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Monday, October 8, 2018

Dear Hannah: LEarning (Standup Storytelling (Epiphany Application))



 
Dear Hannah,

My name is Derrick (Brown).

I am Keisha’s husband.

I am Hannah’s father.

I am a “standup storyteller”.

I fuse rap, spoken word (poetry), oration (traditional public speaking), singing, and teaching into messages of hope, healing, and change that I write, direct, and produce to help people who help people.

I know that change begins with me - and the renewing of my mind ...

... then continues through efforts to effect small-group discipleship (equipping others to equip others) with audiences that respect and embrace mentoring, mediation, and problem solving as tools of change.

During the last 2 years, I have produced 2 "standup storytelling" albums, and have created two works for the stage.

We now want to host, record, broadcast (via YouTube) and podcast (via Blubrry) live monthly “standup storytelling” productions that present 5-7 short stories spun by several brave tellers that align with the evening’s theme.

Season 1’s themes will include “My Friends Don’t Know That I …”, “Commencement”, “LEarning”, and “The Stage Coach”.

I also want to perform a quarterly series of one-man “standup storytelling” shows entitled "Daddy's Home", "Dear Hannah", "changED", and "Follow The Leader".

These storytelling events will effect small-group discipleship.

This discipleship will create diverse, inclusive, and sensitive environments that promote hope, healing, and change.


Love,


Daddy



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About Derrick Brown (Standup Storyteller)


I am Keisha's husband, and Hannah's father.

I am a “standup storyteller.”

I fuse rap, spoken word (poetry), oration (traditional public speaking), singing, and teaching into messages of hope, healing, and change that I write, direct, and produce to help people who help people.

Everything must change - and stay changED.

Tradition begins and ends with change.

Change begins with me and the renewing of my mind ... then continues through efforts to effect small-group discipleship (equipping others to equip others) with audiences that respect and embrace mentoring, mediation, and problem solving as tools of change.

I am the product of my mentoring relationships, peacemaking (and peacekeeping), and problem-solving ability.

My education began when I finished school.

After school, I enrolled in a lifelong curriculum that includes classes in ministry, entrepreneurship, stewardship, literacy, numeracy, language, self-identity, self-expression, and analysis / synthesis.

My projects execute a ministry that has evolved from wisdom earned through lessons learned.

I want to share this wisdom to build teams of "triple threat" fellows - mentors, mediators, and problem solvers.

We will collaborate in simple, powerful ways that allow us to help people who help people.

I now know that power is work done efficiently (with wise and skillful use of resources, interests, communication, and expertise).

Copyright © 2018 Derrick  Brown. All Rights Reserved.


Dear Hannah: LEarning (Role Players - Know Your Role)



 
Dear Hannah,

I have often been advised about, admonished for, and accused of using a pedagogical, lecturing tone - especially when I am directly involved in a conflict.

Point taken as one to grow on anytime someone gives that feedback - regardless of our conflict and their intentions.

I have also often been taken to task about that pedagogical, lecturing tone by people who - for whatever reason - object to my authority.

I have learned the hard way that while I may sound like an authority to many, I do not look like an authority to any.

Lots of us listen and think with our eyes - and are often easily fooled.


Love,

Daddy



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"LEarning (Role Players - Know Your Role)"
By Derrick Brown
5-9-2018


Our daughter Hannah is 4 now.

Since her birth, I have taken care of her during the day.

That makes me a "veteran" stay-at-home Dad.

I kept that to myself for a long time, because a wise man once told me that a wise man conceals knowledge (Proverbs 12:23).

Keeping my quiet provides a safe boundary from what people think of my decision to be at home - and all that they might read into that decision to confirm their opinions, perspectives and underlying assumptions.

Feel me - I maintain this boundary with folks who might support the decision, and those who oppose it.

Pourquoi?

Because none of them had anything to do with the decision - or its outcomes.

That is all on me.

This experience with my daughter has changed my life.

I have watched her grow, and I have learned how to be "me" all day every day.

That's a simple statement, but it is heavy, man.

I have found emotional, intellectual, and creative freedom during this time.

This freedom that I have found was not "free".

I had to buy a lot of time to finance our growth.

I would not trade this experience for anything.

With my new life and responsibilities, I don't have as much time as I used to.

This simply means I don't have time to waste.

I have less direct interaction with people now (conversations & correspondence) - so each encounter is more important.

These direct interactions help you "sow" (contribute to someone's well-being).

They help you "know" and "grow" (understand and discern human nature - your own and others).

They help you "show" (demonstrate wisdom earned through lessons learned).

In a perfect world, you remedy this lack of interaction by reaching out and interacting more, right?

I have learned that it may not be that simple.

We live in a time and culture where people do not respond to what they consider irrelevant.

What is relevant is relative, but I get it.

I have had to accept reaching out several times to get a single response.

I have had to accept that reaching out several times is easily interpreted as "desperate" - so when you do connect, communication carries the tone of "what can you do for me?".

However it comes, and however it goes - I make it work for me.

I cannot afford to do anything else.

Let me hit you with a story pulled from recent headlines.

For several years, I was a registered Georgia mediator.

This was a skill I acquired in preparation for my "next life" - once I left the formal working world.

During my training, I was surprised by the lack of hands-on training we got during our very expensive class.

No worries - this lack is an opportunity disguised as work.

The best part of our class was the informal role playing that let us practice being mediators and combatants, and observe others in those roles, too.

Our role play activity had powerful potential, and even more pitfalls.

One pitfall has been mentioned - we spent very little time doing role plays.

You need repetitions and "scene diversity" to become effective at each role.

Another pitfall was that the role play productions were usually corny, impromptu, and overdone.

Nobody wanted to be the mediator.

So the poor soul who drew the mediator assignment often had to contend with combatants who did way too much freelancing in their roles.

I admit now, though, that dealing with that type of volatility is a lot like real life.

This is because people really do too much sometimes - so this exposure to chaos might make you a better mediator.

Formal mediation opportunities were scarce and insulated (which means that insiders collude to keep those opportunities for themselves and their friends).

Access to quality role play material was scarce, too.

Most of it was possessed by the mediation trainers who charged those expensive fees for their classes, and for the role play materials.

Game recognizes game.

However it comes, and however it goes, though - I make it work for me.

If quality role play materials are scarce, I may have to produce some from my experiences.

Luckily, my lifetime has probably included more conflicts than most.

My writer's nature was useful in documenting and sanitizing a lot of those conflicts so that they could be shared with audiences.

Lack of formal mediation opportunities also made me seek new opportunities to mediate informally.

These opportunities were as prevalent as the conflicts and quarrels that often arise among us.

For several years now, I have compiled and published a "conflict catalog" of every disagreement that I either witnessed (in person or on TV) or participated in directly.

I sanitize and summarize each scenario so that I can use it to produce lightly scripted, mostly improvised role plays like we did in class.

I have about 100 of these scenarios now that are ready for the "bright lights".

One twist I added to my approach, though - was to cast talented improvisational actors as the combatants - so that all "students" would take turns engaging and observing the mediator role.

Why am I requiring students to play and observe the mediator role?

In role play debriefs, the mediator's role is the only one that is critiqued.

So no one wants to be the mediator.

Once any group member is critiqued on their performance as mediator, it is fair and balanced for that member to observe the evaluator's performance (and subsequent critique) as mediator.

Their performance will then either lend credence to or properly qualify the evaluator's critique.

For we all tend to be perfect judges - but flawed players.

This inherent human contradiction makes simulation of the mediation process via role plays that much more important.

Each mediator has to learn and hone their mediation philosophy and style - which includes developing their listening, speaking, and self-control skills.

My mediation philosophy is that I am not "neutral" - rather, I am a "neutralizing authority".

I am an "equalizer".

I discern deficits in resources, interests, communication, and expertise to create and maintain a balance of power between the combatants.

I control the conversation between combatants by controlling myself - which maintains a climate conducive to peacemaking, and makes it clear when any behavior threatens that environment.

I reserve the right - and bear the responsibility - to address that behavior privately and directly.

Mediators also have to develop the spiritual and emotional maturity to discern subjective opinions, and implicit, unspoken bias - especially their own.

I am biased against micro-aggressive bullies and lazy folks who expect others to do their work.

This awareness helps us recognize the types of cases we should accept, and the ones that we may need to avoid.

There are obviously some cases I would be wise to avoid.

Role playing helps you accomplish all of this with much less risk than "on-the-job" training.

Once I refined my role play project, I wanted to approach the mediation community to market it (and have it vetted).

It took a while, but the opportunity finally presented itself earlier this year.

A prominent local mediator was conducting a one-week class.

He invited other mediators to attend the last day of class to participate in role plays (to support the current class' students).

Man, this sounded like a plan.

I signed up and showed up early on a Saturday morning.

One other student showed up, along with the teacher.

The three of us would have to role play with no audience, and no real role diversity.

I then had a revealing chat with the student.

She told me that she had been invited to interview for a job that would coordinate a county's mediator staff.

She lacked mediation credentials, so the teacher created a special session of his class just for her so she could obtain the credentials ... and then pursue an insider opportunity to direct the activity of other perhaps more
experienced mediators.

This is why she was the only student that showed up.

Remember what I said earlier about the mediation insiders colluding to provide opportunities for themselves and their friends?

This is what that collusion looks like.

Focus, my man.

We head into the classroom, and the student announces that she does not want to mediate first.

She is the person who needs to mediate most.

I volunteered to mediate first (which means I get to sit on the hotseat first), because I would only be staying for one hour.

As the case begins, I am informed that two co-workers have been issued an ultimatum by their boss to mediate "or else".

The male junior coworker (the mediation teacher) asserts that the female senior coworker (the mediation student) should be more willing to help the junior coworker do his job "because she already knows how to do this stuff".

God has a sense of humor.

This case hit so close to home, I had to pump my brakes ... hard.

In the real world, I would probably recuse myself from a case like this.

We are role playing today, and I am on the bus now - so let's ride it out.

My challenge was to make sure that I did not get drawn into the case too far - because I have some obvious biases about lazy folks who expect others to do their work.

In every conflict, there is much that I cannot see.

Here's what I did see.

I saw a subordinate who needed to start pulling their weight, or risk losing their job.

I saw a supervisor who was frustrated with dealing with a pushy, manipulative subordinate that she probably could not discipline or fire.

The subordinate talks like he is in charge.

The supervisor does not feel or act empowered.

They are both interrupting and talking over each other - because they probably do not like each other much.

Time to take control with self-control.

I interjected with a pep talk.

I tried to take them to the mountaintop to see the "big picture".

I reminded them both that they had been sent to me as an ultimatum, and that to make a start towards peace they were both going to have to set a different tone than the one I had observed thus far.

I then called a caucus (one-on-one meeting) and told the subordinate that he was not in charge.

I advised him to consider constructive ways to request the training he lacked from his supervisor - who probably had a mandate to take the lead in resolving the conflict and its underlying causes.

In a separate caucus, I told the supervisor that she was the supervisor, which charged her with the greater responsibility for resolving the conflict. I advised her to allow her subordinate to maintain his dignity in asking for the training he needed.

We reconvened, and they both heeded my advice.

They worked out a plan to have the subordinate complete a series of courses that supervisor and subordinate collaborated to develop.

During the debrief, the mediation teacher (who played the pushy, manipulative subordinate) complimented me on my self-control, and for maintaining a peaceful environment by taking control of the room when things got out of
hand.

He then admonished me for speaking to them both in pedagogical, almost lecturing tones (translation: he said I was condescending to them both).

He gave me a "patronizer's pass" because he remembered that I told him that I was a "schoolteacher" once (I told him that I was an administrator).

He told me that during the role play, his character gave me several opportunities to explore his emotional needs further (what made him pushy, manipulative, and "lazy"), and that I missed each cue.

His final comment was that I had a chance to make real peace in the conflict through deeper exploration of each person's needs.

Instead, all I produced was a plan for "training".

He challenged me (somewhat derisively) to respond to his feedback.

I smiled, and said that I know that I need to listen first, and then respond objectively - if necessary, and if I am able.

Today, it would take a while for me to unpack all that I had just absorbed.

Once I unpacked the next day, I had great clarity.

Here's some feedback on his feedback.

I have often been advised about, admonished for, and accused of using a pedagogical, lecturing tone - especially when I am directly involved in a conflict.

Point taken as one to grow on anytime someone gives that feedback - regardless of our conflict and their intentions.

I have also often been taken to task about that pedagogical, lecturing tone by people who - for whatever reason - object to my authority.

I have learned the hard way that while I may sound like an authority to many, I do not look like an authority to any.

Lots of us listen and think with our eyes - and are often easily fooled.

I do not know this mediator personally, but have had enough parallel experiences to discern that he (even in the role playing scenario) might have been tweaked when I addressed his character's behavior.

Ideally, you do not get to check grown folks about their behavior without some pushback.

Ideally, you should also never have to.

I reviewed my notes from my 2011 mediation class, and was reminded that needs exploration is a best practice taught by all mediation professionals.

For whatever reason (I have a guess), needs exploration was not at the front of my mind during that 2018 role play.

Addressing that lazy, abhorrent behavior was.

Maybe my biases kept me from getting out of my own way.

I will do better next time.

It remains to be seen whether holistic peace can be achieved in a single real mediation session.

During that role play, though, I think I wanted it to end sooner than later, and chose starting a path to peace (through "training") as an specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timely (SMART) goal.

Peace between those two folks would have to be a process that continued long after our session.

Oh, and it was not lost on me that the mediator was more than a little condescending in real life while telling me I was condescending during the role play.

I kept my quiet so I could hear what he told me about me, and also hear what he told me about himself.

Listening without retaliating made it clear to me that I probably do not need to do any more role plays with this mediator.

I do want to observe him in an actual mediation, though (not a role play), between combatants who go "off-script" in ways that wreck traditional and theoretical approaches.

That will give me perspective on how closely he adheres to mediation theory during real-world practice.

This will either offer me insight to how it is done, how difficult it is to do, or perhaps both.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, this role play was a positive, simulated experience that showed me things I have learned and practice well, as well as things I need to work on.

I was reminded about key mediation components that I was taught, but forgot to use.

I know that my calm and self-control have reached new, positive levels.

I know that I am comfortable speaking in authority, but that authoritative discourse may tweak some no matter how it is delivered - so it must be used with care, concern, respect, and wisdom.

Above all else, I am convinced about the power and validity of role playing as a useful, low-stress training ground to learn important lessons about myself and others.

It allows me to gather real-time and reflective insights without inciting some of the more engrossing, stressful conflicts I experienced during my career.

Selah.

2650 words

About Derrick Brown (Standup Storyteller)


I am Keisha's husband, and Hannah's father.

I am a “standup storyteller.”

I fuse rap, spoken word (poetry), oration (traditional public speaking), singing, and teaching into messages of hope, healing, and change that I write, direct, and produce to help people who help people.

Everything must change - and stay changED.

Tradition begins and ends with change.

Change begins with me and the renewing of my mind ... then continues through efforts to effect small-group discipleship (equipping others to equip others) with audiences that respect and embrace mentoring, mediation, and problem solving as tools of change.

I am the product of my mentoring relationships, peacemaking (and peacekeeping), and problem-solving ability.

My education began when I finished school.

After school, I enrolled in a lifelong curriculum that includes classes in ministry, entrepreneurship, stewardship, literacy, numeracy, language, self-identity, self-expression, and analysis / synthesis.

My projects execute a ministry that has evolved from wisdom earned through lessons learned.

I want to share this wisdom to build teams of "triple threat" fellows - mentors, mediators, and problem solvers.

We will collaborate in simple, powerful ways that allow us to help people who help people.

I now know that power is work done efficiently (with wise and skillful use of resources, interests, communication, and expertise).

Copyright © 2018 Derrick  Brown. All Rights Reserved.


Dear Hannah: LEarning (Family Fantasies)



 
Dear Hannah,

I have a track record of cutting people off - and then leaving it like that.

I do not let anyone or anything get me warm twice.

Carrying the burden of offense is a hard way to live, though.

This is a little more subtle than unforgiveness - but can be just as burdensome.

When I carry offense, sometimes nothing major has happened ... but I often decide that I will not allow anything at all to happen with the person who offended me.

That may take it too far.

If I am merciless in judgement, then I will be shown no mercy. (James 2:13)

So the need for boundaries is clear, but I am learning to stop short of finishing my stories of teaching people how to treat me with "piercing periods".

I am learning how to finish them with "kind question marks".


Love,

Daddy


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"LEarning (Family Fantasies)"
By Derrick Brown
8-27-2018

I have mixed feelings about Fantasy Football.

On one hand, it is low-key gambling that amplifies our obsession with football.

This obsession distracts participants from seeing the NFL as a modern-day plantation (with higher salaries and greater risks).

Cats are distracted by being named "fantasy" plantation owners ...

... as if our blinding allegiance to favorite teams and players was not already distracting enough.

On the other hand, my familiarity with the game and business of football allows me to create simple, elegant roster management solutions using my analytic skills.

This obsession provides me a clear business opportunity.

Opportunities are few and far between - and are always disguised as work.

Sometimes this work includes cleaning out my closet.

Let me explain.

Last week, Fantasy Football provided me an opportunity to connect to the men in my disconnected family.

By my observation, the men in my family do not know each other very well.

We tend to fake our way through conversations - or keep it shallow and just talk about sports.

It is tough to watch these conversations.

It is tougher to participate.

But let's leave the men alone, and let me focus on one man - me.

See, I do not know the dudes in my family very well.

I can guess that they see me on the whole as a smart, quiet, nerdy dude with a really big mouth.

Maybe the mouth is not as big now ... but if that is still my rep, I earned it in my younger days.

I was a handful.

On some days, I still am.

I am still a truthteller, but I am learning to tell a more graceful truth (instead of a harsh truth).

So maybe I should lighten up on calling the NFL a modern-day plantation, huh?

Nah.

I digress.

My personal family disconnection stems from not-so-pleasant childhood memories of conflicts that dominated our frequent family gatherings.

We used to get together a lot - like every month.

Then the gatherings stopped.

I did not miss them.

I was further disconnected by several comments - some were direct, but most were subtle ones about both my mother and me - especially in the wake of my parents' divorce.

This was a sensitive time, and I am a pretty sensitive cat.

That was a lethal combo.

It led to a series of independent, unfortunate, awkward events with several different family members that were never discussed or resolved.

They were just carefully observed, absorbed, and correlated by a dude with the memory of an elephant.

What do I mean?

I mean that I encountered family members (young and old) at different times in different states on different holidays and special occasions ... and had disturbingly similar negative experiences.

I memorialized the experiences through the comments.

"I don't think you're the right man for the job".

"You're too fat to sing a Michael Jackson song".

"I'm the adult - you should be calling me".

"We can't get in touch with you because nobody ever has your current number".

"We never see you".

"You're making some money now - you can do better".

"We didn't know you were following us to the game".

"Look at you looking all masculine now".

"Man, that was good ... but you should have put it all in a PowerPoint."

During any visit, it started to feel like the conversation in the room changed when I walked in.

Like I remember it changing when the kids born out of wedlock would visit family gatherings.

Nobody really knew them, so nobody knew what to say.

Ditto for me, perhaps.

Right or wrong, I concluded that I was not part of the family clique.

Feel me, now - this squad is definitely a clique, and I ain't in it.

I figured that the best way to keep it together might be to stay away.

I softened that stance when I married my wife Keisha.

I softened it even more when we had our daughter Hannah.

Experiencing joy will help you heal a lot of hurts.

They both encouraged me to be intentional about sharing our life with my family, and protecting our peace.

Maintaining the balance between outreach and setting personal boundaries was tricky, but necessary.

I made a move - I figured that supporting family endeavors with all my servant strengths and talents would be a positive step.

To do this, I suspended my longstanding rule about being careful letting certain folks see me sweat (work hard).

I still had to be careful, though.

Why?

All the traditional family strongholds I experienced (verbal microaggression, control, narcissism, envy, selfishness) may have been softened by time and space - but they were still there.

And they have been passed down to successive generations.

Coming together to work purposefully, though, helps set egos and agendas aside.

It also keeps the strongholds at bay while you continue to pray that they are broken.

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

This gives me hope for healing and change.

Providing hope for healing and change is my life's work.

So, showing support by helping to carry the load became my simple strategy to deal positively with folks who act a little "funny" with me.

I have to say this again.

It is a simple strategy, but it takes careful balancing to make it a safe one.

Anyway - let's get back to the Fantasy Football opportunity.

One of my dozens of cousins (who played college football, and had an NFL tryout many years ago) invited me to join the family Fantasy Football league for this season.

He invited me last season, but I declined (based on several previously mentioned elements of this confession).

This year, though, I figured that I could at least volunteer to run the league as its commissioner.

This would give me both family fellowship and business opportunities (for testing my analytic roster management tools).

I volunteered myself, and accelerated development of my tools for the upcoming draft.

Then my cousin announced to the league members that I would be "helping out this year".

In hindsight, I think this meant "Derrick will be my assistant this year".

If he tells me that directly (before announcing it publicly), I could clean up that mess.

"Hey, man - I am volunteering to run the league - not be your assistant".

I have been the assistant before, and know that assistants are often not treated very well - especially by horrible bosses.

I know I am a servant leader - a "doer" who sets the tone with silent examples.

I have learned to submit myself to all I encounter in kindness, care, concern, and respect.

I walk closely, though, only with other servant leaders who submit themselves similarly.

I create hard, permanent boundaries with those who step on my neck when I bow to them.

This is a very simple way to know with whom you can roll.

I learned this global truth by dealing with the cold, cruel world.

I apply the wisdom locally, though, to teach family members how to treat me.

I already know that I need to find my way out of this situation - it ain't safe.

In fairness, my cousin probably does not know much about me, how I feel, or how I operate.

I would guess that his in-person familiarity with me might be limited to watching me sweat (work hard) at our last several family events.

Folks can get it twisted when they see you toil.

This misconception (when mixed with a little arrogance and convenient ignorance) can get you on the wrong road.

Especially with family members - and anybody else who can take you for granted, mistake kindness and meekness for weakness, or confuse service with servitude.

I am a handy dude - no doubt about that.

Check that - I am a handyman - and the proud son of a proud handyman.

I am my wife's, mother's, father's, and daughter's handyman.

I ain't nobody else's handyman.

I always have the right of first refusal when asked to do anything.

And I do need to be asked ... respectfully.

Either way, the potential lack of mutual respect with my cousin is now on my radar.

That potential would become real.

First came a text message directive to send correspondence to members asking them to vote on dues for this year (because no dues were collected last year).

That sounds like assigning me to "bad cop" duty in order to avoid it.

Perhaps the absence of "bad cop" leadership is what enabled members to not pay dues last year.

I responded to the directive with a pushback that asked about last year's expenses, and suggested how they could be recouped in this year's budget.

I then asked him to call me so that we could talk, and told him that any talk about cleaning up last year with dues payments this year needed to come from him - not me.

Text messaging is a microaggressive way to avoid real-time discussion and rebuttal.

It is a bad way to communicate - and an even worse way to handle business.

After agreeing to talk (which to me says "no more texting"), I got another directive to (instead) send a poll to the members with all of my suggestions.

Cousin, please.

No thanks, cousin.

I see exactly how I got this job, and I resign.

So how did I get this job?

By trying to do too much - and by relaxing some boundaries that should probably remain intact.

See, if I revile Fantasy Football as much as I say I do ...

... and find it tough to only talk about sports (to avoid "real" topics like discovering the roots of our strained family interactions) ...

What was I trying to accomplish by helping to manage a league of non-paying relatives - who made last year's commissioner self-finance the whole season?

My first answer: I was trying to connect, trying to see how a league runs, and trying to test my tools.

My second answer: I need to connect while respecting my personal boundaries.

That is, I need to connect by mutually engaging in purposeful, direct service that makes all egos and agendas subside.

My second answer (continued): This means that I should run my own Fantasy Football league.

I should be the commissioner, draft all the teams quickly using my tool, and let the season play out while I ignore it and its obsessive distractions!

I hate taking the long way to wisdom, but sometimes the winding path provides a more memorable lesson.

I thought the battle was won, and the lesson was done - but wait, there is more ...

It may go without saying that my cousin warmed my chili - just a little.

So let me woosah.

I have a track record of cutting people off - and then leaving it like that.

I do not let anyone or anything get me warm twice.

Carrying the burden of offense is a hard way to live, though.

This is a little more subtle than unforgiveness - but can be just as burdensome.

When I carry offense, sometimes nothing major has happened ... but I decide that I will not allow anything at all to happen with the person who offended me.

That may take it too far.

If I am merciless in judgement, then I will be shown no mercy. (James 2:13)

So the need for boundaries is clear, but I am learning to stop short of finishing my stories of teaching people how to treat me with "piercing periods".

I am learning how to finish them with "kind question marks".

So what's a "kind question mark" for this one?

I had to sleep on this.

I woke up this morning with a simple story ...

My Dad and his oldest sister are two people who have not always spoken life to me.

They have not always spoken life to each other.

I have learned that they both inherited this trait, and may have been bruised by it first before becoming the bruisers.

I warred with them both silently for years for things that they said.

Believe it or not, though, I stopped the war.

I have managed to set boundaries, and still have sincere, purposeful relationships with them both.

It helps that they are both older - because it reminds you that time is fleeting and frail.

They are both role models, though, for an approach that uses "kind question marks" ("What can we do together?") instead of "piercing periods" ("Leave these crazy jokers alone".).

This cousin is the youngest son of my Dad's oldest sister.

So, reasonable "kind question marks" for him can be derived from my experience with his mother.

They might even be informed by his mother herself.

Thank God I still have a relationship with his Mother.

Selah.

2,172 Words



About Derrick Brown (Standup Storyteller)


I am Keisha's husband, and Hannah's father.

I am a “standup storyteller.”

I fuse rap, spoken word (poetry), oration (traditional public speaking), singing, and teaching into messages of hope, healing, and change that I write, direct, and produce to help people who help people.

Everything must change - and stay changED.

Tradition begins and ends with change.

Change begins with me and the renewing of my mind ... then continues through efforts to effect small-group discipleship (equipping others to equip others) with audiences that respect and embrace mentoring, mediation, and problem solving as tools of change.

I am the product of my mentoring relationships, peacemaking (and peacekeeping), and problem-solving ability.

My education began when I finished school.

After school, I enrolled in a lifelong curriculum that includes classes in ministry, entrepreneurship, stewardship, literacy, numeracy, language, self-identity, self-expression, and analysis / synthesis.

My projects execute a ministry that has evolved from wisdom earned through lessons learned.

I want to share this wisdom to build teams of "triple threat" fellows - mentors, mediators, and problem solvers.

We will collaborate in simple, powerful ways that allow us to help people who help people.

I now know that power is work done efficiently (with wise and skillful use of resources, interests, communication, and expertise).

Copyright © 2018 Derrick  Brown. All Rights Reserved.


Copyright © 2018 Derrick Brown and KnowledgeBase, Inc. All Rights Reserved.