Saturday, September 27, 2008

Survival Guide

10 THINGS TO HELP YOU BE THE BEST YOU EVER:
A YOUNG BLACK WOMAN'S GUIDE TO SURVIVAL

Written by: Dana Orr, Esq.

10. BE SELECTIVE IN FRIENDSHIPS.
Friendship is not charity, it's a give-and-take relationship. Your friends should be people you love, admire and respect. Don't be afraid to expand, or change your circle of friends. As you get older, you may head in a different direction than those you once considered your "best friends forever". As you evolve and mature, you may grow apart from friends who no longer fulfill you
- it's ok
! Hold this person in your heart, but be true to yourself when devoting time, energy and emotion to anyone you seriously consider a "friend".

9. RE-INVENT YOURSELF WHEN NECESSARY.

Self-reinvention is a way to constantly reflect and assess your goals and priorities in your personal, academic and professional life. The concept of self-reinvention allows you to reconsider your lifestyle and, at any given moment, change a particular course of action. The beauty of this process is that you don't have to beat yourself up about behavior you consider undesirable. You should actually feel great that you have enough sense to realize the error of your ways (whatever they may be), and can spontaneously commit to change. Congratulations - you just solved a problem!

8. PROTECT YOURSELF.

HIV/AIDS is the #1 killer of black women ages 19-27 in America . You are not corny or lame if you insist on an HIV test before having sex with someone. In fact, you're stupid to give up responsibility for your health and put your life in someone else's hands. Please DO NOT FALL FOR the age-old trick: "Look at me - what am I supposed to do now?!" All men masturbate. Politely tell your partner that he should focus on "self- love" until you're certain that he deserves to enter your temple.

7. JEALOUSY IS A WASTED EMOTION.

People who love themselves and recognize their worth are unable to be jealous of others. Why? You should be so preoccupied with loving yourself and changing what you don't like, you have no time to worry about what others are doing. Being jealous of someone is a waste of energy. You cannot control other people and the choices they make, or the luck they have. Weak people let other's circumstances affect their self-love and/or self-worth. Resist the temptation to be envious, as it will get you nowhere. If anything, let other people motivate you to achieve certain goals for yourself.

6 . CARRY YOURSELF LIKE A LADY.

Embrace that which makes you a woman, and by all means, take advantage of the privileges that we have. Force men around you to treat you with the respect they would their mother, aunt or sister. Insist that your doors be opened for you, order your food first in a restaurant, and sit in the front seat if you are the only female in the car. There is nothing wrong with being "pleasantly demanding". Along with the privilege of womanhood comes a certain responsibility. Being a true "lady" means you exhibit manners that would make your grandmother proud, your clothes are tasteful and appropriate for your age, and your hair and nails are always clean. These little things make a big difference in how you are viewed by outsiders, and the quality of men that you attract.

5. KEEP UP WITH CURRENT EVENTS.

Staying in touch with what's going on in the world is very important. Not only is it important to be aware of national and global issues, it makes you a lot more interesting to others because you always have something to talk about. It doesn't take much to watch the news, read the newspaper online, or buy an issue of TIME magazine or Newsweek. Don't forget - parents and teachers are a great source of information on current events, and would love to have a conversation with you about something "serious".

4. Travel.

Do you have a passport? If not, get one. Before you are saddled with the responsibilities of a job and a family, take advantage of your freedom and travel. Instead of buying a new outfit, buy a plane ticket. See other parts of the world and observe other cultures. More importantly, have fun! Plan a trip with a friend to a social event in another city, a beach on an island, or a city in a foreign country. Capture your memories with photos or in a diary (or a blog). You will cherish them forever.


3. Be Proud To Be Black.

Black culture and heritage is based on strength, perseverance, and rich talents. You should have an overwhelming sense of cultural pride - as black people, we are so very special. Don't EVER feel as if you aren't equal to another person simply because you're black. If you have any question as to the importance of black people to our society, or how smart, beautiful, talented, funny and fascinating we are, start reading. Watch old movies. Read plays. Go see plays. Buy tickets for dance and musical performances. Seek opportunities to study academic topics involving, or related to, black people. Talk to your relatives that lived through some of the historical events you've heard about. Get on the Internet and study people with whom you're familiar. Keep in mind, black pride doesn't mean exclusion of others. It is most impressive when you seek to educate other cultures about the beauty and greatness of being black.

2. Have a Cause.

As long as you're here, it is your duty as a human being to help make the world a better place. Let your natural talents and passion lead you to an issue that keeps your attention, and to which you can commit your time and money. Get involved with groups that already exist. If your particular cause is new or unique, start your own group and make your friends join. Helping others is an easy way to feel good about yourself, and invest in the future of your community.

1. Love Yourself.

This is #1 and most important, yet challenging, mission to accomplish. Self-love is critical to survival at any age, and may be quite a personal journey. Loving yourself means recognizing, developing and honoring a sense of self-worth. Loving yourself means you have zero tolerance for anyone or anything that doesn't love you and respect you. Loving yourself also means you must treat yourself well, simply because no one else will do it for you.

3 comments:

Taurus Lady said...

This is pure gold. Every woman should have a copy of this by their nightstand, on the fridge, in their purse or something. This is valuable info that needs to be our foundation; I wish more women would read this. We can prevent so much drama from happening in our lives if we follow these basic principles.

Rae said...

This is great advice. I love seeing a young woman with so much wisdom. Thank you for sharing it with us!

DeeDeeLynn said...

This list is certainly one to LIVE by. You have covered everything that is essential to being in-touch with ourselves and COMPLETE! I'm actually printing it and forwarding it to ALL of my girls right now!!!

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