Category: Your Voice Written by Eddie Connor
For many of us, 2012 was filled with highs and lows, ups and downs...but in spite of it
all, youʼre still here! This is the time when everybody makes resolutions and promises to
themselves, of what they will or wonʼt do. However by February or March, itʼs back to
the same old way of doing things.
A new year with the same old mindset means the same old you. A new year, should
birth a new mentality that brings about new opportunities in 2013. This is the time to
take inventory and make changes. We have to realize that things wonʼt just change in
our lives because the calendar changes. We must take responsibility for our lives, work
to rid ourselves of bad habits, and become a better quality person.
Here are 13 action steps, to put you on the path of purpose in 2013. Letʼs walk it out!
1. Develop a stronger relationship with God.
This is the main factor in dictating how your 2013 will start and end. God wants to do a
new thing in 2013, but you have to trust Him and follow His Word. This is the year that
God is working through you and not just for you. If you partner with Him, the blessings
and benefits are far greater than what you can imagine. This is your time to
breakthrough and break out!
2. Change your mindset.
A new you in a new year is only a result of a new mindset. Start thinking differently and
things will work out differently. Stop worrying, especially about things that are out of your
control. Free your mind from negative thinking and begin to think positive in every
situation. A changed year doesnʼt mean anything, if you have the same old mindset.
What youʼre thinking ultimately affects where youʼre going.
3. Let go of the past.
You won't live your best life until you let go of anger, bitterness, and strife. You canʼt
change the past, so why are your presently living in it? You have to let it go, in order to
grow. Donʼt beat yourself up over something you canʼt change. Itʼs over...get up and
move your life forward.
4. Grow and get better everyday.
In order to grow and get better you have to continually work to do it. There is no growth
without self-reflection and personal analysis. Self-development is key to your growth. In
this world of distractions itʼs important to take time to read, meditate, analyze your
goals, and think. Growth brings with it growing pains, because change is uncomfortable.
Sometimes it hurts to break away from bad habits and things you like to do, but know
they arenʼt any good for you. Itʼs either the pain of discipline or than the pain of
5. Maximize your purpose.
Live with purpose, live on purpose, and live for a purpose. If youʼre living without
purpose, youʼre just existing. You have a unique purpose that God placed inside of you,
what are you doing with it? Discover your gifts and talents and find out what youʼre good
at doing. The reason you are here is because youʼre unique, distinct, special, and there
is a purpose for your life. Donʼt let anybody demonize or minimize the gift that God has
placed inside of you to bless the world.
6. Develop your gifts and talents.
You are blessed with gifts and talents, but the tragedy is when you never use what
youʼve been given. You are a red box and gold bow...youʼre a gift to the world. You must
take personal inventory of your life and work your gift. How long will you procrastinate
on your purpose? Itʼs time to write the book, open the business, and develop your skill
set. No one is going to hand you anything, you have to work to attain what you desire.
Work your gifts!
7. Surround yourself with people who motivate you to be better.
If people that youʼre connected to arenʼt ADDING to your life, itʼs time to SUBTRACT
them from your life. Get away from people who drain you of your time, energy and
patience. There are some people in your life that you must bless and release. A better
you begins with surrounding yourself with a better crew of people. Get away from the
dream killers and people who only keep you in a place of negativity. Who youʼre
connected to, determines what youʼre directed to...disconnect yourself from negative
people and get connected to people who challenge you to be a better you.
8. Your health is your wealth.
You canʼt be good to anybody else until youʼre good to yourself. Your health is as
important as your relationships, goals, purpose, and dreams. Take better care of
yourself by developing an exercise regimen, getting proper rest, and eating nutritious
meals. Many of the diseases that people die from are stress and poor nutrition/exercise
related. You canʼt fully enjoy life, if your health is not a priority. Take time to take care of
9. Be a Goal-getter.
If you write out your goals you have a better chance of accomplishing them, because itʼs
a constant reminder to work towards a vision. GOals help you to go and propel yourself
forward, without them you lack direction. Goals are meaningless without a plan of
action. People donʼt plan to fail, they just fail to plan. Every single day you must wake up
and do things that push you closer to your goals...it all begins with your mindset.
10. Love and appreciate who you are.
Too many times we focus on our weaknesses and become so self-critical, that we
ignore the value that we have within. You canʼt expect anybody to love and appreciate
who you are, if you donʼt love and appreciate yourself first. You will eventually attract
who and what you are. The relationship will never work if your relationship with God and
your relationship with yourself, isnʼt developed first and foremost.
11. Focus more on what you can give, rather than what you can receive.
Giving always creates room for more. In this society of selfishness and selfaggrandizement
itʼs all about what you can get, by any means necessary. How many
clothes and shoes can you wear at one time? How many cars can you drive at one
time? Weʼve become so inundated by what we can consume that we donʼt take as
much time to invest, not just in ourselves, into the lives of others. What you can give
may not be monetary, but it can be giving your time...which is far greater than money.
Look around your community, every problem has a solution that you can provide. Take
time to improve your city, clean up your community, mentor our youth, and help
somebody in need. Thereʼs always a blessing in blessing other people.
12. Expect the great and anticipate greater.
The power of belief is what will unlock the door to opportunities this year. The faith you
have to look situations in the face and say, “in spite of what it looks like, I still believe”
will catapult you to the next level. As much as you expect, you also have to work
towards it...simply because faith without works is dead (James 2:17). Nothing is just
going to happen by osmosis or mystically, you have to activate your faith practically.
Work towards your vision, while believing that all things are possible.
13. Step into the winnerʼs circle.
Whether youʼre in the winnerʼs circle or not, depends on whoʼs in your circle. You are
who you hang around. You will either be a chicken or an eagle, a chump or a champion,
a worrier or a warrior...which will you choose? You canʼt be a whiner and a winner at the
same time! Take responsibility for your life by getting in the drivers seat and decide to
push on the path of your purpose and destiny. This is the time, this is the hour, and this
is a new year for a new YOU! More love, joy, success, and peace is ahead for you in
Last Updated on Monday, 14 January 2013 09:23
Category: Your Voice Written by Zack Burgess, Chronicle Senior Writer
You start with the burned out buildings. You have to start here, because at one time the homes were apart of what made Detroit great. You stand in the middle of Woodward Avenue, surrounded by what used to be, not knowing what to say or how to feel. You try to catalog your feelings, try to capture the sight and emotions in words. Yet it’s hard. After all, Detroit is home.
No matter where I go or where I have been on this earth the past 27 years since I left home, I am proud to say: “I’m from Detroit.”
So when I see what’s going on with former Mayor of Detroit Kwame Kilpatrick and the kind of attention his transgressions has brought to a city already in trouble, I can’t help but look at the television set, read the blogs and shake my head in disgust.
I know it’s hard to believe, but at one time the city was living proof of American success. At one time it was the most prosperous manufacturing city in the nation. At one time it was the fourth largest city, now 18th and tumbling. Unfortunately, the city has become a beacon of disaster. The school system is in disarray, the murder rate is out of control. And unemployment is at an all-time high. Needless to say – I just want to cry.
Given the current climate and Kilpatrick’s inability to just go away, many would love to blame Detroit’s demise on the former mayor. But Detroit’s decline started well before he took office.
It was the two-decade rule of former Mayor Coleman young, who became Detroit’s first Black mayor in 1973, who ruined the city. Young governed more by grandiloquence, than by action. Under his watch, the city took on a life of its own. The school system began to deteriorate. And jobs disappeared. This was not Kilpatrick’s fault.
If Kilpatrick is guilty of anything, it’s arrogance and lack of common sense. Yet for some reason, I still don’t get the feeling that he gets it. And while he is still loved in Detroit, as throngs of former classmates, called and demanded I write a positive story about him.
You see, the consensus is that he was brought down for cheating on his wife; therefor it’s none of our business. No gang, Kwame was brought down for lying under oath. He broke the law. And that is our business. It’s just that simple.
“It’s not because he lied,” said Chanae Forte via Facebook. “He should have been a grown ass man and said "yeah I did it but that is between me and my wife y’all stay the out of it!!!”
I have to agree with her. And while I would love to believe that Kilpatrick has some regrets, which I think he does. He
continues to amaze me. First there was the lavish lifestyle the first time he got of prison. He had to know he would be watched. Didn’t he? And now there’s the $2,000 gift from a Chicago pastor before Christmas, cashing out the wire transfer at a Chesterfield Township Walmart. He counted the money in front of the cameras. Unbelievable!
Facts aren't distorted in his book, Surrendered, The Rise, Fall and Revelation of Kwame Kilpatrick, they're simply missing. He never talks about how he is paying for his lawyers and publicity aides. Keep in mind, he doesn't have a job? And how did he manage to live such a lavish lifestyle in Texas when he owed $1 million in restitution?
His cleaned-up version of his affair with Christine Beatty is for his wife to forgive. Ultimately, what goes on between a man and his wife is their business, but Kilpatrick still refuses to acknowledge his role in Detroit's fall — even if it is the image drubbing the city took as a result of him.
I do believe Detroit will make a comeback. It’s just too special of city not to. But for too long we have looked the other way in the midst of chaos when it comes to the city’s politicians. At some point the madness has got to stop.
As much as I want to give Kilpatrick the benefit of the doubt, because even today I am proud of him, because I understand we all make mistakes. But sadly, he will go away.
Last Updated on Monday, 14 January 2013 08:27
Category: Your Voice Written by Zack Burgess, Chronicle Senior Writer
Detroit is in a state of shock as we deal with the latest barrage of gun violence plaguing our city. There is no doubt that we have a problem that has eaten away at the very fabric of this city for the better part of my teenage and adult life.
Twenty five years ago, after a very good friend was murdered at my high school, it really started to hit me, the hideous wickedness that gun violence brings to families and neighborhoods. His family, my high school, Murray Wright, and the neighborhood in which I grew up in, Research Park, never quite recovered.
The enrollment at Murray dropped precipitously and eventually closed. And the guys from the neighborhood, who were there that dreadful day, talk about it as if it were yesterday. And Research? Let’s just say it does not resemble anything close to where I grew up. They have even changed the name.
How often have I asked myself, who are the people who bring guns into our neighborhoods? Who are these gun dealers? I can't help but think about the many people who are dead, imprisoned, or in wheelchairs.
We have to do more. What that is…is the million dollar question. No one person, or legislature, or organization can solve this problem. An entire community must work together to take control of gun control.
It’s ridiculous that our great city is known more for bloodshed than for its history and culture, its renowned universities and world-class institutions.
Furthermore, I believe that the state and city legislature is misguided. We are not going to arrest ourselves out of this situation. Everyone is misguided when it comes to guns in this country.
The Reverend Jesse Jackson in an email to the Chronicle gave some insight into what President Barack Obama’s broad agenda on gun control might be:
“The reforms under consideration include the basic: reinstating the ban on the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. They include good governance: bolstering state reporting on felons, drug abuses, the mentally ill for the FBI database, strengthening mental health screening. They include what many of us would consider common sense: higher penalties for carrying a gun near our schools. And they include applying regulations already in place universally: requiring a background on every gun sale to check to screen out felons, the mentally unstable and terrorists.
In… most urban areas, this is a question of national security and basic public safety. Assault weapons outgun our police. Handguns shoot up innocent victims in drug wars. Terrorists and the drug cartels too easily find access to guns. And those who have a gun in the house for protection are more likely to shoot a relative than a robber.”
So sad. But so true.
I’m calling on the Department of Human Services, Family Court, the Detroit School District, and various community leaders to address youth gun violence. You notice I didn’t say the mayor’s office, city council or the police department. I think they are doing all that they can, given the circumstances.
This epidemic speaks to more than just our city, but to a lost generation. How can children be our future, if they can't live to see it?
We could go with more legislation and restrictions. That approach would be politically convenient and psychologically satisfying - especially after the violent year we just had. But is that really the answer?
I don’t think so. And neither should you.
Zack Burgess is the Senior Writer for the Chronicle. He can be contacted at
and followed on Twitter @zackburgess1.
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 January 2013 08:55
Category: Your Voice Written by Britney Spear
Yes, folks, the ‘D’ is silent. But that’s about the only thing one cannot hear amid the media buzz that surrounds Quentin Tarantino’s latest homage to arguably the darkest part of American history.
Everyone has something to say about the new film ‘Django Unchained’. Viewer opinion on the movie’s content is about as numerous and varied as are mouths making the claims. Whether surfing the message boards on your favorite gossip sites, browsing social media, or even watching the national news, spectators can agree on one thing: this movie has people talking. Yet, the conversation that surrounds this film might be the first of its kind. It is a fascinating tale that causes many of us to walk out of the theater not knowing ‘what’ to think.
Talk Show host Tavis Smiley has called ‘Django’ a spoof of American slavery. Others, most notably the movie’s cast and Director, argue that it is rather an ugly truth, and a glimpse at a reality otherwise eradicated from history books.
Are we so quick to dismiss the film’s main character as a mere figment of Tarantino’s wild imagination? Is Jamie Foxx’s on screen persona nothing more than a fabricated black superhero? Perhaps we must examine the untold stories of history to answer these questions. Certain American figures do exist to show us that characters like ‘Django’ might have been real at the time of slavery.
Calvin Candie [Leonardo DiCaprio] called Django ‘one of ten thousand’. That might be the case; but examples of slave rebellion are more frequent than recognized. Think of figures like Nat Turner and even their white counterparts like John Brown. If you do not know these names, look them up. While rarely known to many other than history buffs, their bravery and willingness to challenge a devastating status quo during the pre-Civil war era speaks to the possibility of a lesser known truth. Perhaps one that ‘Django’ seeks to uncover. No movie has even gone to such great lengths to showcase such a feat of radicalism. Yet, is it to be applauded or shunned?
Hardly anyone can agree on what the movie seeks to accomplish. Whether for pure entertainment and shock value, or to tell an untold story, one cannot deny that tongues won’t stop wagging about the film.
Fact or fiction? You decide. One thing is for sure: this historical tale is making ‘history’ at box offices across the country as it reawakens a discussion about a time that some of us would rather not remember while others can never forget.
Follow Britney Spear on Twitter @missbritneysp
Last Updated on Friday, 11 January 2013 09:24
Category: Your Voice Written by Mark S. Lee
Welcome to 2013!
2012 was interesting year. One filled with ups and downs. Excitement and disappointment.
For Detroit, it was a roller coaster ride. With the Tigers going to the World Series and the continued excitement surrounding the rejuvenation of downtown and Midtown, the city had many thrills.
And on the flip side, with the budgetary crisis, continued increases in crime and other negative news offered up on a daily basis, the region experienced many lows.
Well, as we enter a New Year, hope continue to be boundless. We have an opportunity to shape this year in a way that takes this city to another level.
Like a newborn baby, the year presents many hopes and aspirations. The challenge is to craft a story that continues to shape Detroit's future. One filled with heightened hopes, aspirations and dreams.
If we don't aspire and dream as a region, then who will? We are the underdog and sleeping giant and, as the year unfolds, let's awaken--one that can show the rest of the country this great city is a leader--in the areas of entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation.
A city, that once put the world on wheels, now focused on collaboration and becoming the epicenter of small business, job development and creation.
As another year awaits us, one thing's for sure, expect the unexpected this year.
If we had a crystal ball, it would make things easier to predict and we could all certainly plan accordingly.
Unfortunately, we don't.
With this in mind, here are headlines I would like to see in Detroit and beyond this year:
-Fiscal cliff averted
-Detroit's budget is balanced
-Population slide stabilized and reversed
-Mayor and City Council Agree on a fiscal recovery plan
-Lions Bounce Back to win the NFC North and make the playoffs
-Plans announced for the old Packard Plant
-Big Three records record profits
-Hiring up 10% versus 2012
-Crime drops significantly
-Tigers win the World Series
-Ground's broken on the proposed Ilitch Entertainment complex
-NHL strikes ends
-Red Wings win the Stanley Cup
-Gilbert buys 5 more buildings
-10,000 more employees relocated downtown
-Kilpatrick trial ends with a verdict
-Record number of small businesses started in Detroit
-President Obama recognizes Detroit as an entrepreneur incubator leader
-Pistons bounce back with a strong second half
-Lower Woodward filled with new small businesses
-5 new restaurants open downtown
While these headlines might be a partial reality and partial dreams. The beauty of a new year is anything's possible and if we have big dreams like Dan Gilbert, we can make good things happen.
Detroit's issues have been well documented. Let's not continue to focus on the the past. However, we have an opportunity to come together (city and suburbs) and work together to focus on how to improve this region.
Think about it, this region, with its lakes and rivers, has natural beauty, a storied history, cultural gems, historical sports teams, and hard-working people who've help to build America's middle class.
In other words, this metropolitan area of over 5 million people has resources other cities don't have. Let's take advantage of it and make this truly a great American metropolis--again.
And, let's start in 2013 and build on it in future years and generations.
My hope for Detroit in 2013 is truly peace, growth and prosperity.
Are you with me?
Happy New Year!
Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 January 2013 10:55
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