The Holidays: Happy for some, depressing for others

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By Charles Glover, Jr.

We look forward to many things during the holiday season that begins with Thanksgiving and culminates with the New Year: extra time off from school and work, more time around family, home-cooked meals, and of course, the presents. Amidst all of these enjoyable moments are the extensive hours people spend trying to make the holidays wonderful for their loved ones.

A couple enjoy the holiday spiirit.--Photo: Getty Images

A couple enjoy the holiday spirit.–Photo: Getty Images

Simple tasks can lead to feelings of stress--Photo: Getty Images

Simple tasks can lead to feelings of stress–Photo: Getty Images

The added stress around the holidays can make what is a wonderful time for many a depressing, dreadful, lonely time for others. Michael Kerr from Healthline.com explains it this way:

“Depression may occur at any time of the year, but the stress and anxiety during the months of November and December may cause even those who are usually content to experience loneliness and a lack of fulfillment.”

While there is little evidence that supports that the suicide rate increases during November and December, it is still important to recognize that there not everyone views the holiday season as a joyful time. Stress is a well-known trigger for depression and the holidays often create new tensions as well as reignite old hurts and feelings of inadequacy or loneliness, resulting in morose thoughts and unhappy feelings.

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It is important to learn how to manage the stress and recognize if a person may be in need of greater help. As Brenda Patoine from The Dana Foundation summarized;

“Finding ways to cope with the heightened demands of holiday gatherings, or filling the gap where they aren’t, is key to surviving the season with affect intact. This can be challenging, because one’s coping strategies may be the first things to fall by the wayside in the busy holiday season.”

The Mayo Clinic lists a number of recommendations for coping with the stress of the holiday season. A few of the suggestion are regular exercise, maintaining a strict budget, and volunteering. If you feel that you or someone you know may need assistance dealing with the emotions of the holidays, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a senior writer for OnPointPress.net and aspiring author. Follow me on Twitter @GloverIsGood.

Happy Thanksgiving, we’re grateful for a lot!

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This year has been filled with enormous trauma for many of us due to horrific murders in our inner cities, the continued war on African-Americans, ambushes of police officers and a steady stream of untimely deaths of African-American journalists and entertainers, among other things.

 

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Yet, in the midst of all the turmoil and feelings of loss, there is still a lot for which we are grateful. As you travel to celebrate the Thanksgiving season with loved ones, friends and family, take some time to say a prayer for those who are grieving. Say a prayer for those who suffered loss. Say a prayer for someone who lost a job, a home, a relationship, a way of life.

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As you celebrate your blessings and express appreciation for what makes your life rich and vibrant, take a moment to acknowledge, support and give solace to those among you who need an extra word of encouragement and resources. Remember that being thankful is not a static state.  A thankful heart is open wide to bless, honor, support and enrich others.

The OnPointPress.net family warmly wishes all of our readers and supporters a blessed, peaceful and loving Thanksgiving–OnPointPress.net-

November is Diabetes Awareness Month

The First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama speaks about the Let's Move program; an initiative targeting the youth to teach them healthy eating habits and emphasizing regular workouts.

The First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama speaks about the Let’s Move program; an initiative targeting the youth to teach them healthy eating habits and emphasizing regular workouts.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

As the holiday season approaches there is already plenty of planning for family gatherings and holiday dinners. While we wish everyone peace and joy, let us remember November is Diabetes Awareness Month. It is important to emphasize that most people can prevent the development of diabetes by adopting healthy dietary habits.

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This month the American Diabetes Association has initiated a campaign entitled “#ThisIsDiabetes,” which is intended to highlight the issues faced by diabetes suffers on a daily basis. While there is more information available about diabetes, there are still troubling trends of diagnoses for adults and children.

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The First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, has been front and center with the Let’s Move! program she developed to help teach the youth healthier eating habits while also emphasizing the importance of daily exercise. This program may target the youth to start these healthy habits at a young age, but the tips apply to everyone.

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Unfortunately, Hispanics, African-Americans, and Native Americans continue to be diagnosed with diabetes at the highest rates, as highlighted by the chart above. While the holiday season should be enjoyable, let us also be responsible and mindful of the habits we might have to add or subtract from our routines in order to protect ourselves from a diabetes diagnosis.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a senior writer for OnPointPress.net and aspiring author. Follow me on Twitter @GloverIsGood.

Protests, bigotry, fear, hate fuel post-election acts

Dismayed protesters make their voices heard at Trump Tower in New York.

Dismayed protesters make their voices heard at Trump Tower, as they march, scream, cry and remain dazed at the shocking election results.

By Carmen and Charles Glover

As the streets of America continue to roil with protesters marching to voice their sense of disgust with the election results of Nov 8,, which saw a split outcome–former secretary of state Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote, meaning she had more votes cast for her–and President-elect Donald Trump winning the electoral college that ultimately determines the president, the psyche of the American populace continues to be exceedingly unsettled,

Protesters are consistent with their message.

Protesters are consistent with their message of concern for a broad swath of residents who were targeted by President-elect Donald Trump at various points during the election cycle.

The results of the election were shocking to many people in and out of the United States with millions of millennials who were angry that Senator Bernie Sanders lost to Clinton deciding to vote for Trump or to abstain from voting, only to have a change of heart the morning after, just like the British reaction after their Brexit vote. Regardless of your opinion of Donald Trump, he will be the 45th President of the United States. Reactions around the country to the election results are varied but passionate. The question many are asking is: What’s next?

Anti-Trump Protests have sprung up across the country with no signs of abating.

Anti-Trump Protests have sprung up across the country with no signs of abating as Americans give voice to their feelings of anger, despair, fear, hopelessness and disappointment.

In 2010, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell was brutally frank as his summed up his plan for Republicans should they assume control of the Senate.

“The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president,” he declared, staring intently into the television cameras as the media snapped away.

Clearly that was not a message calling for cooperation or understanding. In 2012 after President Obama was re-elected, current President-elect Donald Trump stated that President Obama’s re-election was a “total sham and a travesty…. We are not a democracy!”

Protester is not shy to express her feelings.

Protester is not shy to express her feelings, while others march, shout and take selfies.

The consistent tendency of Republicans when they do not get their way is to complain about the legitimacy of the results, threaten anarchy and collaborate among themselves to put the country on a path to peril, ruin, racism and volatility. Their approach is:The Republican way or vengeance, spite, suffering, racism, insults and pain.

However, now that a Republican candidate has won the election, the same hypocritical and two-faced Republicans are demanding that the rest of the electorate show understanding and accept the results, without giving voice to the collective trauma, shock and despair that the mere thought of a President Donald Trump holds for so many people.

Protesters give voice to their anguish.

Protesters give voice to their anguish, some waving their gay pride flags as they walk somberly.

Trump becoming President will not address the many ills that plague our society: Issues such as economic, healthcare, housing and educational disparity, systemic racism, judicial prejudice and the expanding school-to-prison pipeline that puts young black children on a path to prison through excessive and prejudicial suspensions that ultimately result in them dropping out of school and taking to lives in the streets.

Trump’s disdain for the poor and disenfranchised is legendary and was on full display throughout the election cycle. Nevertheless, both white men and women as well as a large Latino segment, voted overwhelmingly for the real estate businessman, reality star and serial insult generator.

Protesters at Trump Tower.

Protesters at Trump Tower, express their feelings of hurt, disappoint and fear due to the election results.

But while his supporters are quick to suggest that everyone else accept Trump, the protesters are very united in chanting “Not my president” and “We reject the president-elect,” as tears stream down their faces and the heartbreak they feel renders them hopeless, scared and inconsolable.

In dismissing Trump, retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said Trump “fueled his campaign with bigotry and hate,” and described him as a “sexual predator who lost the popular vote.”

Anger, Anguish and Despair are etched across the faces of protesters as they voice their displeasure with the election results.

Anger, anguish and despair are etched across the faces of protesters as they voice their displeasure with the election results.

Not to be outdone, the usually reticent San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich did not mince words, and said the following:

“We live in a country that ignored all those values that we would hold our kids accountable for. I’m a rich white guy, and I’m sick to my stomach thinking about it. I can’t imagine being a Muslim right now, a woman, or an African-American, a Hispanic, a handicapped person. How disenfranchised they might feel. And for anyone in those groups that voted for him, it’s just beyond my comprehension how they ignore all that. My big fear is that we are Rome.”

Protesters show no signs of slowing down as they try to come to terms with the election results.

Protesters show no signs of slowing down as they try to come to terms with the election results.

While Clinton licks her wounds and examines the entire scope of why she lost the electoral college and presidency–her deep-seated arrogance, her inability to appeal to the masses despite Herculean campaign efforts by an impressive cadre of supporters including President and First Lady Obama, her primary opponent Senator Bernie Sanders, VP Joe Biden and a host of celebrities, her lack of trustworthiness and most significantly, issues outside of her control such as the campaign waged by legislative Republicans with assistance from FBI Director James Comey, white women refusing to support her despite African-American women and African-American men enveloping her in love and support—Trump has been busy meeting with President Obama and the Republican leaders.

Now that all branches of the government–executive, legislative and judiciary—are in Republican hands, let us sit back and watch where they take the country that President Obama brought back from recession, the country that President Obama’s efforts resulted in universal healthcare, a country that is caught up in a cycle of racism and hatred, a country where intolerance and bigotry have been unleashed with abandon because the chief proponent of those divisive and ugly sentiments will now hold the top title in the land.

Yes, let us watch, let us support those who protest, let us have dialogue, let us learn to advocate for our issues, our agendas and our communities–OnPointPress-net– 

 

Vote Nov. 8 like your life depends on it, because it does!

voteIn this presidential election on Tuesday, November 8, I intend to cast my vote, confident that my action will be instrumental in making a difference. I will vote because not too long ago women did not have that very important right. I will vote because too many of my African-American ancestors were demeaned, disenfranchised, brutalized and murdered because they wanted to exercise a right that is as basic as eating, breathing and sleeping. I an unconcerned with polls or rhetoric, I am more interested in encouraging each registered voter to cast their vote as a true reflection of democracy, free will and choice.

Peaceful marchers were left beaten, bloody and killed on March 7, 1965 as they tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in their quest to gain the right to vote.

Peaceful marchers were left beaten, bloody and killed on March 7, 1965 as they tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in their quest to gain the right to vote.

Regardless of the party you choose to support, know this: unless you vote you do not have a voice. In the African-American community, it is especially common to hear the admonition “Our people bled and died to give us the right to vote.” That is a stark yet accurate assessment. It is impossible for you to influence the direction of the country, your state, city and judiciary if you sit on the sidelines complaining about what is dysfunctional, while choosing to refrain from participating to effect change.

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Whether your issue of interest is the economy, immigration, education, police brutality or the impasse created and cemented by a ‘combative, do nothing Congress’ make your voice heard, exercise your franchise and vote. The quality of life of the nation, which President Barack Obama has championed during his time in office, is at stake.

The polls are open on Tuesday, November 8, from 6:00 a..m. until 9:00 p.m. For those who took advantage of the chance to vote early:congratulations!.–OnPointPress.net–

Should domestic abuse get more attention?

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By Charles Glover, Jr.

I believe that the current US system in place for dealing with domestic violence is broken and needs to be fixed. It is a complex and at times difficult to address domestic violence, but our country goes overboard to address issues it deems serious. Can we honestly say our country is doing the best it can to combat domestic violence?

Unites States Attorney General Loretta Lynch has been vocal about putting an end to domestic violence.

Unites States Attorney General Loretta Lynch has been vocal about putting an end to domestic violence.

The United States Department of Justice defines domestic violence as “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person.”

The expansive definition of domestic violence should help illustrate the complexity of coping with such a widespread issue. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the concerns regarding the system currently in place to deal with domestic violence seem to be rising.

New York Giants kicker Josh Brown, who was suspended 1 game to begin the season for domestic violence, is having his case reexamined by the NFL after more information surfaced regarding domestic violence against his now ex-wife.

New York Giants kicker Josh Brown, who was suspended 1 game to begin the season for domestic violence, is having his case reexamined by the NFL after more information surfaced regarding domestic violence against his now ex-wife.

Another NFL player, this time New York Giants kicker Josh Brown, is in the headlines following the release of reports of domestic violence claims from his now ex-wife. The NBA regular season will start in a few days, but Sacramento Kings guard Darren Collison will not be available for the first 8 games as he serves his suspension for domestic violence against his girlfriend. And as excited as Chicago Cubs fans are to be in the World Series, it is possible the last outs of the series could be recorded by their closer Aroldis Chapman, who began this season serving a 30-game suspension for allegations of domestic violence against his girlfriend.

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These athletes garner extra scrutiny for their acts of domestic violence but the issue itself is unfortunately still viewed as a task too large to handle. While the question on many people’s minds is how do we put an end to domestic violence, the greater question is why don’t we treat domestic violence the way we treat child abuse and neglect?

Attorneys and law enforcement officials often assert that their greatest challenge in prosecuting alleged perpetrators of domestic violence is lack of evidence or cooperation from the alleged victims. This is an understandable roadblock, however what is incomprehensible is that the federal or state government has not found a way to circumvent this obstacle. We have countless examples in this country of people finding a way to address serious concerns.

Mary Ellen McCormack, showing visible scars of abuse at age 10 in this picture, was the nation's first widely recognized case of child abuse.

Mary Ellen McCormack, showing visible scars of abuse at age 10 in this picture, was the nation’s first widely recognized case of child abuse.

Take for example the case of Mary Ellen McCormack. Mary Ellen was born in 1864 in New York City, but due to her father’s death and mother’s inability to care for her, became a foster child at the age of two. Her foster-mother Mary Connolly, was eventually investigated and convicted for abuse of Mary Ellen which included daily beatings, malnutrition and numerous malicious and neglectful actions. This landmark case in 1874 for child abuse was largely made possible because of laws that existed against the inhumane treatment of animals. That’s correct.

Henry Bergh and Elbridge Thomas Gerry of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) helped ensure that Mary Ellen was removed from her foster home before the trial and handled her legal case as well. After having success with the case, and having formed the ASPCA in 1866, they helped form the first child abuse and neglect agency in the country, the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC).

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This story highlights the struggles America has had in providing systemic protection for those in need in our country. The formation of the NYSPCC in 1874 was a positive step for beginning to deal with child abuse but it would take another century for the federal government to enact legislation on the issue with the passing of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act in 1974.

There is no disputing the difficulties associated with trying to help people dealing with domestic violence but there needs to be greater urgency in the matter. For those brave enough to seek help, they are faced with limited options. A restraining order is not accompanied by around the clock police surveillance or protection. Shelters and hotlines are helpful but they require the victims to assume all of the initial risk in seeking assistance.

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There should be a statewide agency for domestic violence that is modeled after each state’s child protective services to allow the community to be better equipped to assist those in need. These agencies should investigate, monitor, and take action against allegations of domestic violence in the same manner they are supposed to for child abuse. It is clear the criminal justice system alone is ill-equipped to make the strides necessary to drastically reduce domestic violence. The time has come to move past creating awareness and start creating solutions.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a senior writer for OnPointPress.net and aspiring author. Follow me on Twitter @GloverIsGood.

Jamaica takes part in Pretoria’s GRULAC

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Children participate in the Film Festival.

The Jamaican High Commission in Pretoria participated in the 2016 Film Festival hosted by the Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries with Diplomatic Representation in South Africa (GRULAC).  The Festival was held from Thursday,October  6 to Sunday, October 9 at the Open Window Institute for Arts and Digital Sciences in Centurion, South Africa.

Jamaica, the only English-speaking country of the 10 participants this year, screened 3 short films from the JAMPRO/JAFTAPropella Initiative.These films, “Origins”, written and directed by Kurt Wright, “Shoot the Girl”, written by Anthony Hendriks and directed by Natalie Thompson, and “Shock Value”, written and directed by Adrian Lopez, were shot on location in Jamaica with a 100 percent Jamaican crew, 100 percent Jamaican talent, and 100 percent Jamaican production service companies.

Children perform at the festival.

Children perform at the Film Festival.

High Commissioner, H.E. Cheryl Spencer, used the opportunity provided by the Festival to promote the work of the Jamaican Film Commission and highlight Jamaica’s award winning participation in International film festivals to date. She indicated that the High Commission would be working to facilitate the participation of the South African film industry in the 2017 Jamaica Film Festival.

Throughout the festival, and prior to the screening of the Jamaican films, patrons were able to view a short promotional video highlighting the country as a venue for film production and showcasing the many popular films which have been shot on location in Jamaica over the years. The Jamaican contribution to the Film Festival was very warmly received as evidenced by the enthusiastic response at the end of the film presentation and the many questions which High Commission staff received  from patrons before and after the screening.--OnPointPress.net