Murder, She Wrote

by Danielle N. Hall


It’s taken me over a month to finally get this thought out…

What a year 2016 was! There were deaths of so many people who we’d come to know or admire over the years or who we came to know of after their deaths. There was Prince, Alan Thicke, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Muhammad Ali, George Michael, Janet Reno, Arnold Palmer, and then there was Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. The list is much more extensive. In some way, the news of the deaths touched us. The controversial deaths, of the last two mentioned, troubled our core and shed more light on an epidemic of the abuse of power of those in authority. I’d like to turn your attention to yet another systemic problem that has claimed more lives than few: character assassination.

In the age where social media engagement is just as routine as laundering your clothes, we are privy to a host of people’s opinions: good, bad, or indifferent. I’ve observed some of the most hate-filled and inconsiderate expressions of many. Having differing opinions, from the topic of political preference to the topic of lifestyle, should not warrant the spewing of sentiments laced with venom.

I’ll refrain from naming any particular individual(s) because the issue stretches far beyond the contentious utterances of one person or a few people. Social media isn’t the only place where we witness these heinous accounts: we’ve been privy to them in our families, on our jobs, and EVEN in “the church”. I want to be very careful of finger pointing because I don’t want to be guilty of the very topic being addressed here. I think what’s important is that we individually govern our thoughts and understand that just because something is permissible to say, it may not be profitable.

Consider this: each word spoken is a seed that will take root and then grow into a plant you’ll have to eat the fruit of. 

A man’s stomach will be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; He will be satisfied with the consequence of his words. – Proverbs 18:20 (AMP)

I don’t know about you, but I’m a picky eater!

Sometimes, when people attack the character of others it’s because they’ve either not discovered or not acknowledged the truth about themselves. We all have a flaw or two and being hasty to cast judgment isn’t advisable. At times I’m impatient, easily angered, or lazy. I know that about myself and I acknowledge it.  I’ve also been guilty of speaking ill of others. You know what they say: when you know better, you do better. We ALL have room for improvement and before you part your lips to attack the character of another, just remember that one day you’ll have to eat the fruit.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it and indulge it will eat its fruit and bear the consequences of their words.” – Proverbs 18:21 (AMP)

The Halves & The Half Nots

by Danielle N. Hall


All this week I’ve had on my mind a famous line by Chuck Brown: “Whatever you do big or small, do it well or don’t do it at all.” This is one of those simple, yet profound statements.  My late grandmother had another way of saying it that may not be suitable for all audiences, but even from her creative way of expressing the same message, I understood the importance of striving for excellence.

What we input has a direct effect on the output we yield. The “Halves” are those who engage in half-hearted efforts and will later find that their output leaves something to be desired. The job gets done, but there are some elements missing that could’ve enhanced the outcome. The “Half Nots” are those who put their entire hearts into what they are doing whether they are on a mission to buy a greeting card, completing a major work project, or any other endeavor.

Sometimes, when we don’t understand the value of certain opportunities, we tend to fall in the category of the “Halves”. For instance, I can recall while being in high school being afforded the opportunity to take college courses as a part of the HI-SCIP (High School College Internship Program). The first semester, I enrolled in a psychology class and I enjoyed it. I paid attention, learned much, and applied myself. I earned a B in that class. The 2nd semester, I was enrolled in a World History class which wasn’t of interest to me so I took a half-hearted approach and squandered the opportunity. I earned a D: an outcome that certainly left more to be desired by me. 

That experience was both a learning and a teaching point for me. I just recently shared with my children the contrasts in the outputs based on my inputs. I’ve learned to not waste valuable opportunities by having the mindset of the “Halves”. If I am going to do it, whether it’s big or small, I’m going to do it well or not do it at all. Consider me a “Half Not”.

In which of the two groups are you?