THE EFFECT OF A SUIT ON A MAN

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When I was out of work and trying to get back into the workforce someone reached out to me and helped me tremendously. A mentor of mine who saw that I was beginning to make positive changes in my life took me to a suit store in Brooklyn and purchased me a brand new suit, shirt and a tie. I will never forget that moment, I practically cried from the emotions of another man buying me these items without wanting anything in return. That moment was etched in my heart until this day. It is that moment that I think about constantly when we give back to the men we serve today. It is that moment that got me started and keeps me going.

While cleaning out my closet of older suits I decided now was the time to make this dream of assisting men with professional attire a reality so I started That Suits You, a nonprofit organization that provides suits to men looking to get back into the workforce.

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The journey of starting the organization involved collecting suits from family and friends. I was amazed at the results I was received. My wife and brother joined the team and we began holding suit drives and reaching out to churches, businesses and individuals all over. I have found that people don’t mind giving these items if they know it will be helping people. The idea of men who have completed training and are ready to work but do not have anything to wear to their interview is heart wrenching and very sad to see. However when we see their face when we present them with a suit, tie, shirt and occasionally shoes, all at no cost to them, it is priceless. That same emotion I felt when I received my suit is what we strive to do to these men. When I received that first suit I felt empowered, I felt important, and I felt like I could take on the world. We want the men we assist to feel the same way and we have seen it time and time again.

There is something about a man in a suit. There is something empowering about it. Women love to see them, and men love to wear them. A man in a suit, says he is working, he is making things happen, he is successful. That may not be the reality but it gives that perception. When people see young men saggin their pants, that statement speaks volumes to the world. That look says they are not working, they are not being positive and they are not being successful. Although that may not be true, that is the image it portrays. A lot of times men dress that way because they haven’t been taught better or they don’t have the means to obtain better. We want to be a part of changing the culture, look, dress and perception of men all over. We want to be a part of teaching men to dress better. We want them to have that look of a well dressed man. Once I had my first suit, I wanted to wear them more and more. I believe once we get a man in his first suit, he will have that same feeling.

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We recently did a job conference workshop with NYC College of Technology, where we donated ties to some of the young men who came. We also taught men how to tie a tie and did mock interviews with the young adults. However to me, the most powerful part of the day was the time we spent speaking and sharing to everyone there. Having the opportunity to pour my heart into these young people was priceless. I shared with them about starting a business and seeing a dream become a reality. I also expressed the importance of dressing appropriately and being professional in everything you do. That Suits You places us in position to give back to teens and young adults and hopefully steer them in a positive direction to being a success story.

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I AM IN EXCELLENT HEALTH (NOT)!!!

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Just this week I have heard about several friends and family that have been sick, rushed to emergency or hospitalized. It is never a happy situation because it puts a strain on the person and their family to care for that person. Some of these situations may not have been preventable but a good number of them can be. I think that is what is most upsetting about this whole situation. A lot of these situations can be avoided if better choices are made.

Now once again some sicknesses are not as easily avoidable as others, but then again if people really think about it they would admit that they can do a better job of taking care of their health than they are. Now most everyone believes that they want to live a long, healthy, wealthy, peaceful life. However, not everyone does what is needed to obtain and maintain that desired lifestyle. Most people will even go harder for money than they do for their health. They will buy books, on making money, go to seminars on getting rich, but not spend nearly the time and money on living healthy. So generally they may end up making money but being overweight. One of the reasons is most people don’t see themselves as being overweight. While they may obviously see the need for more money, or bigger house or better car, they don’t readily acknowledge their need to lose weight or to eat healthier. I was on the NYC Health and mental Hygiene page and read that 3.2 million New Yorkers are overweight or obese.

According to Medical News Today-If a person’s bodyweight is at least 20% higher than it should be they are considered obese. If your BODY MASS INDEX is 25-29.9 you are considered overweight. If your BMI is 30 and over you are considered obese.

Now we know that BMI is not 100% accurate,  but it does give us some good information most of the times. (www.BMICALCULATOR.CC/BMI.com) So for those who would choose to argue about BMI, there is also the MIRRORNEXT test, which I believe is totally 100% accurate. Simply strip down and stand NEXT to a MIRROR. LOL. You may be able to argue with the BMI calculator but the mirror doesn’t lie.

But seriously we all have to get just as serious with our health as we are with our wealth. I have been in the hospital to see too many people lately and it is not a good scene. Health has to be part of our mindset for it to happen. Easy? No! Possible? Yes. It is not easy because as you walk 2 blocks you will see these people Mr. Mcdonald, Ms. Wendy, Mr. Burger King, Roy Rogers, etc. Not the healthiest of places. And I remember going food shopping at WHOLE FOODS (pre-twins), we used to eat very healthy but the bill was much higher than SHOP RITE. So it is not as easy to eat healthy but in the long run it will be worth it. Even if we were to just add 1 healthy activity to our life or eliminate 1 unhealthy activity from our life it would add benefits and push us to continue that journey.

 

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Check the list and see what you can add or eliminate to add to a better healthier life. I mean, who wants to make a lot of money but not be able to enjoy it because of poor health choices.

  1. Exercise
  2. Fast food
  3. Smoking
  4. Over eating
  5. Sweets
  6. Sugar
  7. Drink water
  8. Eliminate soda/juice
  9. Candy
  10. Cakes
  11. Walk
  12. Jog
  13. Drugs
  14. Heavy breakfast
  15. Heavy lunch
  16. Excess sleep
  17. MCRIBB
  18. Sports
  19. Excessive TV
  20. Heavy dinne

 

 

 

Church 2015…Do We Still Need IT?

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Growing up my parents made sure that my brother, sister and myself attended church EVERY Sunday. When I say every, I mean every Sunday. Even when my parents didn’t go my aunt Linda was sure to pick up the slack and bring us….by the way, auntie, I meant to thank you for that!! Sheeshhh. It seemed to me like that was the core belief back then. Making sure that children received that basic belief of God, church, etc. Like it or not I do believe that has helped mold me in many ways to be the person I am today. However, it really got me to thinking, Is this still being taught? Is church attendance stressed like before? Is going to church still a priority for people of all ages in 2015?

No way am I saying growing up in the church leads you to have a perfect, no problems, everything about you is on point and you never make bad decisions, kind of life. That is not it at all. However I do believe that it can have some effect and help us in our decision making.

I had a long conversation with a few people about this topic and here are some of their views. I will use fictitious names (they may sound familiar to some of you) to protect the innocent..lol

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Fitz: My view is that I definitely believe that church is crucial to society today. If we look around and see all that is going on it seems obvious to me. If you ride the subways and listen to our youth, 90 percent of what you hear is “this nigga, that nigga, that bitch, this bitch. When you go to social media, it is definitely obvious. I can look at a timeline and see updates that say “PRAISE THE LORD”, “GOD IS GOOD”, and then the very next update is a twerking video, or naked photos from the very same person. I believe 2 reasons for this is a lack of understanding of who God is and the lack of the family structure. No one to show them examples of Godly living and no to take them to church. I am not perfect at all, but I do believe church and the teaching of the Bible have helped me in my life.

Hakeem: My view is on one hand I definitely believe that church can add value to one’s life, however on the other hand I have seen too many hypocrites in the church that it makes it hard for me to go back. I believe it adds value because the principles and teachings that you learn in church are very valuable. Especially if it is a church that teaches the Word. I am not one to be yelled at and condemned for 5 hours on a Sunday, no thank you. But if it is a church that teaches and explains how to make better decisions, then yes. On the other hand time after time I see too many people proclaim one thing and then purposely live in total opposition to that. Now don’t get me wrong I am not saying people who go to church won’t miss it from time to time, but when they purposely gossip about others, have double lives for years, or other judgmental actions, it is contradictory. God will have to heal my heart to return because I know church has value but right now I just can’t get past the people issue. Now I know people say well it is hypocrites at the mall and I still go there but like I said right now I just can’t get past the people thing in the holy place.

Olivia: My view is people have it all wrong, the church is just a building. I am the church. The Bible clearly states that we are the church. The place of worship is just a building. Since I am the church, God is with me everywhere and I don’t have to go to a building to worship him. I know God loves me just the way I am. As a matter of fact I am doing better in life than most of my friends who go to church 3 times a week, which proves my point. Not that I am comparing myself to others but, it is what it is…

Andre: My view is I am God!!!

Maryjane: My view is I love God, I love the church but I really don’t have the time to attend. Although I don’t have any kids, I travel, work, and do more work. I run a few businesses so it leaves me very little time to attend a church. Like I said , I love the Lord and read the Bible every so often but I don’t have time for church.

Cookie: My view is I agree kind of with Hakeem. I keep the love of God in my heart but church just isn’t for me. I love to party, and I can’t lie, I love sex. I have to be real. I just can’t deal with the judgmental folks who would try to condemn me for what I enjoy. I mean, it may be wrong but at this point in my life this is what I enjoy. Maybe my future husband is in the church but until I find him I will continue to enjoy myself. I still pray every day and listen to Creflo Dollar from time to time, and I might occasionally attend a church but just not regularly. You are not going to include my real name right?

Ghost: My view is, I agree totally with Cookie, especially about the sex part.

Tommy: My view is a love God and I love my church. I will continue to go every week and bring my family

Do you see yourself in any of these? What is your view? We want to hear it…..

Man, I Could Never Be A Slave!!!

 

As we enter another February let us once again welcome in Black History month. A time set aside when the nation purposefully acknowledges the accomplishments of blacks throughout history, never mind that it is the shortest month of the year. As we begin the month I wonder does it still have the same effect as before.

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Just think, this possibly could be the last Black History month that we have with a black president for a very long time. Just the very fact that we have a black president seems to speak to how far blacks have come. However, as we look at the news we still continue to see crime, murders, gangs, imprisonment, and poverty as major issues that face black people. So while we can see noticeable improvement in several areas, as a whole we still have a long way to go.

I remember in grade school when it was time to hear about Black history there always seemed to be a collective groan in the classroom because we had to hear the topic of slavery. After hearing slavery taught in class my friends and I would say, “We could never be slaves”.  I also remember when ROOTS came on TV for the first time. We discussed it in school and around the neighborhood and said that “We could never be slaves”.  We felt we were to smart, and tough to be slaves. I bet even today most of the youth would feel that they could never be slaves.

What is the definition of a Slave:

someone who is the legal property of another

So when we said we could not be a slave this is what we were referring to, however there is another definition:

A person that is strongly influenced and controlled by something

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How many people could this describe? Although it is only one month, Black History month reminds us of great thinkers, inventors, and life changers. Whether it is King, Malcolm X, Douglass, Dubois, Tubman or many others they taught us to be different and not to conform. How many of us who said we could never be a slave (definition 1) are actually slaves (definition 2). Slaves to society and following the crowd. Flocking to the latest $200 dollar sneakers if we can’t afford them, the latest phone. Slaves to the opinions of others and what they think of us. Needing their approval or our day is not productive. Slaves to what society says beautiful or attractive is. Slaves to putting ourselves in debt to look important. Most importantly slaves to jobs or careers that we hate. Everyday waking up early to head to a job to spend 9 hours at a place we dread and not try to do anything to change it.

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Some of the slaves we heard about in the black history lessons from school would do anything to be free, risk their life to experience freedom. The joy of freedom far outweighed the pain of the whip or punishment. Many people today prefer the pain of the frustration of their jobs over the uncertain joy of living their dreams.

So I welcome this February, I welcome this Black History month, if it does nothing else hopefully the spirit and energy of the history of past leaders and innovators can continue to motivate us in 2015 to not be satisfied with how far we have come. There is plenty of work to do and plenty more stories to be told. Trust me, you don’t want to be a slave (definition 1) or (definition 2)!!!