Essayists, lecturer, and poet, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, "The years teach much which the days never know." Surely, the clock is a relentless unforgiving device, that when analyzed in cogent terms, is either an educator or an annihilator of productive opportunity.
My father, the Reverend James L. Richard, a native of Lake Creek, Texas, ventured to the Bay Area, and Oakland, Ca. specifically, in the secondary "Great Migration" of Black people during World War II. In the classical definition, the "Great Migration" of Blacks was from the southern United States to the north to procure work in the factories of Detroit, Gary, Chicago, etc. However, the former was just as historically relevant in U.S. history.
Upon arrival in California, my father, an aspiring preacher since adolescence, was appointed pastor of a community church located in a housing project in the city of Alameda, Ca. where Blacks found work in the Eurocentric war effort`s Naval ship yards. Conversely, my father aspired to pastor his own church, and in 1947, formed the Evergreen Baptist church in the living room of his mother. Within ten years, he led the largest, most accredited and prestigious Black church in the region. As fate would have it, he met Dortha Strickland at a Baptist convention, fell in love, and married her, my mother, in 1951.
My mother, at that time, lived with entertainment legend Frank Sinatra working as Nancy Sinatra`s personal assistant (from the ages of 17-21 at that).
She bought all her clothes and jewelry, handled all her appointments, hosted all the Sinatra`s parties, acted as her single personal liaison and even took care of Frank Jr. and Tina. Yet, she was not a maid or servant.
In January of 1961, I was born. Surely, my early childhood was almost a fictional account. My father was extremely successful, and my mother was the envy of the multitude. We lived in a mansion in the Crocker Highlands district of Oakland replete with a tennis court and tennis "backboard," basketball court, servant`s quarters, a play house, a walk in fireplace, bay windows, balconies, formal breakfast and dining rooms, "sit in" shower and dressing room in the master suite, indoor and outdoor patios, a sun porch, an "attic" the size of most homes, "Sekret™" rooms and much more. However, "Camelot" was not to be permanent.
As my father obtained more success, the temptations of the aforementioned pressed his will. In the present, it is the Black athletes, musicians, and actors that are the "targets" of adulation in the Black community.
As a child, I witnessed Martin Luther King Jr, a young Jesse Jackson, Julian Bond, Jane Fonda, Aretha Franklin, and many more, spend nights at our house. In the 60`s, the preachers were the zenith of the Black community and fostered the greatest "star power." However, fame and fortune will take a toll on even the most forthright. As a result, my father succumbed to extreme philandering and even alcoholism. Without a doubt, the pressures of leading thousands as a pastor, president of the Baptist Minster`s Union, moderator of the Mt. Zion District, and president of the St. Luke`s Society (Black pastors and doctors), among many other titles, weighed heavily upon his psyche. In turn, he forced my mother in the abyss of alcoholism, and she met an early demise when I was 12 years old. As a matter of fact, my sister and I found her dead one fateful morning in 1973. As of 2014, my mother, father (1984), and sister (2012) are all removed from this physical plane. The question must be asked: What does James L. Richard II "think about?" Surely, my mind is sodden with images of life`s experience, indelible moments, and quantification of the past, present, and future. Buddha wrote, "Do not dwell in the past, and do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment." Buddha, in James` opinion was incorrect. The past is our teacher which calibrates the present to affect the future. For example, James constantly reflects on the mistakes of his youth where wisdom and experience were not present.
These mistakes were valuable lessons, especially when confronted with relative circumstance and, as a result, an intelligent decision can be procured. On the other hand, his mind seethes with a myriad of thought. Clearly, the tragedy, drama, and associated emotional barrage of the aforementioned are a perpetual albatross around my neck. It was once said, "…using a stick, the blind man turns touch into sight, but the stick has its own interesting active role. Tactile sensation is somehow projected onto the point of contact between the tip of the stick and the outside environment." One could equate this same reaction to the constancy of cause and effect. The effect of death, the only commonality between all humans, could be the cause of anxiety, depression, and lack of wellness. I can attest to this hypothesis. I employ the scripts in my mind as fuel.
For example, although I have lived an unusually arduous, convoluted, and rewarding life, I prefer to embrace the lessons, trials, and difficulties I have encountered. Thankfully, through my sons, I was able to remedy and resolve my own shortcomings and transgressions.
On reflecting upon my own voyage in life`s stormy, and oft times rewarding, seas, my life has been comparatively productive and fulfilling. After completion of college, I worked at what others would consider excellent jobs, briefly. However, I had an epiphany one morning that lead me to forego that direction, and I turned to music as a career. My uncles, my father`s brothers, are William Richard and Roy Richard of the legendary vocal group The Robins and original members of the chart topping Rock and Roll Hall of Fame icons The Coasters. My older brother Billy has been a member of the legendary R&B group since 1962. As a result, I launched my own quest to attempt to grow up to be my brother Billy. In turn, my best friend, Kelvin "Mr. Risque" Haynes, and I formed bands. The subsequent development was The Sekret Service™, Oakland cult legends. However, by the mid-80`s, I had a friend, who would become my mutually adopted brother, who started making waves in the music industry, Jay King.
Jay was the dictator behind the Timex Social Club, who had a huge hit with Rumors, and Club Nouveau. Club Nouveau and took the world by storm with such charted hits as "Situation Number 9," "Why You Treat Me So Bad," "Jealousy," "Heavy On My Mind," and the number one Grammy award winning remake of the Bill Withers classic, "Lean On Me." Our songs have been covered or sampled by such varied artists as Jennifer Lopez, R Kelly and Puff Daddy, Faith Evans, Ashanti, Jessica Simpson, and The Luniz.
I pulled the plug on The Sekret Service™ band to focus on doing studio work as The Sekret Service™: Scoring films, composing commercials, designing sounds and producing and engineering recordings. I ended up working with artists such as Oakland natives Tony! Toni! Tone!, of course Club Nouveau, and dozens of rap/hip hop artists such as Askari X, Dru Down, Messy Marv, Young Dre and Rodney O.
In 2004, I decided to return to recording songs alone. Surely, I always composed, performed, produced, and engineered all the recordings. Although at that juncture, I decided to complete the process and perform all the vocals. Consequently, these songs caught the attention of people world-wide.
In 2011, I returned to school and found that teaching was something that invigorated me. I have been told I am the best at it, and the youth and I share a special connection. This may be due to my background. Notwithstanding, I will take "credit" for any accolades. Humility is a virtue I embrace at all cost.
There is so much more to this adventure than could be encapsulated within a short article, In fact, it would require several novels. However, one constant emerges at each intersection, "The years teach much which the days never know."
I engage the scripts in my mind and use them as ammunition against the loss of his loved ones and so many other negatives. Surely, there is an importance to these scripts that our minds contain. Buddha writes, "We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves." James L. Richard II
By Perry Robins MD New York University Medical Center, and founding president of The Skin Cancer Foundation.
Always use sunscreen if you will be in the sun for any amount of time. Also use sun-screen that blocks UVA rays when spending a ...lot of time near glass.
Reason: Glass does not effectively block damaging UVA rays. Women should use moisturizers that contain a broad spectrum sunscreen (which blocks out both UVA and UVB rays under make makeup. Joseph Bark MD Lexington KY author of Your Skin An Owner's Guide, Prentice Hall Wear large sunglasses that fit close to your eyes and the bridge of your nose. Sunglasses stop you from squinting, protect against wrinkle formation and prevent cataracts and other eye disorders. He cautions us to avoid the small, John Lennon-style sunglasses. The dark lenses cause corneas to dilate, so they are exposed to light that slips in around the glasses. Instead, wear sunglasses at least as large as the eyes orbit- the hollow "cave" that houses the eyeball.
The Essence of Knowing the Truth
Many times over the years, I've learned that the shortcomings, and idiosyncrasy's of a man more than likely will bring forth unhealthy relationships. By this I simply mean ...that more likely, one (man) is prone to present unacceptable behavior, primarily because a dysfunctional past backgrounds. Whether one can say abuse in the past, generally manifest itself by verbal physical and emotional terror. When a man is labeled as an abuser, more often than any, his spouse, partner or children receive the bulk of the trauma. Professionals in this area usually list and identify specific signs one may notice, in order to identify various symptoms. Most behavioral analysts concur and usually agree that the "method of madness" mostly derives from generational curses. Families who've been "taunted" by fear, anguish and other misguided causes, usually are raised in a manner of abuse that signifies their actions being part of the norm. While he may thrive to be the best be could be, if brought up in a dysfuntional home, eventually his actions will come to light and his true colors will be apparent. Those actions generally persist mostly because of insecurities throughout their childhood. Denial usually becomes part of their character which only compounds their illness even more. In this case, a highly trained professional or mediator can assist in the process of healing. While some men may decline this assistance, those who take advantage of this help can move forward and begin the painful process of being healthy. Over a course of time however, if one does not constantly monitor their defects of character they are generally "lulled back into their behavior of stinking thinking." This results in problems escalating to a point more worse than ever, normally causing periods of, incarceration, hospitalization and sometimes death. On most accounts, death is usually the extreme measure which results in a person literally giving up on hope.
Hope and confidence are without a doubt two contributing factors that normally allows the abuser to refocus and look at himself from a human perspective. One may begin to feel the guilt and pain he's brought on others, which results in a bottom that causes him to live differently. These feelings of emotions simply identify one's imperfections and normally triggers a desire to be a better person. Hopefully then that person will begin to take the necessary steps to begin a process of living a healthy life. Ironically, the man who remains in denial usually allows pride, ego, control and over-all dominance to be their central focus which results in the torment of those around him. Simply stated, the man who refuses to get help will generally be destined to not having any hope. Guilt, shame and consideration are not a part of his DNA and when one doesn't want to heal extreme circumstances are usually the end result. Whether are not one's genealogy is the precept of their illness, generally the curse could be broken by what I believe to be a spiritual awakening. Once one has admitted his faults and acknowledges them to someone, or a higher power, this step begins the vital process of healing from the inside out. This is attributed by remaining in constant contact with one who can mentor, counsel and instruct one on how to live life without the negative behavior. There is so much more detail one could lay out in order to allow the healthy process to begin but as this segment continues we will begin to point out areas that will allow one to observe the specifics that will begin the resolution process. In my next segment the do's and the dont's of past experiences and results from those experiences that would cause love one's to give up on the abuser. However, there's hope for the victims also, which would normally result in similar therapy, that would allow them not to be in denial. Keep a positive attitude until our next issue! Written By: Leslie Whitehead
Leslie Whitehead contributing from Waikiki Hawaii.
Writer Leslie Whitehead Waikiki Hawaii.
Control Pet Allergies Martha V. White MD Institute of Allergy and Asthma Washington DC
Keep your pet outside, off the furniture and out of your bedroom. In most cases, it is the saliva and dander-the dead skin that flakes off and travels through the air-not the pet hair that causes the allergy problem. Also consider washing your dog or cat daily with water. Avoid frequent shampooing-it can release dander more quickly
Tunisia is just over three hours flight from the UK but is like entering another world. Experience a mixture of camel rides, Saharan dunes, palm-filled oases, cave homes, a massive Roman arena and a relaxing beach all in a fun packed eight days! You will walk in the footsteps of gladiators, visit the house of Luke Skywalker's childhood, wander through exotic souks and enjoy being immersed in a different culture. For this adventure scroll to your left to Adventure Tunisia.
Joan Borysenko PhD This is how I help myself with stress.
A demanding schedule that keeps me on the road about 200 days a year is a source of great pleasure and potential stress. Lectures and workshops for hospitals, corporations, church...es and civic groups on topic's ranging from medicine and psychology to spirituality, stress and women's health require constant research. There's a never ending series of book-writing deadlines and production schedules for audio-tapes, all of which makes a very busy life. I live high in the Rocky Mountains, where I love to hike in the stark beauty and crystal-clear air. For me, hiking and yoga are priorities when I'm home. When I'm traveling, I have to be more creative. I specifically request hotel accommodations near hiking trails rather than in downtown areas. I take the stairs rather than the elevator, and I order take-out lunches and use the spare time to take walks. Eating well is another challenge when life is hectic. I eat oatmeal and fruit for breakfast and adhere to a largely vegetarian, whole foods diet to cut down on fat and junk. Since I teach meditation and extol the benefits of prayer, I am fortunate that my work reinforces this great source of comfort and creativity. Most mornings and evenings, I meditate, which reinforces my gratitude. During the day, I try to become aware of my breathing. Is it shallow stress breathing, or deep, energizing, relaxing breathing? A few minutes of the latter makes a big physiological and psychological difference. And when I shift my breathing, it makes me more aware of what's on my mind. Am I complaining, or am I aware that life is the most precious gift?
Attitude helps me manage stress, so do family friends, and health habits. Medical research shows that meaningful relationships are critical to health and well-being. Being in touch with friends and family is a priority for me-even if it means enormous phone bills when I call from abroad. Health habits are important, too. But the busier and more stressed our lives become, the easier it is to make excuses for being coach potatoes. When I remember to be grateful, it shifts me into now. Stress is replaced by peace, and I realize that life--with all it's joys and sorrows--is an incredible and awesome adventure.
An active itinerary in an ideal location, taking advantage of Peru’s varied terrain just for teenagers. Enjoy the vibrant city of Cusco, the colourful Sacred Valley and the chance for all the family to trek the Inca Trail. From Lima, on the arid Pacific coast, you fly to Cusco, the seat of Inca rule for some 500 years and then drive to your base in the Sacred Valley. From here you enjoy activities including biking, walking , passing remote farming villages, Inca ruins and the curious terraces of actively mined salt pans. Continuing through the Sacred Valley you join the Inca Trail and set off on a four-day trek through dramatic mountain scenery to the lost city of Machu Picchu, isolated amongst jungle-clad mountains and swirling mists. Leaving the solitude of Peru’s most enchanting Inca citadel you return to Cusco, the seat of Inca rule for some 500 years. As a final contrast you could take the optional extension to the Amazon rainforest, home to a diversity of life unequalled anywhere on Earth. Scroll to your left to The Adventure Company.
Travel along the river by motorized canoe to discover the exotic wildlife and lush plantlife of the amazon jungle, staying in an eco lodge. Onwards in Cusco you are in the heart of the Inca Empire. Explore the sacred valley including ancient ruins and busy markets. Then travel to Machu Picchu by train. The lost city of Machu Picchu is an undoubted travel highlight and you have plenty of time to explore and learn about this ancient civilization. Scroll to your left to The Adventure Company.
This South American adventure takes you through the colonial towns and jungle ruins of Guatemala. The ruins at Tikal are a magnificent sight and a glimpse into an ancient civilization. On into Belize discovering sapphire blue waters and fabulous underwater adventures as you go snorkeling. Along the coast into Mexico you explore the anicient Mayan ruins of Tulum before reaching the Caribbean paradise beaches of Playa del Carmen, where relaxation is the order of the day. See the Adventure Company to your left.
A Plan, A Purpose, and Inspiration. While previously having the priviledge of speaking with songwriter/entertainer Wanda Wilson the twelve time Grammy Award winner and Harvard Graduate (music & entertainment law) shared with me the perils of her most difficult challenges. Her most amazing experience occurred when she was only five years of age.
"Growing up and being the only child at the time, when I was five years old I fell a long distance from a window. I sustained major injuries that left me with broken arms and legs, I was totally incapacitated. When doctors told us I would never walk again, I heard my Mother a native of the Hawaiian Islands, make the statement to the doctors that I would one day walk." said the 56 year old Wilson
Wanda's confident Mother's statement began the process from what was nothing short than miraculous. Healing and faith instilled itself within her young mind. Wanda's father, a native of Jamaica and businessman always prayed with her. Wanda, remembers her Aunt always playing the piano for her, which sometimes help soothe the pain she endured on a daily basis.
Wanda states that one day while watching her Aunt play the piano, she knew one day she would become a professional entertainer, she kept that mental image in her mind. She educated herself first, to be equipped to handle the challenges of the music industry.
When Wanda lived in San Francisco in the late 80's she met the Publisher of Healing Hands Magazine, neither knew the roads they were on. Dr. Summer Reed states "She was magical then, she earned every platinum album and Grammy she has, I am so happy for her, it's her time to shine."
"No matter what happens in one life, God has our back, He's got the power to cause restoration and inspiration. I do know all things are working for my good". Wanda quoted from the Biblical Scriptures of Romans 8:26, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" says Wanda.
Today Wanda continues to use her precious gift to write songs about her personal triumphs in life, and encourage many others about keeping hope alive. Her spiritual faith in God has increased to a point where she knows His plans, and purposes are being fulfilled.
Whatever the case, Wanda "Electriclady" Wilson has been through major trying times only to become stronger and more focused than ever.
About 3 years ago she and her service dog were in an accident, when another car ran a red light and hit her head on, causing her car to flip over killing her dog. She feels she was saved by the air bag that inflated.
Wanda slowly recovered and daily counts her blessing to be alive, she walks, rides and prays, on the beaches of Hawaii. There she obtains her confidence to keep going.
Wanda calls herself the "bounce back lady." After witnessing a steadfast confidence in Wilson's voice about the Plans, the Purposes and the little miracles that happen everyday, left me more encouraged than ever. I see the divinity in God working in his own way and time within Wanda Electriclady Wilson. Her songs continue to work miracles she has worked with many artist, to many to mention, and has formed strong alliances within the music and film industry.
Wanda states that religious icon Apostle Fred Price, and his wife Dr. Betty Price of The Faith Dome in Los Angeles has impacted her life, since she joined their ministry as a member in 1980. She says she will be a member for life. She says they helped her spiritually when she lost her husband of over twenty years, a few years ago. They had a trusting relationship they lived a busy life and often slept in different homes, but the love kept them together. Wanda continues to travel between Hawaii and Beverly Hills, to visit the Faith Dome, she calls the Price's her spiritual parents.
Wanda often entertains guest at her Hawaii home, today it is Zeola Gay, sister of the late Marvin Gaye. She asked us to share this photo with you. Wanda says it is a inspiring priceless read.