Tuesday, December 16, 2014

What About Camille Cosby?

While many have expressed both concerns and disgust about Bill Cosby in the wake of the recent allegations of his drugging and sexually abusing young women years ago, my heart goes out to Camille Cosby, his wife of 50 years.
I can only imagine what her life may be like during these very dark days. At a time when her season should be blooming with flowers, she has to endure the harsh realities of being the wife of a celebrity at its worse.  Not only is she publicly dealing with the effects of a spouse that has been unfaithful, she has to somehow keep her family together and wear a smile even when her heart is aching.
Camille Cosby has issued a statement in support of her husband speaking to his love, kindness, gentleness and that he is a good husband. She further stated, “He is the man you thought you knew.” I am not one to challenge a wife’s relationship with her husband and I take her statement to be based on her relationship and not public opinion.
I have admired Camille from a distance for so many years. She always appears so graceful and never allowed the Hollywood lifestyle to dictate who she was, even in her youthful years when Bill was in his prime. I am sure it must have been difficult at times. She chose to discontinue coloring her hair and showcased the premature grey many years ago when it was not popular for a young Hollywood couple. Instead of being caught up in the glamour, she devoted her efforts to raising her family and giving millions to education and philanthropy as a way of sharing her blessings. As a result, the Cosby gifts have benefited many.
Mrs. Cosby’s humanitarian acts along should give her peace, but how can she be at peace when allegations against her husband threatens to destroy a lifetime of work. It’s despairing to think her good deeds may be tarnished by actions not of her own doing.
I am disturbed about the numerous allegations against Bill Cosby. I absolutely believe there was infidelity in their marriage. Something Camille appears to have forgiven years ago. My prayers are the truth is revealed by the accused and the accusers, because the truth will set them all free.
I can’t suggest to Mrs. Cosby how to feel or what to say about her husband. After all, she has been with him for 50 years and the accusers allegedly only a brief time. I can agree with the statement Bill Cosby said to a reporter about Camille, “Love and the strength of womanhood.  Let me say it again, love and the strength of womanhood. And, you could reverse it, the strength of womanhood and love.”

Thursday, March 6, 2014

What We Should Learn from Lupita Nyong’o Dark Skin?

Lupita Nyong’o, Oscar’s 2014 Best Supporting Actress is a role-model extraordinaire. She is beautiful, exciting to watch and represents a woman who is confident in her skin. I recently described her as ‘beauty from head to toe.”

For many of us, Lupita appeared from nowhere to master her first major movie role as Patsy in Oscar’s Best Picture of the Year, 12 Years a Slave. So compelling was her performance, I left the movie theater thinking more about Patsy’s survival then Solomon being freed.  Little did I realize the young woman who played a sexually and physically abused slave, would months later rise to become one of the most significant people of the award season?

On a recent Hot 97 radio interview with Angie Martinez, supermodel, Naomi Campbell described Lupita as “The lady of the moment who is elegant and stunning, yet simple and humble.” Amazingly, comedian and host of Fashion Police, Joan Rivers was in awe and found it difficult to say anything negative about Lupita. How did she emerge as the break-out person of the year and quickly rise to the A-list in Hollywood? Most of the glamour portion of her rise, we can attribute to heavy media coverage, but it is Lupita who has turned her quick fame into a message of hope for many women of all ages, in particular young Black girls and women.

What makes Lupita stand out and why is she significant? What can we learn from this young woman who has inspired many by openly discussing her past pain?

In her well-documented acceptance speech at the Black Women in Hollywood awards luncheon, Lupita revealed publicly how she endured “teasing and taunting about my night-shaded skin” while growing up. As a teenager, her emotional pain grew so severe; she tried to make a deal with God to lighten her skin. Nothing she offered changed her skin color. God had a plan for her. He needed her to stay beautiful just as she was for a time such as now.

Women of color in all walks of life from celebrities to villages in Africa are sadly using extreme and often dangerous products to whitening their skin, Lupita’s comments are so profound and hopefully a welcomed alternative for many women who believe that somehow their lives will be better and they would look pretty if only they had lighter skin. As co-directors, Bill Dukes and D. Channsin Berry pointed out about their documentary, Dark Girls, the conversation is now open. We should continue the dialog and address the pain caused by the dark skin/light skin color issues and keep the conversation alive in order to raise awareness of the biases that govern the standard of beauty in our world.

As Lupita Nyong’o so elegantly pointed out in her Oscar acceptance speech, “It doesn’t escape me for one moment that so much joy in my life is due to so much pain in someone else’s.” I translated that to mean, “don’t get it twisted, we still have a lot of work to do and a long way to go.” The door is open for all to walk through. Your skin color does not validate you!

By Sheila L. Agnew author, inspirational speaker, life coach and blogger. http://www.sheilaagnew.com

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Be A Blessing!

A friend told me an inspiring story the other day. While driving through a heavy Atlanta rainfall, he noticed a couple standing at a bus stop with two small children. The woman was under an umbrella, the children were hovered closely to her on each side and the man was standing next to them without cover.  This picture touched him in a way that he detoured from his original destination, drove around the corner and returned to the bus stop. He did not want to frighten them, and he also wanted to exercise caution. He was prompted to ask if they had a car. The father responded “no.” My friend asked if he may have his phone number because there may be a possibility he could help them obtain a vehicle.

A few days later, he called the father and was moved by the family’s financial situation. They agreed to meet for lunch. During the lunch, he offered to give the man the car he had been driving the evening they met. He not only blessed them with a 2007 vehicle, the insurance was already prepaid for one year. He transferred the title and added the couple to the policy, which allowed them to have paid insurance for the first year. What a Blessing?

My friend was in a financial position to bless this family in a tremendous way, but being a blessing extends from the heart.  His heart was in the right place. There are many times we can be a blessing to others even in a very small way.  I received a blessing just a day ago in the amount of $5.35. I pulled up to the drive-thru window at a restaurant to pay for my order and the cashier informed me that a lady in the car ahead of me had paid my bill.  I had no idea who this lady was, but the gesture put a smile on my face and made my day.

During this season of giving, many stories of generosity will occur. As we go about these last few days of shopping, let’s remember the homeless, senior citizens, children and those around us who are lonely, ill or missing a loved one. Be a Blessing!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Green Don't Mean A Thing When Racism is Queen!

Last week, journalists and social media went into a frenzy when news broke that a store clerk in Switzerland refused to allow Oprah Winfrey a closer look at the expensive handbag she was admiring in an upscale store. Oprah is America's first self-made woman billionaire and one of the few in the world who made their money without a husband or inheritance. Oprah is the brand, the product and the service.

As I listened to news reports and read social media comments, many questioned whether it was a racial incident or not. I contend without question it was racial. There is one simple rule to determine retail racial profiling, "Did the store clerk refuse to show the handbag to any of the white customers who asked to see it?" If the answer is yes, then it is not a racial incident and she treated all customers the same. I hardly believe if Sara Blakely, the creator of Spanx and also a self-made billionaire who is white, would have been treated in the same manner.

According to reported comments the store owner Trudie Goetz made, the poor clerk was upset. She was merely trying to communicate with Oprah and show her options. If that was so, then show her the option she wanted to see. Oprah is a very intelligent woman and her unique ability to communicate is largely responsible for her fame and fortune.  It is not likely that after repeating to the clerk three times she wanted to see the Tom Ford handbag there was a communication issue. 

I don't feel sorry for Oprah. She certainly can buy anything she really wants. I am sad about the incident and the fact that we still live in a world where a person can earn enough money to purchase a car, house, yacht or any expensive items they desire and be denied because of their skin color.  As many reasonsTrudie Goetz offered for her employee's actions, there is simply no excuse that would cover ignorance. The worldwide racial profiling of people of color whether men, women or youth is a reminder that money can be a non-factor when people are color blind.

Hatred and ignorance has a permanent place in the minds and hearts of many people.  We can't change that, but like Oprah, we can take the high road.  She was much more effective by choosing the right timing to tell the story, rather than creating a scene about it while in Switzerland. The store owner not only lost a possible thirty-eight thousand dollar sell, but received some embarrassing and unwanted publicity for her upscale store. The cost of the handbag is really irrelevant.  Many women of color including myself have similar experiences in stores where handbags are much less. It’s a horrible feeling to know you are being profiled while shopping. I get angry, but like Oprah, I leave without making a purchase.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Are You In Need of Some Fitness Inspiration?

If you are beyond the first ten days in the New Year and in a slump, with little or no movement and progress towards your fitness and health resolutions, you may be heading towards another year when you are not meeting your goals.  Consider this, “Are you in the same place now as you were last year or even years before?”  If the answer is yes, you may be a prime candidate for a triathlon awakening, a renewal of the mind, body and soul. 
Athletically, a triathlon is a contest of strength and endurance in three levels often associated with swimming, cycling and long-distant running.  Whether an athletic or not, our minds and bodies need similar types of endurance disciplines to navigate successfully through our challenges, and focus on creating a healthy lifestyle.  This is the race of life.  What we do with our bodies has a direct result on whether we will go a short or long distance.
Each of us has an opportunity to experience a healthy lifestyle.  All we need do is carefully prepare and train with exercise, fitness and proper nutrition.   When implementing disciplines similar to an athletics’ training, you may have a better chance of qualifying to receive the crucial reward of moving from the place that you have been complacent in for so long, to a more healthy and fulfilling life. The healthy development of one’s body will create a direct flow of energy to the mind for a soul-satisfying experience.
The good news is, even though you may be over ten days into the New Year; you can still experience the excitement of achieving success in your health and fitness goals.   Here are a few tips triathlon athletics incorporate that will be useful for anyone desiring a transformational lifestyle.
·         Set goals - Goals are important and help produce the motivation needed to achieve some things that may appear impossible. 
·         Periodization – Refers to a process in which athletics divide time into manageable blocks designed to produce specific fitness and performance results.  Set your goals so they will be realistic and manageable within the timeframe you have on a day-to-day basis.  A desire for fast results will soon become discouraging.  If you assign specific blocks of time for each lifestyle objective, and pace yourself, results will become visible faster.
·         Motivation – Make it personal. Why do you want to have a transformational lifestyle?  Do you want to shed pounds for a specific event?  Do you have a physical challenge or do you want to look and feel better for a lifetime? Consider things that will fuel your motivation for achieving your goal.
·         Measure – How will you measure your results?  Give yourself specific parameters such as losing inches, reducing body fat or losing ten pounds.  Stay focused.
·         Time Frame – Give yourself a defined period of time.  If you wish to lose 30 pounds, cut the goal to 10 pounds every month.  Each time you meet your goal, you will get excited about the next interval.  Don’t set a goal like 30 pounds in one month knowing that it may be too much too soon.  Be realistic.
·         Challenge – Make your goals doable. Keep your meals interesting by trying new healthy recipes.  Get your family and friends involved in sharing dishes with each other.  Diversify your fitness routine by experiencing different workouts such as short marathon challenges fewer than 5K for charity, and joining walk/run groups.  You can also start your own challenge with family and friends, which helps to motivate you and others by making it fun.  Don’t keep the same routine.
·         Envision – Can you see the pounds coming off, the positive doctor’s report, the beautiful outfit in your closet fitting without the bugles or crossing the finish line?  How would that make you feel?  The wonderful thing about vision, it helps you to see what the future can look like.  Create a vision board or simply create a vision where your goals are firmly planted in your mind. 
Don’t give up because you have not begun the program or reached the goals you so eagerly resolved to do in 2013.  You can always start at any time realizing each day is a new beginning.  The important thing is to start.  If you fall short, pick up where you left off and begin again.  We are all in the race and everyone has an opportunity to cross the finish line.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Why President Obama Is Still the Smartest Man I Know?

What many people, including me, felt was a big blunder and even defeat for President Obama on the debate Wednesday evening, was a superb strategy. In hindsight, it was perhaps the best debate strategy in presidential history.

It took me a while to figure it out, particularly since I am on vacation in Aruba and only getting bits and pieces of the aftermath of the debate.  But like many Obama supporters, I could not rest until I shed light in my mind on what appeared to be a complete turnaround in President Obama’s debate skills and presentation.

From the very beginning, the Obama team predicted Mitt Romney would be the Republican challenger.  They were prepared for this even before all the Republican debates and primary, so there is simply no way President Obama was unprepared or intimated.

After hashing the debate over and over with my husband, we really believe President Obama intentionally performed in what appeared to be a lackluster debate as a part of his strategy to expose Mitt Romney’s inconsistencies, and reveal how he would do anything to win an election.

President Obama was aware that Romney would come well-prepared to answer questions that have haunted him like the forty-seven percent video, refusal to release taxes, and the constant flip-flopping of issues among other things. President Obama did not want Romney to have the opportunity to defend those issues with additional lies to the people.  His strategy allowed Romney to continue with more inconsistencies, including saying he supports education, but is going to defund PBS, the educational television channel when he is in office.

The very next day, President Obama went on the campaign trail speaking about all the issues many highly anticipated he would bring out in the debate.  One important component, Romney was not there with his well-prepared rebuttals.  President Obama took a big chance with his strategy. Some polls show a slight bump for Romney after the debate, and many supporters were upset at what appeared to be a lackluster performance, but the truth shall be revealed. 

President Obama is focused, smart and realizes he has an opponent with whom he has to stay one step ahead of the game.  I anxiously await the next debate and pray the real Obama will show up and show out.

VOTE on Tuesday, November 6th.

About Me

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Chicago, IL, United States
“Mo Better” Inspiration is an arena for a sharing of informative, education, and discussions on issues pertaining to our world, lifestyles, communities, personal growth, inspiration, and cultural awareness. “Mo Better” Inspiration is a global blog where people with similarities and differences can exchange information, ideas and viewpoints designed for a positive blog experience. I encourage people from around the world to participate in engaging discussions that stimulate the mind.