Opposed to Abortion? Fine! Start Adopting!

There are many reasons why women seek abortions. And it is not up to us to determine whether we think their reasons are relevant or not. However, with that being stated, for those who are against abortions, why are there so many children in America, awaiting adoption? Why are you only concerned with a ‘fetus’ but are no longer concerned when they are outside of the womb and need clothing, an education, food, health care, housing, etc.? Why are they less important after they are born?

With the vast number of abortion opponents running around screaming and yelling against abortions, when a woman does give birth as opposed to aborting the child, why then are the children sent to one foster home after another? Shouldn’t you put your money where your screams are and adopt these living children because you are so glad that they were not ‘aborted’? Why, after they are born, are they no longer a concern to you? You shout down ‘hellfire and brimstone’ to all and sundry, but when it comes to putting your money where your mouth is and step up to the plate and adopt them, you’re found sadly lacking. You know what that makes you? A pompous, blowhard with no substance. So the next time you’re camped out at an abortion clinic, hold a sign up stating that “if you do not abort, I will support” and head on down to the local adoption agency and actually put your money where your mouth is and shut up about your tax dollars going to feed and house these children who were not aborted because after all, you are so very glad that they were born or are you?

Struck A Nerve, Did I?

For the first time since starting this blog, I received..let’s see..what shall I call it..’nasty mail’. Apparently, some took exception to the post “The Boston Marathon Bombing Suspects’Downgraded from Black to White or would that be Upgraded?'”

Now, I shall take a moment to explain something, not that I have to but I want to. As anyone can see from my picture, I am a person with a ‘permanent tan’ and I have had more hate aimed at me, more nastiness aimed at me, than I can shake a stick at. It comes with the territory. Is it fair? Is it right? Is it justified? No! But that hasn’t stopped those who have a problem with my complexion or that I have the nerve to have an opinion, back it up with facts and post it for all and sundry to see, from renaming me, so to speak. As much as I am sensitive to the plight of others, I have a ‘teflon coating’. Calling me the ‘N’ word, doesn’t set my blood to boil, it means that I have ‘struck a nerve’, exposed YOUR ‘achilles heel’. Trust me, it’s good for you! Get all of that pent up hate and anger at me out of your system because it does not bode well for your blood pressure stats. Not to mention that it has done not one bit of good because I will not, nor shall I ‘back off’. I intend to continue to put the truth out there. I will not be intimidated by racial slurs. Obviously, since I am posting online, I expect the ignorant to pop in every now and then, if only to let me know that ignorance is still in abundance and happily eager to make me aware that ignorance is not going anywhere anytime soon. More’s the pity.

The really sad part is that when the words Black and White are thrown together, it causes rage, ignorance, insanity, intolerance and madness to rear up and distort the thinking of what should otherwise be considered, rational minds. In other words, we cannot have a discussion on race relations in this country when so many enter into the throes of an apoplectic attack whenever confronted with the truth as told by someone with a permanent tan. It does not matter what that truth is, especially if it debunks and sheds light on lies, stereotypes and misinformation about those in society who are viewed as ‘inferior’ by some. Be that as it may, I will shed even more light. No ethnic group is superior to another. You may believe that you are superior, but your belief is misguided. Here, let me sum it up for you with a repost:

A Reflection On My Complexion

I was born with a permanent tan.
And if I do the best I can,
I still get called a name.
Why must I take the blame?

I had no say when I was born.
So, I don’t understand your scorn.
Why hate me for my complexion?
This could have been your reflection.

I will not let you break me down,
solely because my skin is Brown.
Even if I’m solid Black,
there’s not one human trait I lack.

Throw caution to the wind.
Reach out, you’d find a friend.
I bleed the same as you.
And smile when you do too.

We’re all just one big race.
Trying hard to find our place.
In the grander scheme of things,
strive for love and what it brings.

Written by,

Shelby I. Courtland

Footnote:For many, this will fall on ‘eyes that will not see’, I cannot help that. All I can do is put it out there and never think for one nanosecond that I will not continue to do so…..au contraire!

‘Life Is A Battlefield’

Sometimes life throws us such a curve.
We cannot outrun it, nor can we swerve.
Hits we must take and yet, dare to stand.
Life is vitality and dreams are never bland.

Ride life like the wind and when the dust settles,
chaos still reigns, there are just so many battles.
We fight our way through life, we have no choice.
Seek peace and harmony, but always give voice.

In this battle of life, there’ll be many a foe.
There’ll be memories of glory and tales of woe.
Life is not a game that is meant to be played.
Life is often rocky, the way not paved.

Never look back, the past we cannot change.
Accept not defeat when victory is within range.
Failure is not an option. We must endure.
With our eye on the prize, there is no detour.

We are wounded warriors as our battle scars do tell.
At times, we suffer greatly and wonder will we fail.
Have faith, strength will find us as life will never end.
There’ll be a new beginning. Another battle to transcend.

Written by,

Shelby I. Courtland

I’m Finally Here!

I have not been active in here due to the fact that I moved from the south(my hometown) back to the midwest. I am moving into my new home tomorrow and will be quite busy, however, I thought that I would take the time to say how glad I am to be back in the midwest. When I lived here before, I really did not appreciate what the midwest had to offer. I kept comparing the south to the midwest and the midwest always came up short, but after living in the south this past year and finding that ‘sometimes home is not where a person belongs’ and I most definitely do not belong in my old hometown, I have a different attitude about the midwest. I found so many things in the south that I could not put up with like the fact that many seem stuck in a time warp, have not moved forward and have no wish to do so. I realized that many are still fighting the War between the States and have no desire to get past the fact that it’s over and they lost. I was so tired of seeing the confederate flag on practically every pickup truck. The sheer ignorance of so many people wallowing in their ignorance was just unreal. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not speaking of everyone in the south, just what I observed in MY neck of the woods.

I also noticed that my family members are the same as they’ve always been, spiteful, selfish and with an it’s “all about me” attitude. Some things never change, unfortunately. I am not like them, never wanted to be like them and really never had much to do with them. I am so thankful that I had it in me to leave, to explore, to broaden my horizons and become a ‘people person’, someone who cares about others. I have no intention of ever going back. I am done! I put my life on hold to go there and take care of my mother because I had gotten a phone call that she was ill. Words almost fail me trying to describe my mother. What I found was an extremely bitter, hateful and disrespectful woman who treated the few people who would put up with her as though she was doing them a favor. No, I am not perfect, but I did everything I could do for her, even offered to bring her back with me, but it came to a point where I had to say, “enough is enough, I’m done, stick a fork in me.” I packed up and left and I have no regrets. What shall become of her? I don’t know and I don’t care. This may sound cold, but that is how I feel.

And so, now…I look forward and not backward, not again. The next step for me is to continue to do what I can to bring to the forefront the issues that people are confronted with on a daily basis and who have no voice.

I found that home is not for me.
It is not the place I want to be.
I’ve traveled near and traveled far.
I followed each and every star.
I then decided to follow my heart.
An old home found me and I’m making a new start.

Homeless Children(with a dedication:May You Never Know)

sleeping childrengraphhomeless child
Why are children homeless? Because their parent(s) are homeless. Children are homeless through no fault of their own. They are innocent victims of a problem that is so much bigger than the fact that their parents probably do not earn enough to move out of a homeless ‘warehouse’. The seriousness of a lack of affordable housing and jobs that pay a living wage contribute to why we have a vast number of homeless children found in homeless ‘warehouses’. We can dress it up and call it a shelter, but in reality, we are ‘warehousing’ children. Children are leaving these ‘warehouses’ in the morning and heading off to school. Many of them are ashamed and do not want the other children to know what their circumstances are. Would you?

Do we not realize the lifelong impact that homelessness could have on a child? Do we not care? We don’t care! If we did, then why did we allow the reasons for homelessness to continue to exist in the first place? As I’ve already stated, the lack of a living wage and affordable housing are both factors that promote homelessness. We spent billions on a war based on lies. We can spend billions toppling dictators in other countries when we have children in THIS country living in homeless ‘warehouses’ or in vehicles. And we’re not even ashamed of this. We don’t demand from our congressional leaders that instead of bombing people, we should be housing our homeless children. Since America is still the richest nation on the planet, despite our debt problems, we should not have one single child living in homelessness. We cannot eradicate child homelessness here because we are too busy making drones and getting involved in skirmishes around the world. Care for the little ones who need it. Stop their suffering. How can we bypass our own festering, perforating sores of poverty, homelessness, hunger, lack of medical care here and yet, throw money into building bombs to kill others in foreign lands? It makes no sense. We ALL thrive here, including those who are too young to vote when we take care of each other instead of finding ways in which to destroy each other!

Whatever you may think of adults and why they are homeless, can you really look into the eyes of a five year old child and scream, “you homeless bum, get a job!” If you can, you seriously need help!

..and so I dedicate this one to the children of the world…

May You Never Know

May you never know what makes life so dark and gritty.
May you never know the mean streets of every city.
May you never pay the price for what you did not buy.
May you never wonder why your mother has to cry.

May you never leave a shelter, just to go to school.
May you never know why the world can be so cruel.
May you never go to bed with an empty belly.
May you never ask why your home is often smelly.

May you never know hate from those who have too much.
May you never know the stench of poverty from its touch.
May you never know the sordid, seedy side of life.
May you never know only hunger, pain and strife.

May you never know….

Written by,

Shelby I. Courtland

‘Warehousing’ The Homeless Is Part Of The Problem, Definitely Not The Solution

fight for housingwarehouseaffordable housing
The solution to the problem of homelessness is not to ‘warehouse’ it. The solution is permanent, stable, affordable housing. The solution is also case management for the chronically homeless who are most likely mentally ill or suffering from an addiction. Although, not all homeless people are drug addicts or drunks, nor are they all mentally ill. Many hold down jobs, but due to a lack of jobs skills, their jobs are usually minimum wage and no one can afford even a studio apartment on $7.25 an hour even if they are managing to work 40 hours a week. It’s just not possible. Anyone with a calculator can figure that one out.

So instead, what do we do? We ‘warehouse’ them and have them shuffle from one homeless ‘warehouse’ aka shelter to another depending on which one has availability. How does that work for stability in their lives? How does not knowing where they will lay their head on any given night, be a comfort to them? I would soon be mentally ill too, if I knew not where I was to lay my head, night after night. Oftentimes, they must leave the shelter at first light and find something to do(if they are jobless)until the shelter doors open in the evening. They don’t get a break. The homeless are having to figure out ways to find a restroom when the homeless shelter puts them out and many must carry their belongings with them as they make their way each day, therefore, making them ineligible to go inside a restaurant to use the restroom because of the conspicuousness of their belongings. In other words, they are turned away at the door.

Quite often, they are also turned away at the homeless shelter because in many instances, homeless shelters use a ‘lottery’ system. If they call your number, you get a bed for the night, if not, you get to ‘move along’, try your ‘luck’ somewhere else. This is the best we can do? Seriously? No, it’s not! It is just what we do! And it is SO not working!

When will we take a serious look at the staggering statistics that do not simply suggest, but scream out that we have a horrifying homeless problem? When will we earnestly try to come up with solutions instead of putting bandaids on the problem? When will we acknowledge that we have a homeless crisis situation that should have been addressed decades ago? When will we stop ‘kicking the homeless can’ down the road? When will the last person die from merely having been homeless? When we will look at the homeless as ‘people’ and not merely as the outcasts of society, the ‘wish we could forget about them and they will go away’ nuisances that many think they are? Not many people choose to be homeless. Some merely choose not to step food inside of a ‘homeless warehouse’ because of fear. I have been inside ‘homeless warehouses’ and in many instances, their fear of them is justified.

Fear

outside shelter
Wherever I will sleep tonight,
I’ll get another bedbug bite.
No comfort shall I know,
in cots, row after row.

No peaceful dreams for me.
No cocoa, no hot tea.
Just a smelly, creaking cot
and the scent of fungus rot.

“Who’d want this life?” I wonder.
And everyday, I sit and ponder.
How much longer can I last?
Will this ever be my past?

All they say is, “move along!”
When I rest, I’m in the wrong.
I know for me, there is somewhere.
But right now, I live nowhere.

My bed is on my back.
Or in another homeless ‘shack’.
I guess I can’t complain.
I’m not in the pouring rain.

I bow my head in shame,
since they think I am to blame.
Some of us do drugs and drink.
We can’t help it if we stink.

Sometimes, the shelter’s full.
Don’t they know I’ve got no pull?
I’m just a number and that’s all.
They’ve yet to take my fall.

They’ll never understand,
nor guess, it’s all been planned.
When we meet up here someday,
their fears I can’t allay.

There’s troubling times ahead.
More like me without a bed.
They can’t see. It’s not yet clear,
just how much there is to fear.


Written by,

Shelby I. Courtland
©2013 Shelby I. Courtland

We Americans, ‘Live To Work’

overworked2overworked1
I remember reading a novel about Spain, and even though, it was fiction, there was a quote in it that made me stop and think. It went something like this. In Spain, ‘we work to live, we do not live to work’. In my opinion, that quote spoke volumes and is the exact opposite of what we do here in America. We ‘live to work’. We work so many hours and spend so much time either heading to or from our jobs that we barely have time to actually ‘learn to live’. And do we really have a choice? Some would say that no, we do not. Either we work or we’re unemployed and homeless. It is that simple. Has it always been this way?

I do not need statistical data to show me what I already know. Yes, we Americans are the most unhealthy people on the planet. We are the most stressed. We have much higher incidences of heart attacks and heart related medical issues than other industrialized nations. But, hey! Don’t just take MY word for it.

Americans are working 60 hours a week as opposed to the 40 hours per week that they are supposed to. You can blame it all to the Increasingly Connected world, Competition and Economic downturn. While longer working hours may boost productivity it may do more harm than good in achieving end results.

The 60 hours of work per week is coming at the expense of health, happiness, and even productivity of Employees.

Americans are literally working themselves to death. America is the most overworked nation in the developed world and Americans have become hostage to their jobs that has made their work-life balance unattainable.

President Franklin Roosevelt in 1937 signed into law the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as part of his New Deal agenda, establishing the five-day, 40-hour maximum workweek. The unions pushed it, and business leaders went along with it, since the research conducted in the five decades before that consistently found that 8-hour work days and 40-hour work weeks kept workers productive, safe, healthy, and efficient over a long period of time.

The 40-hour workweek, however, has slowly become a thing of past. More people in the middle-income bracket, as well as those in managerial positions are working longer hours.

In the 1970’s, 34% of men in professional-managerial positions worked 50-hours or more per week. Today that number has increased to 38%. As far as middle-income male workers are concerned, 21% worked more than 50-hours per week in the 1970’s, whereas today they account for 23% . With professional women, only 6% worked 50-hours or more per week in the 1970’s, whereas this figure has since more than doubled.
source:www.technology-digital.com/web20/america-is-the-most-overworked-nation-at-the-cost-of-health…

Add to that, we’re not even in the top five of the ‘happiest countries’. I’m shocked! Shocked, I say! I hope you noticed the heavy sarcasm regarding being ‘shocked’ over this. So, is it any wonder that we’re heart attack and stroke prone? Is it any wonder that a great number of Americans are obese? When we ‘grab and go’, which usually means ‘fast food’. What did we expect?

The really sad part is that I believe many of us feel that we have no choice. The mortgage/rent will not pay for itself. The electric company, gas and water utility companies do not care about how many hours we’re having to work to pay for their services. Our employers obviously do not care about our health. If they did, we wouldn’t be working so many hours. It is unfortunate that we seem to be going back in time. I thought that the reasons why unions were formed was because of untenable working conditions. Greedy bosses were partly to blame for the start of unions because they were formed to protect workers from employers/companies that exploited their workers. Unions were instrumental in helping to establish fair wages and safe working conditions. However, decades ago, unions started to get a bad rap and were linked with ‘organized crime’. Yes, we’ve all heard that ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’, but something does need to change. We cannot afford to take this country back to the days before there were laws put in place to stop people from literally being worked to death. Unfortunately, we are already at that place now. And so I ask, what are we gonna do about it? ‘Work’ on a solution or just beat the ‘unions’ aren’t the answer drum’? Because the alternative is ‘being worked to death’. Which scenario describes your working situation, ‘work to live’ or ‘live to work’ and if you ‘live to work’ do you feel as though you have a choice?

‘It’s A Hard Knock Life’

homeless signtent citieshomeless 2
‘It’s A Hard Knock Life’

I sell my body because I am hooked on drugs.
I can’t find a job and so I hang around with thugs.

I worked so hard and still couldn’t make ends meet.
I had no way to work and there are blisters on my feet.

There’s nothing in the freezer and even less in the fridge.
I’ll have to get a box and then I’ll try and find a bridge.

I keep hope alive, but tell me…what is the point?
I need to escape. Can you please pass the joint?

I’m not asking for your pity. I’m not asking you for shit!
I don’t have a job and no, I didn’t quit!

What am I to do? Just lie here and die?
You’d like that, I know. No one would question why.

My life don’t mean jack to you, so what are you looking at?
To you, I’m not human, but I bet you love your pet!

I am here and I am human and I have the will to live.
I choose to hold this sign, but you don’t have to give.

Tomorrow, you will pass me, but I will be right here.
I am your bogey man, you know, the one you fear.

Never for a moment think your life will stay the same.
We’re all in this together and right now, you’re in the game.

But when the bottom drops out and you get that pink slip,
I’ll spot you for some beer and me and you can take a sip.

If you forget where you came from, don’t think you can’t go back.
It’s called, “I need to speak with you because I’m giving you the sack!”

Written by,

Shelby I. Courtland

I wrote the above poem because I’ve seen this so many times, it is an epidemic. People who think that their job is safe from the chopping block soon find themselves among the outcasts of society. We have homeless tent cities here in America. America! Yes, you read correctly. I did not state that homeless tent cities were in Ethiopia, the Sudan, Haiti or the slums of Calcutta, but in America, go figure! The richest country on the planet has ‘tent cities’ that would make you think of refugee camps. If you look down on the homeless and blame them for their life choices, never thinking for a moment that shit happens through no fault of our own in many instances, remember this. Someone else could soon be looking down on you. Not one of us is immune, although many think they are!

Should I Continue Trying?

talking
Should I Continue Trying?

Who am I to dare think that I can make a difference?
How big is my ego to think that anyone will listen?

Why should you pay attention to me?
Are we not all speaking at once?
So, who is to hear me when I wail and scream?

Why do I try to get through to you?
When 100 million voices are all speaking at once.
Listen to me. Hear Me! Hey! Over here!

I am just one among millions clamoring to be heard.
I throw myself into the fray hoping to rise above it.
Why can I not be that lone one that is heard above all?

Have I not something important to say?
What is stopping me from making the world a better place?
There is something that I lack, though I know not what it is.

I have the passion. I have the spirit. I have the drive.
And yet, I do not have what it takes.
I am impotent. I am forgotten. I am not heard.

Even though I scream, my voice is silent.
You do not hear me. I talk to myself.
No, I should not continue trying.
What would be the point?

Written by,

Shelby I. Courtland 2013