Archive for April, 2012

Each and every one of us has been in a state of affairs where people, situations and circumstances have knocked us down and almost out. The problems can range from a job loss, demotion or lack of respect and appreciation from your colleagues and boss. Your frustration and disappointments can create bitterness, stagnation and lack of motivation.

It could stem from a death in the family or the loss of a close friend. Your grief and prolonged mourning can cause you to dwell on death and forget about what life has to offer.

There are conditions that can cause you to become momentarily or chronically ill with a life threatening illness that can make you spiral into depression and develop a sense of helplessness. You lose sight of hope and succumb to defeat.

Your family and so-called friends talk about you, criticize, discourage and belittle your attempts to achieve, make a change in your life and improve your situation. They count you out! Their belittling comments cultivate frustration, anxiety and tension and you lose sight of your goals and dreams.

Life has a tendency to do all that I mentioned and more. However, we all must be willing to utilize and unleash the power that lives within us, to overcome those very difficult and life changing obstacles.

Hope restored

Failure isn’t a reason to give up, don’t quit!

  • “Failures are expected by losers, ignored by winners.” Joe Gibs
  • “All my successes have been built on my failures.” Benjamin Disraeli
  • “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Thomas Alva Edison
  • “There is no failure except in no longer trying.” Elbert Hubbard

A poor attitude is not a reason to lose your faith, change it!

  • “Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens. ” Kahlil Gibran
  • “Believe you can and you’re half way there.” Theodore Roosevelt
  • “The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.” William James

Wake up, rise up, and get up!

  • “Never, never, never give up!” Winston Churchill
  • “Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.” Samuel Johnson
  • “A champion is someone who gets up, even when he can’t.” Jack Dempsey
  • “It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.” Vince Lombardi

Believe and keep hope alive!

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. (Proverbs 3:5-10)

If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures. (Job 36:11)

Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. (Psalm 37:5)

As a Christian I am a follower of Jesus Christ, and I believe that “greater works” I too shall do. Therefore, if Jesus can overcome people talking and lying about him, so can I. If Jesus can withstand persecution while attempting to feed the hungry and heal the sick, so can I. If Jesus can endure being brutalized, whipped, mocked and crucifixion, and rise from a dead situation, so can YOU! 

Every one of us will have to face what seems to be a dead situation in our life, regardless of your faith or your belief, you too can rise from a dead situation.

In March I invited my good friend Shawn Venson to speak to the students at Mead School in Ansonia,Connecticut, regarding youth and gun violence and making right choices in life. I thought it would be the right time to have a presentation with the current climate and issues surrounding the Trayvon Martin tragedy. The Trayvon issue has been very polarizing and controversial because it has raised issues of racial profiling, judicial double standards and historically omnipresent racism. Regardless of that debate, I was compelled to bring light to similar unfortunate circumstances that have taken place right in my home town. The unfortunate events have made me pause and think, “what if” it never happened and they were alive.  What could’ve been their potential or future opportunities? “What if” they had within them a ground breaking innovation or contribution that could’ve changed their family status, community or world? What if…..

trayvon martin

 In 2011 there were separate tragic and unsolved murders of two young men, Daryl Venson and Isaiah Hernandez due to gun violence. It has been reported that the Ansonia Police Department is aggressively investigating the murders but has not been able to get any new leads. Unfortunately, our community has not reacted with a sense of urgency with regards to having grassroots discussions that would involve youth violence, racism, drug and alcohol abuse, gun and domestic violence. It seems that those underlying issues are swept under the rug and we fail to have the backbone to really analyze those pervasive problems. The only true community reaction to the murders was initiated by Mr. Venson when he organized a rally in response to his son’s murder. Click here for more details.

Each year most schools in Connecticut will do a gun safety pledge, acknowledge red ribbon week to rally against drugs and alcohol. In Ansonia, life skills and health teachers provide students with lessons on healthy choices and police officers come in and provide fifth grade students with the D.A.R.E. curriculum regarding drugs. High Schools attempt to step up their game by sponsoring after prom activities and drunk driving accident reenactment scenes provided by the State Police. Schools do their best to offer students with substance prevention but unfortunately, students often emulate what they see at home, with their peers and in the streets. It is an uphill battle that will plague every community until we all really make some personal changes as adults.

 I’m proud to say that my friend Shawn Venson did a phenomenal job talking to the 610 students. He was able to captivate them with his personal experiences and the loss of his son and how violence, wrong choices and guns can lead to horrifying consequences.

This is an excerpt from a story written by Jodie Mozdzer for the Valley Independent Sentinel. Mr. Venson described Daryl as a “regular kid” who played youth football. He was killed when he was 25. “I lost my son to somebody who shot him,” Venson told the students. “I’ve never seen my son again. Do you know how hard it would be for your parents if one day you never come home and they never see you again?” Venson spoke to the Mead students about close calls he had with guns in his youth and urged them to never touch a gun. “No matter where you guys are, and no matter how old you get, guns are no good,” Venson said. Venson urged students to be aware of situations they end up in, and to seek help from their teachers if they need advice or help. “If you mess up one time, and make a bad decision, it can change your life for a long time,” Venson said.

During the entire presentation Trayvon Martin’s name was never mentioned. It was intentionally done because it would have taken away from the main focus on Daryl and Isaiah.  Besides, the topic is a political hot potato and I’m uncertain if the town is really ready to take on the national debate or face the true demons and issues that surround some of the tragedies that have taken place.  

Shawn Venson’s words of anguish and hope resonate in my mind just like the repetitive news of the Trayvon Martin tragedy. It also makes me think about Daryl, Isaiah and other young men who have senselessly lost their lives. They lost the promise of what the future can bring and have left a void of unfulfilled potential that was caused by their early death. But it also makes me think about the future of my students and the inspiring message of hope that encouraged them to make right choices, which were spoken by Mr. Venson. More importantly, it makes me think about my own son Terri Jr., who is a 21-year-old college student studying to be an Occupational Therapist. I pray day and night that my son is safe and able to fulfill his dreams, live his life, and not become a tragic statistic or a ….what if.

By: Terri Goldson, Sr.

Terri Goldson, Jr. pursuing a dream!