Honing It In!

Today I saw a story on the news about a man that is in the Guinness book of records as the oldest practicing barber. The gentleman is currently 107 years old. He said that he has been cutting hair since he was eleven years old. That is 96 years of cutting hair. This is proof that we can have longevity in this industry if we do things the right way. We must hone our skills. One of the definitions of honing is to make more acute or effective; improve; perfect.

I have often heard the saying that practice makes perfect. I tend to disagree with that statement. I believe that perfect practice makes perfect. We can get very good at doing things wrong. This is where honing comes in. We must become more effective. We must seek to improve on a daily basis. As we improve, then we will want to perfect whatever it is that we do. For a long time, this was my problem. I was looking for what it was that i needed to hone, but I was not sure what it was. I was good at a number of things, but I did not feel as if I was just exemplary in any particular portion of my craft. This is what many have called over the years, “ A Jack of all trades & a master of none. I was good at pretty much all of the components of my trade, and I could easily explain what it was that I had learned to someone else. So, even though others had seen this ability in me long before I did, I was unaware of the area in which it was that I excelled. I need to hone my instructional and facilitation skills. This is where I really stood out, but I went about it all the wrong way.

I spent a good portion of my career enhancing the institutions of others. Some early in my career were very instrumental in my development. I would take what they had to present, and add my flavor to their instructional methods. Then I found myself in the corporate grind that began to deteriorate my drive. It was more about the money than it was about the understanding. There was a lot of internal conflict with following procedure versus really teaching the intricate details of the industry that I love so much. This really caused a strain me. Especially when dealing with supervisors that had no true knowledge of the actual technical and soft skills needed to truly help the masses to excel. Not everyone learns and understands the same, and a production line form of disseminating information is not good for the overall benefit of those involved in implementing their learned skills into action. Then I realized that these facilitation skills can be used in a myriad of arenas. I had to get away from those other entities to get back to my real appreciation of the need for detailed instruction. Now I no longer have to compromise the real mission and values to achieve the desired results. This is where each of us need to find ourselves. We must define ourselves for ourself. If we do not, then we will find ourselves consumed with the expectations of others for us.

Tearing Down The Setup Facade

One of the major things that we want to focus on here at 4Peoples Choice Solutions is the expansion of the real history of the world, and not just the “whitewashed” versions that have been so prevalent within our nation. As I remember history class, none of the real facts were given in totality.  This is the facade that has been so widely spread to set up a mentality and a mindset of supremacy that perpetuates the furthering of a pseudo-cast system of others that do not fit into the appearance or etiquette guidelines set by the majority group.  The thing is, that the secrets are starting to be revealed, and the arc of history is starting to bend away from many of the myths and legends of “his-story!”  When we really begin to look at thing from a wholistic point of view, then we begin to see where and why so many minorities, or especially black people have found themselves at a disadvantaged position in life.  Then we see how others feel as if we should be able to pull ourselves up by our “bootstraps.” Then when history is viewed factually, then we see that we were never given the opportunity to get our boots or our straps.  Once we understand that things were separate, but they definitely were not equal, then we can start to squash some of the illusive racial tensions that so often pervade our country as a whole. When things like denial of the GI Bill to black veterans after the war, redlining on real estate, Jim Crow laws, etc. then we can begin to unravel this tangled web which the government has so tightly woven.  When we look at the mass incarceration and so-called war on drugs, then the mask is starting to be revealed.  When we take a look at the nations prison industrial complex, and what is trying to be achieved in the nations exploits, then and only then can really begin to see the long trail of lies and deceit that have been orchestrated and manipulated to keep certain agendas on track. This is on of the areas that we want to address, “History vs His-story.”  When young ladies and gentlemen can truly understand the system that has been utilized for decades, and some centuries, to promote mindsets and stigmas, then we can have a generation that can truly make the needed changes truly make America great.  This knowledge must be met with action though. We can no longer sweep things under the rug of “patriotism.”  We cannot continue to cover the nation’s real issue up with debates about the flag.  It is time build.  Build our knowledge, build our wisdom, build our skillsets.  Not only that, it is time to build our self-esteem, build our rapport with one another, and build our unity.  Then from there we can build our communities, build our cities, and build our self-love!  This is the end-game goal for 4Peoples Choice Solutions.  This is a multi-faceted problem, that must be attacked from a myriad of different fronts.  We want to stand and face them head on, but we need others to join us in this war.  Will you be one?