A Vote for Brown, Brains, and Change!
Nov 4 2008

I haven’t written about politics on my blog for a variety of reasons but mostly because I think everyone has a right to their own opinion and my blog is primarily about business and parenting…not politics.

However, given that a historic, unprecedented event has just happened in our lifetime, I felt compelled to write this post.  I am SO excited that Barack Obama was elected to be the next president of the United States!  Not just because I agree with much of his political philosophy, but also because he’s brown, has brains, and has the potential to heal wounds created throughout the world.

If you are someone who has not grown up with brown skin, this might not make sense to you but in my opinion this is a huge affirmation of the American dream.  My uncle, a geography professor, was turned away from a restaurant while visiting Virginia New Mexico because of the color of his skin.  When I was 8 or 9 years old, a blonde little boy turned to me in the walkways outside my elementary school and yelled at me calling me the ‘n’ word.  I had never heard that word before, yet I felt the hate emanating from this young boy, and I still remember the fear I felt standing there all alone wondering why this boy hated me so much. 

I’m not even Black (I’m South Asian), but I (and other members of my family) were lumped into the non-White category.  When I lived in West Texas, the difference was even more pronounced.  I grew up self conscious of my skin color and even now I have moments where I wonder if I truly fit in…despite being married to a White man!   Women and Black men have had to consistently work twice as hard and be twice as good to be recognized at the same level as White men in this country. 

Time will tell if Obama was the right pick, but the fact that he was picked in this country in 2008 means to me that we’ve reached a turning point in our history.  People who are not White and not even men (thanks to Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin) now have a living breathing example of how it can be done.

Obama, to me, epitomizes working hard (no riding daddy’s coattails), focusing on education, prioritizing family values, and taking a thoughtful analytic (that man is smart!) approach before acting.  As an added bonus, he appears to know how to speak proper English! 🙂

Not only has he broken color barriers, he has broken social media barriers.  He has run the biggest, first, and most effective political campaign that has ever been run (oh what money can buy)!  By his campaign’s avid use of twitter, YouTube, blogs, MySpace, email campaigns, etc., he has single handedly affirmed an entire new industry and demonstrated how using the Internet and social media can have a huge impact on the success of campaigns, businesses, and causes.  If there was any doubt by individuals and big companies as to the efficacy of social media, it has now been shattered!   

I was 3 when I came to the United States with my parents, and we landed in Pennsylvania.  I was 21 when I became a naturalized citizen in New Mexico.  I am now many years older, live in Texas, and tonight I saw the window of opportunity open wider for my light brown kids…

God Bless America!

Author: | Filed under: competition, diversity, parenting, social media, success, success story, twitter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments »

How Often Can You Drop The Ball?
Oct 13 2008

Business is tough and it’s only going to get tougher the next several months and probably years with the economic meltdown happening as I type.  Things have been good (actually great) in the United States and it seems that many people (Democrats and Republicans alike – each in their own different ways) started to expect things to be taken care of for them and began to forget that although luck plays a part in finding financial success, that working hard, getting an education, paying attention, making good decisions, not buying what you want but don’t need, not eating unhealthy foods, etc. play a much bigger role. 

Members of both political parties took it for granted that the government would take care of them.  Not just those on welfare!  Some just thought the good times would roll on forever and signed up to risky home loans and bought things on their credit cards they couldn’t afford.  

Some decided because they were told (i.e., marketed to) they should own a home as part of living the “American dream,” they should buy a home not worrying about whether times would change and if they could afford it over the long term.  And it’s not just high school drop outs who made these decisions, it’s also college educated people, because the American culture of ‘borrow, borrow, borrow and don’t worry about tomorrow‘ has prevailed. 

So who dropped the ball?  The American consumer? The government? The banks? Parents? Educational Institutions?  In my opinion, everyone did.  The ball has been repeatedly dropped and instead of being ‘kicked off the team‘ like they would be on any professional sports team or any successful business, they were allowed to continue to drop the ball.  And now because the ball was dropped too often, here we are in the US facing one of the worst economic challenges in our history. 

My guess is that in the years to come those who repeatedly apologize for dropping the ball, for making mistakes, or not following through (e.g. Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve who I couldn’t believe said something like ‘I don’t know, I haven’t had a good track record when it comes to make decisions about the country’s financial position‘ when asked about the $700 billion bailout package. — Yes, I saw him say that on live TV!) will hopefully be weeded out.  We can only hope they get weeded out without receiving big financial packages rewarding them for their incompetence. 

The US system is broken in many ways but in many ways works better than anywhere in the world!  It rewards incompetence but it also rewards talent.  It rewards people who work hard but it also rewards people who happen to be at the right place at the right time without the right skills and then doesn’t get rid of them when they don’t perform. 

So pay attention. Don’t let that ball drop.  If it happens to drop, pick it up quickly and pass it to the next person on your team (and hope he or she doesn’t drop it too often) because our country and our world needs everyone’s help!

Author: | Filed under: entrepreneurship, politics, random stuff | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments »