Archive for July 23rd, 2015

July 23, 2015

Please Don’t Shoot

by Rod Smith

If you see my (black) son

any time of the day

or in the early evening

riding his (red) bike

please don’t shoot him.

He’s as free as the wind

and loves his (diverse) neighborhood

and knows it block-by-block

and so if you glimpse him whizzing by

on his bike

or weaving side-to-side

on his roller-blades

– which are the only things he really wanted

for his thirteenth birthday –

please, don’t shoot.

He’s really good at both

– bikes and roller-blades –

and I assure you he’s not trying

to get away and nor is he coming at you

and he’s definitely not dangerous.

Even though he’s

moving very quickly

and even though he’s black

he’s just making his way home

and enjoying the last few weeks of

his summer break from school.

Please don’t shoot.

July 23, 2015

Emotional Health

by Rod Smith
  1. The healthy person has the capacity to plan and execute a plan for the day, week, month, and even for the next many years. He or she can live and enjoy the present without neglecting the future or being stuck in the past.
  2. The healthy person has the capacity to play an integral part within a family, faith community, and a neighborhood simultaneously, without losing his or her individuality to any.
  3. The healthy person has the capacity to engage in meaningful conversations with peers – without turning the conversation to be about his or her own concerns.
  4. The healthy person has the capacity to learn new things from any source and therefore possesses the humility to know that the most unlikely of sources may well become the teachers.
  5. The healthy person has the capacity to “unlearn” habits and behaviors that have proved unhelpful or hurtful to self and others – or at least to keep them under necessary control.
  6. The healthy person does not get lost in love or parenting or religion.
  7. The healthy person knows the difference between “I” and “we” and is careful about how each is used.
  8. The healthy person goes “off line” from technology for days to be fully present for family and friends.