Before I learned how to read, I learned the importance of running.  I have been running most of my life.  As a child, I ran from the police, my father, loose dogs, and overweight bullies who were too slow to catch me.  I ran.  Here’s the problem; I sometimes spent so much time running away from things, I often times ran past the things I should have stood for.  I ran past opportunities.  I ran past some of my dreams.  I ran past some of my goals.  I ran.  Family, it’s time for all of us to stop running.  It’s time for us to stand, observe, analyze, respond, and if need be, fight.  Now, I wish it to be known that when I speak of fighting, I am not speaking of violence. I’m speaking about activism.  I think that we are past the point of watching and waiting for justice and change to come to our People and Country.  We are currently living our lives like a runner on the last leg of a good jog; although we continue on, we’re tired.  Push.  Imagine what we could be if we became vocal and active about the problems that exist in our communities.  Imagine what we could do.  We could do anything!  These are the things that I would like to change.  I sincerely believe that we need to do away with standardized testing in public schools.  As I have said before, we don’t live a standardized life, so I don’t agree with standardized tests until they create standardized opportunities.  I believe that children should be educated on who they are, where they are, and how they can make their dreams a reality despite their challenges.  I think that communities that experience economic challenges should have access to inexpensive and healthy food.  Far too often, it’s more expensive to eat unhealthy food in an economically challenged neighborhood than it is to buy organic food in a more affluent community.  That’s wrong.  Food is fuel for the body.  Like fuel for the vehicle, if the wrong type is put in, the vehicle won’t function effectively.  If done for too long, it will totally break down.  I think that health care should actually be affordable.  Why are we charging the people who are most in need of health care exorbitant amounts of money.  It’s sad that some families have to choose death because they’re too poor to prolong life.  That’s wrong.  I think that we need to focus on climate change.  Something is going on, everyone knows it, and if we turn a blind eye to it, we are just as guilty as the liar that says climate change isn’t real.  I think that we need to start having community groups again. Our homes exist in communities, they are not THE community.  What happened to the days when we knew our neighbors, and in turn, they knew us?  Friendship is a beautiful thing if we give it a chance.  I think that more opportunities need to be created for people to own their businesses rather than work for someone else.  Ownership begets a sense of pride and accomplishment.  I firmly believe that some people don’t own businesses because they legitimately don’t know how to begin.  I think that soldiers, teachers, firefighters, police officers, and EMT workers should have a dramatic increase in pay!  If you think that we’re heroes, pay us like heroes!  Unfortunately, the title hero doesn’t fill our bellies when our refrigerators are empty.  We don’t call athletes heroes, yet they are paid and treated as though they are.  I think that homelessness is something that we can fix.  NO ONE SHOULD HAVE TO SLEEP ON THE STREETS! I was once homeless, and I promise you, it’s hard.  If we can find more efficient ways to take lives, we should be able to find more efficient ways to save and change them as well.  I think that EVERY INHABITANT OF PLANET EARTH SHOULD HAVE ACCESS TO CLEAN DRINKING WATER!  It’s crazy to think that this is still an issue in the year 2019.  I think that we need change.  Instead of running away from your past, fears, and missed opportunities, we should run towards our greater selves.  We’ve got this.  If we find that we’re losing our way, don’t worry, another team mate will carry you when you’re too weak to stand.  This world that we live in is a big place, and there is room for all of us.  Run with me.  Let’s see what we can do.  Patrick

As always, this week, please do something for someone other than yourself for no reason at all other than to make their lives better.  Also, if you make it to where you’re going, please don’t forget to leave a map for the rest of us.

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