The Hopeless State of Today

hopelessnessLast night, I along with thousands across the country, watched as Prosecutor Robert McCulloch read that a grand jury chose not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, Jr. I knew in my heart what the conclusion would be, but I was hopeful. I tuned in not to hear a guilty verdict, but just to hear that the situation warranted additional review, investigation, a fair trial in light of all the witness reports and evidence that had come to light.

Last night, I watched as people took their anger out in the worst way. They burned a community, businesses, dreams. They burned respect. They played into the hands of those who thought the worst of them. And we (the world) were watching. Thousands in other places protested in peace, but we did not see them because the focus was on the destruction that took place in Ferguson.

There will be questions asked for days, weeks and months to come. Why was the grand jury handled this way? Why was the announcement made at 9 p.m.? Why this, why that? We may never know the answers. Without answers, can we ever really find a solution?

Today, I read posts from people who I have followed for some time. At a time when my heart was heavy, they did nothing to lighten the burden. Today, I have unfollowed people who have shown where their true feelings lie. Everyone is entitled to their thoughts and opinions. But everyone is not entitled to my friendship or my support.

Last night and today, my heart was heavy with the hopelessness of yet another life lost. My soul was filled with the hopelessness of feeling that as a Black female, I will once again have to explain why I am angry, frightened, sad. My mind was filled with the hopelessness of knowing that this will not be the last time that a life will be lost, a community will be torn into two and a nation will once again be at odds with itself.

Today, I choose to proudly speak my mind. Today, I choose to value my friends (of all walks of life). Today, I choose to say that although I will not let society define me by my race; my race — my heritage — is the very essence of who I am. It is that heritage that calms me by knowing that the generations before me endured, persevered and thrived during times when hope was plentiful and when it was not. They survived so that our generation could have opportunities. They were quiet so our generation could speak (and yell when necessary).

Today, people promoted a Black Friday boycott. For me, I have decided to boycott those whose comments I find hurtful and divisive. My timelines are not places for ill will to live. Today, I chose civility.

Last night, today and each day to come, I will choose peace.


Tell Your Story on Facebook… the Right Way

image-facebookMy good friend and creative partner, Maria Benson (Ms. Clique) sent me a tweet (a Twitter message) and asked me to share a small business tip (she periodically does this to keep me on my toes, I think). After she made that request, I saw a great blog post entitled “10 Tips for Mastering Facebook” that provides some great tips. So let me begin by sharing some don’ts before you read about the dos. I’ll focus on Tip #7… Etiquette should be a top priority.

Your Facebook business page (and for that matter your personal page) is not your online journal. It is not where you express the random emotions that you are having today. Consider it an online face for your business, similar to your website with a little more activity. Do not write about the awful day that you’re having. Do not post negative comments about your customers, your vendors or your employees. Do not wage a social media war with media representatives. Be nice, be polite and be professional at all times.

Think of your business strategy and your communication or marketing plan and be strategic in what information you distribute… and when. Remember that you only have the reader for a small amount of time. Why focus on something negative when you could be sharing positive news?

When posting, always think about what the first time reader would think of your content and ask yourself the following:

  • Is the content informative?
  • Is the content engaging?
  • Is the content relevant to the product or service that you provide?

 If the answer to any of these questions is no, then you should rethink your post.

You have the ultimate power to tell your story and connect with your audience. Take the time to do it the right way and you will keep your reader coming back time and time again.