JEFF MAY, Motivational Speaker - "If you want different, do different; You're the change!"
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Mentorship requires Persistence not Perfection


In a recent search for mentors and guest speakers for our Boys To Men Program, we told a group of community members that we were not looking for “perfect” people to volunteer.

In fact, we expressed our need for gentlemen who had made some mistakes and missteps within their lives and had bounced back from adversity.

It was important that our young men not only be exposed to adult males who have made the right choices and have taken the more “preferred” paths, but it was even more paramount that our boys hear from men who had turned their lives around.

Our Society is Wrestling with Rage

Mental health, gun control and a gradual onslaught of moral decay have all been submitted as reasons for the increasing presence of and civil unrest in our society.
 
Although it is true that these issues are certainly contributing factors to the all too common violent acts that pad our nation’s headlines, however we must deal with the issue that our society is wrestling with a rage that seems to be overtaking the masses.
 
 This rage is at the core of countless frustrations including ethnic supremacy, racial discrimination, gender suppression, economic disparities as well as a long history of deep-rooted inequalities that have challenged and at times hindered our growth as a culture.

Self-Respect reinforces just how much Lives Really Matter

 
Self-respect is not just a mere relic of the past, but it is undoubtedly a sure-fire way to drive home the fact that our lives truly matter.  Self-respect speaks volumes to the fact that my life should be important to you because it first matters to me.
 
It is often thought that value and worth doesn’t reside in what people call you, but rather what you answer to as well as the level of expectation you’ve established for yourself.
 
While the cry for the respect of black lives is at its zenith it is extremely difficult to ignore the many steps we are taking backwards in these efforts due to the lack of respect shown toward and within our own community.

The Danger Within: Lowered Expectations

 
There is a potently deadly danger that lurks within the hallways and classrooms of our public schools.
 
It slowly and decisively eradicates our young with a track record of successful consistency.
 
It takes on familiar and at times friendly forms before methodically draining all of the hope, potential and life from its unsuspecting victims.
 
Lowered expectations are embedded within our schools and has claimed more casualties than any war, epidemic or mass tragedy known to mankind.

Raising Expectations promotes a “Double Life” for Children

 
Have you ever noticed that look in the eyes of a child when they are hearing something completely foreign for the first time?
 
That is the look many educators and those who work with children see every time expectations are set that students have never had to meet before.  When we expect and demand certain things of students that we feel are beyond reasonable oftentimes we are essentially encouraging their initiation into a“doublelife.”
 
This double life consists of realizing when, where and with whom certain expectations exists that will require them to produce and become something varied depending on their environment.

Black Males Must Make Better Decisions

 
One of the developmental elements of our local Boys To Men Program, which serves nearly 400 under-represented and “at-risk” K through 5 graders, is that of better decision making.
 
This concept is probably one of the most stressed nuances of our program simply because this is something that our young men sorely lack in practice and example.
 
We surround our boys with a support system of positive male role models who understand that every single one of these boys need to see, hear and do better than what’scurrently being offered to them.

Misunderstood & Mis-educated

 
It is beyond difficult to come to a place each day where nobody knows really who you are.
 
Sadly, many children face this predicament daily as they attend urban schools where they aren’t accustomed to seeing faces that resemble their own; neither are they confronted with issues, scenarios or cultural elements that reflect the ones they identify most with.
 
In essence,these children have the incredible burden of having to endure a nomadic journey through unfamiliar and at times uncompromising territory virtually invisible.

Married for Happiness or Holiness?

 
Our prayer is that the answer to this question is: both.
 
However in actuality, the truth is that many couples have avoided this question as it may provide some revelations regarding their relationships that they may not be ready to deal with.
 
The thought is that you marry who you love and that ultimately makes you happy....but what happens when you are no longer happy with the one you love?
 
You stay.
 
Why?
 
Because to remain married is considered holy as well as God’s will…right?

MLK Day 2015: No More Speeches Please!

The last thing we need is another speech.
 
That would mean more words, more rhetoric and one more person grandstanding on a foundation stained with the blood of countless people who transformed words into action.
 
Action.
 
We need not only to be inspired to act, to be encouraged to act, but we actually need to see some of the “speakers” come from behind the safety of podiums, pulpits and platforms to roll up their sleeves in an effort to put their money where their mouths are.
 
We’ve heard our fair share of MLK Day pontificators regurgitate what we already know at breakfasts and banquets that most can’t even afford to attend all to go back home and continue a life of words.

“I Can’t Breathe”…My Sentiments Exactly

 
The words of Eric Garner are still ringing in the ears, hearts and minds of most of us.
 
Rumain Brison, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis and Eric Garner all make it hard for me to breathe.
 
I feel deathly restricted as I continue to maintain professional poise, keep anon-threatening demeanor and attempt to grin and bear this weight of frustration—all while comforting bystanders who can’t seem to identify or connect with the effects of this“darkened condition.”
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Recent Posts

Mentorship requires Persistence not Perfection
Our Society is Wrestling with Rage
Self-Respect reinforces just how much Lives Really Matter
The Danger Within: Lowered Expectations
Raising Expectations promotes a “Double Life” for Children

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Change in Action
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