blood eagle tattoo
In this 21st century, health-consciousness has become an important factor. Great emphasis is placed on caloric intake and counting, daily exercising, and maintaining low carbohydrate diets. As a result, label-reading has become a regular occurrence. Labels tell you what’s inside – it distinguishes the corn from the peas. Undoubtedly, the significance of labels is undeniable; how would you know what you are purchasing if it did not have a label? Without the label, all canned goods are universal and look alike – a plain, insignificant, undistinguishable, silver, aluminum tin can.
However, what would happen if the wrong label was applied to the can? Imagine opening a can expecting green beans but instead it contains okra? Or, opening a can expecting sweet potatoes and it has sauerkraut? Certainly, that would not be a good experience. Sadly enough, there are many people walking around unhappy and unfulfilled because someone has wrongfully categorized them or marked them with the wrong label. My pastor, Bishop
Eugene Reeves, recanted his childhood experience on how he was labeled as a slow or challenged learner in grade school and how the teachers/counselors said that he would never be able to obtain a “normal” education. But thanks to a Sunday school teacher, who declared that he “could do all things through Christ”; a spark of confidence was ignited within him to excel beyond his imposed limitations. Not only did he receive a normal education, he surpassed it by obtaining an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Science, a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, a Masters of Arts in Counseling, and a Masters and Doctorate of Divinity. This just goes to show you that not all labels are accurate. Thankfully, positive affirmations can effectuate a swift transition and re-align you with your intended purpose and put you back of track with your destiny.
Labels also provide details of the amount of a specific ingredient that is inside the can such as the sodium or fat content; which I define as the character that gives the main ingredient flavor. A very wise man, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once had a dream that his children would not be “judged by the color of their skin but the content of their character”. Therefore, knowing the right content is very important! I wrote a poem that echoes Dr. King’s saying entitled, Don’t Judge Me!:
Don’t judge me by the color of my skin
But judge me by the character I have within
Don’t judge me by my cultural dialect
But judge me by my insight and intellect.
Don’t judge me by my physical attributes
But judge me by my charitable contributes.
Please don’t label me incorrectly!
Spend a moment to get to know the real me!
Inappropriately applied labels in some cases have caused irrevocable damage in some cases. There is an illustration about an eagle whose egg was mistaken placed amongst some chicken eggs. The egg hatched at the same time the chicken eggs hatched. The eagle lived amongst the chicken, pecking around on the ground for food, eating what the chickens ate, sleeping where the chickens slept, and clucking like a chicken. One day a flock of eagles flew by the chicken coop. The eagle looked like an eagle but he could not fly because he spent so much time living with the chickens. Ladies, many of you have been robbed of your self-esteem because you were told that you were a chicken even though you were born an eagle. You look like an eagle but low self-esteem keeps you in the chicken coop pecking, preventing you from soaring with the eagles. In order to fly, you have to believe that you can. R. Kelly wrote a very simple yet profound song for Michael “Your Airness” Jordan that declares:
I believe I Can Fly!
I Believe I Can Touch the Sky!
I Think About It Every Night And Day!
Spread My Wings and Fly Away!
I Believe I Can Soar!
I See Me Standing At An Open Door!
I Believe I Can Fly!”
If you form associations with those who are content on ground zero and have no ambition to fly, they will hinder your ability to fly, even though you have “wings to fly”. Once you are labeled a chicken, people will treat your accordingly.
A few times during my grocery shopping ventures, I found some really good bargains in the “Damaged Goods” bin. The “Damage Goods” bin includes items that are “marked down” for a particular reason or another. Some of the canned goods are bent or dented; however, upon taking it home, opening the can, and cooking the contents inside, I found that the dented, marked down items taste just as good as the regular ones. A famous quote warns us not to “judge a book by its cover” and the Bible says in Matthew 7:1 “Do not judge or you will be judged”. Too many people have landed in the “Damaged Good” bin of life due to erroneous judgments and misperceptions based on outer appearance and insinuating circumstances.
In our society, first impressions are usually lasting! But in some instances, first impressions are not always the right impressions. Just because you meet someone who is not your “cup of tea” so to speak, does not mean that there is something wrong with the tea; maybe your taste buds are off! This morning I made myself a cup of tea and put too much sugar in it. It was the same brand of tea that I always enjoyed but too much sugar changed it and made it undesirable to me. My impression of the tea was based exclusively on my opinion and taste, which is also the bases and foundation of stereotypes – opinion and impressions. In fact, the website, About.com, defines stereotypes as “fixed impressions, exaggerated or preconceived ideas about particular social groups, usually based solely on physical appearance.” This confirms why I detest stereotypes because they are oftentimes inaccurate, biased, and unproductive.
Some typical stereotypes that I have heard concerning African American are that we are “lazy”, and that we excel in “athletics” and “dancing” but not in” intellect”. Our men are labeled by their sexual prowess using this quote- “Once you had Black (sexually), you never go back!” This sounds like an addiction to Crack. This may not be an offensive statement to some but it is to me because in some instances it is implied that our men are guided by their sexuality and nothing else. Sadly enough, we as African American’s also discriminate within our own race – prejudices of light-skinned versus dark-skinned. “Regional and geographic discrimination are also prevalent stereotypes formulating gang activities. Stereotypes against “Southeast” versus “Northeast” or “East Coast” versus “West Coast” have caused some prominent musical figures to lose their lives! Senseless labels that do not amount to a “hill of beans”, without validity or merit!
Most stereotypes are based on perceptions and not facts. Ladies, using stereotypes to label a person based on their race, economic or societal status, educational achievement or the lack thereof, physical appearance, or geographic location is outright unethical. If we could somehow peel off our external label (skin) we would find, just as the outer casing of canned goods, that we are all the same – we have the same organs, and the same blood running through our veins. We would also discover that people are people and if we took the time to get to know one another, we would find that there is something awesome and wonderful about each one of us that could enhance our lives individually, collectively, and globally.
If we would respect one another and learn how to celebrate our uniqueness, we would discover the beauty in each of us and glean from it. I am an “original by design” distinct from anyone else God created in the universe – with my thick eyebrows, my wide smile, my long legs, my broad hips, and my Southern drawl. I am one-of-a-kind. My fingerprints are different; my footprints are distinct; I am a much needed commodity. That is why I have decided that I will not march by another person’s drum beat. If the inherent or oral requirement for me to form an association or relationship is for me to lose my identity or compromise my self-respect in order to fall in line with someone else’s drum beat; I choose to remain off-beat and in solitude. On the other hand, if I meet someone and we are singing the same tune but our drum beats are slightly off, then by all means I am willing to “tweak my beat” to ensure that we are marching in sequential order with one another so that we can meet on common ground.
Decree and declare that you will not allow stereotypes to control your life. Affirm that you will not give others the power and authority to determine your worth or your value. You have a specialized identity – just as your fingerprints are original and exclusive, so is your personal characterization. There will never be another me -I cannot be duplicated or clone. When I I leave this earth everything, except my legacy, will exit with me. As Jessie Jackson, president of Operation PUSH, told us to declare some years ago, “I Am Somebody!”
Article Source: blood eagle tattoo