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Greetings to all supporters of the efforts of Palestine Neighborhood Development Corporation, and it’s President, Thomas O. Bibbs, Jr. February, as is well known, is Black History Month. As such, part of the efforts of PNDC include, but are not limited to, the passing on to our children, the legacy, trials and triumphs of those who have gone before. In recognition of this fact, this month’s blog is dedicated to Hart Leroi Bibbs, loving brother of Thomas O. Bibbs, Jr.; actor, poet, wordsmith, a man who passed much too soon and who may well have become a man of many other varied accomplishments had he not been called home before his time. With this being said, I invite all visitors to the site to take the time to read over this writing. The list and of his cultural accomplishments include a short, speaking part in the ‘sleeper’ movie ‘Round Midnight. In the making of this film, my uncle worked beside some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry of that time (and even today). These include Dexter Gordon(actor/musician), Herbie Hancock (actor/musician), Irwin Winkler Sr. (father of The Fonz) and other entertainers. Not intending to take anything away from any more-well-known contemporary entertainers, it is nonetheless important that we enlighten our youth to the fact that without the Hart Leroi Bibbs, Dexter Gordons and Herbie Hancocks who paved the way, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Tupac, Biggie and Lil Wayne would not be the well-known names they are today. For this reason, this blog is again dedicated to the memory of a great man, my uncle, Mr. Hart Leroi Bibbs.
Along with this being Black History Month, Valentine’s Day is also this month. On that note, I want to know by a show of hands, how many people are seeking interaction with another human being? In the course of this search, is it more important to find a ‘ready-made fit’, or to fit into the ideal of that other person? More to the point, is the failure to recognize a diamond in the rough going to be a deal breaker in your quest, or are you polishing yourself up to be more noticeable? For the situation to be equitable, each party should reasonably bring something of value beyond the surface, but in most cases, this turns out to not be the case. The side of the fence we stand on can be as much of the problem in finding a social match as basing the choice on looks/height/weight alone. Ladies, just because he’s not Denzel or a baller, should not rule him out as having potential, anymore than you not being Beyonce should make us overlook you, should it? All of us seek validation at some level or other, and while the phenomenon of low self-esteem seems to be more in use in the feminine realm, at its base, it is a human emotion and men feel rejection too, and in some cases exponentially more than women do. Remember the incident last year when the guy went into the fitness center and gunned down several women? After the investigation was completed, it was revealed that the underlying cause of the incident was a combination of low self-esteem and rejection by women. Now, I would not deem to use this as an excuse to have any woman let her guard down in terms of dealing with a man of questionable character, instead, I bring this up for purposes of contrasting the way we interact with each other in terms of the way we want others to treat us. Now, this is just me, but if I don’t plan on pursuing a relationship with a person, I am not going to have them fixing my car for free, taking money from them, or taking advantage of the various contacts we might have. Times are tight; if you are not into in the habit of giving anybody ‘something from the heart’, without expecting anything in return, you shouldn’t expect the next person to do anything different. For everything you expect from the other person, are you willing to bring something of equal or greater value to the table to keep things equitable? This list is by no means meant to be comprehensive, merely indicative of the sort of things done on one side of the fence or the other and tend to make social connections that much more difficult than they need to be. Personally, I think that if everybody would take the time to re-read ‘Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten’, things would go better all around; it is an easier read than the Bible and palatable for all denominations. Of course, this is just one man’s opinion, worth little more than the paper it’s not written on, but on the other hand, if you were to take just one of the suggestions made in this entry, ask yourself, ‘What’s the worst that could happen……………….?’