Can I Live? Five Things to Remember in Times of Social Tension seeks to highlight the things that make Nashville (and eventually the world) so fascinating.  A big part of the fascination with Nashville, in my opinion, are the people.  I would definitely consider myself to be social butterfly when it comes to being on the scene and out and about, however, social advocacy for the people are also a pivotal piece to this platform.  My advocacy is usually displayed in who I am as a woman, and in the choices I make.  But as I grow this platform, I plan to do more.  This piece is the introduction. will utilize this platform to discuss social issues and be a voice for CHANGE.  This means changing group dynamics, changing the conversation, and preconceived notions and ideas.  This will all be done by asking the questions, providing the dialogue, and seeking to understand from a solution oriented perspective.
 In the midst of the most recent acts of violence, terrorism, and police brutality, I decided my response to these current events would be to ask my good friend and Life Coach for his reflections.  I prefer to refer to experts or people who represent what I envision as the solution, when it comes to where I gather advice.
Specifically, on a recent Facebook post I mentioned that with so many random acts of gun violence happening in America, how can one be sure to take care of themselves mentally, emotionally, and socially?  How do we wrap our brains around this environment, and what do we do to make sense of it all?  His thoughts — and a few of my interpretations — are below:

Can I live?  This question has been at the heart of today’s socially charged atmosphere.  Currently all minorities* (Black, Hispanic or Latino, Women, LBGTQ, etc) are at the heart of a social movement that requires them to validate their worth through confronting social injustices.  The question “Can I Live” presents as a contradiction to human existence because it represents asking permission for basic human rights.  So, what is it about our social structure that makes this necessary?

The United States has always been characterized by a racial and gender social structure.  The status of non-white and or female (as well as the other minorities mentioned above) have historically translated into an inferior status, and as a result of social stratification this label of inferiority has led to reduced opportunities.

 Creating and promoting a space that encourages human interaction based on multiple truths, love, and acceptance is pivotal to a culture that never has to ask the question “Can I Live?”  Individual people are social change.  People are social beings whose behavior, thoughts, and ideas are constantly influenced by social interaction between people, places, things, and situations.  When a person encounters a situation both person and situation become a “new” experience.   With this understanding, individuals must continue to improve themselves holistically with the revelation that their truth is not the ONLY truth.  Living a positive and worry-free life in today’s climate is not about avoiding social conflict or assimilating to mimic the ideals of those in power.  Keenly enough, it’s about advocating and making sure you are represented in the proper context.  –KB Translation FIND YOUR LANE that best REPRESENTS YOU and people that match your desires and needs WILL FIND YOU!–

Here are a five things to remember:

5. Be the Change you want to see.

People represent change, therefore when you change for the better, so does the collective.

4. Communicate with the intentions of helping others understand and not with the intentions of influencing.

“Worry free living” is not necessarily absent of conflict or debate.  Working with others to gain understanding can reduce feelings of anxiety about the unknown.

3. You are your source of happiness.

Living a positive worry free life means promoting a positive worry free life.  As a person, be the variable that changes interactions with people and situations making them into positive experiences.

2.  Accept people for who they are.

Life is happening and we are all evolving.  Accepting people for who they are, instead of for who you want them to be saves you time and energy.

1. BE YOU.

In the famous words of Black Psychiatrist Fanon Frantz (1925-v1961) ask yourself “who am I; am I who I say I am; and Am I who I ought to be?

Real democracy is fueled by truth. The type of truth that acknowledges that the severely deformed monster that stands in the corner of a child’s bedroom is nothing more than a pile of dirty clothes destined to meet its match in a cup of detergent. The parent must accept that the child fear is real, while the child must accept that parent’s insight and observation are sincere. TRUTH! The type of TRUTH that acknowledges that just because your TRUTH doesn’t resemble my TRUTH doesn’t mean it isn’t a TRUTH. The type of TRUTH that accepts that in order for there to be light there must be dark. A positive life and worry-free living is truly about not lying to yourself and accepting that truth doesn’t cease being truth because you don’t like it. In today’s social atmosphere it is truly about acceptance, and that starts with love and respect.

About Dr. Thurman E. Webb Jr. He is an Assistant Professor of Psychology, Tennessee State University.  Dr. Webb is the co-coordinator for the Professional School Counseling program (TSU), a Licensed Professional School Counselor, & a Certified Life Coach. The profession of counseling is personally important to him, and has resulted in a productive stint in the counseling field for more than a decade.  He is the Co-Founder of the nonprofit organization A Future Beyond and has worked to empower people of all types.  While his coaching / counseling philosophy has not changed, his approach to conveying material continues to evolve.  He is committed to the ideology of helping others help themselves and believes life is truly about balance.  Dr. Webb has played both a proactive and reactionary role in the educational mindsets of learners of all types.   He has multiple publications, two of which can be found on Amazon and are listed below.

 It Starts and Ends with You.  Published in 2015

A Successful Career in Loving Life.  Published in 2014.

Join the Instagram movement: rebrandtheblackman & centerperson for inspirational and motivational pictures and quotes.  For life coaching and other collaborative opportunities, click here to contact him.

KB The Nashville Social Butterfly

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