you did shit that pissed me off all the time. why did you never apologize? did no one apologize to you? why did you seem to allow things to happen to you? did you feel like a victim? did no one tell you to fight back? are times so different; should I not fight back? mrs jones used to tell me about the true definition of what standing up would mean. i miss her, you taught me your fears, your lies, your hurt, your shame… why?

why were you afraid of me, jealous of me? why didn’t you just say… ”im weak’ in this area’? was being right worth losing me?

you projected so much of you to me and me you? who is Janell?

you both are dead now and im having a choice to make, except or create. i am not your fear. the strong ask for help…




You know there are only two times in life where the reality of situations come to fruition – death and in college. College students will let you know “I worked hard for that D+” or “Credit/No Credit and passing is all that matters”. When in Death, we only look at what a person did for us and how they made us feel, what their contribution to society was.

These are the two points in life where what matters most comes to a head… does the rest of this dung matter? Do the things we micro manage really matter in the long run? Take care of responsibilities, but death and taxes will always be.

Taking care of yourself allows you to help others, taking care of yourself will give you the tools you need to be successful. Success isn’t based on the end game, but the steps along the way. It’s the little things that makeup the big. Never discount someones struggle and their success you see. We place judgments on others to understand/analyze/interpret the information we see — discernment, is understanding how to understand/analyze/interpret without fault/judgment. Discernment, is understanding what He has in store of us; knowing we all have a purpose and plan. A waste isn’t a person who is strung out or still at a level “society” feels they shouldn’t be at; a waste is a person who doesn’t fulfill the purpose He has destined for them.

Love isn’t always nice/pretty/easy/fun/warm; love is…

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

…a verb. Love is actions… someones lip service isn’t love, it’s their actions.

Everything starts from within, you can’t give something you don’t have… even love.

Harvey Weinstein and The Economics of Consent: The blunt power of the gatekeeper is the ability to enforce not just artistic, but also financial, exile.

Brit Marling12:15 PM ET

When the Harvey Weinstein story broke, I thought of something my mother told me when I was a little girl. She said: To be a free woman, you have to be a financially independent woman. She wasn’t wrong. I studied economics in college and went to New York to become an investment banker. To be blunt, I wanted the freedom money can buy.

I had a sudden change of heart while working at Goldman Sachs as a summer analyst. I decided that if the world required me to sell the hours of my life in exchange for access to what had long ago been free—food, water, shelter—I wanted to at least be doing something that stirred my soul. This is, granted, a privileged position. But as a young woman that was the conclusion I came to.

I had discovered acting and filmmaking in college, and the more time I spent immersed in it, the more I liked the person I became. I listened more acutely. I was more empathic and imaginative. These are qualities that seemed to me to be culturally on the decline; our culture likes forward-thinking talkers who can turn a profit without feeling too much about who may suffer the consequences—usually poor people, people of color, and women. Acting felt like a noble pursuit and maybe even a small act of resistance.

Hollywood was, of course, a rude awakening to that kind of idealism. I quickly realized that a large portion of the town functioned inside a soft and sometimes literal trafficking or prostitution of young women (a commodity with an endless supply and an endless demand). The storytellers—the people with economic and artistic power—are, by and large, straight, white men. As of 2017, women make up only 23 percent of the Directors Guild of America and only 11 percent are people of color.

Straight, white men tend to tell stories from their perspective, as one naturally does, which means the women are generally underwritten. They don’t necessarily even need names; “Bikini Babe 2” and “Blonde 4” are parts I auditioned for. If the female characters are lucky enough to have names, they are usually designed only to ask the questions that prompt the lead male monologue, or they are quickly killed in service to advancing the plot.

Once, when I was standing in line for some open-call audition for a horror film, I remember catching my reflection in the mirror and realizing that I was dressed like a sex object. Every woman in line to audition for “Nurse” was, it seemed. We had all internalized on some level the idea that if we were going to be cast we’d better sell what was desired—not our artistry, not our imaginations—but our bodies.

It was around this time that I remember sitting in a casual gathering where a straight, white male activist said, “Our gender and race has all the power. So when you want to have sex with a woman you have to ask and get her verbal consent.” He continued, “If that woman is a person of color, she is oppressed by both her gender and her race and then you should really ask twice.” The literalism of his ratio was ridiculously reductive, and his declarative tone off-putting, but I appreciated that he was trying to articulate how complicated it is to negotiate the invisible forces of privilege and power inside sexual encounters. He was trying to help other young men understand why it can sometimes be hard for any woman to find and voice “no” within a culture that has taught her to mistrust herself, or to value herself through male approval.  

I emerged from this period thinking about the power dynamics inside Hollywood. If auditioning for parts was largely about seeking male approval, and the stories themselves were narratives I didn’t always politically or morally agree with, then the only way for me to navigate Hollywood with more agency was to become a storyteller myself. That is an easy thing to say and a very hard thing to do. I stopped auditioning. I worked a day job and spent nights and weekends at the public library downtown reading screenwriting books. I did this for years. Eventually, I co-wrote and starred in two films and was very fortunate when they were programmed at Sundance in 2011.

I’m taking you through this brief history because I think it’s important to understanding that when Harvey Weinstein requested a meeting with me in 2014—when the industry had deemed I was legitimate fresh meat—I was, in some ways, in a slightly different position from many who had walked this gauntlet before me.

I, too, went to the meeting thinking that perhaps my entire life was about to change for the better. I, too, was asked to meet him in a hotel bar. I, too, met a young, female assistant there who said the meeting had been moved upstairs to his suite because he was a very busy man. I, too, felt my guard go up but was calmed by the presence of another woman my age beside me. I, too, felt terror in the pit of my stomach when that young woman left the room and I was suddenly alone with him. I, too, was asked if I wanted a massage, champagne, strawberries. I, too, sat in that chair paralyzed by mounting fear when he suggested we shower together. What could I do? How not to offend this man, this gatekeeper, who could anoint or destroy me?

It was clear that there was only one direction he wanted this encounter to go in, and that was sex or some version of an erotic exchange. I was able to gather myself together—a bundle of firing nerves, hands trembling, voice lost in my throat—and leave the room.  

I later sat in my hotel room alone and wept. I wept because I had gone up the elevator when I knew better. I wept because I had let him touch my shoulders. I wept because at other times in my life, under other circumstances, I had not been able to leave.    

At this point many women have come forward to tell their stories about being harassed or abused by Weinstein. All of them are courageous, including the women who could not find a way out. I think for me, I was able to leave Weinstein’s hotel room that day because I had entered as an actor but also as a writer/creator. Of those dual personas in me—actor and writer—it was the writer who stood up and walked out. Because the writer knew that even if this very powerful man never gave her a job in any of his films, even if he blacklisted her from other films, she could make her own work on her own terms and thus keep a roof over her head.

I’m telling this story because in the heat surrounding these brave admissions, it’s important to think about the economics of consent. Weinstein was a gatekeeper who could give actresses a career that would sustain their lives and the livelihood of their families. He could also give them fame, which is one of few ways for women to gain some semblance of power and voice inside a patriarchal world. They knew it. He knew it. Weinstein could also ensure that these women would never work again if they humiliated him. That’s not just artistic or emotional exile—that’s also economic exile.

It’s important, too, to keep in mind where this power imbalance comes from. In the U.S., women were only allowed to have credit cards in their own names as of 43 years ago. Men had a two-decade head start (the credit card was invented in 1950). In the 1960s a woman needed to bring a man along to cosign any credit application. It’s stunning how recently women were afforded no financial autonomy. This is, of course, connected to the fact that women didn’t have bodily autonomy either. A woman’s husband could beat her or have sex with her without her consent in this country with no real legal recourse until the 1970s.

For me, this all distills down to the following: The things that happen in hotel rooms and board rooms all over the world (and in every industry) between women seeking employment or trying to keep employment and men holding the power to grant it or take it away exist in a gray zone where words like “consent” cannot fully capture the complexity of the encounter. Because consent is a function of power. You have to have a modicum of power to give it. In many cases women do not have that power because their livelihood is in jeopardy and because they are the gender that is oppressed by a daily, invisible war waged against all that is feminine—women and humans who behave or dress or think or feel or look feminine.

It’s a powerful moment when courageous people begin speaking about how they have been harmed, which is a deeply difficult thing to do because it means wading through a swamp of shame you’ve been made to feel. I am inspired by them all. We should let their strength guide our way forward, which means beginning a much larger conversation about the role economic inequality often plays in rape culture.

Men hold most of the world’s wealth. In fact, just eight men own the same wealth as 3.6 billion people who make up the poorer half of humanity, the majority of whom, according to Oxfam, are women. As a gender whole, women are poor. This means that, in part, stopping sexual harassment and abuse will involve fighting for wage parity. This also means women and men in power need to turn around and hire more women, especially women of color, especially women who have not grown up with economic privilege.

Another important step forward would be for all of us to start telling and consuming different stories. If you don’t want to be a part of a culture in which sexual abuse and harassment are rampant, don’t buy a ticket to a film that promotes it. I am as guilty of this as anybody else; sometimes it’s nice to zone out to a film that’s a distraction of epic spectacle. But maybe it’s time to imagine more films that don’t use exploitation of female bodies or violence against female bodies as their selling points. Films with a gender balance and racial balance that better reflect the world we all actually live in. These are challenges I myself am trying to meet, as a series creator, and I have by no means closed the gap between what I aspire to and what I have achieved.  

Part of what keeps you sitting in that chair in that room enduring harassment or abuse from a man in power is that, as a woman, you have rarely seen another end for yourself. In the novels you’ve read, in the films you’ve seen, in the stories you’ve been told since birth, the women so frequently meet disastrous ends. The real danger inside the present moment, then, would be for us all to separate the alleged deeds of Cosby, Ailes, O’Reilly, or Weinstein from a culture that continues to allow for dramatic imbalances of power. It’s not these bad men. Or that dirty industry. It’s this inhumane economic system of which we are all a part. As producers and as consumers. As storytellers and as listeners. As human beings. That’s a very uncomfortable truth to sit inside. But perhaps discomfort is what’s required to move in the direction of a humane world to which we would all freely give our consent.

‘Just’ Say No

It was a ‘permission’ word— a warm-up to a request, an apology for interrupting, a shy knock on a door before asking “Can I get something I need from you?”
October 12, 2017


Ellen Petry Leanse
Courtesy of Alex Pardoe/Unsplash

A few years back I noticed something: the frequency with which the word “just” appeared in email and conversation from female co-workers and friends. I first sensed this it shortly after leaving Google and joining a company with a high ratio of female to male employees.

Google, and everywhere else I’d worked before, had a more traditional gender mix. I’d never really noted a high concentration of “just” before, so I thought it might be my imagination. But soon I knew my hunch was legit. “Just” just kept showing up way too frequently.

“I just wanted to check in on…”

“Just wondering if you’d decided between….”

“If you can just give me an answer, then…”

“I’m just following up on…”

I started paying attention, at work and beyond. It didn’t take long to sense something I hadn’t noticed before: women used “just” a lot more often than men.

Still, it was only a hunch — I had no data. Yet even if it was selective listening, it seemed I was hearing “just” three to four times more frequently from women than from men.

It hit me that there was something about the word I didn’t like. It was a “permission” word, in a way — a warm-up to a request, an apology for interrupting, a shy knock on a door before asking “Can I get something I need from you?”

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was a “child” word, to riff Transactional Analysis. As such it put the conversation partner into the “parent” position, granting them more authority and control. And that “just” didn’t make sense.

I am all about respectful communication. Yet I began to notice that “just” wasn’t about being polite: it was a subtle message of subordination, of deference. Sometimes it was self-effacing. Sometimes even duplicitous. As I started really listening, I realized that striking it from a phrase almost always clarified and strengthened the message.

And as I began to pay attention, I was astonished — believe me — at how often I used the word.

I sent a memo to my work teammates about the “J” word and suggested a moratorium on using it. We talked about what it seemed to imply (everyone agreed) and how different that message was from the way we saw ourselves: trusted advisors, true partners, win-win champions of customer success.

We started noticing when and how we used “just” and outing each other when we slipped. Over time, frequency diminished. And as it did we felt a change in our communication — even our confidence. We didn’t dilute our messages with a word that weakened them.

It was subtle, but small changes can spark big differences. I believe it helped strengthen our conviction, better reflecting the decisiveness, preparedness, and impact that reflected our brand.

Yet “just” still bugged me. Sure, I’d had my little experiment with friends. But I’d acted on a hunch, maybe right, maybe wrong.
So I ran a test in the real world.

In a room full of young entrepreneurs, a nice even mix of men and women, I asked two people — a guy and a girl — to each spend three minutes speaking about their startups. I asked them to leave the room to prepare, and while they were gone I asked the audience to secretly tally the number of times they each said the word “Just.”

Sarah went first. Pens moved pretty briskly in the audience’s hands. Some tallied five, some six. When Paul spoke, the pen moved…once. Even the speakers were blown away when we revealed that count.

Now, that’s not research: it’s a mere MVP of a test that likely merits more inquiry, but we all have other work to do.

Plus, maybe now that you’ve read this, you’ll heighten your awareness of that word and find clearer, more confident ways of making your ideas known.

In other words, help take the “J Count” down. Take the word out of your sentences and see if you note a difference in your clarity — and even the beliefs that fuel the things you say.

It’s actually easy, once you start paying attention. Like it?

If so, then, to riff Nike: well …. ”Do it.”

Ellen Petry Leanse brings decades of experience with high-impact companies like Apple, Google, and dozens of technology innovators to her work on leadership and life purpose. A respected speaker, coach, and author, she also teaches at Stanford University and works with individuals and organizations to help them increase focus and impact. Her book, “The Happiness Hack,” offers easy, brain-aware ways to bring more focus, purpose, and satisfaction to everyday life.
The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!

Gnash “I Hate U, I Love U” Lyrics

I Hate U, I Love UGnash


Feeling used

But I’m

Still missing you

And I can’t

See the end of this

Just wanna feel your kiss

Against my lips

And now all this time

Is passing by

But I still can’t seem to tell you why

It hurts me every time I see you

Realize how much I need you

I hate you, I love you

I hate that I love you

Don’t want to but I can’t put nobody else above you

I hate you, I love you

I hate that I want you

You want her, you need her

And I’ll never be her

I miss you when I can’t sleep

Or right after coffee

Or right when I can’t eat

I miss you in my front seat

Still got sand in my sweaters

From nights we don’t remember

Do you miss me like I miss you?

Fucked around and got attached to you

Friends can break your heart too, and

I’m always tired but never of you

If I pulled a you on you, you wouldn’t like that shit

I put this real out, but you wouldn’t bite that shit

I type a text but then I nevermind that shit

I got these feelings but you never mind that shit

Oh oh, keep it on the low

You’re still in love with me but your friends don’t know

If u wanted me you would just say so

And if I were you, I would never let me go

I don’t mean no harm

I just miss you on my arm

Wedding bells were just alarms

Caution tape around my heart

You ever wonder what we could have been?

You said you wouldn’t and you fucking did

Lie to me, lie with me, get your fucking fix

Now all my drinks and all my feelings are all fucking mixed

Always missing people that I shouldn’t be missing

Sometimes you gotta burn some bridges just to create some distance

I know that I control my thoughts and I should stop reminiscing

But I learned from my dad that it’s good to have feelings

When love and trust are gone

I guess this is moving on

Everyone I do right does me wrong

So every lonely night, I sing this song

I hate you, I love you

I hate that I love you

Don’t want to but I can’t put nobody else above you

I hate you, I love you

I hate that I want you

You want her, you need her

And I’ll never be her

All alone I watch you watch her

Like she’s the only girl you’ve ever seen

You don’t care you never did

You don’t give a damn about me

Yeah all alone I watch you watch her

She’s the only thing you’ve ever seen

How is it you’ll never notice

That you are slowly killing me

I hate you, I love you

I hate that I love you

Don’t want to but I can’t put nobody else above you

I hate you, I love you

I hate that I want you

You want her, you need her

And I’ll never be her

Songwriters: Olivia O’brien / Gnash .

I Hate U, I Love U lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

The Real Reason White People Say ‘All Lives Matter’

Why “Black” Makes Us Uncomfortable (article by John Halstead)

Dear fellow white people, let’s have an honest talk about why we say “All Lives Matter.” First of all, notice that no one was saying “All Lives Matter” before people started saying “Black Lives Matter.” So “All Lives Matter” is a response to “Black Lives Matter.” Apparently, something about the statement “Black Lives Matter” makes us uncomfortable. Why is that?

Now some white people might say that singling out Black people’s lives as mattering somehow means that white lives don’t matter. Of course, that’s silly. If you went to a Breast Cancer Awareness event, you wouldn’t think that they were saying that other types of cancer don’t matter. And you’d be shocked if someone showed up with a sign saying “Colon Cancer Matters” or chanting “All Cancer Patients Matter.” So clearly, something else is prompting people to say “All Lives Matter” in response to “Black Lives Matter.”

Many of the people saying “All Lives Matter” also are fond of saying “Blue Lives Matter.” If you find that the statement “Black Lives Matter” bothers you, but not “Blue Lives Matter,” then the operative word is “Black”. That should tell us something. There’s something deeply discomfiting about the word “Black.” I think it’s because it reminds us of our whiteness and challenges our notion that race doesn’t matter.

The Problem With “Colorblindness”

If you’re like me, growing up, the word “Black” was always spoken of in whispers in your family. It was like we were saying something taboo. Why was that? Because it was taboo. We might feel more comfortable saying “African-American,” but not “Black.” The reason is that we were raised to believe that “colorblindness” was the ideal for whites. We were taught that we shouldn’t “see color.” And saying the word “Black” was an acknowledgment of the fact that we did “see color.”

The problem with being “colorblind” — aside from the fact that we’re not really — is that it is really a white privilege to be able to ignore race. White people like me have the luxury of not paying attention to race — white or black. The reason is because whiteness is treated as the default in our society. Whiteness is not a problem for white people, because it blends into the cultural background.

Black people, on the other hand, don’t have the luxury of being “colorblind.” They live in a culture which constantly reminds them of their Black-ness, which tells them in a million large and small ways that they are not as important as white people, that their lives actually do not matter as much as white lives. Which is why saying “Black Lives Matter” is so important.

“Black Lives [Do Not] Matter”

“All Lives Matter” is a problem because it refocuses the issue away from systemic racism and Black lives. It distracts and diminishes the message that Black lives matter or that they should matter more than they do. “All Lives Matter” is really code for “White Lives Matter,” because when white people think about “all lives,” we automatically think about “all white lives.”

We need to say “Black Lives Matter,” because we’re not living it. No one is questioning whether white lives matter or whether police lives matter. But the question of whether Black lives really matter is an open question in this country. Our institutions act like Black lives do not matter. The police act like Black lives do not matter when they shoot unarmed Black people with their arms in the air and when Blacks are shot at two and a half times the rate of whites, even when whites are armed. The judicial system acts like Black lives don’t matter when Blacks are given more severe sentences than whites who commit the same crimes and are turned into chattel in a for-profit prison-industrial complex.

And white people act like Black lives do not matter when we fail to raise the appropriate level of outrage at unjustified killings of Blacks or when we respond with platitudes like “All Lives Matter.”

But we still say it. We say it because “All Lives Matter” lets us get back to feeling comfortable. “Black Lives Matter” makes us uncomfortable. Why? Because it reminds us that race exists. It reminds us that our experience as white people is very different from the experience of Black people in this country. It reminds us that racism is alive and well in the United States of America.

The New Face of Racism

Now, I just said the “R” word, so you’re probably feeling defensive at this point. You’re instinctively thinking to yourself that you are not a racist. You may be thinking that you have Black friends or that you don’t use the N-word or that you would never consciously discriminate against a Black person. But most racism today is more subtle than that. Sure, there is a lot of overt racism that still goes on. The KKK is still active and some white people do still say the N-word. But overt racism is really culturally unacceptable any more among whites today. The racism that we need to face today is much more insidious than white hoods and racial slurs. It is the racism of well-meaning people who are not consciously or intentionally racist.

The racism that we need to face is the racism of average white middle-class Americans who would never think of saying the N-word and would vociferously condemn the KKK, but nevertheless unwittingly participate in institutionalized racism. We most often participate in racism by omission, rather than commission. We participate in racism when we fail to see it where it exists. We participate in racism when we continue to act like race is a problem that only Black people have. We participate in racism when we seek comfortable responses like “All Lives Matter.”

What We Can Do: Embrace the Discomfort

We white people need to embrace our discomfort. Here are some things we can do:

1. Recognize that we are not “colorblind.”

We can start by recognizing that we all have an “implicit bias” toward Blacks. Think you don’t have it? Consider how we mentally congratulate ourselves when we treat the random Black person the same way we treat white people. Here’s a tip, if you give yourself brownie points for treating Black people like you do white people, you’re not really treating Black people like white people.

Still don’t think you have unconscious bias, go to the Harvard implicit bias testing website and take the tests on race and skin-tone. Even white anti-racism activists like me have these biases. And they come out in all kinds of subtle ways, as well as not so subtle ways.

2. Work against unconscious bias by spending time with Black people in Black spaces.

Next, go out of your way to spend time with Black people in Black community settings. Many of us live segregated lives in which we have little to no interaction with Black people. Let’s face it, Black people make us white people uncomfortable. It’s because we’ve been socialized by a racist system to fear Black people.

Even if you feel comfortable around individual Black people, you most likely do not feel comfortable in a room full of Black people. You might have Black friends, but you probably socialize with them in white spaces. Have you ever been to a Black space and felt uncomfortable? Maybe you felt like no one wanted you there. Welcome to the everyday experience of Black people in white culture.

And when you go to a Black space, go to listen rather than lead. Learn to follow. Leading is a white privilege. Let go of it for a while and learn from those whose experience you will never have. Listen to Black people, and if what they are saying or how they are saying it makes you uncomfortable, so much the better.

3. Talk to white people about institutional racism and say “Black Lives Matter.”

It’s no good sitting around feeling guilty about white privilege. We need to do something about it. One thing we can do is to use our white privilege to dismantle it.

One white privilege we have is that other white people listen to us. We can go into white spaces and talk to white people about implicit bias and institutional racism. We can unapologetically proclaim that “Black Lives Matter.”

After the Orlando shooting, I went to an interfaith vigil in my small conservative town. Almost no one among the speakers said the words “queer,” “gay,” or “lesbian.” This was probably unconscious, but it revealed a lingering, but deepseated discomfort among heterosexuals with gayness and queerness, a discomfort that the popular use of the acronym “LGBT” obscures. Similarly, we whites are uncomfortable with Black-ness. We don’t even like like to say the word. It feels wrong in our mouths. We hide it by using code words like “inner city” or “urban,” terms which allow us to hide from our unconscious racism. We need to say “Black Lives Matter” because we need to overcome our discomfort with Blacks and face up to our unconscious bias.

Join the Second Civil Rights Movement

Dear fellow white people, we are in the middle of a second Civil Rights Movement. Most of us white people idealize Martin Luther King, Jr. and we like to think that we would have been on his side of things during the Civil Rights era. But the fact is that the majority of the American public did not support the Civil Rights movement while it was happening and only came to see King as a hero after he was killed.

The Civil Rights movement was unpopular among most whites when it was happening. It was unpopular because it made white people deeply uncomfortable. Today, the Black Lives Matter movement makes us uncomfortable, too. In forty years we will look back on this second Civil Rights movement and have to ask ourselves whether we were on the right side of history. If we want to be on the right side of history this time, we have to make ourselves uncomfortable. There is no comfortable way to change. And the change can start with saying this simple but powerful phrase: Black Lives Matter.