Wednesday, June 30, 2010

To my Friends and Colleagues in the Medical Field...

Whether you are completing residency or fellowship today, moving from one year to the next, changing jobs or moving from one phase in life to the other, I send the Irish Blessing your way:

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

May God be with you and bless you:
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.

May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the warm rays of sun fall upon your home
And may the hand of a friend always be near.

May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.


I remember this day in 2006. It was a very special day and it is still a landmark for me each year I am further away from that day. Of course it is also a reminder that I am only 6 years away from needing board recertification and just a short while back, it was 10 years away.

I am thankful to God for what growth has taken place in this timeframe in different facets of my life and in your lives as well.

Let us celebrate this moment, use our time wisely as we step forward into new things. I salute you for your effort. Our profession is not one for the faint at heart. Kudos and keep pressing forward. Blessings.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

I am NOT My Face!

One would think that in the year 2010, men would somehow start to possibly understand that the most insulting thing to most women is to be treated like a piece of meat or a commodity. You see a handbag on the shelf and you like it-visual. You see a cute pair of sandals and want it-visual. You can see me and like how I look but you cannot love me and want to marry me just by seeing my facebook headshot. Common dude! You are not even on my facebook page to see pictures of the whole of me or to get an insight into what goes on in my head by being part of a conversation or something. When you proclaim your love for me just based on my face, that is about as bad as shooting yourself in the foot. Do you even know what the word "love" means? Now the fact that I am married with a child is just an added reason why you should really know a little more about who you're sending stupid and senseless inbox messages to.

Here's the message I got in my inbox yesterday. To protect the sorry brother, I will take out any information that might identify him:

The subject line read verbatim "i love you i want to married you kindly called on me 0**2546436**5"

The body of the email read "Love, like a river, will cut a new path whenever it meets an obstacle."

I of course found it very hilarious and put that as my status update the same way I have done here of course protecting the man's identity. In the meantime, I reported the message evidently. The attempt at poetry would have been cute if I knew him and was single. The grammar would still kill me though!

I then got a lot of responses on my page about this. Unbeknown to me, I had another sorry brother like this one also as a facebook friend. Unfortunately, after I became an author, I had to let down my guard about accepting people as facebook friends on my personal page because I realized many fans of my work wanted more interraction than is possible on a fan page alone. This brother said and I quote:

"Why are U treating this guy like a criminal by disparaging him on FB. There is no harm in a man telling U that he loves her. All U have to do is to say ' Thank U'. It is unfair for U to make him an object of ridicule on FB. What U have done may backfire as most men may view U as a loud woman. Only GOD knows where U gonna find your husband. This is one of the reasons why some women stay beyond 40 before finding a man."

Birds of a feather evidently! Before I got to facebook this morning, my friends had blasted him and told him I was happily married and settled. Do people even care to check? My husband's profile is linked to mine on facebook! That was done on purpose. I promptly responded and told him I'd wait till he read my response before I deleted him. Then he responded as such again:

"All human beings are wired differently. Our views and opinion can never be the same. Some people including you may see stupidity in what the guy has done while others like me may view it differently. This guy has exhibited anti social behaviour at which your response would have be...Thank U ...and move on. Every man has the GOD given right to propose to any woman and the fact that you disagree with his manner of approach is not enough for you to take him to Golghutta. l am happily married with children and l am not looking for but when a young woman goofed, l will do my best to correct her bcos "Agba kiiwa loja , ki ori omo tuntun wo", says a yoruba axiom. If U still wanna delete me from your FB, pls go ahead."

Talk of chauvinistic and narrow-minded. Since when does every man have a God-given right to propose to any woman? What an insult. He even called me loud. Social networking is part of an author's job. That's especially so for a non-fiction author. I need to be loud to encourage dialogue. I need to be loud to garner and reach my audience. I need to be loud to encourage laughs. And if it ain't funny to you, keep it moving. Thank him for what? Thank him for looking at me like a piece of meat? I am so much more than just my face. I deleted this brother also and blocked him thereafter. I can so do without this negativity and insult to women as a whole.

I do have a sense of humor and all this is really hilarious but I will also not be insulted. I get inbox messages all the time saying I'm pretty or whatever compliment and I do respond with a thank you and remind the men that I am married with a child and my husband can find them! And they act accordingly and everybody's happy thereafter.

Needless to say, there are a lot of freaks and psychos out there. There are probably even more you will encounter on facebook than in real life because on facebook, they can hide for a period.

Women are not a piece of commodity. We have personalities, we have brains and we are so much more than what we look like on the outside alone. If you're a man and you're yet to understand this, please do now. Women are NOT a piece of meat!

Like India Arie said,
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am not your expectation no no
I am not my hair
I am not this skin
I am a soul that lives within...

Get it right brothers


Monday, June 21, 2010


Maybe I have amnesia but I cannot recall Father's Day in recent years being so filled with negativity toward men. It is a day to celebrate the fathers who are truly daddies and appreciate them. It is not a day to devote to magnifying the fathers who are not real daddies. I will be the first to say that my status update on my personal page on facebook yesterday addressed both issues and I even surprised myself. It read as follows:

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers out there who play the role of daddy and make it happen for their families on a daily basis. We don't have enough of that endangered specie nowadays. For those who need to make amends, it is not too late to start. Get going!

I can't recall that ever being my focus on father's day. My focus had shifted and I didn't even realize it. And that was before I got a chance to log on for any appreciable length of time after church and actually view other folks' status updates. There were so many updates that were saying happy father's day to the single mothers and such that it made me sad and it made me think. There is a shift in our thinking because of just how bad the absence of fathers has become, especially in the African American society. I have said it before and will say it again, 70% of African American homes are single parent homes. And we know that mostly refers to homes headed by women and not the few that are the exception. That is a topic for another day but I had to throw it in there.

So, let us never forget to acknowledge and celebrate the fathers who are real daddies to their kids, whether theirs biologically or not. We appreciate the fathers who feed their kids, bathe their kids, read them bedtime stories, teach them how to ride a bike and take them to the grocery store. We say thank you to the fathers who pay the bills, who work hard every day to put a roof over their families and clothes on their bodies. We say kudos to these rare men, an endangered species and I pray that somehow in my lifetime, we will be able to turn it around so that once again, we will have a preponderance of two parent families raising balanced kids to the best of their ability; that once again, we will have the respect for men that God intended even as it says in the Bible that the man is the head of the home. May these men truly be worthy of this title. May it be easy for their women to view them as such because they have earned it.

That is my wish
That is my prayer
That in my lifetime
Things will turn around.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Power of the Spoken Word

Yes. There is power in the spoken word. There is power in anything that comes out of my mouth. This is not a new lesson I am learning. My mama taught me a very long time ago not to joke about things I don't mean. And I admit I thought she was stiff anytime she said that. But as I became a woman, I realized she was right. That still does not mean I don't need to sometimes be reminded of this golden rule however.

Two days ago, this was my status update on my facebook personal page as Memorial Day drew to an end:

"Can I have just one more day off please?"

Harmless enough, right? NOT!

The next morning, I had to rectify that and put a learning point from the ensuing experience. This was my next status update:

"Be careful what you ask for! That fallen angel is always hovering around trying to make things happen that you didn't even mean when you said it. Your words have power. Good morning fb. Make it a great day..."

To protect the innocent, I won't bore you with the details. It will suffice to say I did get that extra day off alright that I was jokingly asking for. But it was not the way I wanted. Nor was it spent doing what I wanted. It was an experience I could have done quite well without. To the question "why", I couldn't help but feel like there was a voice in my spirit saying to me: "You got what you asked for." I sure did.

Could it have been a coincidence? Yes. But could I not have joked about something I didn't really mean? Yes as well.

1 Peter 5:8 says:

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour..."

Sorry but I love my Old King James best still. That's how I learnt it way back then!

Take heed my brothers and sisters. The spoken word has more power than we give it credit for. The devil can latch unto your own words and make things happen you never meant to happen, from things you thought you were joking about. Let us say what we mean and mean what we say.