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Never Forsake Yourself for Others

(The below is a post that I made on my blog.)

I decided to make this post because oftentimes I hear people--mostly women that go to school with me--that want to do something nonprofit related once they finish with all of their schooling. Now, this would not be an issue, except for the fact that I am a business major, so nonprofit is the exact opposite of business since

business is all about making money. (By the way, I am aware of philanthropy, but for the sake of this post I am not talking in regards to philanthropy.) Now, whenever I hear these women tell me that they want to start a nonprofit organization, I lose a little respect for them. I lose respect for them because it does not make any sense to go through the rigors of secondary schooling and spend the money necessary for secondary schooling just to go and make an impoverished living. I know that their reasoning is that they want to help the community and children at-risk, but what I do not understand is why do they not try to help the children and families in need while also helping themselves. Whenever I hear women state this--because it’s only really women that I hear state this--I think to myself that they are trying to create a more positive image for themselves and adhere to the old adage of striving for the greater good. So, to this old adage, I counter with my own new adage; the greatest good of all is the good that serves those in need while also benefiting you as well.

Now, black folks are taught to go to school to get a good job. However, I am going to take this a step further and talk to my people within the game, in case you happen to think like what I just described. Those of us within the game are leaders and the future leaders of society, so we absolutely cannot forsake ourselves for the greater good, and instead need to strive for the greatest good. I know some of my readers are not religious in any way, shape, or form, so I will relate this next statement to you as well as my religious readers. We all have a duty to leave this planet in a better state than when we arrived before we depart. To my religious readers, we also have a duty to the divine one to leave this world in a better state before we depart. All of this means that we have an obligation to help those in need while also helping ourselves. I’m going to recount a few stories to you within the next paragraph.

I recall once, while in grad school, where I helped a teammate with an assignment and she thanked me for helping her. I told her that she was welcome, but I also let her know that I did not just help her simply for her benefit. I told her that I also helped her for my own benefit because her grade affects mine as well. When I told her this she asked me would I’ve driven out to a library to assist her had I not been in her group; I told her “no.” I told her that I would have helped her but not to this extent because me driving out to this library inconveniences me because it costs me gas money. When I said this, she tried to give me a morality spiel to make me feel bad about what I had just said, but it did not work. Personally, I viewed her weak counter-argument as an ulterior motive. I’ve often noticed that those that forsake themselves on behalf of others usually end up getting used. To go further, the people that they help come up usually use, abuse, and forget about them; this is why I am all for selfishness. I know that we are taught that it is wrong to be selfish, but we live in a very selfish world, and in order not to be used, we must develop a “me-first mentality.” We have to hold our needs and wants above those of others. We have to ensure always to fulfill our needs and wants, even at the behest of others.

I’m going to give another example of what I mean. In wars you have troops, and you have supreme commanders. The troops are the ones that are on the battlefield doing all of the fighting, while the supreme commanders remain at camp and oversee and direct the movement of the troops. The reasoning of this dynamic is simple; the troops are more expendable than the supreme commander is. This is why the supreme

commander has to be more protected. Although, no militia wants to lose its people, in wars there will be casualties. The casualties are the ones that forsook themselves on behalf of the greater good. Those of us in the game are the supreme commanders. The people in secondary schooling are the troop commanders. We have a duty to press on because if we fall, then all is over. Now, everyone is expendable to a certain extent; the supreme commanders within a war are even expendable to a certain extent, but if you lose too many of them, then all is over. This is why we cannot forsake ourselves. This world is chaotic enough; imagine if the noble world leaders decided to start forsaking themselves, the world would be even more chaotic.


This desire to get others to forsake themselves comes from indoctrination. A mentor of mine, Tariq Nasheed, is often asked to forsake himself in regards to allowing people to bootleg his Hidden Colors DVDs and in regards to people asking him to give free lectures. It is an oxymoron to go through the time and effort necessary to acquire the knowledge, skills, and wisdom to share with others simply to give it away for free. This is why he requires people to pay top dollar for his items. This is what others should do. Upgrading yourself to the point that you are now prominent should be profitable, not charitable. You can do many great things while also fattening your pockets, remember that. –Derrick Mills (June 1, 2015)


The reason why Black women be forsaking themselves is that they allow themselves to be manipulated by society into forsaking themselves. Once you go to graduate school you automatically set yourself up to be viewed as a potential leader in society--especially if you’re Black--and a lot of Black folks will begin subtly suggesting that you give back to the community once you finish your schooling; forsake yourself. These Black women fall for that ruse and end up worse than the people that they're helping. –Derrick Mills (June 6, 2015)


You are the company that you keep.

Smart people learn from their mistakes. Smarter people learn from others' mistakes. Stupid people don't learn from anyone's mistakes including their own.

You get what you deserve.

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President Joe Biden, who ran on his deep relationships in Senate and ability to build bridges, will cap off his first year in office with his legislative agenda at a standstill – unable to get his Democratic Party fully united and facing steep opposition from Republicans.

Biden's major legislative priorities are in limbo after Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona didn't cave to Biden's pressure and refused to roll back the filibuster to pass legislation without GOP support.

Joe Biden legislative agenda going nowhere 1 year into presidency

Biden will mark the one-year anniversary of his Jan. 20 inauguration with no clear path forward on passing high-priority voting rights legislation and his Build Back Better social spending plan. He candidly acknowledged his struggles Thursday after a meeting with Senate Democrats at the Capitol.

"The honest to God answer is I don’t know whether we can get this done," Biden said of his voting rights agenda.

"I hope we can get this done, but I’m not sure," he added.

Biden is grappling with razor-thin Democratic majorities in the House and Senate which have proved problematic to passing some sweeping reforms the Democratic base wants. Just one Democratic senator has the power to scuttle his plans in the 50-50 split Senate.

A group of Republicans was willing to go along with Biden's $1 trillion infrastructure bill that he signed into law in November to rebuild the nation's crumbling roads, bridges, ports and more. It was a major legislative win and realization of his promise to bring the two parties together.

But the comradery was short-lived.

Now Republicans say Biden's agenda is out of touch and too extreme to garner their support.

"It is really telling that there were Americans that voted for President Biden hoping that he could somehow emerge as a leader," Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, told Fox News Digital. "And he has proven that he does not have the capabilities to be a strong leader."

Ernst blames Biden for rising inflation, the deadly and hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan and a surge of migrants at the Southern border. She says Biden's priorities are out of step with what Iowans want.

Asked how his legislative agenda was faring, Ernst replied: "I'm glad that you reminded me that President Biden has an agenda, because I have forgotten he had one. It really has gone out the window."

Biden further alienated himself from Republicans with a heated speech in Atlanta this week when he urged the Senate to get rid of the long-standing filibuster to pass voting rights bills and implied those who didn't support the legislation were on the side of racists like Bull Connor and George Wallace.

A fuming Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., blasted Biden's speech as "profoundly unpresidential" and "deliberately divisive."

"I have known, liked, and personally respected Joe Biden for many years," McConnell said Wednesday. "I did not recognize the man at that podium yesterday."

Aside from the bipartisan infrastructure package, Biden's other major legislative win last year was the $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill he signed into law in March without any GOP support.

The package included a $1,400 check for many Americans, an extension of a $300 weekly unemployment aid supplement through Sept. 6, as well as a one-year expansion of the child tax credit. It also provided hundreds of billions of dollars in funding for state and local governments, vaccine distribution efforts and small businesses still reeling from the pandemic.

Ten months later, the pandemic is far from over. And Biden's other main legislative vehicle to boost the economy and expand the social safety net is on ice.

The $2 trillion Build Back Better social spending and climate change bill has effectively died in the Senate with Manchin announcing in December that he couldn't support it.

Biden had a history of working productively with Manchin and affectionately called him Jo-Jo. Biden even appointed his wife, Gayle Manchin, to serve as federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission. The job pays roughly $163,000, according to a federal database.

Unable to convince Manchin to support his agenda, Democrats Friday turned to touting the benefits of the previously passed infrastructure bill as a way to move on.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., said he thinks Biden has been working very hard to pass the voting rights and Build Back Better bills, but he faults Republicans for the setbacks.

"In order to get things done … you need two parties," Hoyer said when asked about the Biden agenda by Fox News Digital. "It takes two to tango."

He said Republicans are trying to deny Biden any more victories for political reasons, which he says is "sad."

"No matter how hard the President of the United States works, if one party is determined, for political reasons, to oppose something because it would give a success or a victory to the President of the United States, that is very shortsighted and harms the country," Hoyer said. "You're not harming Joe Biden personally. What you're harming is the country."

Thursday marks the one-year anniversary of Biden's inauguration. Republicans are planning to mark the occasion by highlighting Biden’s first year of "failure" and arguing the GOP is better equipped to lead.


NOTE: Is Biden's presidency doomed?
President Joe Biden is struggling politically. Recent polls have shown that his approval ratings continue to fall. According to CNN's Poll of Polls, the President stands at 42%, while Quinnipiac's January poll placed him at 33%. Those are the kinds of numbers that would leave any White House unsettled.

The fate of the Build Back Better legislation remains precarious, while the President's emboldened words about the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act were tougher than ever. On Tuesday, he asked elected officials, "Do you want to be on the side of Dr. King or George Wallace?" in what appeared to be a question implicitly targeting Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who still refuse to accept the filibuster carve-out that would allow the voting rights legislation to overcome Republican opposition. Even worse, Omicron has driven up hospitalizations and left huge swaths of the population despondent about when the pandemic will come to an end. "It's déjà vu all over again," as the baseball legend Yogi Berra liked to say.

Others complain that the President isn't even doing a good job showcasing his many accomplishments. "Jobs, jabs, infrastructure, prosperity and peace," one columnist urged in a piece criticizing Biden for failing to boast enough about what his administration has done.

Then there is inflation. Rising prices are overwhelming all good economic news in recent days, including low unemployment and a buoyant economy. Although initially many economists thought that the price increases would be "transitory," the widely accepted outlook is that inflation will remain high for a while. One Nevada voter, Laura Godinez, who told CNN she used to lean Republican but had shifted toward the Democrats in recent elections, commented: "I don't want to say this, but when Donald Trump was here, it was nothing like this."

Does this all add up to a doomed presidency? That question will naturally enter into the minds of Democrats as they speculate about where this is heading, particularly with the distinct possibility that Trump could run again in 2024.
Those who are worried should find some solace in the fact that contemporary presidents have been able to come back from difficult moments like these. Challenging first terms don't inevitably put a commander in chief on path toward a one-term presidency. It's possible to struggle in the polls, deal with difficult economic challenges and criticism from different factions of one's own party and still go on to be considered a successful two-term president.

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