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What LeBron James New Record Setting Milestone Taught Me

On Tuesday, February 7th, 2023, it finally happened. A convincingly unbreakable record held for 38 years was broken, and a new record was set that is on-going. If you haven’t figured it out by now I am talking about LeBron James becoming the All-Time Leading Scorer of the NBA regular season.

Basketball is my favorite sport. Although I was not good enough to make an organized team until joining a summer intramural league in college, I watched basketball on tv since maybe three (maybe before then). You could say I have been a part of basketball culture my whole life. Not just on the court, but I also follow my favorite NBA players off the court as well. And with the evolution of social media my algorithms seem to fix itself on the NBA players of old, present, and new.

Then there’s LeBron James. A man who lived up to the hype before suiting up for his first NBA career game. A man who revolutionized the game, a one-of-a-kind who will be hard to duplicate. What amazes me the most is he’s 38 years old playing like he’s 23. Very few players made it to 20 seasons. LeBron, on the other hand, is in his 20th season as we speak playing like he has 10 more in him.

What has LeBron James new record setting milestone taught me during this Black History Month of 2023? The answer comes in the form of a question. It is what are you willing to sacrifice to achieve greatness in your career, hobby, passion, etc.? You see most of us talk about it but never put in the effort to get started while some of us live in it but don’t have the discipline to get to the next level. Others have luck with little effort and plenty of representation while the remainder actually master their craft.

I have been following LeBron’s career for some time now. What he does during the offseason in preparation for the upcoming season proves why he reaps the benefits of his labor. Luck, namesake, and representation has little to do with how he made it to number 1. I see persistence, discipline, knowledge, understanding, purpose, and evolution in his possession.

This milestone has taught me no obstacle is impossible to conquer when you have the drive to succeed. Despite the odds, we can achieve the impossible whether it happens in our youth or old age. Sometimes we have to make moves that better our chances for success in this life.

Another lesson I have learned from this milestone is failure is inevitable, but no matter how many times we lose to it, we get back up and keep trying until something good happens. With each failure, we must learn and evolve. And even after victory, we keep going to setting new records for the next generation to witness. We know our limits and work with them to reach the ultimate goal of success. Maintaining that tunnel-vision focus that blocks all doubters and critics, how much are we really willing to sacrifice to be the best at what we do?

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A Think Piece on Sunday #5: My 2023 Prayer for You

Written By: Preston Thompson

First, Happy New Year!

2022 is over and our New Year’s resolution did not go as planned. It started out well with hope, ambition, and determination, but somewhere in the year those traits gradually decline. Before we knew it, the 2022 Holiday Season was here while our resolutions from the beginning of the year never got out of the first steps. No big deal! 2022 was not our year, but 2023 will be!

Year after year we set New Year’s Resolution to better our lives. This year will be the year we lose weight, eat better, exercise more, get those numbers down at the annual physical, find a better job, get a promotion, start a business, start a side hustle, be a better person, improve our mental health, work on clearing debt, the list goes on. From there, once we accomplish our resolutions for the year it hopefully becomes a lifestyle.

Like the average person who have real lives, we started strong in January 2022. By Spring 2022, we began to drop out one by one. We became good at our resolutions when the first results were good, but when the results became consistent our efforts began to decrease. What happened? Year after year we get to a certain point within the resolution then stop. What is missing that have us making the same resolution every year only to see little to no improvements in our lives?

Well, it is quite simple. For 2023 I pray you find discipline in your resolution when it gets tougher. I also pray that comfort does not overtake change. Let us talk about it!

Discipline is what separates the achievers from the stragglers. When we set a goal to do something better with our lives, discipline will keep us grounded. It makes us come back repeatedly despite the odds against us in achieving our goals. Discipline will make us study early and often. It reminds us why we chose this resolution and what the end goal will be.

As our resolutions get tougher, the results begin to differ from what they were in the beginning. They become delayed, consistent, and/or diminished. For a discipline person in his or her resolution that means adjusting or working harder to achieve their resolution’s reward. An undisciplined person to their resolution becomes easily intimidated when the resolution does not produce satisfactory results thus becoming submissive to his or her own comfort. This same person is also more likely to give up on their resolution when they receive satisfactory results rather than continuing to make it their new lifestyle. Why is that?

Comfort is easier than change. We can be so comfortable in our lifestyle that it is easy to fall back into it when changes become tough. This is because we know the results of our comfort and know how it makes us feel, comfortable. Even in our New Year’s Resolutions we can achieve our resolutions, and rather than making them a lifestyle, we go back to what has been comfortable throughout our lives. In addition, we can begin a resolution that is a change from what has been comfortably but not beneficial in our lives, become discouraged by the results and go back to comfort.

Whether you are the new year new me, leaving behind the negativity in 2022 and steppin’ on necks all 2023, or New Year’s New Gym Members type of resolution person, I pray you keep going in your resolution all 2023. And if the change becomes the opposition, keep going in your resolution because you could be closer to reaching your 2023 goals. Just know you are not alone on this journey; you have an entire network who wants the best version of you in all of 2023.

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A Think Piece on Sunday #4: If I Told You One of Your Biggest Blessings was a Rejection, Would You Believe Me?

Written By:  Preston Thompson

What is a blessing? The best definition I found comes from where it defines a blessing as “…a prayer asking for divine protection, or a little gift from the heavens” (, 2022). In the Bible (NIV Version) 2 Corinthians 9:8 reads, “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

We can never receive enough blessings. Just being alive and well is a blessing we should never take for granted. But what if I told you one of your biggest blessings in life did not come in the form of money, acceptance, or healing, would you believe me? What if I told you one of your biggest blessings once came in the form of rejection? Yes, REJECTION! Let me spell it out…R-E-J-E-C-T-I-O-N.

Rejection is not wanted, but it is a part of our lives just as much as acceptance. No one applies for anything hoping to be rejected. If we knew the outcome would result to this, the odds of us applying would be exceptionally low. Each one of us have been rejected from something in our lives. A relationship, friendship, job offer, promotion, school, anything that helps better our lives. Receiving a rejection often triggers sad and regretful emotions, the feeling of not being good enough especially at the time it happens. It can linger in our mind for days, weeks, months, even years wondering if our worth is qualified to move on to the next level in life. We put our best efforts into getting an acceptance only for rejection to tear our hopes and confidence down.

Take it from me, I have had my fair share of rejections in life even when I needed the acceptance more than the others applying for the same position. Growing up in a hometown where “who you know” had more value on receiving an offer than your skillset and character, I wondered if I had bad luck when it came down to getting offers to better my life and increase my experience. I could not get a job as a teenager despite applying to countless jobs throughout the county, I ran for leadership positions and lost by landslides, not making the cut to join teams to build teamwork experiences, etc. I started to question if I really had what it takes to make it in the corporate world. Then I graduated college only to struggle to find a job during the recession era of America. I had the experience and did everything advised to avoid being unemployed after graduation, but none of that experience helped me during that time. Rejection letter after rejection letter, I began to question if my college degree was worth the years put in since I was not receiving the benefits of earning a degree. I even questioned if I did not do enough in college. Despite the hardship of rejection, it molded me to become a stronger person. I learned valuable life lessons from the experience that high school nor college taught me. I gained skills and character that not only helped me receive a job offer, but also learn how to maintain the blessings from acceptance.

Switching gears here. Rejection can be disguised as a blessing that comes in the form of protection tying in our faith. Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV) reads, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This means faith is believing something good will happen although you have no clue if that good will come. If good does not come, then faith will convince you that good will eventually come. It may not come how you envisioned it, but the rejection can protect you from the unseen dangers the acceptance never told you about. It is optimism about the future on overdrive. Protection is minimizing the chances of a tough situation that may cause hardship, hurt, or harm physically, financially, and/or mentally from happening in the future by understanding the dangers of a current event based off evidence in the past.

Like a devasting storm that destroys a town. After the storm does its damage, there is a cold period that follows. A feeling of loss and confusion looms over the town wondering how they can recover after the storm, and what will it take to improve the infrastructure. Suddenly good people come to aid of the town after receiving news of its devastation. Before you know it, the town has rebuilt itself better than before the storm. Should another storm happen, the people are more prepared than before. Rejection works in a similar matter when we take the time after it to heal and learn from it. It hurts at those moments and may leave you feeling lost, confused, and down, but there is an unexplained peace that follows.

That is why we must be very mindful of each acceptance. You ever applied for a job, worthless got the acceptance offer, started working the job and a few months in, the job does not satisfy you as it did when you originally started? At some point the money does not matter because your happiness does not align with the job. You find yourself stressed and angry about your job now that you know the truth about it. Anything that goes wrong on the job amplifies your dissatisfaction. Before you know you are back on the hunt for another job. What happened to that good feeling you had when the acceptance first came?

Sometimes acceptance can be fabricated to lure you into a trap. “Accept this job offer. You will earn a livable wage, have a great work/life balance, work with a wonderful staff, and become a valuable member of this team.” That is all you may read before signing the offer letter but read a little deeper and you may discover what is promised may not be reality. Sadly, you may not discover it until you are working at the job. And that is how acceptance can be. An outsider looks at acceptance as a better opportunity from what they currently have. Acceptance will convince you everything will be better, and you got it because you were the most qualified. If we fail to investigate what we are signing up for, we may miss signs that this acceptance is something you should pass on. Before you know it, your acceptance may cause more hardship than what the opportunity was worth.

I am not encouraging rejection. If offered an opportunity in something you worked hard for, I recommend taking the chance. What I am writing is rejection does not always mean failure or giving up on our dreams. We always see rejection as bad; it can be a blessing in disguise. Remember, a blessing does not always come in the form of money, health, or good fortune. Oftentimes, it comes to use as protection. Not just protection from harm and danger, but protection from unseen dangers that may present itself in the future or even protection for our own wellbeing. Sometimes we take on opportunities when we were not prepared and end up more stressed than before the offer was made. Viewing rejection as “God knows what’s best for us” will save us from opportunities that cause more harm than help and life lessons. Allowing rejection to work in our favor can open doors we never knew we were capable of walking through. The main goal is to not allow rejection to make us feel like we are unworthy to success. We should use it as a learning tool to understand why this opportunity that did not work is good and to learn more about ourselves and what we are capable to manage.

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Before You Trade in Culture for Corporate, You Might Want to Think Twice

Written By: Preston A. Thompson

               On the last week of July of this year my family and I traveled to Aiken, South Carolina for a family reunion consisting of extended family from my grandfather’s parents (my great-grandparents) bloodline. And let me tell you, we had a great time. And…what I enjoyed the most about it is the family reunion was a traditional family reunion.

               Yes! A traditional family reunion like the ones you saw on TV and/or attended once in your life. Set at Odell Week’s Park we gathered under a pavilion set in the middle of the park. The temperature was around 88, but a few clouds, a pavilion, and plenty of trees kept up somewhat cool. The tradition was there; grilled food, distant cousins of every generation, laughing, taking pictures, older family members dancing to old school black family music, family reunion t-shirts, the “Wobble” and the “Electric Slide,” did a Tik Tok video (not all of us), and played games like cornhole, spades, uno, chess, checkers, sac racing. From our oldest living family member to the newborns, it was the perfect family bounding experience we needed. The family love we shared on that warm Saturday afternoon in July was special. It was like the family reunion never took a hiatus for a few years. Tradition mixed with the new age. It is something every family member should experience especially if you come from a big extended family like myself.

               On the way home I thought about my first blog. Just to summarize, I questioned if black families may have inadvertently lost its traditional role in today’s black culture and if social media contributed to it. From my perspective the internet became more prevalent and affordable in our everyday lives over the last two or three decades, and our methods of staying connected benefitted from it. Before we knew it our culture became consumed with the digital era perks as new information became consumer’s knowledge in less time (sometimes as soon as it happened) with the help of smartphones. My opinion was avid posting left little to no surprise value, so the need to be present for events like the annual family reunion is not as important as it once was. Also, we as a culture are busier than ever and have moved longer distances from family. It’s not that we avoided family gatherings on purpose, it could be we just don’t have the desire to make the long trip when smartphones and social media makes it so much easier to send information to family from the comfort of our own homes.

               Then I started to think about how corporate has really taken over in our society which sometimes push culture to the side. I am starting to experience this trend in one parts of my everyday life. Corporate is all about making money and managing your time to continue to make more money. It is work hard now so later you can “maybe” climb up the corporate latter with the possibility of living the financial life you deserve. It is the if it’s not making you money then it’s wasting your time. Sleep when the work is done (if I wrote this blog in 2012, I would have call this #TeamNoSleep). It is gain, gain, gain. Increase, increase, increase. Expand, expand, expand at all costs.

               Corporate is not all bad, don’t get me wrong. Going corporate is a form of business growth and recognition. For starters it is our way to earn a larger income. There are promotions and awards for your hard work. Growth is there in corporate. New opportunities await you each day. The chance to prove your worth is unmeasurable depending on where your company values are.

               Although this is great for business, going corporate can usher in a competitive environment. Who does what better and why does this group or person deserve more of your business? Businesses scramble to prove their worth over the competition sometimes doing whatever it takes to claim that number 1 spot which is determined mainly by yearly revenue over quality of work. If it means working long hours and staying open 24/7, then it will happen with no regards for how the actual workers feel. At this point corporate loses the personal relationships that culture developed and replace it with a business relationship.  This makes it easier to replace anyone who does not live up to corporate’s expectations. No matter how great or unproductive of a worker you are, you can still be let go. Only those who fully invest their lives into corporate can handle this lifestyle. To go fully into corporate, they are willing to sacrifice their culture (even friendships) for a corporate life.

               Then, there is culture. Proud, colorful, family-oriented, country-specific, ethnicity-driven, knowledgeable, traditional, fashionable, and marketable just to name a few. It’s what defines us, especially as African Americans. From our hairstyle to our personality to the clothes we wear, culture is always there. It holds tradition and keeps us in line with our roots. Culture gives us a reason to unify and identify with others who share the same or similar culture in a world where we are the minority. In the past corporate was able to separate itself from culture by creating handbook rules that told you how to dress, what you can listen to, and even how to talk. But when talent left for corporations that accepts their cultural side, you started to see corporate allow some culture to be on its premises. And what caused the change that made corporate loosen up on its rules regarding culture? Take a wild guess…it’s the loss of money and seeing other corporations that allowed a little culture to have positive impact on their earnings. In a sense culture does not have to follow the market like how corporate does.

We can turn our backs on culture, but it will always be there with open arms and a forgiving spirit. There are no cutting ties from it because if you were born into culture, it will always be there by your side. No matter how much money you make, you move up the corporate ladder, you move up in class, or busier you become, a part of you will still have culture on the inside.

               So, before you make that decision I must ask, are you sure you want to trade in your culture to become corporate? How much of your culture do you want to sacrifice just to become corporate? If you built certain aspects of your life with culture initially involvement, would you later regret it if corporate no longer wants you around?

               A think piece for you to think about: Where corporate will move on from you, culture will move with you.


  1. Thompson, P 2021, ‘Has the Traditional Black Family Become Disconnected in Today’s Black Culture: A Perspective’, The Book of Think Pieces., no. 1, posted 16 June 2021, <;.
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A Think Piece on Sunday #3: We All Need a Weekend Getaway

Written By: Preston Thompson

My family and I went on a weekend vacation to North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and let me tell you…it was a much-needed vacation. Daily life is very demanding and routine. Wake up. Get ready. Commute to work. Work 8 hours or more. Take an hour lunch break. Go back to work. Go home. Cook. Clean. Get the kids in bed. Clean again. Go to bed. And repeat. Before you know it Monday turns into Friday, and Friday becomes the weekend. Suddenly, that two-day weekend is over before it truly started. Then we repeat the same routine. The hustle and bustle of the workweek can take a toll on our physical, mental, spiritual, and self-health. Trying to cram in what little time we have for ourselves during an 8-hour workday can be impossible especially if one’s life is filled with other activities outside of work hours. We are constantly living for the weekend only to find ourselves getting ready for the new work week that follows.

                Before I tell you to take a PTO day (that will come in a later blog), I must ask this one question. Does your life feel routine even on the weekends? If the answer is yes, perhaps it is time for a weekend getaway. A weekend where you take yourself and/or your family and friends on a vacation away from your home, apartment, town, and city. As soon as you get off work on Friday, get your clothes packed and getaway to another town or city and do not come back until Sunday. It does not have to be far or expensive. Just a change of scenery. Trust me, it makes a difference and will make you happier.

                There is nothing wrong with a weekend staycation at home but think about it. You go to the same home every time you get off work. Your home/apartment is demanding because it needs to be upkept. You know where everything is and that can become boring in time even if you rearrange your home during spring cleaning season. Same goes to getting away to the same city you live in or nearby. Its many activities can become boring due to the fact its in the same city.

                If it is possible, go on a vacation to a place you have never been to for just a weekend. Or revisit a different town or city and do things there that are different for a new experience. A change of scenery is what we all need to getaway from our routine lives.

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Has The Traditional Black Family Become Disconnected in Today’s Black Culture: A Perspective

Written By:  Preston A. Thompson

When thinking about black culture several things come to mind.  Hip-Hop, R&B, Gospel, barbershops, inventors, businesses, educators, scholars, Black Twitter, just to name a few.  However, we forget about how important the black family is to our culture.  Yes, the black family has always been at the heart of our culture.  It is where our genetic makeup originates and explains where we contribute to the culture bringing our own unique styles and personalities.  It is more than just relatives descended from two people several generations ago, but also our pride and joy, number one support system, and sometimes guilty weakness.

               The Silent Generation has been the upkeep of the black family.  A skill crafted by their parents who learned it from the generations before.  Now, the Silent Generation has passed it to the Baby Boomers who will pass it to Generation X in hopes for the tradition to carry on to Millennials and Gen Z.  That family bond hangs on the balance despite living in a world that is everchanging.

               In the 2010s the world as we knew it advanced in technology.  Smartphones became smarter, social media occupied our time, streaming TV and music became popular, the internet got faster, communication gained more ways to remain connected, computers became a part of our everyday lives, Amazon hurt malls without opening a brick-and-mortar, the list goes on.  The 2010s also changed our thoughts and social trends.  The computer teens are now the cool kids on campus, self-health (both physical and mental) become top priority, starting a career tops starting a family, should I keep going?

               What does this mean for the traditional black family?  For decades, this group never had to adjust although the world around it did.  Lately, it appears family submitted to an everchanging world.  Let me explain.

               The Millennial Generation values genuine honesty and loyalty in people more than blood relatives.  In fact, if the source of mental pain comes from family, this generation will work to fix the problem rather than cover it up.  When some Millennials rule a family member’s behavior is too toxic to fix, he or she may become less involved to the point of choosing self-happiness over family.  Think about how many times you scrolled through Facebook or read an article exposing toxic behaviors in his or her own family?  I have seen too many, especially on Twitter.  I also listened to family, friends, and colleagues in my age group talk about behaviors their family have and how nothing is done to change it.

               I first noticed this change in the mid-2010s.  One night at work I was casually strolling through Facebook when an older family member’s post caught my attention.  The post was concerned about the black family and how it was not the same in comparison to when she was younger.  She stated black families once depended on one another and were close.  Family always got together and enjoyed each other’s company.  Parents never had to worry about who would take care of their children because family was always available and willing to help when needed.  She then mentioned today her children do not know their own cousins.  Even in family’s presence the children and adults are on their phones not engaging with one another.  Some act like they do not want to be around their own family.  You cannot even get a good turnout for family reunions these days.  Of course, I am paraphrasing from the actual post, but you understand.

               This post had me thinking, has the traditional black family changed?  Has the heart of our black culture finally submitted to an ever-changing world?  How could we have allowed this to happen?

               I began to think back to my 90s childhood and 2000s teen years looking for possible clues that may have went unnoticed.  If your childhood was like mine, then you are aware of growing up in the large black family.  Almost every week my intermediate, and sometimes extended family, would have impromptu get togethers.  My grandparents’ house served as the unofficial headquarters.  The amount of family that came in and out of their house were unmeasurable; yet my grandparents enjoyed the company.  Every year during the month of July our extended and distant family would get together in a predetermined city or town for our annual family reunion.  This was the time you caught up with family you have not seen in a year, met newborns, chilled with cousins in your age group, ate, did family activities, hugged everyone goodbye, and said, “I’ll see you next year!  Keep in touch!”

               By the 2000s extended and distant family began to gradually miss family reunions.  As my generation got older most of us moved to cities and towns that were farther away from our hometowns.  The upkeeps of the family got older while several died.  When you add up some of these variables it appeared our family not only changed, but also inadvertently became more distant than before.  By the 2010s family became connected through parents rather than the whole family.  Our big get-togethers that brought the whole family together happened during a relative’s funeral.  The annual family reunions saw a significant decrease in the number of family members attending.  Promises were made to keep in contact, but most were kept through smartphones and social media rather than face to face.  Sure, we use Facebook to like and comment on each other’s life achievements (i.e., graduations, starting a new job, getting married, the birth of a newborn, becoming a homeowner, etc.), but that was all done virtually when we cannot physically be in the same room.  If this sounds like your family, then I may have a few examples to help explain why your traditional black family may have become more distant than you think.

1) Your family lives too far away from each other:

               My grandfather was born and raised in a small town called Johnston, South Carolina.  He got married, started a family, owned a house, worked, retired, and died in Johnston, South Carolina.  His seven children lived in neighboring towns less than 50 miles from Johnston.  This benefitted them because living close to their parents meant they could always make visits and still be able to go home on the same day.  Today, my closest family member is my mother, and we live more than 50 miles apart.  If I want to visit her, I will need to plan a trip even if it is just for a day.

               When family lives long distances away from each other, the dependency on each other suffers.  You have no choice but to become independent although that is not necessarily bad.  In some ways you find out how strong you are without family nearby to provide the immediate help if needed.  This also means you must carry the burden of maintaining your lifestyle should something go wrong.

               Previous generations appeared to be subconsciously bound to their hometown.  Since family was always nearby, someone reliable was always around during those moments of need.  Some family feared moving too far away from family meant if an emergency happened no reliable relative would be close to provide help.

2) The chase for higher education also adopted you into its blended family:

               If you are like me then you also took the traditional path to higher education.  You graduated high school at 17 or 18, went to college a few months later, lived on campus, made friends, joined student organizations, stressed about exams, and received a bachelor’s degree or higher.  However, during those years you did not just receive a degree.  You have also gained more perspectives about life that may not always agree with the family values you were raised on.  The biggest differences can be for the first time in your life you could debate the lessons you are learning, encouraged to think freely, and challenge the status quo of what a culture accepts as opposed to home where your family may have forbidden this type of thinking because it threatens what was established and accepted.

               Whether you attended a HBCU, PWI, Ivy League, technical, or arts college one thing is common you want to belong in a world that is different from your home.  So how do you do this?  The answer is finding a person, group, or organization who represents who you are.  Joining these groups of people will make your college experience more rememberable.  Once you begin to trade ideas and find similarities amongst each other you start to think like the group.  You may begin to reject some of your family values that do not match and replace them with your newfound ideas in hopes of bettering your life after college.

               Although it is great to gain different perspectives, your family may have a hard time accepting the new you.  Maybe they feel being replaced for the organizations you joined while in college feels like you have turned your back on them.  If you and your family cannot come to a compromise, you may find yourself leaning more towards the groups of like interest rather than your own family.

3) Job localization has forced you to move farther away from your family and hometown:

               This example ties examples one and two together.  Now that you have your degree or trade skill you must satisfy it.  The work and effort you put towards it needs to be fulfilled in the form of a good paying job in that field.  This sounds easy, but for many it is not especially if it means moving farther away from your family and hometown.

               Small towns not associated with a city may not have the jobs you are seeking with your degree.  In addition, if it has that type of job, it may not pay as much in comparison to similar jobs in larger metropolitan areas.  For this reason, small towns today are suffering in population and wealth because their talented citizens are moving to cities with better paying jobs.

               Job localization may be the cause of some family separation by distance.  Large corporations and successful private sectors that pay well localized into cities or neighboring towns.  As a result, the talent does not become dispersed, but grouped into these areas which creates long distance relationships with family who are still living in small towns.

4) We have become so connected through smartphones and social media that face-to-face interactions are becoming disconnected:

               When cellphones were first released to the general public no one imagined they would advance into what we know them as today.  Social media is easily accessible with the tap of an app and little to no cost creating a quick way to communicate with virtually anyone.

               Why this maybe a problem for the traditional black family?  Older family members (before Millennials) grew up in a world where family communication was done mostly through face-to-face interactions.  The home telephone was just a way to communicate when they could not see each other.

               Let us think about family reunions and Sunday dinners.  This was the main way older family members really got to hear about what is going on in a relative’s life.  Got engaged?  Before smartphones with video chat, one would have to drive around to all family members he or she liked to show off that ring and fiancée.  Gave birth to a newborn?  Family reunions, Sunday dinners, and church were the places to meet up and show him or her off.  Any other life events?  Telling family over the telephone was one thing, but the anticipation for face-to-face interaction was the preferred method of communication.

               Today all of that can be seen and done in just a few minutes without leaving the house thanks to smartphones and social media.  One can bundle all the liked family members into a group text message and video chat.  So instead of going from house to house or family get-togethers, you can just send a video of your newborn drinking milk.  Even though this is convenient for our generation, this may not always work well for your older family members especially when they feel it is becoming too common.  Remember your older family members are still trying to figure out how to Zoom or Facetime, they are probably just learning how to send emojis.  They still need your physical presence.

               May this explain why the turnout at the annual family reunion decreased over the years.  With everyone owning a smartphone and social media family knows what is going on in your life without you calling considering if you are an avid poster.  With social media constantly trending upward as the main source of news and information daily are family reunions needed if anything you share can be done at the moment it happens?

5) Online articles that expose toxic family members are triggering past hurts caused by family.  The sad part is the victim never fully healed from that episode:

               Family was first and everything in the average traditional black family.  We protected each other through the good and bad, and outsiders had to respect that.  No matter what a relative did that was wrong, we easily forgave (often coerced into it) because that was what the older generations taught us.  Sometimes we painted a perfect picture of toxic family members to others so well we became blind to his or her continual toxic behavior because we believed family could do no wrong to each other.

               Remember when I said the Millennial Generation values genuine honesty and loyalty more than blood?  I find this to be true.  We have a hard time painting an “everything is fine” portrait of our families when toxic traits are excused because of the family first mindset.  With self-health and mental healing being front and center in today’s black culture, we are very truthful about the problems that have once affected us in adverse ways.  If that happens to include hurtful events caused by family in the past, then we tend to pick healing over the perfect family portrait.  Unfortunately, those hurtful events go without justice, and the victim is forced to forgive and forget when in truth we struggle to fully forgive knowing our family will silence us about it.  Not seeking proper help for this creates internal battles we fight with whenever triggers come.  Physical and emotional pain, neglect, abuse, depression, confusion, lack of trust and other emotions plaque our minds when we see a constant reminder at family get-togethers while trying to force a smile just to please older family members.

               The Millennial Generation is using our platform to express ourselves about the things that once hurt us.  Sometimes they can come off as funny, but serious post attracts others who had similar situations.  We find support groups and read online articles about how others overcame traumatizing events.  Sure, this may damage the perfect family image, but the need for affirmation from like minds and support for our healing journey is more freeing.

6) You know your successes are congratulated by family, but you also know some are jealous while cheering you on:

               Not everyone grew up in a well-established family with degrees on the wall, successful careers, generational wealth, etc.  Some of us grew up in families who made sacrifices daily to keep up with life’s demands.  So how does one cousin who grew up in this same family, struggled, shared the same clothes, still found a way to succeed while the rest of the family seem to be stuck in the same situation that has kept them down for years?

               The answer is the hustle and determination paid off in his favor.  He made it and must keep going to maintain that success, and honestly, he may not be able to take the family with him at that moment.  Sadly, it takes one family member to feel like this cousin is not doing enough to give the family credit for more family members to feel the same way.  Jealousy can change the family bond into one that is not genuine.  As this cousin succeeds more in life you may find yourself cheering him on, but deep down inside you also find yourself being jealous that you struggle to duplicate.  Remember, your time will come just like his.  Be happy for him during his moment and keep working towards yours.  Recruiting other family members behind his back just so you can all sit around and talk down about his every move in life only hurts your chances at success.

7) Family rivalries may have made your family distant:

               Sibling rivalries, favorites, the desire to be the first to do it in your family, telling your children to do better than their cousins can all give birth to pride.  If pride does not make you a winner, then comes jealousy.  Keep losing with jealousy, and malice towards your family will control your mind.  This is where you reach the point of finding anything wrong for all the good in any family member’s life, particularly the targeted ones.  Family rivalries do not create strong bonds.  It creates a competitive environment that can only be satisfied with winning.  As a family we should want the best for each other, but we must learn that our very own family is not your competition.  We each bring different talents to the table that can be used to uplift each other.  No one in your family should be your rival.

               Maybe the traditional black family has been distant in this era than in the previous.  However, we have better ways to communicate even if we live far away from each other.  Advancing technology, distance, and communication without physical presence should not harm a family’s bond, but all members should take time to use these tools to build a stronger relationship.  At the same time, we should try to make time to communicate even if it is through texting or Facetime.  Who knows?  When that big gathering happens again it may bring back that traditional black family feel with a new black family trend.  Remember, traditions were once new ideas, and new ideas create new traditions.

Blogging Reading Sunday Thoughts Uncategorized

A Think Piece on Sunday #1: Focus Less on Monday When It’s Still Sunday

If you work Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm then we may have something in common…clocking out of work on a Friday. It’s the start of THE WEEKEND, BABY! Whatever unfinished work can “Wait for Monday!” Running out the building before the manager sees you, walking through the parking lot to your car, getting into your car, starting up the engine, and playing your favorite tunes and/or radio station on the way home! What’s not to love about it? Rewind for a second. Maybe you ran into your favorite coworker to chat and pass time before leaving for the weekend. While at work on a Friday, you mentally go into Weekend Mode daydreaming about 5 pm and the weekend.

Now it’s Saturday and all is well with the world you live in. Waking up by your natural circadian rhythm instead of an annoying alarm clock makes the body feel well-rested. (I’m sorry fellow parents if this does not apply to your type of weekends. Just hang in there, a break is coming). No sitting in the office looking at a computer screen or making telephone calls for the business. No scrolling through work emails for hours. It’s just you and the people you love. You got plans to perfect your craft, but catching up on TV shows takes precedence. You can eat a lunch made by Chef You or someone in the house with no 30-minute break forcing you to eat within its timeframe. For the college and grade level students, there are no educational restraints holding you back from freedom because class is dismissed on the weekend. You ask yourself why can’t I get paid to do nothing like this everyday?

And then there’s Sunday. Whether you are waking up from a night of partying or from the hours of sleep you missed from the weekdays (once again, fellow parents, I do apologize), Sunday is here! You get up for worship service and meet up with friends for Sunday brunch shortly thereafter. Or, you skipped/don’t attend service and go to Sunday brunch instead. For others, Sunday is a lounge around day or a day of doing laundry. Then comes the Sunday afternoon naps a.k.a. the best naps of the week! Your bed turns into a cloud that massages you while sleeping. Those two hours pass by just in time for Sunday dinner. All is well in the world you live in…until reality sets in.

The thoughts of that dreaded Monday takes you off your weekend bliss. You don’t know what Monday has in store, but it isn’t going to be like the weekend…Let’s picture Monday like a large, dark thunderstorm cloud spotted afar off heading in your direction. You are at some park having a weekend getaway picnic, and all is well in the world you live in. The Sun is shining bright, and the weather is just right. Suddenly, you feel an unusually cool wind blowing. The smell of ground kicked up from heavy rain (in the country, we use the term, “I smell rain”) fills the air, and the echo of thunder sounds from a distance. You look to the sky to see flashes of lightning from the dark cloud, its light sporadic flashes in spots. As the cloud slowly approaches, it begins to cast a shadow on the park and everything else in its path. The sunlight begins to dim as the dark cloud covers the sun. The last ray of sunshine is phased out by the dark cloud. In your mind this storm is unavoidable. A sprinkle of rain hits your head, while the smell of ground becomes stronger. It’s time to pack up the picnic and get back home as soon as possible because there is no telling what this thunderstorm is capable of doing.

And that is how anticipating a Monday on a Sunday can feel like. The party is over! School is back in session, and work reopens first thing Monday morning. Suddenly, the enjoyment of the weekend is over. You began to anticipate waking up to that annoying alarm clock, and the commute just to get to work. What about the children? Are they prepared for school? That work you left unfinished on Friday has been sitting there waiting. You can take a quick PTO day but decline because you may need it later. Call in sick, maybe? What if karma gets you back? You are nowhere near retirement, so don’t go looking at your 401K and/or Roth to see if you and your family can live off it until you become eligible for social security. And even if you start a get rich quick scheme, that money does not hit your bank account overnight.

So, what do you do? I have an answer. Focus less on Monday when it’s still Sunday.

How come? You are missing the beauty of the remaining hours of Sunday by anticipating Monday. Monday is unavoidable. It cycles around like every other day of the week. Now is not the time to start stressing over Monday when you are still living in Sunday. Worry about that day when that day is here. Then do the same for Tuesday and so on.

Make the most out of your Sunday. Relax and enjoy Sunday. A quick tip that eases some of Monday’s stress for me is to start preparing early on a Sunday rather than before bed or the morning of. By making this one change, I am not scrambling to get ready for Monday at the last minute. I can get decent hours of sleep and scratched a few task of my mental Monday list. It makes Monday flow a little more smoothly. Overall, don’t lose a joyous Sunday because you’re too stressed and worried about Monday. If you tried everything to relax on a Sunday and nothing helps you not stress about Monday, then maybe it’s time to identify the stressor and make some changes so it doesn’t become a repeated cycle. The weekend will return, but in the meantime manage each day on its day.

Blog Blogging Hobby Hope Lessons Motivational Perseverance Perspective Positive Strength Thankful Thinking Thoughts Work Writing

After 1000 Views, What’s Next?

Written By:  Preston A. Thompson

               Once again, I cannot thank you enough for the views, love, support, and subscriptions to The Book of Think Pieces. This blogging journey has been enjoyable, and I have not hit one year yet! Sure there were some ups and downs, a few setbacks, delays, and plenty of writer’s [bloggers] blocks, but I kept going. I kept seeing the good in this blogger’s world and used it as motivation to keep writing. To Kenya, the country, thank you for your views. Then to #writerslift, #writingcommunity, #blogging, and other creative writer’s hashtags on twitter, I thank you! I did not forget about you previously.

               So, after reaching the 1000 views milestone, what is next for The Book of Think Pieces? What do I have in store for the views and subscribers?

               …Well, the answer is simple. I will keep writing, keep hustling. I will think of more content to blog about. As I mentioned in my previous blog After 1000 Views1 I have to keep blogging because I love to write and keep my main audience engaged. I may write about something that creates a debate, or I may write about my experiences. Maybe write a fictional short story or two. But most importantly, I want to do this because writing is my hobby. I want to keep being original. As I gain more followers, I want to support my fellow bloggers. Most importantly, I want to share my work through promoting online.

               I thank you all again for the views! I attempt to inspire and uplift my viewers through blogging. I also like to give my viewers a unique perspective about several topics. In the meantime, I hope you all have a great day. Stay great and stay positive. Remember, there is only one you in this world, and you only have one life to live, so make the most of you and take care of yourself along this journey we call life.

Be on the lookout for my next blog post coming soon…thank you!


  1. Thompson, P. (2022, March 26). After 1000 Views. The Book of Think Pieces.
Blogging Lessons Motivational Strength Thankful Thinking Thoughts Work Writing

After 1000 Views

Written By: Preston Thompson

               We at The Book of Think Pieces like to celebrate every milestone. Why? Because small wins lead to a major victory. When this blog was just an idea I knew one thing was certain, I enjoy writing. It’s a craft I developed in the third grade. Keeping a journal from time to time and making long post about thoughts, I knew this was a hobby turned passion.

               Life came fast when the Covid-19 Pandemic became official. While working in my primary career as a Quality Assurance Analyst, I wanted to start a side hustle based on a hobby. I have seen peers do it by selling products they make or start something online like a podcast, so I asked myself what am I good at that can work as a side hustle? A year before the pandemic I had a small stint as a public speaker. My primary job’s human resources department asked me to speak to a group of local fifth and sixth graders at their career day about myself, why I went to college to major in Chemistry, my job, and what I do on the job on. After that ended, I spoke at two high schools at their annual career days.

               My public speaking days ended when enforced restrictions increased to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. Thinking to myself I knew I enjoyed writing but do I have the confidence to share my work to an online audience? Do I have the online influence to have a continual audience? That’s where I thought about starting a blog. It was just a simple idea from my wife and plans to start a podcast that I decided a blog with a little podcast-like influence may work for me as a side hustle. With her support, I began planning this blog a few days after Christmas 2020. Purchasing a cheap notebook and mechanical pencils from the dollar store I wrote my first five blogs. From there I set up meetings for myself to create, research, and organize this blog. I was set on a mission to turn my hobby into a side hustle.

               And from my first blog post in June to today, almost nine months later, here I am still blogging with 1000 views and counting. And I thank each and every one of you for your support! Without you taking the time to view my post, I would be just another side hustler who started something but did not finish. I have grown as a blogger since the first post. My confidence is restored, and my blog is growing as we speak. So, I thank you. I must say it was not easy. Fighting self-doubt was a mountain I had to climb with encouragement hoping things getting better. With that being said, here are some things I learned after 1000 views:

“Enjoy blogging because you love to write, not because you’re looking for views.”

               Words said by a wise woman, my wife. Once my blog was up and running, I was writing to blog as a hobby. I must admit the analytical side of me began to take over. For a short time I became too obsessed with the numbers. I was checking the stats daily to see if I gained views. When the numbers increased, I was cool. I fed off that energy to continue thinking of topics to write about. However, like anything in life, what goes up must come down. When this happened, I became too focused on self-promoting by over sharing my blogs on my social media pages hoping each virtual friend and family member would click on the link. And if I did not get the views I thought I should I have I would post again. It became a nightmare trying to keep up with blogging while maintain my life outside of blogging in hopes that I would see 1000 views off one post.

“The number of followers and friends you have on social media does not equal to more views.”

               Ok, so I have a decent amount of Facebook friends and Twitter followers. What can I say? I joined Facebook when you had to have a college email to join. During that time, I had been active in groups and work with people who wanted to be Facebook friends later, and like any ordinary person during this time, I accept it. Now many of my Facebook friends are family members (I come from a large family) and hometown people. Throw in colleagues from over the years, my college friends (my original Facebook friends), in-laws, and distant relatives…and now the number grew to where it is today.

And you know what happened? Those numbers did not turn into views. I did not exceed the number of followers and friends I have on social media on a single post like I wanted. Thinking maybe I was going about this wrong, I began to wonder if I had the social media influence to gain large amounts of traffic to my site. But, like most side hustlers would say, it may take years to gain a large audience. This leads to my next lesson learned:

“Focus on your main audience”

               And your main audience are the day ones. In my case it is family, close friends, and fellow bloggers who follow and post similar content. Attracting a large audience is not easy at all. The problem is it will be impossible to please everyone. You begin blogging for likes, views, and followers, but eventually it can lead to a lack of substance because you will become too concerned with pleasing the crowd. One day you will blog about things you like or what you are passionate about, but when the audience disagree with you blog you will spend more time trying to maintain a large audience rather than blogging because you enjoy it.

               By focusing on my main audience, I discovered not only do I enjoy blogging and writing more, but I also do not overly concern myself with views. I do not feel pressured to meet a schedule of when to blog. Focusing on myself and my main audience makes blogging easier and less stressful.  It is an undescribed boost of confidence knowing I have a main audience who supports me rather than blogging for views. #WritersLife.

“You cannot piggyback off someone else’s side hustle”

               I have side hustling friends, family and colleagues.  Their side hustles consist of selling homemade goods, working a second job, afterschool classes, ride sharing, some type of virtual assistant, and others; anything to make extra money.

               Here’s me. When this blog I started to gain attention I figured I could “piggyback” off the a few of my colleagues success in their side hustle. I saw how people were willing to pay whatever they could to support their business. I figured if I told them about my free site maybe I would receive the same support. The keyword is maybe. And how did that turn out for me? Let’s just say maybe 10 of those people actually subscribed.

               Maybe I was not aggressive enough when promoting my blog or perhaps the same people are not really interested in reading a blog whether it is free or not. I had to learn is my side hustle is not theirs so I cannot except the same people to be as supportive because I know or work with them. Instead, as I mentioned above, I had to continue blogging because writing and blogging is something I enjoy doing.

“It’s ok if my blog is not specific.”

               When I told people about my blog, they asked this same question. “What is your blog about?” My replay would be the same scripted line I rehearsed since the beginning, “I don’t know. It’s my thoughts or whatever I feel like talking about.” Audiences like specific blogs. Most blogs out there are just about travel, fashion, food, lifestyle, music, parenting, religion, tv and movies, politics, sports, motivation, and the list goes on. My blog, on the other hand, tends to dabble in different topics because that’s how I designed it. Online blogs warned about this type of blogging because it may not attract a large audience, and I respect that. However, I am fine with my blog not being made for a specific audience. I consider it a free thinker’s blog where I share my perspective on various topics and hope to get feedback.

“The views will come. Be patient.”

               Regardless of where I am, one thing I am confident about is the views will come. Yes, through one year and 10 post there were times I wondered if I had it. Putting my post out there for the world took courage, but the views did always add up. Some blogs were homeruns, meaning I posted it and the views exceeded my expectations. Many of my blogs were base hits which tend to be my average. Some blogs struck out meaning I posted it, but the views did not meet my expectations. Instead of feeling down the complements I receive from family, close friends, and fellow bloggers who I do not know personally but we support each other makes me not focus on the views.

As I end this blog, I would like to thank God for making this possible. My wife who supported my dream from day one. My office assistant, my son, who plays while we are at work. My family. When I told them I started a blog, they subscribed with no hesitation. My close friends who subscribed to my blog within the first 10 blogs, I thank you all for that. Then, I cannot forget about all the subscribers, the likers, the commenters, and readers who have provided continual supporters to my blog. I thank you all and wish you the best in your future endeavors!

2020 Blogging Lessons Pandemic Thoughts Writing Year in Review

What Has 2020 Taught Me?

Written By:  Preston A. Thompson

Edited By:  Preston Thompson

               If you are reading this then Happy New Year 2021 (now Happy New Year 2022)!  We survived the apocalypse of 2020 and stepped into 2021 with new expectations and determination (and we are still in the apocalypse today). 2020 came with the four horsemen.  Famine came in the form of job closures and layoffs.  We even learned a new word, furlough.  We did have that scare of a food shortage, but not as big as the toilet tissue and Lysol shortage.  Pestilence came in the form of 17-year locusts and murder hornets.  Disease, no surprise here, came with the biggest blow to our 2020 social lives in the form of COVID-19, aka the Coronavirus and “The Rona!”  Lastly, let’s not talk about the last one, but let’s just say every day the coronavirus took a major toll on our lives.

               Despite all the chaos 2020 was a very manageable year.  The government having to step in to help families financially through unemployment and forbearances have been one of many topics to explain 2020. Sure, we could not travel much thanks to travel restrictions and bans, but it did teach me some valuable lessons that I hope to take with me once this pandemic is over.  Here are just a few:

1) I really do have food at home:

               I must confess I love to try different restaurants.  When I do not feel like cooking, I will go to a fast-food or regular restaurant with no hesitation.  Years ago, I made it a habit to try a different restaurant when traveling to a different town or city. Just about every date night with my wife consisted of going out to eat.  Now that I think about it if I was not eating out once a day it was probably 3 to 4 times a week.  Meanwhile we still spent money on groceries for it to expire in a week or so.

               When COVID-19 forced shutdowns globally, the same restaurants that I loved had government-forced shutdowns or limited capacity, so now this forced us into cooking more at home.  Yes, there are delivery services, but this part-time introvert really misses the experience of eating inside a restaurant. Regarding cooking at home, I sometimes enjoy it even though my wife is better at it.  I have become creative in the kitchen and on the grill (air fryer, too).  Just thinking about it, lunch breaks at work consisted of trips to fast-food restaurants in the area.  Although this is good for those businesses, bringing food from home did keep money in my pocket.

2) I spent a lot of money on leisure activities:

               A $20 to $75 gym membership, over $100 for a personal trainer, tickets and food at the movies, drinks at the bar, the gas put in my car to go extra places, just to name a few, all added up with each swipe of the card.  The funny thing is I had things at home that could have saved me time and money, but by habit I did additional spending for these events.  It makes sense why I worked plenty of overtime hours to support my lifestyle.

3) My job cutting overtime for a period of time made me realize how valuable work-life balance really is:

               Jobs in America hit the panic button when COVID cases went up.  At my job separating shifts and pausing overtime became the new norm.  Before the pandemic overtime was a choice.  If you wanted it, you could do it if the work was available.

               When overtime was cut, I had more time at home to enjoy myself, wife, fitness, and other activities.  I did not feel like I was coming home just to eat, squeeze in an exercise, and go to bed just to repeat the cycle Monday through Friday.  Sure, I miss the overtime money, but time at home is more valuable because one day I will look back and wish I had it in my youth.  My work-life balance has been the best since the start of this pandemic, I hope to continue it when it is over.

4) I am more of an introvert than I thought:

               I have always called myself an introvert, but I still went out when invited.  Sometimes before going out a part of me would hope plans got cancelled so I can stay in and play video games or watch TV.  On the other hand, I would also get upset if plans did get cancelled because I was really looking forward to going out (it’s hard to explain).  When the shutdown happened, I was prepared for a moment like this.  I get pleasure in being home watching Netflix and being away from people not including my wife.  Plans cannot get cancelled during a pandemic when following the “guidelines,” because safety was my top priority in 2020.

               Reading has become a big part of my quarantine life at home.  To keep the mind strong reading works your brain and improves memory.  Think of it like a book being weights at the fitness center and your brain are your body muscles (although there are articles out there that says your brain really is not a muscle but needs to be treated like one). Before Covid I can honestly admit a busy life and weekends filled with activities would push reading to the side.  I would start a book then finish it in a month or longer.  The reason is without school putting a time limit on when I need to finish the book, I would start reading a chapter then put the book down for a couple of days before picking it up again.  Now, I find myself reading just like I did in grade school.  When I am done, I begin reading the next book.

               Video gaming has always been a part of my life.  Since my mom first bought me a Super Nintendo with Super Mario World, I have been a gamer ever since.  Even into my adult life, video games have been there for me as a leisure and competitive online play.  I was sure by a certain age I would stop playing video games.  I tried to give them up when I first got my real job outside of college, but two weeks later, I found myself back into gaming and have been there since.  This hobby may follow me into my senior years, and I am cool with that. As an introvert, I get a little joy playing my favorite games to pass the time on a Friday night, and while COVID is going on, I can play games online to fill in for the missing social part of life.

               My music consumption has increased drastically during this pandemic.  Hip Hop, R&B, Gospel, Pop (sometimes), a little Country, and others have been a part of my life since birth.  When my grandfather gave me a portable radio with headphones as a child, you can say I have been an audiophile ever since.  I have gone through my fair share of portable radio, tape, and CD players over the years. Then I moved on to the iPod then smartphones.  I have also had my fair share of headphones and earphones during these times.  As music moved from CDs to Pandora to now streaming services like Apple Music my consumption of music have increased to countless hours.  It is no surprise my Apple Replay 2020 said I have listened to over 1,000 hours of music.

5) Black businesses really need our love and support:

               Large corporations will be alright during the pandemic; however, we really need to help our fellow black businesses.  Maybe we are not all moving to Atlanta but supporting your local black business can help rebuild the New Black Wallstreet.  For many of us we are trying to break generational curses of debt.  With pay rates remaining the same and rising prices of goods, we must support our own while we can.  The side hustlers who no longer want to wait on the next promotion that may never happen or rightful raise that is more than a quarter an hour from the previous year need your support. It does not take much to put your money to a growing business from black entrepreneurs.  Google is here to locate black businesses in our area. Whether it is through listening to our friend’s podcast or reading their blogs, buying from their restaurants, purchasing a bar of soap, now is the best time to show your support and stand with us now.

6) I am essential even if the work I do isn’t:

               Who’s an essential worker and who’s not? Whose job made money from leisure and whose job is important during this pandemic? You see, job closures have been a pandemic before the COVID pandemic. Large corporations opened one too many facilities, and when the customer’s taste changed, the money shifted. This resulted in these corporations downsizing to meet the financial demands of their annual reports. On the other hand, some small businesses do not have the strong financial support of the community like others do. This makes it hard for a small business owner to maintain the business and results in tough decisions about the future of his or her business. As the pandemic progressed, the healthcare industry had become too essential. The problem with that is as more people fill up the emergency rooms with COVID-like symptoms, the amount of healthcare workers available do not meet the demand. This put added stress on the workers because they must serve the public before they can take care of themselves. And I forgot, just because there is a COVID pandemic, it does not mean other health problems have disappeared.

               Whether you are furloughed or working too many hours, just know that you are essential, and no one can change that. Your life is more important than any job. Sure, you want more, that’s the human in us, but you are essential even without the recognition.

7) The internet really is powerful and essential:

               I know computers and the internet began to take over the world before the new millennium, but in 2020 we really needed the internet more than ever! How could quarantine life survive without the internet? For starters TV streaming services like Netflix, HBO Max, Disney Plus, Hulu, and others were the real MVPs of quarantine life! I finally had the time to watch shows while working less overtime and having the free time from home to do so. Even as a worker who did not have work from home as an option, work-related communication such as meetings were done through Microsoft Teams. Just think about the schools and how learning moved from the classrooms to remote learning from home through Zoom. Speaking of Zoom, I cannot recall how many family and friend events I attended at home through the app that would normally be done in person.

And I cannot forget about curbside pickup. At first when stores began to encourage it to reduce the amount of people coming into the store, I thought it was a little annoying. I was not the biggest fan of using store apps other than Amazon to place orders for the things I needed. I thought it was time consuming having to search for items then placing an order in the virtual cart then going through the payment method from an app. Then, once the order was placed and payment processed, having to use the app again at the parking spot felt like it took longer than going into the store and getting what you wanted. What was even more annoying was missing or the wrong items that was not caught by the employee. As I used curbside pickup more, it grew on me. I saw the potential behind it especially knowing that I was safe with contactless pickup. Fast forward to today, it is my preferred method of buying from stores.

               2020 had me thinking what this pandemic would be like if the internet was never invented? For starters work from home would probably be impossible. Staying up-to-date on the latest changes in the community due to COVID would take longer to communicate to the public. And I am sure cases would be higher than what they are today because social distancing would be almost impossible when we still need to go inside places for the things we need. Before the pandemic, experts spent a lot of time trying to prove how the internet is ruining our brains and making us more socially disconnected from human interaction due to the high number of hours consumed online. After the pandemic, these same experts did not complain that much as they, too, had to rely on the internet like everyone else. In 2020 the internet really became the unsung essential hero of quarantine life.

8) Some people just do not care:

               I get it.  We have been trapped in the house all 2020.  We can’t go out, work can be work from home, and wear a mask when we do go out. Some businesses will not serve us if we refuse to follow their mask policy. We have been in quarantined for months hoping the pandemic ends so we can get our pre-pandemic lives back.  We are prisoners in our own homes, and we need to be around people.  It is our right. 

Despite all the warnings the CDC passed about COVID and how herd immunity could have possibly ended the pandemic before the discovery of a vaccine, some people just do not care.  Why?  There can be numerous reasons, but I strongly believe it is because no one close to them have contracted COVID. You see the number of cases reported online every day, but whether you want to believe it or not, if it has not happened to you or anyone you know personally, then you feel comfortable being around people mask or no mask. You feel safe to be around others with no mask and being in close contact.  I log onto social media and see large gatherings in close places where some wear a mask and others are not (I am starting to sound like the experts you see on the news every day).  While you are having fun, your healthcare workers are shaking their heads thinking about how full the hospitals are going to be in the coming weeks. It is your American right to go as you please, but until this pandemic is over, please consider the people who maybe the most affected.

9) Work towards your goals:

               2020 brought out the hustler in many of us.  We started investing when stock prices were low at the start of the pandemic.  Others started school after putting it off for years.  Some took their talents and turned it into a second source of income.  No matter how crazy our dreams sound at first, we moved them from ideas to action.  Even if you fail, continue to work towards your goals or find new ones and work towards them.  Remember, ideas first appear ugly, but once they manifest, they become beautiful creations.

10) Reconnect with your family and friends:

               Life is short.  You can be here today and gone tomorrow.  For those following the expert’s suggestions about social distancing then you probably have not been around people other than those who live with you.  A visit here or there, but not to the extent of where it was before.  If you have been living and working from home since this pandemic, then the stress of being in the same spot for months may be kicking in.

               Now would be the perfect time to reconnect with your family and friends by some app like Facetime, or in-person remembering to social distance with a mask on.  Hearing from the people you value most can give new hope that we will overcome this pandemic and celebrate, mask off.  Call a loved one whom you have not spoken with in a while and see where the relationship goes.  If you are holding a grudge against someone, try to free your mind from it and find a way to let it go the best way you can so you can move on with your life.

11) We will overcome the COVID pandemic:

We have lost so many people to COVID. Let’s help each other by doing what’s right for your own soul, and for the people you love.  Trust the experts who are working hard trying to find a cure for this virus. Remember, they are humans just like you and me. They do not have all the answers because COVID-19 is new and mutating. Sure, it may have been around before 2020, but the virus seems to bring out different symptoms in those who tested positive and are fighting it. With so much uncertainty, our healthcare experts keep studying this virus challenging what they know about the symptoms and are searching for answers when new symptoms are present. It is not like the common flu where frequent symptoms show up in those infected. This means if the virus is here mutating our healthcare experts are stressing and working tirelessly just to understand it. At this point they are giving their best educated guesses.

The truth of it all is we will overcome the COVID pandemic. It may not happen overnight, but humanity has a history of prevailing. Humans have survived and adapted to changes for centuries. Whether it was caused by our own doings or by something greater than ourselves, the fact is we are still here and standing tall. Look around you. The Sun is shining even through the clouds and night sky. You are winning more small victories than you can imagine. That’s why we are still here. I hope this serves as hope to those who are living in pandemic fear. Take care of each other, but most importantly, take care of yourself.