behind with the smoke...
    I’m evolving by the minute…Muahahaha!

  5. Are you up to date on your blood work? Any lingering health concerns? You should have healthcare coverage, use it!

  6. Mathboard, arithmatics
    Sharpen your skills and they will sharpen you! Chop Chop!

    Enroll in a history class, a political science class, a math class! I’m going to enroll in community college to strengthen my mathematical base and biological sciences. What ever happened to the concept of becoming a better person? Of growing not just because the immediate opportunity was there, but because you knew it would lead you to becoming more valuable in the world period, in all angles?


  7. Go Volunteer! Now is a great time to put your time and energy into causes that you support.
    Hands Volunteer
    We need hands! All shapes, sizes and colors!

  8. Have you cleaned up your room yet? Have a clean car? What about the laundry. Clean your house, clean your life!
    Yeah um.. The maid just quit.

  9. Spend time with people. Spend time with your immediate family and enjoy the times together. Spend time with friends and exchange thoughts and ideas. Go meet people from all backgrounds and try to gain as much wisdom as you can.
    A Family of Owls
    Whoooo is this family?

  10. Put your anger to action. Build a community organization. Start working on the formulation of that product you’ve been thinking about.Political change requires action!

What is the premise to take away from this? Take care of your own backyard and it will make you stronger. You’ll find answers, you’ll find connections, you’ll find a way to solve your problems and the rest of our problems rationally.

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The Power of Rest and Relaxation

A Picture of people resting and relaxaing at a resort

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I actually learned this life lesson rest from a friend of mine.

An instructor was scheduled to teach classes in the afternoon. This person was asked to come in earlier to teach a class or at least make a presence around the studio. The instructor denied the request. The reason? It’s simple. The instructor needed to rest so that they could give 100% of their energy for the afternoon classes.

Simple concept, wouldn’t you know. However, in this fast paced,keep up with the Jone’s or face social chastising and isolation type society we have today, the idea of slowing down or taking a step back to rest seem unfathomable, especially during the day! But if it is the key to success, then why isn’t it practiced daily?

You Live and Learn

That was the problem I had. I got caught up in the grind and kept spinning my wheels. “Hit the pavement hard, keep going, you’re almost there you can rest then.” That’s the drive hard successful business model, isn’t it? I didn’t understand the concept that you create your best work when you are well rested and happy. Now I do.

You project a positive vibe around people when you are well rested and happy.

Problems seem to work themselves out better (Yes, lack of money problems too.) when you are well rested and happy.

We have convinced ourselfs that the answer is to do more when the answer is to do your best. How can you do your best if you’re overworked and tired. That’s when I got it.

Rest Can Change Your Life

This is how my days used to sound like when I was overworked and under-rested:

“Yeah, it was good. You know, just worked on stuff.”

Now they sound like this:

“Had a few things on my plate but it was great! Let’s see, first I…”

I actually enjoy talking about my days, and I enjoy hearing about partner’s as well. It’s not only being able to enjoy the end of the day, but the entire day.

You don’t have to go to the Bahamas to recharge:

Go to bed earlier and wake up earlier. Enjoy the morning.

Take an hour break at the park.

Take a 45minute to 1 hour nap. If you need more than that maybe you should work on your sleeping patterns at night.

BUT I DON’T HAVE TIME TO REST!

WHO DOES??? MAKE IT A PRIORITY!

Bring back the power of connection. Bring back the power of actually feeling something worthwhile. Bring back the joy you used to have in life.

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“The Question To Ask Is What Are You Becoming?”

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Gotta love Jim Rohn, yes I’m one of the many who has jumped on the Rohn bandwagon looking for pearls of wisdom to help along this journey. There’s a few views we may not see eye-to-eye (religious mainly but respect to each in their spiritual journey) but for the most part his wise words can be life changing. What are you becoming? I was becoming angry, bitter, upset, disappointed, outraged, and cluttered brained. I was losing dedication to the patients, to my clinic, to myself. But that phrase has the ability to put everything back in order.

The question on the the job is not what are you getting. No, the question on the job is what are you becoming?

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I Needed You To Believe In Me But Now I Believe In Myself (M)

Picture of Confident Boxman

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Before I needed approval. Mom, dad, siblings, friends. I needed social acceptance, I longed for connection from friends and a loving companion, and I found it.

Now I look for approval and acceptance in myself.

It is a long journey to get here and I’m still traveling, but very relieved that I started.

Where did it all stem from? Family pressure? Sociatal influence? Being pulled passed the tipping point only to survive and have time to reflect back? Seeing the greatness deserved slipped and taken away because of lack of confidence? Paa-lleeaassee.

Think about all the times you’ve stood out for doing what you were suppose to do or doing the right thing. Especially the times where there wasn’t an award or incentive, you just did it because you just wanted to do well.

I rememeber my sixth grade english class. I remember the class became so rowdy one day my teacher put me outside for 15 minutes because I was the only one reading my book. I’ve always think back about this moment, one because of all those bad ass kids would make anyone insane. But also as a reference point that I was doing what I was suppose to do. You know prize goes to the victor. That has always been a reminder that I just need to believe in myself and that in the face of every distraction that we all have the power to focus on what we want.

Positive Inspirational Quote From Fortune Cookie
Credit: Cassandra Rae

Dating. Knowing that you are special, first you need to believe in yourself. We rely on validation from the people we are attracted to. I am still working on this. Love to me is the most powerful emotions produced in humans. It can make you feel like on top of the world or it make you go crazy. 

Seeking approval or wanting people to like what we do is ingrained in us. But you need not their approval to achieve your goals. What happens when your don’t receive the support you were hoping for?

Through the journey of starting my own organization, navigating through the minefield of relationships, seeing family go through illness, and trying to maintain a sense of identity I’ve learned a few things, golden insight.

In actuality we have more of a support system than we think. My point in this article is believe in yourself first. The support from others will come… or maybe won’t. Either way, go out there and fuck it up.

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Insights and Motivation For 2016

New Years eve celebrations

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My thoughts and insights from this year going on to 2016. Just a list of ideas that I personally will keep in mind for motivation into the new year. I hope it helps.

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

Get the body in shape and the mind will follow is how the phrase goes. This year is my focus back to bringing my mind/body health into full swing. Reinvigorate my interest in myself, my health, learning, promoting health, and becoming the best vehicle for the mind and spirit to express it’s will on this physical plane.

Making sure I’m putting in to practice what I preach. Reviewing my books, my notes, and setting new goals. Being realistic on what works and what doesn’t.

Enjoy the fresh air in the mountains. Hiking. Improve my lung function and breathing capacity. Processed foods out the window. Don’t just eliminate, find better substitutions!

Continue Working On The Dream

Les Brown said it best that in the cemetery you find millions of dreams and goals that never were set in motion, dreams that were laid to rest and buried. Regrets. Experiences that were waiting in the corner to be lived.

So this year I continue to work towards the dream and continue to express one of our natural mother nature given talents, which is the ability to create.

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”
Maya Angelou

Avoid the Negative Mainstream Media As Much As Possible

With this year coming up being an election year emotions are on high and the general energy makes the air become tense. So this year my goal is to ignore the issues that don’t have an impact and focus on those that will help those around my and my community. Avoid the pitting of one side vs. another.

Sam Crowly said it best, it’s a hard pill to swallow but the only person who will care most about your life is you. Nobody likes a complainer so good luck complaining. You want something done get it done. Work with the right people. This year represents shaking off anyone who isn’t on board and finding those who will help to develop your talents.

Trust My Instinct, I know I’m Right

This year I’m putting more faith into my intuition. That voice that distinguishes proper from the improper, the solution to “should I go or should I leave”, the answer I always knew was right. Of course you can’t be perfect, as in a situation when you went left when you should’a went right. However, brush it off and keep going. You know where to go.

When you go to college you begin to open your mind to the world of diversity and opportunity. When you graduate and go into the real world sometimes yours true nature is warped by expectations from work, family, society, and personal goals. You want to change the world but then the world changes you. Now I’m back to wanting to change the world by just being myself. Positive. Happy. Determined. Intelligent.

“If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a person changes their own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards them….We need not wait to see what others do.”
-Mahatma Gandhi

Continue To Grow

  • Get back to my old self
  • Train myself to stay focus during any situation
  • Make amends with the past. Forgive the mistakes of myself and others and move forward.
  • Dive deeper into the arts, Martial…
  • What are your goals for the upcoming year?
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Throw Salt On The Haters, Find Your Allies (M)

Picture of sign saying Stop Hating

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Rated (M) for mature. This post contains foul language.

I write this through personal experience. I am aware there are many other individuals who have experienced situations far worse than mine or anything else imaginable. However, my goal is to give my insight and hopefully it may help you to realize that you are stronger than you believe. Whether it’s from the angle of “This person knows where I’m coming from” or “I’ve been through 10 times tougher situations than this guy”, I hope this article helps.

You know, it’s not easy to be yourself and openly express who you are. Many people are faced with ridicule, rejection, dismissive responses, humiliation, lost relationships, opportunities for advancement, and many other awful negative attitudes and actions that come with being who you are. Worse of all, we can receive this backlash from the people closes in our lives, whether it is from family, friends, or co-workers. Yes, they can do and say things that can pierce the soul and damage our perspective on human nature.

I can’t write this through the eyes of a female or someone who is gay because I am neither and wouldn’t dare suggest to know the first thing about the struggle experienced from that standpoint. Nor could I write this through the eyes of they immigrant experience because that is not my experience. I am writing this through the eyes of a single American male of Haitian descent with a desire to the improve lives of everyone on this planet.

What do you do when someone doesn’t respect who you are? Whether it’s financial status, occupation, relationship status, sexual preference, ethnicity, types of shoes you wear, or a whole list of other aspects of your personality or lifestyle that doesn’t coincide with someone else’s expectations?

Pain, Love, HurtWhat do you do when someone convinces a group of people to form a certain opinion about you?

What do you do when someone wants to bully their opinion into the six inches between your ears, aka your mind?

I say fuck em…… Fuck em, Fuck em. Not like you wish malice upon them or misfortune, more like “hey, if they’re not with me then fuck em, have a nice life.”

If they eventually change to become a supporter rather than someone who is purposely trying to drag you down then great, you become an ally.

If you have good intentions, and trying to live your life the best you can which still doesn’t please someone else? Fuck em.

It’s not easy to do. They may be in a position of power or authority, or just be someone that you hold in hi-regards (mother, father, your boss). Some people lose everything they have just to stand up for who they are or what they believe in.

You don’t have to say it in their face, just start the process shifting towards that attitude and the rest will follow.

The sooner you disregard people who do not have your best interest in mind, the quicker you will find those who support you, your dreams, your lifestyle, and just you. I call these people allies. In the end, they will become family.

Stop hanging out with people who don’t care about you. Stop it right now. Something better is just around the corner.

I’ve learned this from personal experience. You’re too black, wait you’re not black enough. Why can’t you be like ______ (fill in the blank, you know the comparison game). What are you studying again? You don’t play basketball? Oh, you know about that kind of stuff? Please know this list can go on, and on, and on. You have you list of things people have said that you can’t do, or can’t be, or have physically and mentally have tried to drill in you. I know you have your list. Throw it away. Fuck em. Go live a happy life.

Yes I like rap and hip hop, preferably underground. Also throw on some Red Hot Chili Peppers and some Social D (Social Distortion for those wondering… Story of my liiiffffeeee, great song). Do you have a problem with that? Too bad, go fuck yourself.

Whether it was from not meeting someones expectations or just walking into a room and showing my face. People judge and try to control, it’s just part of the game. Be smarter than the game.

Do I judge people or things? Yes. I think it’s part of nature. Looks like a bear, I assume that’s a bear. Am I aware of it? Yes. Am I working to becoming a better and more understanding individual? Yes. Really that’s all you can ask for from anyone. Help them to learn, evolve, and become better.

Sorry for using the F word so many times, but sometimes it feels great and get’s the point across.

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So This Is Not Family Driving Music

Man and woman posing for sexy photo shoot

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I’m not hip.  I don’t know that latest fads or support athletes and musicians who beat their girlfriends and ended being heart throbs three months later. No no, I plugged out a while ago. I spend my time building up my career and trying to be a positive member of society while achieving my life purpose doing what nature sent me here to do.  Am I perfect? Of course not, but I try to do my best. Really try, not just look good for right now try. As far as being a parent?Know nothing of it not even the first thing. But then I wonder is it just me or are things just a bit skewed in how we develop under this pop culture society?

I was recently in a situation where I was escorting a parent and their children to school one morning and I was asked about the source of my music playing. I thought she may have been implying that the being played was too provocative for the children in the car. It was a 1980’s hits collection. Aerosmith. A-ha.  The Clash. Run DMC. I don’t remember what I was playing at the time but I know it wasn’t some of that bow-chicka-wow-wow type stuff but was to mature for children under 10,  knowha’I’msayin?  Ok now I remember, “All Night Long” from Lionel Richie. I thought to myself what the hell am I playing? Play something more family oriented. Gary Numan, “Cars”. Bam. Crusin’ music.

But then the regular FM radio was requested and I obliged and we got into the middle of a song on a popular rap station in LA and that’s what the parent wanted to listen. Ass shakin shit. Not tasteful ass shakin music, but that “don’t tell your mama where you’re at” type shit. Then the morning female radio host comes on talking about some tv shows with threesomes and getting drunk and more threesomes. Really? Three kids in the car and you chose this

I’m not religious, I follow more of a doaist philosophy and seek to understand people from all faiths. I always try to radiate positive energy even when feeling below the weather. I do lean to the left on politics but I also think there should be some balance in opposing views. Not married, no kids, just enjoying my family, friends, my community, and live life to the fullest. Oh and an occasional Vegas trip for memories and pretty much the best time of my life.

Do I enjoy mainstream music? Sure I enjoy going to clubs, dancing, getting Nitty and gritty. Parties? Been there, done that. Getting krunk? Call me. But it doesn’t mean I support kids doing the same thing. Growing up in the 90’s we were products of skillful marketing and branding. The “kids today” didn’t just become crazier then when “we were their age”, they were crazy back then too.

To each their own and you can decided what is appropriate for your ears or your family’s listening pleasure. If you want your 9 year old hearing about all the “smashing” and threesomes going then be my guess. Garbage in equals garbage out. Once again, while partying in Cancun? Hell yes. During family time? Probably not.

We don’t need prayer back in schools. We don’t need this to be a reason for the decency police to step in and regulate everything we do. But some insight could help with understanding what is affecting you and those around you.

Just my two cents.

 

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My First Pair Of Cool Shoes

Image for Stories about shoes

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I don’t remember it being a specific day, or year for that matter, that I deviated from the mainstream. Not that I am saying that I don’t watch the news, or that I don’t enjoy a good hit song when it becomes a craze, but sometimes I ask myself when did I unplug out?

Maybe it was when I had my first pair of Nikes worth $90 – $100 in the 2nd grade? Air Jordans to be exact even though I don’t remember the series. I never received so many “are those the new…” and “look at that guy’s shoes!” I think it lasted for about a week. My mother had worked hard to provide this type of lifestyle for my siblings and I, coming to the US from Haiti. She took on the brunt of providing for the family, working everyday to taking care of the bills and the household. When we were doing well financially around 1988 we were able to get acquire many things such as an Atari, a Nintendo, and even more cool toys.

But then the recession hit, and the money dried up, and the cool stuff stopped coming.

Somehow I became fatter during this time but that’s a story for a later date.

So as time passed I began wearing non-major branded shoes which to this day still I do. Did I feel less empowered when I wore less expensive shoes growing up? Not at all. I guess being a bit mature for my age I decided that I didn’t need expensive pairs of shoes to get by. I was happy with a $20 pair of van knockoffs. It made mom happy because she could save on school clothes. Also the money saved could by shoes for other people who couldn’t afford shoes all around the world. Was it wrong for my to think in this manner?

Maybe my personal views changed as I realized that growing up we’re taught more to “fit in” than to be fiscally responsible and invest our money. Maybe seeing families over the years struggling to survive financially and emotionally helped me to realize what counts?

Do I own an expensive pair of shoes? Dress shoes that cost more than $20? Yes I do. But for the quality and craftsmanship the price is worth paying.

But I can always recollect back to being the kid with the “cool shoes”.

If you would like to support brands made in the US try New Balance.

Photo Credit: “MG 1995++ copie” by FaguoOwn work. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.