I mostly stay away from Facebook and rarely pop into other platforms because it’s become a cesspool of regurgitated nonsense. People attacking people while saying “don’t attack people”; people disregarding one group of lives in exchange for another. This world of social media is SICK. It is a reflection of the bigger sickness in this world.

But I need to get something out of my head and into the atmosphere, with hope that it resonates with someone and changes their mind and heart long enough to put thought into what they say and share on and off of social media.

It pains me to see someone post an issue that matters to them just for someone to hijack it with a stupid response that disregards that issue to focus people’s attention on a different issue.

I have issues with anyone who would tell me what issues I SHOULD be MOST concerned about. So let me help you out…

I can still be concerned about MY LIFE as its impacted by COVID-19, especially as I have loved ones fighting it and loved ones who died from it. And I desperately don’t want to see anyone else die from it. And hell no I don’t want it. I have enough issues, I don’t need COVID-19. So I’m very passionate about this issue.

At the same time…

I can be concerned about unethical and criminal policing, legal system reform needs, and other related issues, as my BLACK LIFE STILL DOESN’T MATTER in THIS same COUNTRY that claimed and still claims “All lives matter”. Y’all know it should be true but it’s not. So that’s why we fight for equality, equity, and dignity that we STILL haven’t received after slaving, sharecropping, being robbed by Jim Crow, redlined, gerrymandered, and mass incarcerated in Slavery version 2.0.

At the same time…

I can be very concerned with the upcoming national election because I strongly believe that some people would do anything to keep me from voting and keep my vote from counting. Absentee voting and vote-by-mail are the EXACT SAME THING. If it’s good enough for our military then it’s good enough for me. I was born and raised in a state that passively aggressively discriminated against me. I now live in the South, where they don’t waste time faking how they feel about me or my vote.

I think this two-party system is flawed, many of our politicians (on both sides) need to get the boot, and we need a major overhaul on the state and federal level. We need to get rid of these super PACs and keep billionaire dollars from buying elections. It’s crazy how corrupt this country is. Jeesh, it’s sodom and gommorah 2020-style.

At the same time…

I’m concerned about my life and rights as a woman— as politicians and religious zealots are trying to reverse and destroy my rights to my daggum body. People don’t mind killing me with COVID-19 but they want to have a say about what I DO to MY BODY. They want to say what happens to my body, but tell me I have no say.

At the same time…

I’m concerned about women and children being trafficked as domestic and sex slaves. I’m concerned with how the porn industry serves as the hub for trafficking, and there’s too many wealthy hands in that pot to get billionaires to stop trafficking women and children for the pleasure of some sick and twisted men and women—some who may live next door to me and you.

Jeffrey Epstein should have been in prison for the past 20 years. Now with his convenient death there are hundreds of wealthy people who will never be prosecuted for their crimes. He wasn’t a lone ranger.

At the same time…

I’m concerned with ICE raids, indigenous lands being encroached upon and seized, people being isolated and criminalized because of their nationality, skin color, and religion.

At the same time…

I’m concerned about the environment, the air, soil, and the water, and let’s not forget Flint STILL HAS CRAPPY WATER! As a native of California I can say that California’s water has always sucked, but if a city in California had water like Flint’s I can guarantee you there would’ve been major change and fast. Our state and federal government is knowingly allowing people to get sick and die, because it’s not their families being impacted.

At the same time…

I’m concerned about cancer, autoimmune diseases, Alzheimers-Dementia, mental health disorders and that these issues don’t mystically magically disappear simply because we’re facing other issues. And add to it the threat of COVID-19 and those lives are more at risk.

At the same time…

I’m concerned about unemployment and underemployment and the fact that many of us will be HOMELESS while politicians tell us there’s no more unemployment and stimulus checks, and instead we should “go get retrained”. There’s somewhere interesting I would like to tell them to go…

At the same time…

I’m concerned about low-wealth communities in urban and rural areas and the suffering they are enduring on top of what they have already been enduring for decades. Working class people didn’t stop being “poor” once everyone else took a financial hit. It didn’t even the playing field. That stimulus check didn’t boost them up a tax bracket. They are being ignored now even more so than before.

And speaking of the homeless, what are we doing to better their lives? Nothing has improved in 4 years, yet we were promised “bigly” and better things.

At the same time…

I’m concerned about our “Seasoned Citizens” age 60 and older who are faced with some harsh realities about retirement, income, social security, and that things aren’t going as they planned 30 to 40 years ago. All while living in fear of being wiped out by a virus that has no cure and does not discriminate.

At the same time…

I’m concerned that self-serving parents who acted a complete fool about unvaccinated children being around their vaccinated children and screaming that the unvaccinated children would potentially expose their children to diseases and viruses, YET, NOW that they have endured several months of a 24/7 experience with their children, they can’t wait to get away from their angels. Now they don’t mind risking their children’s lives and their families lives by sending those same vaccinated children to school for 6+ hours to be exposed to a virus that has no vaccine.

And parents who don’t want to risk their children’s lives are being shamed and called all sorts of names for PROTECTING THEIR CHILDREN and their FAMILY. Teachers are being shamed and threatened. Schools are facing defunding for not reopening.

At the same time…

I’m concerned with the politicalization of face masks. A health crisis has been reduced to politics.

At the same time…

I’m concerned with how many educated people there are walking around doing and saying some ignorant stuff. Common sense just got flushed down the toilet. Critical thinking skills got tossed out the window. Basic reasoning has been rejected. Just regurgitation of propaganda and lies. Folks just don’t fact-check…nope, just like and repost 🤦🏽‍♀️

I have so many other issues that keep me up thinking late nights. Not one. Not two. But several.

So DON’T tell me which issue(s) I should be more or less focused on or concerned about. Just because the issues are not as important to you doesn’t mean it’s not to someone else. One issue is not more or less important.

It’s not either-or, it’s ALL. And since some of y’all love using the word “all” when it suits you, let me hit you with this…ALL ISSUES MATTER. Don’t shame people for being focused on one or more issues that matter to them. And don’t try to shame someone if they aren’t as outwardly outraged about the same issues as you.

Don’t diminish and devalue one life for another, one experience for another, one issue for another. They all matter, don’t they?

Do your part to make the world better by not attacking the people in it!

~Natasha L. Foreman

Today is my late great father’s birthday. My mom found this picture of my dad (circa 1971) at her parents home.

I decided to share this picture because it tells a story of a time before I was around. And dad, since 2001 you have been on a new assignment, building a story beyond your life here.

I still struggle, these 19 years later since you transitioned. If I would’ve known that your last birthday was going to be your LAST birthday here, in that body, in this life, I would’ve— well, honestly, I don’t know what I would’ve done differently.

We spoke daily and basically saw each other daily. We were gym partners, sports buddies, and business colleagues.

You were and will always be my friend and my first hero (mom’s my first shero). I miss you dad. I miss our talks and even our arguments. I miss you challenging me towards excellence in all things and in all ways.

I wish you were here— like here, here— physically. All I can do is work from my 25 years of memories, look at pictures and mementos, and consider what you would say, do, and ask me. This doesn’t get easier. It just is— an is…

I love you dad. Happy birthday!!! 🥳🎉

Love always,

Natasha

Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Natasha L. Foreman

Happy Father’s Day to this amazing man who gave his all for his family. Thank you for being an awesome father, dad, daddy, friend, coach, teacher, and protector to and for me and my sister. We love and miss you Dad!

We’ve spent the past 19 Father’s Days without you here. It doesn’t get easier. Just a blend of bland emotion.

We wish you could be here to guide, correct, support, encourage, and protect us. The trips and vacations we planned, just to never take. It hurts to think of it.

We wish you could be here to share your light and wisdom with your grandson. Whisper to him, so he knows you will always be here. Dad, we keep climbing, marching, working, and reaching in your honor.

Loving you always and forever!

~ Natasha

I want to say Happy Administrative Professionals Day to every person who works hard to makes things happen every single day. Our organizations cannot function without them. I dare you to try. You will only fail. Admins are the gatekeepers, engines, and operators.

I want to salute one of the top Admins in my life, Eboni Brown. Far or near, I can count on her when I need her, even when I’m not sure how or if I need her. She is a master of her craft, and she gives her all—each and every day.

Thank you Eboni!

~Natasha

Copyright 2020. Natasha L. Foreman

On March 21st I quietly acknowledged my paternal grandmother’s birthday, and told myself to share a memorial post in honor of her, but I got distracted 🤦🏽‍♀️🙈🤦🏽‍♂️

My mom told me today that it’s not too late to give a birthday shout out. I’m so used to having flowers and a gift delivered to my grandmothers, and not having them here, makes birthdays, holidays, and special occasions feel awkward.

Here’s my grandmother pictured between me and my sister. My mom is standing with her hand on my shoulder.

It’s amazing how much I look like both women. Both families genes are STRONG! ☺

Happy belated birthday to my amazing grandmother. Missing you Mama!

~Natasha

What is amazing is that John Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath in 1939 and it covered the era of the Dust Bowl, yet 81 years later I can see scenes of that past displayed in painful images and news reports today. If you don’t know 1930s US history, then let me give you a quick recap of what the Dust Bowl was all about and how I’m tying this into present-day.

Due to years of drought and improperly farmed land (due to high demand of rapid cultivation), wind erosion, and the influx of mechanized farm equipment a decade earlier, the unanchored soil turned to dust. That dust was whirled up by strong winds that swept huge billowing dust clouds throughout the panhandle of Oklahoma (northwest), northern Texas, northeast New Mexico, southeast Colorado, western and central Kansas, and a speck of southwestern Nebraska in the early 1930s.

More than 100 million acres were impacted by the dust storms, most of the states affected were choked off by dust for over four years, while some states were impacted for over 8 years. Tens of thousands of people were displaced because they could no longer farm their lands, pay their bills, and provide for their families. By 1936, the financial loss was $25 million per day, which is the equivalent to approximately $460 million today, according to the Federal Reserve of Minneapolis.

Families who had lived on their properties for generations, were forced to leave with whatever they could pack and load in their vehicles. Their houses and other structures were oftentimes bulldozed and destroyed. Since the banks now owned the lands because the families took out loans that they later could not repay, these families were left to be tenant farmers and had no claim to the land they once owned free and clear. Banks showed no mercy as they forced the families from their homes and off of their lands. Sound familiar?

My maternal grandparents were born and raised in Oklahoma, and were children during the Dust Bowl. Thankfully for them, the storms never reached their part of the state and they never had to leave their family’s lands. And although I’m a California native, thankfully when my parents and paternal grandparents moved to that state, the chaos of decades earlier had been a memory far removed. But maybe you can see another reason why I’m naturally drawn to the story, The Grapes of Wrath. Both sides of my family have been landowners and property owners for generations. Imagine making it past the Civil War and finally gaining a footing in this cruel country, to then be forced off of the land you bought and worked on. Just devastating.

Tens of thousands of people traveled from Dust Bowl states and migrated to California, because it was known as a state that survived the Great Depression better than most states. Individuals and families saw California as their second chance to rebuild and thrive. What they didn’t know was that Californians didn’t want outsiders and “foreigners”. The migrants were called “Okies” and this wasn’t just because many of them were from Oklahoma, it soon became a derogatory term to describe the level of disgust that Californians felt for the migrants. Yes indeed, people from other states were called foreigners, and they looked down on them. If you look at our country today, locals don’t feel cheery about a spike in their population due to newcomers. They start to fear a shortage in jobs, housing, opportunities, and space on the freeways and highways. They start to fear a spike in the cost of goods and services. Although they give the side eye, they aren’t acting out like we did decades ago.

Not yet at least.

If you read The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck then maybe you recall the struggle and strife of the people and families impacted by the Dust Bowl. You should also recall how they were overlooked and taken advantage of by those in their home states who didn’t lose their properties, and they were treated considerably worse by people in California.

Those who made it to California were forced to accept scraps, beg for jobs, and be subjected to inhumane conditions. And back then, the Salvation Army had a bad reputation in California for mistreating the destitute. If the “Okies” protested what Californians were doing to them then they were beaten, arrested, and many were murdered. Yes, even law enforcement was in on the mistreatment. Sadly, the migrants watched as their campsites were burned down by locals who didn’t want “Okies” there. Locals didn’t want to compete with the migrants so they did everything they could to force them out of the state.

Californians drove wages as low as possible to ensure that the migrants couldn’t live dignified lives. They created a mindset where people would accept anything just to eat. They would work for scraps of food to keep from dying of hunger. To keep prices of their crops high, the big landowners in California destroyed some of their crops instead of letting hungry migrants eat them. This waste and cruelty caused a “crop” to develop and sprout in the souls of the migrants—which Steinbeck coined, the grapes of wrath.

The irony is, Californians were doing all of that to protect the land that they stole from Mexicans. Yep, California was part of Mexico, along with Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas until 1850, 1912, and 1848, respectively. How did this happen? Well, in the early 1800s, Americans were desperate and they decided to travel to other lands looking for opportunities for a better life. They saw ripe acres of land and they chose to become squatters. They built houses, planted on and farmed the lands, and eventually stood strengthened in the belief that the land was now theirs. Since Mexicans hadn’t considered that squatters would be an issue, they weren’t prepared for what ultimately happened—losing their land to immigrants who forcefully fought to remain on land not theirs. In 1848 Texas fought and became a state. In 1850 California became a state, and because they also fought hard against slavery, it was a free state as part of the Union. Arizona and New Mexico eventually gained statehood in 1912.

Now, fast forward to the 1930s with Californians “owning” the land, they saw their old selves in the migrants, and rather than being neighborly, they acted rabid. They feared losing the land the same way they got it. They feared the migrants from Oklahoma and other states, and feared that just as they squatted on the land and fought the Mexicans, that the migrants would do the exact same thing to them.

If this wasn’t so painful to examine it would be comical. This nonsense has been happening since this country was first stolen from Native Americans. Our inability to coexist, share, be content with what is allotted to us in a land where we are all foreigners, so we steal that land and it’s resources from the people who allowed us to come here. Then when newcomers arrive we tell them we don’t want them here, there’s not enough land and resources to share. All I can do is smirk and shake my head.

If you never read The Grapes of Wrath and doubt you will go buy a copy or check out one from the library, let me help you out. I searched on YouTube and found all three parts of the audiobook from two sources. Below are the links. Listen to the book. Listen and see how then, is in many ways, now, and now is then.

Audiobook Part 1 https://youtu.be/CzdoHqBhcdc Audiobook Part 2 https://youtu.be/3ofBuTMAtc4 Audiobook Part 3 https://youtu.be/0sjzwlkkLmg

This savagery, as I call it, is cyclical— generation after generation. We keep repeating this nonsense and we don’t see the need to stop and live right. We don’t see the need to treat others with dignity and respect, just as we would like to be treated. Greed drives it all. Big business keeps squashing the little person, banks keep getting bailed out even though they won’t do the same for their depositors, and the frenzy drives the working class into a state of sheer desperation and madness—where they too begin turning on each other. Sound familar? If only people learned how to unite against the status quo. That was a thread of wisdom that Steinbeck wove through the story, where certain characters would propose the concept of strength in numbers, and standing as a collective voice and force—but each time, fear would get in the way. Just like today.

In the book, people were prevented from buying land in California, and if it appeared there was an opportunity to purchase, the price would be set so high that the dream would quickly disappear. They would be forced to live in government and other campsites, with communal facilities, and unsanitary conditions. Today, how do we get the “undesirables” out of neighborhoods and communities? We raise the price of rent, we increase our police presence to get more arrests, we create or unfairly enforce rules or laws that target them, and we make the living conditions unbearable. That is also the strategy to keep people away.

I’ve read several articles recently about the skyrocketed cost of living in California and the staggering number of homeless who have no where safe to go. People with jobs who can’t afford to rent are being forced to sleep in their vehicles, in shelters, or on the streets. Just the other week I read of a tiny house community that was built to house the homeless. It’s ridiculous that this community even had to be built. If property owners reduced their rates on their rentals people could rent. If property owners stopped being greedy trying to sell their homes for way more than their worth, we could have more homeowners. But guess what? Between greed and fear, no one is budging from their position.

But guess what else? It’s not just California that has lost their mind with these ridiculous rate hikes. Have you checked the rental and sales prices of properties in Atlanta, Georgia and surrounding cities? Absolutely ridiculous. There are some areas where you can still be mugged or carjacked yet the houses are being sold for $500,000 to $750,000. I’m not joking. Houses that once were $15,000 to $50,000 were remodeled and because some sucker (most likely from California, New York, or other high priced state) was willing to pay $350,000 or more for a property nearby, that encouraged other sellers to list their homes for comparable prices. All of this has been driving the market up, which means a bubble will be bursting soon, and people will be wailing about the injustice of it all when the property values come plummeting down to levels that actually make sense. We could stop these bubbles from growing in the first place if people stopped being greedy.

Everyone thinks that someone is going to take or destroy what’s ours, even when what’s ours isn’t rightfully ours. We keep living with a “them” versus “us” mindset, rather than realizing that we all want the exact same things in life, and given the opportunity we could all live side-by-side in harmony. We simply choose the chaos. When will we grow tired of this treachery? Share your thoughts.

Copyright 2020. Natasha L. Foreman.

Guess what I’m talking about today on Episode 32 of the Don’t Call It Small…Business Podcast? Recruiting. Yep, but I’m getting into the nitty gritty of it; into the often overlooked stuff.

We’re sharing how to find and select the right team members for your company.

If you’re thinking of starting a business or you already have one, and you’re struggling with finding and selecting the right candidates to join your growing team, then you need to listen to Episode 32 today at 5 pm ET today.

I will also be shouting out two Atlanta-based companies and the entrepreneurs that run them, making sure that our listeners recognize and support local businesses. We’re highlighting Keron Spencer, the owner of Keron Kan Painting LLC. We’re also shouting out Cartez Fountain, the owner of Fountain & Fountain Painting Co LLC, who we highlighted in Episode 12.

You can listen to Episode 32 at ForemanLLC.com/podcast

We’re also broadcasting on:

  • Apple Podcasts
  • Google Podcasts
  • Spreaker
  • Spotify
  • iHeart Radio
  • Deezer
  • Castbox
  • Podcast Addict
  • Podchaser

If you have any questions or comments about Human Resource Management, feel free to contact us here. If your questions or comments are for our podcast, direct them to our show email.

I look forward to receiving your feedback and comments concerning today’s show!

~Natasha

Copyright 2020. Natasha L. Foreman. Foreman & Associates, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

I just read articles about the latest known updates on the COVID-19 CoronaVirus. The media reports what government officials and agencies give freely or leak back-door. So we have to know that what’s being reported isn’t everything. It’s not the whole truth. Not even half of the truth.

It’s the tip of the iceberg.

It’s the drizzle before the hurricane, the eeriness before the tornado, the tremor before the quake, the few crumbling rocks before the eruption or landslide.

Do you get my drift yet?

It’s Way Bigger

Don’t believe for one second that the CoronaVirus is just like a cold, and don’t believe the numbers of reported cases. It’s MUCH BIGGER than is being reported.

Governments just don’t want to create mass hysteria.

Do you remember how everyone acted when they thought all technology would crash January 1, 2000? Almost everyone was in panic about Y2K! Do you remember how stores were gutted and in the last few days of 1999 there were reports of violence—with people fighting in stores over food and stuff?

Magnify that hysteria times two or heck, times five. Especially if the masses begin to freak out about:

  • the odds of death within a week of exposure,
  • no vaccine,
  • lack of food and water,
  • no safe zones for the immune compromised, etc.,
  • not being able to travel because every continent is compromised.

And before I go any farther, let me say this to the person who’s saying, “this is only affecting Asians, I’m not Asian, and I can avoid being around Asians“.

That was the same flawed logic people took with SARS in 2004, and with Ebola. You might as well just isolate yourself and not be around people.

Folks, it’s not just Asians that traveled to and from Asian countries. You see that Italy is being clobbered. We saw it in 2002 with SARS. It spread like crazy in just a few months.

Everyone is at risk. So you can’t just say, “ah well I will just stay away from Asians” but then you’re sitting next to and chatting it up with the British guy who doesn’t tell you he was just in an Asian country, or hanging out with someone who was.

You can’t distinguish who has it or doesn’t based on their race, ethnicity, or nationality.

If they breathe and have contact with other people who breathe, then they are a risk factor.

What’s The Likelihood That This Isn’t SARS 2.0?

Do you think it’s a coinkydink that both SARS and COVID-19 are both coronaviruses that came from or was deposited in China? It’s just, unlike 2002, it has been said that some scientists in China are admitting they created or had samples of COVID-19 in their labs. But what other countries also had it? What if this is just a SARS 2.0 release, but on super villain steroids?

There’s been no known cases of transmission of SARS since 2004. Maybe, because whoever whipped up that batch went back to the lab and said, “well heck look what SARS did, imagine supersizing this bad boy!

Just a thought.

They Fear We Can’t Handle The Truth, And…

Government leaders around the world, including the U.S., aren’t rushing to tell you the TRUTH, and that they don’t have a clue what to do. They are sneakily telling state and federal agencies to prepare their operations, and to low-key alert schools and businesses on how to plan for worst-case scenarios, and the potential economic impact of adjusting or shutting down operations.

A Planned Weapon That Backfired

Because unlike Ebola, which scientists have been fighting for decades, or SARS, which hasn’t been active since 2004, the COVID-19 CoronaVirus is young, shiny, and brand new—straight from the lab without a backup if they screw up. It’s doing what it was created to do—kill humans.

This isn’t what they had planned for population control, or at least not right now, but it will score some points, now won’t it?!? Or maybe this is a multi-prong attack—population control, limit the growth of a new generation, weaken and destabilize the infrastructure of governments and economies, shift power decks for leverage of those who gain greater power, and slow down the progress of countries who were making big and bold innovative moves.

AND just like we saw from Ebola, it wasn’t just Africans who were exposed. The same was true about SARS seemingly being a Chinese and Asian problem. Even if it was a planned bioweapon to wipe out a lot of Asians. So you couldn’t just avoid certain people. And how did Ebola and SARS spread? Humans breathing, coughing, and sneezing around other humans. They were mobilized and basically weaponized thanks to contact through travel—planes, trains, and automobiles! Oh yeah and elevators!

When Ego, Pride & Greed Collab

Unfortunately for the United States, this is an election year, and some folks desperately want to hold on to their positions another four years. And they’re too self-absorbed and ignorant to realize that the best way to win re-election is to get ahead of the problem and show the public that you’re doing everything to protect them.

But, that’s too much like right.

Naw, we’re into finger-pointing and late night blame game tweets. We’re more focused on press conferences than cleaning up the cesspool we helped to create. That’s modern-day business and politics.

If it took this long for China to finally taken ownership for their role in this lab-created virus of war (possibly the second of many), and admit to delaying efforts of containment, you can guarantee that the US will ignorantly follow suit—all while pointing fingers the entire time at China. Even if it was the US that launched the weapon of mass destruction.

I mean, why would we ever think that the CoronaVirus would make its way to the US? Yes, I’m being snarky and sarcastic.

The virus was created and released in a country with more humans per square foot than anywhere else on the planet.

But heck, we didn’t plan and prepare for the ultimate arrival of our unwanted guest…

Coron A. Virus, Ph.D., ABC, andZ.

Yes, I just made light of it. I had to find some humor in this tragedy.

People created a virus to kill people, and I don’t the Chinese are saying “oops…we released this version too soon. We were supposed to release version 2.0 in a specific area some time around September but we had an oopsy daisy in our lab so the plan has been fast tracked a tad bit!” 🤷🏽‍♀️ This isn’t an app, it’s truly a weapon of mass destruction. And nobody has an off switch or another weapon to take it out. Also, if China wanted to launch this bioweapon, wouldn’t their primary target be the US, not themselves? It’s possible. Twisted but possible.

This is like the very first next-level fight, when one man decides to weaponize the fallen tree branch, or a huge rock.

Imagine the look on the face of the other dude who came to rumble with balled fists, and that’s all he has to fight with. How do you course correct?

Ego, pride, and greed are deadly sins with massive collateral damage.

What Leaders Should Do

What’s sad is that we would respect leaders more if they stepped up and did the right thing, the first time, not out of force or guilt.

Let’s be honest with ourselves—our federal government throwing $2 Billion at this problem is like spitting a mouthful of water at a forest fire. You clearly just want to say you did something.

If you owe $1800 on your past due bill, sending $2 isn’t going to stop the collection efforts.

Governments have a responsibility not only to the citizens and residents of their nation, but to the entire world. What affects one country affects all. We have a global economy that is fast tracked by nonstop flights, next day and two-day shipping, etc. We are always vulnerable to exposure, so we should respect that reality by doing our part to protect human life, not just some people’s lives.

Right now, our government is just crossing its fingers that a vaccine will be developed before they have to hit the airways with the TRUTH.

What You Should Do

I suggest that rather than operate out of fear, and become reactionary, finding yourself caught up in the panic and mass hysteria— just begin to gradually stock up on nonperishable items every week. Don’t go crazy and turn your home into an episode of the show “Extreme Couponing”.

But be realistic. You already know how people clear out stores when we get hit by bad weather or news of one of Nostradamus’s predictions on the horizon.

Then you’re left upset and irritated. It’s better to be prepared than be left feeling victimized. Then you will just join everyone else in the blame game.

There Are Lessons To Be Learned

Sadly, the world has to learn the hard lesson of why we shouldn’t play God. The COVID-19 CoronaVirus along with every other man-made virus/disease is what happens when people have a God complex and decide they want to control life and death. The masses have to suffer for the ego, pride, and greed of the few.

You and your families are all in my prayers and I hope that you have some loving prayers or thoughts for me and my family too!

God bless us all!

~Natasha

Copyright 2020.

Today, we learn that former NACA/NASA pioneer and hidden figure, Katherine Johnson has passed away. Many of us grew up not knowing Mrs. Johnson and the phenomenal work she did for NACA/NASA from 1953 to 1988.

Thousands of people admitted on social media and in interviews and private conversations that the first time they learned of Mrs. Johnson was when she and several other African American women were depicted in the 2016 film “Hidden Figures”.

Mrs. Johnson was depicted by Taraji P. Henson. The film sparked countless conversations and admissions by women, such as myself, who felt so close to the women depicted, and how we wished that we knew about them growing up because they could’ve served as the visual role models we needed to see when other people discouraged us from pursuing degrees and careers in fields that are predominantly led by men.

If you haven’t read Mrs. Johnson’s biography, a brief overview provided by NASA can be found here. I normally don’t cite Wikipedia, but there is extensive coverage of Mrs. Johnson here.

Thank you Mrs. Johnson!

Mrs. Johnson and other phenomenal women laid the foundation for other girls and women in STREAM areas. I hope that parents, schools, and great mentors begin to and continue to expose, and encourage, girls to pursue their passions in science, technology, robotics, engineering, architecture, mathematics, and other related fields.

As we still see low numbers of African American women represented in these fields, let’s be sure to not sabotage our girls by steering them to other fields that have historically been deemed “more appropriate” or “better aligned” with “girls strengths”. If they want to pursue engineering, then help open the doors to get them there.

Parents As Supporters

The engineer/technologist in me should’ve listened to my mom and dad who encouraged my love of science, technology, building and deconstructing, etc. My parents bought me books and kits on science, space, robots, technology, etc.

My dad bought me my first microscope and science kit, a computer in 6th grade, and he paid for me to take computer classes at a center that only had adult learners. He would let me work with him on the family cars, teaching me the various tools, parts, and what did what and how. My father drilled me on math as soon as I came out of the womb, always telling me the importance of math and that I was better at it than I believed.

My mom used to help me with ALL of my science projects, I mean all of them! She even played a major role in helping me design my 6th grade invention—that my parents and I didn’t think to patent, called the “Doorbell Butler”. It was then an early iteration of what is now the modern day “Ring” technology that millions of people use. Uugh every day we are reminded that we should’ve patented the idea. The iterations that led up to the modern devices all utilized elements of my invention. But no one will ever know, because I never patented mine.

Imagine your child having an idea that you help them design, you can patent it or just continue on to the next idea. We talk about patents all of the time now, but back in the day it wasn’t every day talk at the kitchen table and definitely not as it related to a child’s idea. It would’ve been cool being a 10-year-old patent holder!

Maybe you and your children have some patent-worthy ideas.

I appreciate my parents for encouraging me to try anything and everything, and pursue my passions. They exposed me to books, the arts, music, acting, sports, and much more. I fell in love with track and field as a child, and my parents never missed a track meet. Even attending my track meets in college.

Because of my parents I’m a book worm, lover of the arts, a passionate writer, athletic, and have fond memories of playing the piano and violin as a child.

My mom bought me my violin and would listen to me practice all over our home. She attended all of my piano recitals. My dad bought me a baby grand piano in 6th grade. He had visions of me playing in concerts as a classical pianist. I thought that was a far-stretch, but I still enjoyed it.

At my request, my parents would take me to acting school every single Saturday in Hollywood, CA when I was in 6th grade. Until of course my social life was begging for my attention and I started missing out on hanging out at the skating rink with my friends. Then, with my passion for skating intensifying, my parents shelled out about $200 so I could get these amazing speed skates—white with pink wheels and laces. I continued skating, almost weekly, until high school. I’m grateful for having the parents I was blessed with. Positive exposure is priceless!!!

Teachers As Instrumental or Destructive Gate Keepers

My parents invested in my passions but sadly, in high school I began to believe more in what teachers said to me. And that shaped the decisions that I made academically and professionally.

Instead of listening to my parents, I listened to teachers who “advised” me to focus my attention on being a writer, because that was my strength. They said that I wasn’t good at math so I could never work in the industries that interested me.

I even had a science teacher in high school say that the fields I was interested in were better suited for men. I should’ve repeated his words to my parents. Instead I internalized those words and began to believe that the teachers were right. We tend to believe the people who have degrees in the fields we’re interested in.

My parents majored in Business, so I chose to believe the people at my school teaching my science and math classes. Why is it we only listen to our parents as newborns and once we’re adults?

If Only I Knew

Imagine if I knew of the dynamic women at NASA! Imagine if I knew of the work they were doing. I then could’ve said, “but Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson have and are doing it, they paved the way so that I can too!”

When I was a child we didn’t have the Internet to turn to, at least not in the format that we have casually been using it since the 1990s. Growing up, you went to the library and researched using books and straining your eyes scrolling through microfiche.

So if there weren’t any books or articles published and later supplied by the school or public library, you wouldn’t read and know about the amazing people doing amazing things around the world. I would spend hours reading and collecting books to check out and take home from the library. I can’t ever recall reading a book about women, and especially not African American women, in these various industries.

Even when I think of Florence Nightingale, it is always in the context of training nurses and caring for soldiers during a war. It was never heavily stressed that she was a statistician. We only regard her as being the founder of modern nursing. And even then, the magnitude of that honor isn’t propelled as high as it should be. I will say, I’m too squeamish to have ever pursued a career as a nurse or doctor. So I would’ve thought she was cool, but never dug deeper into her story.

Heck, I don’t ever recall learning about Ada Lovelace until I was an adult, and that was because I was reading a book for personal enlightenment. Why is society so hush hush about this woman’s contribution to the world of computing? She was one of the first computer programmers and the first person to see the potential of a computing machine.

In the 1800s!

Maybe because it was the 1800s. And mathematics technology, and computing was considered “man’s work”. Heck, some still think it is.

Exposure to and of Black Women in STREAM

Maybe, just maybe during Black History Month, Marjorie Lee Browne, Evelyn Boyd Granville, Katherine Johnson, Melba Roy Mouton, and others were mentioned as being pioneers in mathematics, but it was clearly a rush job during trivia contests. It had no stickiness in my mind. It was most definitely not a part of my school’s curriculum.

I don’t know, maybe had I attended a predominantly Black school, maybe there would’ve been greater intentionality of exposing students to pioneers in this field and other industries. Maybe seeing ourselves in these women would’ve helped us appreciate mathematics more.

Maybe had I known about Mary Jackson, Christine Darden, and others then I would’ve known about the multitude of paths I could have taken in engineering. Had I known about Annie J. Easley, maybe I would’ve had greater interest in computer science.

But then again, we know of countless children who attend predominantly Black K-12 schools who are just as or more clueless about the accomplishments of thousands of Black scientists, mathematicians, engineers, architects, inventors, etc.

We have hundreds of students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that would struggle answering trivia questions about Black women in the industries mentioned.

Do we somehow see it as the responsibility of the student to seek out and find this knowledge independently? What we don’t know that we don’t know is hurting and holding us back.

Society’s Role

Society needs to do a better job of encouraging our children to pursue whatever path they desire. So what if they fail. Failing teaches you how to succeed, it builds grit and character, and it’s quite humbling. I would rather fail at trying something I’m passionate about than sit by wishing I had taken the step to pursue my passions. Woulda, coulda, shoulda is an awful place to be.

You Can’t Be Great Again Without Girls and Women

Just about every nation around the world wants to be great, they want to be recognized world leaders. Well it’s already been proven that if girls and women are not empowered and factored into that winning strategy, as major contributors, in the industries that generate the power and influence that those in government desire—then those nations and those leaders will fail miserably.

Look at how the US is suffering and has been suffering for the past 25-plus years. We better invest in our girls and women, and do so in a positive way. If not, we won’t be holding on to this number one spot for long, and our education scores and rankings will continue to spiral and plummet.

Let’s help to raise and nurture more girls to pursue their passions, whether in STREAM-related fields, or other areas of interest. Not just some girls, all girls. Don’t block their blessings, open the doors to countless opportunities! Help them to see and be futuristic so that they can make a lasting impact, be agents of change, and build honorable legacies.

Thanks NASA

Thank you NACA/NASA for unknowingly and at times begrudgingly opening doors of opportunity for women, and specifically, African American women. I know that initially, the roles for women in NACA were thought to be mindless positions. The 1950s were an interesting time and a woman’s place was a huge debate. I know that the extra flames were fanned when the topic of race was included. The thought of Black women being as smart and smarter than their white male coworkers, definitely had to be a combative environment at times.

But soon you were forced to realize the true gems you had hidden, and you had no choice but to let those gems rise, shine, and do what they do best. I thank you for realizing that risking failure of NACA and later NASA just wasn’t worth it. You wisely bet on these women.

I thank the few astronauts who cared more about their life and returning home safely, than being caught up in the sexist and racist trap of thinking a Black woman couldn’t possibly be smarter than the man-made computers, and the men overseeing the department.

The Future is Now

We’re at a rocky time in history right now. Some men are scared of the power and force that comes from letting women do what they were born and taught to do. Some men are afraid of being seen as less superior, smart, and accomplished. Some men (including some Black men) can’t fathom seeing a Black woman in a role equal to or above their own.

What we fear we try to suppress, correct, and destroy. Let’s break this cycle. It’s destroying us as a nation, as a people.

We should be nations empowered by parents who tell their children, “yes you can!” We should see fathers creating, building and deconstructing things with their daughters, just as they would with their sons. Let’s stop this foolishness of “man’s work” and “woman’s work”. My dad told me when I was a child that all of that was pure ignorance. He said that work is work and we should all take part in getting the job done.

~Natasha

Copyright 2020. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

The link to the above EUR article can be found here. The original Page Six article is here.

Syleena Johnson is a singer and has even worked with R Kelly on a few songs, early in his career, so she financially benefits from airplay of those songs on radio, the Internet, and through DJs spins. She can convince herself that listening to his music is okay and can be done so guilt-free, because she obviously struggles with her internal monitor that questions why she didn’t know she worked with a predator. And she probably thinks that since, “it didn’t happen to me” and “he never was inappropriate with me”, that somehow it diminishes or dabbles away the offenses he has committed for decades.

You can acknowledge a person’s creative genius while also acknowledging the wrong they’ve done. To say we should ignore the latter because the contributions a person makes is helpful or makes us feel good, is plain ignorance.

This predator wrote and sang about his offenses and crimes. He won awards for songs about seducing, manipulating, abusing, enslaving, and victimizing girls and young women. He’s been raking in millions of dollars through royalties earned on album sales and air time on radio.

Why would you continue to support him just because his music made you rock your shoulders or tap your feet?

I can’t listen to Bump n Grind, 12 Play, Trapped in the Closet, and so many other songs without thinking about the girls and women he took advantage of.

When I saw this article posted on Instagram the words I wrote below in the MuteRKelly IG thread, summarizes what I think of the mindset of Syleena and other R Kelly fans and supporters:

This right here…uugh 🤦🏽‍♀️When we knowingly aid the victimization of those we obviously don’t value, respect, and believe should be protected—we then are no better than the victimizer.

Clearly, the slave mentality sees no color of the master, it just wants to maintain the status quo. Because I can guarantee you there would be Black rage 🤬 across the board if the accused was a white man abusing young girls and women.

We would be picketing with signs that “Black women matter” and “Black girls matter” and the media would flood our airwaves and timelines with images and videos of protests.

But, unfortunately, this savagery by R. Kelly is deemed acceptable because he is also Black, like his victims. If the girls and women were white, oh my white America would be singing a lynching battle cry.

But, be calm America, it’s just Black on Black victimization.

No worries. Don’t fret. Because Black on Black crime is supposed to be the norm?!? Status quo?!?

Oh this sickness permeates so wide and deep. How will we uproot it, pluck it out, and flush it into nothingness? 😫

Change starts with you. Change starts with standing up, speaking out, and doing what’s right. Just because something or someone looks good, doesn’t mean it/they are right.

These are my words and thoughts. I stand by them. I won’t financially or socially support a person, brand, or ideology that victimizes, preys upon, enslaves, abuses, brainwashes, manipulates, rapes, molests, and benefits from the tearing down of one person for the gain of another.

And yes, Syleena, this means I won’t spend a penny that benefits Weinstein or Cosby. Predators don’t get financial passes just because they’re entertaining or inspirational.

#MuteRKelly and all predators!

~Natasha

The mind of a fool…

Does not trust what he can’t see…But trusts what he can see, even if it’s a LIE!

You claim you want freedom yet you choose your enslavement.

Stretch your mind. You are only using a fraction of its capabilities.

~Natasha

Copyright 2020. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

It’s Wednesday, so that means it’s podcasting day for me and my Foreman & Associates team. Today on the “Don’t Call It Small…Business” podcast, we will have you look through the lens of the employee and employer, and learn the value of seeing things from both perspectives.

Hopefully it will spark healthy conversation amongst your team, and help those of you who are dreaming of starting a business, realize the importance of always having these conversations. You would be surprised to find out what you don’t know about what you don’t know!

Listen to Episode 31 today at 5 pm ET at ForemanLLC.com/podcast You can also find us on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spreaker, Stitcher, and several other platforms.

In the meantime, catch up on previous episodes 1 through 30, by simply choosing an episode—right now. You can also connect with us online through these sources:

SHOW INFORMATION:

Company: Foreman & Associates, LLC

Website: ForemanLLC.com

IG: @ForemanLLC

FB: @ForemanAndAssociates

Twitter: @ForemanLLC

Podcast Twitter: @ItAintSmall

YouTube: user/ForemanAssociates

Text-only Line: (404) 481-1849

HOST: Natasha L. Foreman, CEO of Foreman & Associates, LLC

Website: NatashaForeman.com

IG: @NatashaLForeman

FB: @NatashaLForeman

Twitter: @NatashaLForeman

LinkedIn: @NatashaLForeman

Theme Song: “Higher Up” by Shane Ivers

Copyright 2020. Natasha L. Foreman/ Foreman & Associates, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

It brings me joy to say happy birthday to my one and only sister, Alexandra. A decade and a half separate our ages, but through the years, we’ve grown to feel closer in age. I love this woman like I love the air that I breathe.

She’s been through a lot, but still she can find peace and humor to share with others. I chose this picture of her because of the hilarious caption she shared with it. My sister can make me laugh so hard that my head, chest, and sides hurt.

She’s caring, sensitive, and hopeful. She’s a hard worker and will give her last to someone, because that’s her nature.

I’ve seen a huge transformation in her, especially since she became a mom. They say that parenthood brings out all sorts of strengths, characteristics, traits, and more. I look forward to seeing how she blossoms as a woman and mother. I look forward to seeing how she pours into my nephew so that he can shine and thrive in more ways that any of us could ever imagine.

I look forward to seeing the blessings, opportunities, and experiences that my sister will seize and make the most of. I pray that this new decade brings her the strength, courage, discipline, and obedience to do big, bold, and beautiful things—while freeing herself of everything that would restrict, diminish, or weaken her.

Happy Birthday Sis!

I love you with my whole heart ❤

~Tasha

Copyright 2020. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.

If you didn’t watch the Superbowl game yesterday between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers, then you missed an intense and well fought game.

Neither team playing was one of my teams, but I was crossing my fingers for the Chiefs. Yeah, my love for the Cowboys and Raiders just won’t let me cheer for the 49ers! 🤣 So yesterday was a great day in football.

Having Strong Vision

What I found amazing, now serves as one of the overarching lessons from the game, is that some people—including some of the commentators, were beginning to say in the third quarter, that the 49ers basically had this game in the bag—that somehow the Chiefs couldn’t recover from the point deficit. Which is odd, because we’ve witnessed in multiple games that the Chiefs have the grit to not only turnaround the odds, but do so in their favor. While the commentators and fans saw lack, the Chiefs saw opportunity. The Chiefs knew that the game wasn’t over until the clock read 0:00 in the fourth quarter.

While the commentators were saying that Patrick Mahomes, the quarterback for the Chiefs, somehow lost his zest, grit, mojo, magic sauce—Mahomes was focused on inspiring his team and looking for opportunities to leverage, and capitalize on. He tuned out those voices and tuned in to his inner power.

Mahomes didn’t lose anything. He was challenged to try something differently. He was tapping into his other skills. I’m surprised that the retired NFL players commenting on the game forgot what that felt like, the processes they went through to dig deep and rethink strategy. We watched them pull their teams out of the trenches, yet in their vision of Mahomes they didn’t see their past selves.

Until It’s Over, It Ain’t

There’s the lessons: you don’t give up until the game, project, activity, race, or relationship is over. And you don’t let naysayers get in your head and convince you that you don’t have what it takes to win. Even if those naysayers succeeded or failed at the same thing you’re attempting. Get them out of your head. You need to dig through your toolbox of skills and keep working until you get it right, or fail trying.

Passion, Creativity & Innovation

Both teams were highly creative and innovative, but Kansas City simply out-hustled and outmaneuvered San Francisco. Passion wanes because you stop engaging and reinvesting in it.

How many married couples later admit that the passion died when they stopped sharing, dating and learning from each other? They stopped looking for creative and innovative ways to connect.

How many businesses go belly up because they stopped reinvesting in their overall experience for both the worker and the customer. The passion for the mission dwindles because you stop pursuing new and creative ways, and revisiting old ways differently. They stop reinventing and reimagining themselves.

For some people, the mind dies before the body does.

Grit & Tenacity

Through your grit and tenacity, you can knock down barriers, and cause your opponents to make mistakes and decisions that concede to your victory. Or you at least give them a hard-won fight to the end. But you don’t just give up at the first signs of adversity. Neither the 49ers or the Chiefs caved when the scoreboard wasn’t in their favor. They simply pushed harder or with greater finesse.

When the pressure mounts, get excited, because that means you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be. You just need to find the right opening to get to the next level. If it’s super easy, then you’re in the wrong arena, the wrong stadium. You’re not playing in the Superbowl, you’re playing in a Pop Warner game.

Now, let’s look at more lessons from yesterday’s game….

Be Present

There were some key plays in the game where the Chiefs did the unexpected, and it worked in their favor. They didn’t belabor in the missteps, they quickly recovered, with a focus on doing better the next time. They lovingly pushed each other to get and keep their heads and hearts in the game. Being present with the current down, not obsessed over the previous ones. You can’t fix the past, only learn from it. Don’t repeat the past mistake. Don’t be sloppy and leave yourself open to future ones.

Your Focus Isn’t Everyone Else’s

After the game ended, Mahomes was interviewed and asked what happened, and why he hadn’t repeatedly thrown the long and powerful passes we saw weeks and months earlier. People wanted to be wowed and drunkardly entertained by mesmerizing antics. His team won the game but not the way people envisioned.

His response was exactly what I expected. He gave an answer that most weren’t expecting, because they were operating from a place of lack. Patrick Mahomes said, in a nutshell, that the 49ers have an amazing defensive team that made it difficult to throw long passes, and risking those opportunities would have meant that the 49ers would’ve won that game. He wasn’t there to entertain, he was there to win.

They are two of the best teams in the NFL, both there because of their amazing skills, and that meant it wouldn’t be a blow-out win for either team. They were gonna have to bust their butts and work smart and hard for that win.

Mahomes gave San Francisco credit for being a phenomenal opponent. He had to find a different way to take them down. He had to look for other opportunities, and not-so-obvious opportunities. He had to trust his coaches and team mates, and they had to trust him. His team members who play on offense had to present scoring opportunities while reducing the risk of turnovers. His defensive team had to find ways to keep the 49ers from turning every attempt into scored points, while also looking for opportunities to force turnovers in favor of the Chiefs.

That’s why we saw footage of Patrick rallying both the offensive and defensive players on the team, it required both to be in the collective mindset that they each have a role to play, tasks to execute, and responsibilities to self and team—and no matter what the score looked like, the words being screamed by fans and haters, or the commentary on television—do your job and don’t give up!

The quarterback is not just the leader of the offensive team, Mahomes is the leader of the entire team. Heck, he’s even an inspiration to the support staff and the water and towel crew who run around making sure players are hydrated and cared for.

What are You and Your Team Made Of?

There has to be harmony even during chaos.

Everyone’s head has to be in the game, and properly aligned. If not, it begins to impact other players. Energy is contagious. Watch quickly how it spreads, for or against a team. Watch it’s heightened state when victory feels imminent, and watch how it dwindles and drains when failure is perceived to be close in hand.

Yes, the Chiefs played and beat the 49ers, but their biggest opponent was their own team, their individual and collective mind. If they allowed their fears, mistakes, and setbacks to gain a footing in their mind, the roots would have grown and latched on, and they would’ve caved to the pressure.

They rechanneled the fear, frustration, disappointment, and anger. They recalibrated. They studied their opponent during the game. They studied themselves and each other. They communicated more and kept every person that was standing and seated on that sideline focused on the mission and vision.

That is why it’s more important to seek out team members with desirable character traits that align with your values, than just seek highly skilled workers. If someone’s heart isn’t in it then it will display in their work. If they aren’t invested in the same things you are, it will show. The Chiefs came together as one unit, one body, one mind.

The more that Kansas City realigned themselves, the more San Francisco would be thrown off by the realignment. Not by a great margin, but enough for the Chiefs to leverage it in their favor. That turned into a win that the team hasn’t experienced in 50 years. Kansas City has been trying 50 years to get a Superbowl win. Their head coach, Andy Reid, has been trying to win a Superbowl as head coach of a team, since he first became the coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1999. He had no Superbowl wins there during his 13 years with that team, and until yesterday, he had 6 years of unsuccessful attempts with the Chiefs. That’s 19 years of trying but never giving up. Year 20 he succeeded. This is his second Superbowl win in his NFL career. Talk about grit!

Learn and Apply The Lessons

Learn from yesterday’s game. Apply those lessons to your personal, professional, and academic lives. That’s what I love about sports, you can see the mirroring of other aspects of your life. The principles are the same, they’re just set in different arenas.

Is what lies before you a failure or an opportunity? Are you going to give up and walk away, or look for a different way? If you fall will you get back up or will you just lie there like a rug, letting life pass over you?

No, you won’t win every game. No, your efforts may not lead to a Superbowl victory (or something comparable in your life). No, your relationship may not last. But what effort are you investing in the success or failure? What lessons are you learning in real-time to pivot and adjust? How are you getting wiser, stronger, and better?

Life unfolds based on your perceptions. Failing doesn’t make you a failure and winning is not a guaranteed repeated outcome, even for the winner. How many of you initially thought the New England Patriots were clinching the Superbowl title again this year, just because they did it last year? Welp, they were eliminated. But I can guarantee that they are strategizing how to reclaim their spot for next year. Just as the 49ers are. Every team in the NFL is focused on winning the top prize. Even in the high of yesterday’s win, the Chiefs want to win again next year. You’re a fool to think that they are satisfied with just one. It’s a laser focus.

What are you laser-focused on achieving this year? What positive moves will you make to achieve it? What junk and noise will you blot out? What naysayers will you ignore? Who will you embrace that is trying to help you succeed? Who will you inspire to help make the vision a reality?

~Natasha

Copyright 2020. Natasha L. Foreman.