Pro-Active Prevention Education

Every day I wake up angry and I’ll tell you why;

I’ve always seen angry behavior, and no one seems too shy!

At home my parents would scream and beat us, they didn’t seem to care.

When angry parents abuse their children, why would you think it’s fair?

Every day I wake up angry because it’s always in my face;

it’s in the media, the games and the music, hell it’s all over the place.

I see anger in sports, anger in politics and anger in our streets;

we spread the anger all the time because everyone loves to tweet.

When’s the last time you said you were sorry, and took responsibility for yourself;

anger originates only in you, you can’t blame someone else.

Since every day I wake up angry I can tell you about the shame;

I’ve abuse my children and others who loved me; I’ve cause a lot of pain.

My behavior is never discussed because I always seem to hide;

we have to change and open discussions, maybe there’s a guide?

All over the world there are people like me who wake up angry every day;

when anger destroys all that we know, will someone find a way?

Anger can be a powerful force, but here is a clue;

everyone will be very happy if you stop the anger in you!

Ittae Rob

How are you feeling today?  When presented with this question do you think only about aches and pains, or do you also think about your mental state?  Many of us walk around each and every day with a million things on our mind. Thoughts that occupy your mind will actually determine how you feel.  So when asked that question again, think about how you feel mentally.  We are always told to take care of our body because it’s the only one we have.  Well, that should apply to our mind also.

When you feel bad mentally how do you react to others around you? Do you do and say things that cause even bigger issues?  Afterwards do you regret some things you have said or done, or do you think nothing of it?  If someone tells you that you hurt their feelings, does it bother you?  These are questions that need to be asked, but are usually asked only in counseling sessions.

I have occasionally asked people I know “What do you think will happen if you stood on the corner and started screaming?” It often gives me some insight into how that person feels about mental health.  How do you think mental health is viewed in our society?  Are you comfortable speaking about your thoughts and feelings?  If someone you know asked for your help, what would you do?  There are many approaches and questioning opportunities that can help a person begin to think about how they really feel.  One main problem is many seldom get the chance until something bad happens.

I recently had a discussion with an acquaintance who described how not taking mental health more seriously can have a lasting impact on you and those closest to you for years to come.  She spoke with me about what she described as the unraveling of her sister’s mental health due to lack of knowledge or understanding about mental health and her mother’s denial.  She described how as a young child she watched her sister engage in conversations when there was clearly no one there and exhibit other behaviors that were so extreme and contrary to the rest of her family members, she sensed something wrong.  She discussed these behaviors over and over with her mother and continuously begged her mother to seek help for her sister.  She was met with denial and the belief that she would grow out of it.  Because this took place back in the early seventies in a small southern town, she had two things working against her, the lack of society’s knowledge about mental health and her mother’s fear of being ostracized.

Fast forward to forty years later; her sister has still not received any help. She has floated from one unhealthy relationship to another, become the mother of two children, and spent years self-medicating with alcohol and other drugs. Her life as well as the lives of her children, siblings, mother, and plenty of others she has come into contact with has been negatively affected in some way because of the decision to look the other way early on.  She will never know if getting her sister help back then would have made things turn out any differently, but it would have been worth a try.  She is now headed back to that same small town to figure out how to do what should have been done so long ago, and yes, her mother is still in denial and won’t discuss it.

So, how do you really feel?


In memory of the two girls in Glendale, AZ

To understand what was on the minds of 2 young girls.
Death so early in life should not be one’s goal.

A commitment so permanent
is extremely rare.
To deny so many your presence
doesn’t seem fair.

You promise your friend
until death do us part.
The promise today
is tomorrow’s change of heart.

Some people can be cruel
when your lover looks like you.
Many remain hidden;
not certain what to do.

Too many times in life
people want to judge.
They speak about
fairness and justice,
but with you
they won’t budge.

Now, that you’re gone
while you’re still in your teens;
two friends together
who shared the same dream.
You’ll rise up to heaven,
where you’ll never be harmed.
As friends or lovers,
you’re wrapped in God’s arms.

by Ittae Rob

smoking gun

A young black man is dead.
Community responds.
What will be said?
Another family hurt.
It has become a norm.
Just who was the shooter will determine the storm.

They say it was a brother this time with the gun.
My community will say nothing; just wait for the next one.
Wait-wait the internet provides a new fact;
the shooter was police, let’s prepare to attack.
What’s the community reaction when a young man dies?
It depends on the shooter and that’s no lie.

When we exchange bullets on a daily basis;
no one says anything, can’t holler racist.
When the bullets come from the uniformed direction;
We suddenly assemble and cause useless destruction.
Why do we do it? We say it’s for change.
We must refocus and not be a gang.

Let’s put positive energy into permanent change.
Stop burning and looting it brings no gains.

Violence and destruction is useless and old.
Emotional intelligence should be the new goal.
I can close with this question, be sure to take note?
Can we rewrite the laws?
Now get out and vote.

by Ittae Rob

Every day in communities around this country a young black man’s life is taken by a self-replica – another young black man. If you’re wearing a particular garment, stare without acknowledgement, commit a casual bump, or perhaps nothing at all, you can fall victim. Why are some of us so deadly and lack the ability to control the most severe behavior on earth – murder? Recently, in Miami, Florida five black school age students died in separate shootings in a span of eleven months. They were killed within their communities by someone who looked like them and for reasons that certainly did not rise to a death sentence. There are some obvious problems that relate primarily to the longevity of young black men. There might be more focus on the teens and twenty-somethings, but it can happen to any black male more than anyone else. There will always be a multitude of variables that add to or subtract from our daily lives, but why do young black males seem to target other young black males in their environment? Does a young black male value his fellow black male? What are the standards that exist in the black community and are those standards different from the rest of society?

When a child is born there a can be a social impact early in their life that puts him on a negative course. If society has an impact on him, how did it occur when he probably never left his block? The reality is this; how can the issues of the world have a negative impact on you when you have yet to experience them? Your only experiences have been the things that have occurred within your family and possibly in your neighborhood. If you dare to venture from either, your experiences might turn out to be very different. When I watch the news, as depressing as it is; I listen to interviews of families whose loved ones have been gun down by others who are also from the same neighborhood and I ask myself, what went wrong in that community?

Plenty of us who are African-American grew up poor and went without a lot, but we still never stole, killed, committed any other crime, or spent a night in jail. Seeing what is happening now with some of our young men can make us cringe. The one advantage we probably had that is missing in homes today is a loving, safe home environment, parents who taught us right from wrong and how to take responsibilities for our actions. I wonder what is taught in households today. What type of preparation and support is offered by parents?

All of these questions have different answers depending on who you ask or which house you live in. I’m certainly not suggesting that our households are the only households in trouble, but what I see concerns and saddens me. The pathway that too many young black males take is one of extreme deadly violence. Even if the number were only five, in my book that would still be too many. They do not seem to concern themselves about a future when it’s the reflection of their lives that deny them their futures.

Can young teenagers and the twenty-somethings find a foundation for change? My thought is, with so many young adults in colleges and universities around this country, will they take up the battle to reduce violent behavior? If they don’t step up who will?

The next time you speak to a student of higher education, ask them who will save their child?

finding you

How often do you think about yourself and who or what you are about as a person? Think about what makes you tick, what moves you to the good or bad side of things and how you feel about yourself overall. Do you have more good moments than bad moments and are you disgruntled and argumentative more than pleasant and cooperative? When you are mean to other people, is it a reflection of something deeper taking place inside of you? Getting to know who you are can be scary to some, but liberating for others. What if it turns out that you don’t like the person you are or have become over time? You can’t divorce, move away from you, or even end the friendship. So what exactly can you do about it?

Now that you’re engaged, here comes the really honest part. Is the person you present to the world truly who you are comfortable being or is it who those around you expect you to be? Take an assessment of how you feel about the people in your life. Do family members, friends or co-workers cause you to feel or exhibit anger or agitation? Have you thought about why others can have such an impact on you? Have the words or actions of someone in your life, past or present caused you to feel hurt, jealous, angry, or not good enough? Take some time to explore those emotions and what may have taken place with you that allowed you to feel that way. Only think about you, not the person you felt was responsible for making you feel that way.

When you practice connecting with your inner feelings you become more in tune with how stress, loneliness, feelings of inadequacy, helplessness, etc. can affect your mood or attitude towards things or people. If you know what’s going on with you, you can better understand and deal with what’s going on around you.

Your angry moments are probably your worst moments even if you don’t recognize how damaging those moments can be. If we’re not paying attention to the inner thoughts, we will not be prepared to see our behavior as contributing to some very ugly outcomes. Reflect on the relationships within the home or an existing conflict among family members. Typically, someone has said or done something that was part of an issue that may have gone back and forth. Think about yourself without focusing on the other parties involved in the issues. What is your contribution to the conflict? Are you being fair or are you being moved by something within you that you have yet to explore? Please only consider how you can do better; you have no control over the actions of others or how they are going to feel. We can share or deny our feelings and it still would not change the emotional reaction of certain people. There are so many factors that can negatively impact our attitudes and when it occurs we must be prepared to see ourselves, our thoughts and control them.

After you finish this article take a few moments to relax, close your eyes and reflect on how you’ve been feeling this week. Reflect on any negative feelings you had and if it’s something that occurs frequently or seldom. How long did your feeling last and how much of a contributor do you think you were to what caused the negative feelings? Did the feelings dissipate because handled them or you forgot them? When the same thing occurs next week, do you think that you will be better able to handle it?

Stan Clan ThanksgivingThanksgiving is the day we gather, give thanks and express gratitude for our many blessings. With everything that’s going on in the world, our neighborhoods, our homes and families, sometimes it can be hard to remember to give thanks for those everyday things we take for granted. Take some time to list those things you are thankful for and share your list with us.

Crusaders Against Anger

blog team picture

Sports are probably the most talked about activity you can imagine. Consider how many television and radio stations are dedicated to sports and the number of sporting events taking place around the world. Sports are powerful and impactful, yet it pales next to the whispers of love. Sports can be all encompassing for both males and females. There are many participants in community programs, schools and professionally. The number of spectators is countless, which creates a tremendous amount of money for both schools and professional organizations.

Organizations bring together virtually anyone who can help bring about the success desired for that team, which is often referred to as a family. The word family is very important because it represents a unified body of togetherness. Something the family expects is your best effort 100% of the time and not to do anything to damage the family and the goal of success.

Our traditional family households can and should have the structure required for everyone to achieve a positive outcome, but without guidance and coaching, similar to sports teams, we can have a tendency to not do the things that lead to a positive goal. I’ve listen to sports executives, coaches and players speak about how much time is spent in film rooms and practicing for countless hours every day to be able to perform or execute the proper play to achieve the best result. Do you think that as powerful as sports are, and the fore thought that goes into the game plan; is it more important that love?

Do you wonder why I pose this question; do you think it can be compared? Please understand we are all controlled or at least reactive to our emotions. Examine your love relationship; is it important enough for you to discuss your future goals? Teams and families should both be focused on success. Even though both entities measure success differently, the pathways can have numerous parallels.

How much time is spent with family members discussing and planning individual roles in the household? Who will cover for another family member when an expected plan (play) breaks down? Each member of the family (team) has importance. I know you didn’t draft them, but you either chose that person or you parent the person, so they’re on the team. When you talk about love and value to each family member you can create a high level of success. For families success is probably best displayed by the supportive nature and accomplishments of the entire family. Anytime one of the members stumble or start to choose the wrong path, the family (team) should be meeting to discuss how to improve the behavior of that member and like sports organizations, perhaps getting supportive programs involved. Do not wait until your family (team) has lost the desire to support the member. Keep your family strong!

I believe that love as common as it is and as strong as it is; is probably put on the back burner until it jumps to the front of the line, while being displayed in hurt or anger. As observers of sports, we’ve seen athletes excel in physical and mental preparation, but fail in love. Now, failure in love is very common, but if we put the same effort into love and family as what’s given to sports, would we win more? The purpose of this is simply to invoke your thoughts about putting more preparation and effort into love and family. After every game ends, we probably still want to be loved. So make a game plan to succeed.

A parent receives a call, “Sorry to inform you about the death of your daughter.  She was killed today by her husband/boyfriend.”  This scene takes place almost everyday, somewhere, and at some point it could happen to you or someone close to you.  When it does take place there are sometimenotes two very common phrases we hear afterwards . . . “He was a good guy” and “We never saw it coming.”  Typically, when we are in relationships, we never see the most destructive possibilities until they occur.  We don’t pay attention to the blinking red lights or red flags in front of us because our thoughts are often focused on love.

How many lives do you think can be impacted by a single moment of anger that manifests itself in hate or revenge?  First we impact the children, parents, siblings, loving aunts, uncles, and cousins.  What about those friends who are often more supportive and closer than family and don’t forget about the co-workers a person has spent years with.

In December of 2012, an NFL player, Jovan Belcher, age 25, decided to take the life of his 22-year-old girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins (victim no 1), who was the mother of their 3 month old baby (victim no. 2) and then take his own life (victim no. 3).  Mr. Belcher, since his death, has been described as a nice guy, a good team-mate, and someone who worked very hard to obtain his position with the Kansas City Chiefs.  If he was such a good guy, why did he do such a bad thing?  The answer to that question may be as difficult and complex as any imaginable.  We will all be left wondering why.  This is a case that received national attention, but think of how many times we see this same scenario played out on our local news day after day, after day.

Parents sometimes engage in personal vendettas against their mate in front of the kids, leaving them exposed to violence, murder and suicide?  The most heinous of parental behaviors can sometimes leave the children dead.

Through years of working with people going through relationship turmoil, I am convinced that if you never have a positive, preventive conversation, your emotional position has no protective point of reference.  Simply put, if you have never discussed what can happen and how to prevent it, you will be unaware until it occurs.  Then it’s often too late.

How often have you had a conversation about how you would handle things emotionally if your relationship takes a negative turn.  Have you discussed walking away if something you considered unforgivable happened in your relationship or do you already have a violent reaction planned? Have you thought through the consequences of carrying out your violent reaction? Because we are more prone to do what we tell ourselves we will, wouldn’t it be best to start to tell yourself now that you will have the strength to walk away, peacefully. Trust me when I tell you that you will be glad you did.

Reflect back on your interpretation of what your home life was like growing up.  Where you part of an angry home where fear, revenge, aggression or violence was frequent?  Are you trained emotionally not to become that way?  If not, It’s never to late to start.

Mr. Belcher had a lot of family, friends, and fans who I’m sure will always miss and love him.  Ms. Perkins will also be missed and mourned for years.  Now we focus on the child.  What will her life be like? Will she experience sincere parental love or live with an unfulfilled void because of not having her parents?  Will her father’s actions leave her filled with anger and how will that hurt and anger manifest itself?

We train so hard to achieve those things we want in life.  We train for sports, the military, our careers, etc.  That training can teach us what to do when a crisis situation suddenly crops us.  We can go right into what we were trained to do without really even thinking about it.  That’s what training does. Think of how much better our families, communities, and the world would be if we put just as much training into handling our emotions.


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