October 6, 2008

Cash, Check, or Credit?

I can remember when this was the question you would be asked when making a purchase at a department store, but now it is almost assumed that you will pay with a card. So now the question is debit or credit?

Everyone gets irritated with the person who is slowing down the checkout line by taking the time to write a check. On top of that, many vendors are not interested in handling cash because of security and accounting issues related to cash. For example - It is much harder for an employee to steal money from their employer when customers pay with a form of credit or debit card. Stolen cash is virtually none traceable with the exception so certain circumstances where the serial number are use systematically or when in a dye bag. But a vendor cant really put those measures into action without a lot of hassle—I wont say it is impossible, but well……

So now you are wondering what all of this has to do with you or with the ‘average hockey mom or Joe Six-pack”. (now there are two turn of phrases that have the potential to get on my nerves just as much as dat Soulja Boy).

In the name of modern technology and modern convenience we have been overly trusting of following the masses. My grandmother understood this concept because she said that credit cards would lead to the “Mark of the Beast”. When I was a child that seemed un-sensible and illogical. But now when I look at what all has shifted in the way that we ‘barter’ and ‘trade’ with merchants and vendors. I can’t help but to take a second look at this theological point of view.

We have bought into or been manipulated into this system of funds management…… but lets bring it home.

The issue this brings up for me----- is that both the credit and debit systems of payment are tied to either your banking institution or another bank that owns the card. So in the midst of the current Wall St turmoil, what is the safest way to deal with money issues?

“Let me clear my throat!..... I hope you don’t mind!” What about payday? Most employers currently only give employees the option to receive their paycheck via direct deposit – one bank sending money to another bank. So what happens if one, or both of those banks go under? Oh yes, I understand the concept of the FDIC, but on a reality of process, how fail proof is this system based on today’s economic and financial systems? Is the FDIC set up to handle the downfall of a large banking institution or several banking institutions at one time? And even if it is, how long will it take until an individual actually gets some money in hand? And will it be cash, check or credit?

October 3, 2008

My Own Audacity

I cant help but to see something bigger and more significant to me in this years Presidential Candidate and Potential First Lady. Don’t get me wrong, the thought of having this country’s first president who is truly African and American, is beyond huge in its significance to me and to history.

But I cant help but to take a more narcissistic thought process to task when it comes to Barack and Michelle Obama. There is something more happening than the political. It is on such a large scale the world’s first glimpse into Black Love.. This Bonny and Clyde dedication to sharing a life together that brings about an affinity towards each other that can be, not only seen, but felt just from looking at a picture of them standing together.

Sure we have seen Beyonce and Jay-z, as the one’s who brought this Bonny and Clyde concept to modern popular culture to express their thoughts towards each other…. and there are other African American couples that have endured the test of time, such as Bill and Camille Cosby, whose brand of endurance is not as outspoken – or viewed as publicly. That is my point, popular culture has been a louder voice, and especially in the African American Community than that of the well educated who are also a part of this ethnic identity and story of American potential.

The Obamas’ represent the other side of African American culture and family life that is not often shared with the mainstream of society. The other thing is that this kind of dedication toward each other seems to have become an image from another generation, but now I am able to see that covenant relationship is possible for my generation. “True Devotion” is not a thing of the past, it is possible in the here and now.

This is why I now have the audacity to find more hope for my own life. For so many years I have felt like I had traded becoming educated for the possibility to have a life long companion. In the African American community it seems quite hard to make those two things a match. (I can only speak from my perspective, it might be the same amongst other cultural backgrounds and ethnicities too, I just cant speak to their experience). The more academic and career oriented a woman is, the less likely she is to be in a long term committed relationship. And most of the women who are, got into the relationship before they really went full force into their ambition. Michelle Obama’s story lets me know the two (career and love) can co-exist.

The next element is that the more progress a woman makes, the less often she comes into contact with a man of similar interest and lifestyle, just because they are not present that often in the same circles. So a lot of factors come into play, proximity being high on the list, as to why my hopes dimmed over the years, but now, if no more than vicariously, I find hope for my own situation in looking at the example being set by Barack and Michelle Obama.

Positive Black Love Still Exist!!!!!!!!!!!

I am glad to know that my theory had been wrong. Because she even made more money than him, and that didn’t keep her from standing by her man and supporting and encouraging him to be the best of his own potential. When you look at them, you can see not only the obvious aspects of their success, but an ability to survive the untold dilemmas that those outside of this ethnic group don’t completely comprehend as part of the African American story.

Regardless to the outcome of this election –the Obama’s have left with me the courage to continue to have “the audacity to hope”.