Wednesday, January 13, 2010

“Ladies, Its Not All About You”

jambabyedited “Ladies, Its Not All About You”

As we head in to a new year, I wanted to write a challenge to all of you. Though I’m writing generally for women, because that’s who i know best, this really applies to everyone. Instead of my usual bitching and moaning about God knows what, I want to take this opportunity to encourage instead of complain. Enjoy it while it lasts…

We live in a culture where the individual is highly regarded. Individual choice is heralded, personal responsibility is required and we pride ourselves on individual opportunity. But it think its time for a bit of a reality check.

Somewhere in our quest for individual success, we forget our relationships with others. We forget that how we treat others is just as important as how they treat us. Too often we become takers. We want to “play them” before they “play us.” We focus solely on “getting ours.” We encourage each other to “do you!” And like a cheating lover, this strategy will betray you and leave you lonely.

While I’m all about acknowledging one’s self-worth, many of us women have a misplaced sense of entitlement. Many of us have inflated our own value, and just like the housing market, bubbles based on nothing will always burst. Before you proclaim why you deserve so much, think about what you have actually given. And no, pussy doesn’t count.

Despite the sassy, overbearing, neck-rolling, dominating, i-can-do-bad-by-myself, tough-as-nails images of ourselves we see in the media, know that we are at our very best when we provide for others. We are at our best when we embrace our womanhood with compassion, warmth and generosity.

Being strong doesn’t mean being angry. Being independent doesn’t mean being selfish. Being educated doesn’t mean being elitist. We shine when we nurture and love and care. Don’t be afraid to laugh and cry and dance and love with reckless abandon. Don’t be afraid to smile. Softness and vulnerability and tenderness do not make you weak. They make you human. They make you a woman.

As you climb the corporate ladder, embark on the partner-track or whatever rat-race you find yourself in, do not lose your humanity. Once you’ve clawed your way to the top, wield your success with grace and humility.

In love, treat men how you want to be treated. Know that his needs are just as important as yours. Don’t treat your relationships as if you are the only prize. It astounds me how many women think that somehow they are the only one that matters in a relationship. Its called a RELATIONSHIP for a reason. Remember that. Why do you think that when you yell, and berate and marginalize a man, he will love you? Yes, we know you are strong and capable, but so is he. So let him be it.

Don’t punish your children (and everyone else) for your bad decisions and poor choices. And yes, you have made some. Probably several.

Admit that your “thick” status became “fat” years ago. And do something about it.

And although you may not believe it, you really don’t have something to prove to everyone.

Let’s also abandon our obsession with images and status. Make sure there’s a brain under your $1,200 weave. Make sure there’s a heart beneath your Prada suit. Being a good daughter, a good wife and a good friend is just as important as getting in to a good school, making good money or getting a good job.

Don’t treat your friends or children or parents like they are just another entry on your to-do list. (Trust, I’ve learned the hard way.)

The power-hungry, race-to-the-top strategy for corporate success just doesn’t translate well in the world of real human beings. The selfish, conniving, cold-blooded, back-stabber only thrives in Hollywood movies. Generally, they end up bitter and alone. Perhaps bitter and alone in a fantastic house, but bitter and alone nonetheless.

No matter how accomplished you are, what people will remember is how you treated them. No one will recall how many degrees you had or what type of car you drove or that you had a fireplace in every room, but they will remember how you made them feel and what you brought to their lives and that you made them a better person for having known you.

As 2010 begins, each of our resolutions should include leaving the world a better place than we found it and making the people around you feel enriched for having met you. So in the boardroom, be a bitch if you need to, but remember to leave that bitch at work. And when you come home, don’t be afraid to unpack your Coach attaché or Hermes Birkin and take the woman back out.

Happy New Year. Peace people.

53 Responses to ““Ladies, Its Not All About You””

  1. DanielleNo Gravatar on 03 Jan 2010 at 11:19 pm #

    Love it! Love it! Love it!

    Danielle’s last blog post..Deliberate Voice Mail

  2. MelbaNo Gravatar on 04 Jan 2010 at 11:31 am #

    Fantastic as usual!

  3. MamadocNo Gravatar on 04 Jan 2010 at 11:38 am #

    Happy New Year & THANK YOU!

    Mamadoc’s last blog post..All of Us

  4. Professor Diva Mac on 04 Jan 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    Great perspective to begin the New Year with.

    Professor Diva Mac’s last blog post..From A-Town to H-Town

  5. JoahNo Gravatar on 04 Jan 2010 at 2:08 pm #

    In full agreement Jam! Lookin’ forward to more from you in ’10.

    Joah’s last blog post..Friday Jam: Michael Jackson

  6. Bob DevineNo Gravatar on 04 Jan 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    Very nice post. All of it true. In fact most of it sounded like a monolog of my 40 year marriage to my wife that I sadly lost to cancer 10 years ago. I hope the people that read it take it to heart.

  7. AAANo Gravatar on 05 Jan 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    Jam, with the barrage of stories in the media about black women being alone, this is right on time. We’re not without fault. Can’t wait until your next post.

  8. Get TogethaNo Gravatar on 05 Jan 2010 at 8:54 pm #

    There aren’t enough of your blog posts in the blogosphere. But once again you’re on point. People confuse status with living and its not that people want to be that way…I think people think its the only WAY to be…and well…that’s just unfortunate…

    Everyone thinks that everyone else is the problem instead of making changes within…but that another subject all togetha.

    Love and Light and Happy New Year!


    Get Togetha’s last blog post..*new feature: lifestyle moods

  9. TracyeNo Gravatar on 06 Jan 2010 at 5:21 pm #

    Jam, this was very nice. It was a pleasure to read.

  10. arshaNo Gravatar on 07 Jan 2010 at 1:38 pm #

    this is too the point and right “on point”.

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  11. MZPoodle1No Gravatar on 07 Jan 2010 at 6:38 pm #

    Bout time! Something positive, love it!

  12. angelaNo Gravatar on 08 Jan 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    well said jam. i read your article in ebony! excellent as well.


  13. SpinsterNo Gravatar on 09 Jan 2010 at 4:40 am #

    Nice words with which to start off the new year. Adorable picture too. :-)

  14. ThomasNo Gravatar on 13 Jan 2010 at 8:58 pm #


    Just finished reading your article “Did I Just Call You Out? YEP. I Did. Deal with it”—Ebony February 2010.

    I was pleased to see you had a blog so my comment would reach you quickly. Since you are “…representing the get-your-s***-together side” I would like to thank you for keeping it REAL.

    I would also like to offer this for 2010, acknowledge those men that you know that are together (though the road has been long).

    You note in your article “I write about our complex existence using truth, humor, insight and an acknowledgement of my own shortcomings in an effort to start an honest dialogue in the community.” My past shortcomings have been as a father and husband; but, I’m thankful I did not stay ignorant in those roles; I’ve learned better.

    Your transparency and bluntness is refreshing.

    I’m thankful; God has allowed me to personally know brothers that are holding up their end of the social bargain.

    A shout-out in 2010 to the men that have their-s***-together.

    Thank you Sister—keep writing your truth—it’s needed. And yes, it hurts like a mug sometimes.

    Thomas’s last blog post..Our Rites of Passage Program was a Success!

  15. KellyeNo Gravatar on 14 Jan 2010 at 2:00 pm #

    Once again, kudos to you, Jam, for a well-thought-out, cut-to-the-heart blog. You always make me think…what have I made of my life, what can I change in my life, how can I make my community/world a better place?

    Keep up the good work, and like many others have said….MORE BLOGS, PLEASE!!

    Peace and Love, Kellye

    ps…I am gonna have to buy the Feb. ‘Ebony’ magazine, I guess….your article sounds like it will be terrific.

  16. Nana Ataa Ofosu-BenefoNo Gravatar on 15 Jan 2010 at 3:09 pm #

    Thank you for this post…You put your finger on reality, and too many of us are quite delusional when it comes to the areas in life where we need either training, transformation, and intervention. I’ve tried to broach the topic with many of my girlfriends, but I always get the “you-need-to-grow-some-self-esteem; I’m-already perfect” response from most of them. They continue to live in denial, with no self-reflection, very little compassion, or true self-love. Anyway – now I have a thinking woman’s resource (your blog) to send their way. Let’s make 2010 absolutely incredible!!

  17. Lady ANo Gravatar on 16 Jan 2010 at 4:55 pm #

    Nicely said!. Repost this again in June, so we can remind ourselves!

  18. DivanysticNo Gravatar on 16 Jan 2010 at 6:31 pm #

    Well said. ‘Nuff said!

  19. Angela MooreNo Gravatar on 17 Jan 2010 at 3:37 pm #

    I thought your message was right on point for the New Year, but we all know what we should do. We should start making a conscious effort and doing it. We are here to love our brothers and sisters, so the love you share can travel and grow. But most of us have a problem with loving ourselves, so we can read great messages,and read powerful books, but change is the challenge. Peace, my sisters and brothers. I love you.

  20. Demetria NicoleNo Gravatar on 24 Jan 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    Hello Jam,
    I have visited for years now and laughted hysterically (thank you for that website LOL)…but today was the first time that I visited your personal blog and ofcourse I am NOT disappointed! This particular post was on target. So many times WE all (women and men) want to point the finger but we always have to look at the man/woman in the mirror (RIP Michael Jackson) and check ourselves and more importantly CHANGE ourselves for the better. I will never knock a woman who is trying to attain more education or higher levels in your job (i.e. myself LOL) and my position is a little different since I am a teacher and am naturally a nuturer on and off the job; however, I have been known to be kurt or snide in my comments and I am working on that daily with God’s help (I like how you said you too are working on yourself thanks I am not alone LOL)…take care sis and I look forward to your future posts.

  21. LadyBugzyNo Gravatar on 27 Jan 2010 at 10:12 am #

    High five for a well written piece Jam! I just became a fan of your blog page and subscribed to it.


  22. Vickie on 06 Feb 2010 at 4:36 pm #

    Kudos, Jam 4 ur article, it was well said, even tho i logged on late bt better late than neva. Once again thanks.

  23. MichelleNo Gravatar on 09 Feb 2010 at 4:14 pm #

    Jam, it is about time. I have been waiting and waiting for another blog and you did not disappoint me as usual. This was awesome and so true.

  24. dekorasyonNo Gravatar on 06 Mar 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    with the barrage of stories in the media about black women being alone, éé!!1

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  25. arabalarNo Gravatar on 06 Mar 2010 at 3:09 pm #

    good :((
    unfortunately :S

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  26. resimNo Gravatar on 20 Sep 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    thanks you for post

  27. AlanNo Gravatar on 10 Nov 2010 at 3:07 pm #

    Interesting. Taking our eyes off of ourselves and focusing on the needs of others is basic to having positive personal relationships. Alan

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