“I Love Myself!” – Kendrick Lamar

self love

It is Monday, all!

What do you have planned to have a great week?! Autumn has definitely set in and many places, including snow in Mass. before the New England Patriot’s football team’s victory over the Denver Broncos and Manning, and we set the the clocks back, too!

I had the fortune of talking to a group of kids on Friday at Parkway Middle School in the FTL. The group, directed by Mr. Patrick Leon Cure, called “Young Men of Honor”, was the “creme de la creme”, according to Mr. Cure! I had been thinking maybe they were at risk youth, which they could be if not for the efforts of Patrick and his supportive staff at Parkway. I did my skit from “American Gangster” starring Denzel Washington and ended it on ” the lord is my shepherd” prayer to demonstrate and illustrate that we do have options to violence, especially on each other. I had my poster board on my first book, “From the Projects to Princeton” on display as well as a marquis for the second book, “Three Strikes, You’rrrre Out!” The young men were responsive during my brief interactive sessions both before and after the skit and were right on point with Mr. Cure’s goals and the pledge they each have taken to be “Young Men of Honor”. I was personally honored to be there. There were 26 young African American boys in 8th grade or so and they were also very respectful. A good time and great educational experience was had by all, including myself!

This past weekend saw Halloween celebrations, “Day of the Dead” on Saturday and “All Saint’s Day” in some places, and on Sunday after yoga class, which I dedicated to my former yoga instructor who passed away last weekend unexpectedly at the age of thirty-something, I hit the Sun Trust Sunday Jazz Brunch downtown Fort Lauderdale at the Esplanade between the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and the IMAX Theatre and Discovery Museum of Science on 2nd Ave. The weather was perfect, “e’rybody and their momma” was out, and I met up with my friends Ray and Pearl Campbell, originally from New York, too and had a fine time, chatting and exchanging major events in our lives. Their daughter, Rasheeda, who is in 12th grade and planning on going to the University of Maryland, was there and it was so nice to see how nicely she is growing! So respectful and courteous … as always.

So this Kendrick Lamar tune caught my attention this past week because the background music is from a tune by a popular “R & B” group from my college days, “The Isley Brothers”, called “Who’s That Lady” mixed with Lamar’s rapping lyrics. It is called “I Love Myself!” The lyrics are deep and important and convey an important message for the average person. It is not narcissistic but focusing more on the “self love” that doesn’t allow one to do things to oneself, habits included, that do NOT demonstrate a love of oneself. Simple, right?! Nope. I recall times that I did things to myself that actually hurt me. A bad relationship, a bad habit, even bad company that I thought I could mingle with!! Now, I know better! What about you?! Help those who do not know learn how to help themselves regarding this pivotal concept of self love! I really like Kendrick’s music, rap as it is, with some of the most positive lyrics I’ve heard from rappers. In my presentation called “Stop the Violence”, there is a tune from Jay Z’s soundtrack for the movie, “The American Gangster”, that I use for background music called, “Pray”! I like to mix in my meditation with my prayers … each and every day … often … several times a day. I have a very important one that I use in the aforementioned presentation … as I drop to my knees … and pray! If you know any organizations that may benefit from my work, let me know.

Have a great week … and … “love yourself, accept yourself and nurture yourself” … because as my father “Big Ike” used to tell me, “Ain’t nobody gotta do nothin’ for you boy!” This is why I always appreciate so very much … when others help me … just sayin’!

Peace,

John I. Cook

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