Thank You . . . Again!

Happy Friday, All!

And I couldn’t imagine one Friday without saying T.G.I.F.!

The basic values that the human spirit possesses includes gratitude, love, peace and faith. And if by chance there is someone living without these (and others similar), their lives will be perhaps a bit more than just miserable! I have heard it said in many different ways that if the ONLY prayer one ever says is “Thank You!”, then that is sufficient . . .

Yesterday’s event at the Boys and Girls Club of Broward County at the Lauderhill location was simply fantastic! There were so many ingredients that made it what it was that I will just mention a few . . . thank you . . . and that the suit I wore was one that my mother gave me years ago . . . and I still fit into it! lol!

As planned, I arrived on time after getting lost due to some urban planning issues like I-95 cutting off the street to the Club and motorcycles were not allowed on the nearly hidden ramp to cross over. I met Mr. Eric Louis after the receptionist gave me a warm welcome as they continued to register children for the summer session very effectively. He and I chatted and went over the logistics for the presentation and we promptly began. I was introduced by “Coach Calvin” since the senior staff are referred to as “coaches”, and I asked them to cue up the Intro for “American Gangster” from the Jay Z CD of the same title. With trench coat on and my sunglasses, I began a soliloquy requesting money from an employee of Frank Lucas who was less than cooperative. Not only was it fun and satiated the actor in me, it got the attention of my first group who were between 7 and 13 years of age, if I remember correctly.

The definition of violence was established with help from the younger participants and I was able to clearly identify the goals of the “Stop The Violence” theme with the BGCBC Lauderhill theme of “no more bullying” After demonstrating yoga to the music of Keiko Matsui, I asked the youth to state what “they wanted to be when they grew up” and what was necessary to prepare for them. Their participation was stellar . . . and I thanked them.

The next group that I presented to was the teens who were located and waiting in the senior game room, a much more lounge like environment. With my same intro, this time without music coupled with pictures on a poster board I use to introduce my book “From The Projects to Princeton”, we meandered through a comparable presentation with a similar level of involvement from the teens, including one who did “push ups” just before I demonstrated some yoga asanas for them as well . . . in complete quiet.

Once I was done, Mr. Louis spoke with the group and found himself, as was I during my presentation, getting a bit emotional as we tried to hammer home our themes. Soon, after a tour of the Club given me by three young ladies and one gent, I proceeded to depart but was stopped at the front desk by two youth who handed me a home made card with a huge red “STOP” sign on the front followed by the words “The Violence” from the Boys and Girls Club at Lauderhill. I am telling you I got choked up as I opened it and saw the signatures of every youth in the club that day on the “larger than life” card . . . I thanked them, mounted the Night Hawk with my materials and gift . . . and departed. Later. I called the office where I work and went home to have lunch and found my way to Boca Raton to work a few hours …

“The only intrinsic evil is lack of love.” – John Robinson

Today, I will surrender to the love which comes from the world around me and let it teach me how to love myself. (TOUCHSTONES, June 24th)

Have a great weekend . . . and Thank You . . . again!

Peace,

John I. Cook, Director

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