MIKE RAMEY is a syndicated columnist, book reviewer and Minister who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.  E-mails always welcomed to manhoodline@yahoo.com.

The Path To An Innovator

By M. G. Ramey

When one has put in the sweat, prayer, and hard work to achieve a vision of something better in one’s profession, there will be mockers and scoffers a-plenty. The question to the innovator; the man or woman who not only marches to a different drummer but has their own band…are you willing to stick it out? Are you willing to ride that innovation to the ground, with your cowboy hat flapping in the breeze (a.k.a. Dr. Strangelove)? Tough questions for tough times.

Long ago I was blessed to observe that the gang scene had modernized, thus I coined the term ‘Modern’ Street Gangs, and adjusted my training and research methods accordingly. Today’s gangs have–in addition to the tech, guns, and willpower to do wrong–deep, spiritual roots. The gang/terrorism dynamic today is NOT like “West Side Story”, whether one wants to believe it or not. You can’t have ‘Maria’ expectations to combat ‘Terminator’ attitudes as France, England and others are finding out.

Innovation does not originate because of technology, but because of thought, observation and risk. FedEx, if I remember my business history, came about because the author of an ‘average’ business paper put his own equity and money into the vision. Mary Kay Cosmetics grew from a desire and fostered more than one generation of female entrepreneurs and sales consultants. Both are worldwide brands.

Today’s terrorist cell is nothing more than a Modern Street Gang.  As a consultant, I am amazed by the fact that agencies have tons of money to resurrect failed programs rather than to deal with the gang or terrorism problem straight on. They have lacked vision, and have killed off innovation on the inside of many of their own agencies. The gangs and terrorists have modernized, have added the spiritual to the criminal, and have unsheathed deadly results, while laughing at the paralyzed ‘status quo’.

Want to learn how to solve a problem? Check for the location of the nearest innovator. They aren’t too hard to spot. Just follow the crowd of naysayers, catcallers and scoffers. In the words of the late President Teddy Roosevelt, those who are in the arena, striving for a cause, and who know well the joys of victory, and can get up after a defeat are the problem-solvers you have been looking for.

Rev. M. G. Ramey is a Modern Street Gangs and Media Consultant who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. Emails are always welcomed to rameysgangline@yahoo.com. © 2015 Barnstorm Communications.

“A Sleeping Soul Is Already An Ensnared Soul”–Thomas Brooks


By Mike Ramey (January 3, 2015)

One of the young men from my church will soon head to high school graduation, and off to college. We had a chance to chat. Frankly, with the hysteria sweeping the upper-academic ranks, one would think that it is nigh impossible to finish college in a four-year period without a boatload of debt.

Poppycock! It can still be done! I added my advice to that which he is getting from his grandparents, parents and other wise adults:

*Get used to working while in college. Part-time on campus in those ‘dead times’ between classes and studying. Summers and winters when you get home. If you haven’t learned how to tithe, budget and save, you need to learn. Three of the best part-time jobs you could land would be for the Alumni Association, the campus food service, or pounding a beat for campus security.

*As soon as possible, figure out ‘what you wanna be’ and focus on your degree path in that Major. Use your Minor for those courses that you’d like to ‘try out’ to deepen your experience and contact level. If you decide to change majors, remember that your ORIGINAL catalog is your contract with the school for the entire four-year run.

*Check out the local churches and FIND ONE that fits your upbringing. Some college students may laugh at ‘good religion’, but the studies–and common sense–shows that the students who stick with church don’t have nearly as many problems with the campus police, the free clinic, or the opposite sex as their classmates.

*Learn and KNOW how to pray, and to get a prayer through. As a teacher and a college instructor myself, I have a firm belief in the old classroom addage: “As long as there are tests, there WILL be prayer in school!” After seeing the grades come back over the years, I have also learned the addendum: “Study is prayer with legs on it!”

*Plan on a Sunday through Thursday studying schedule. Fridays and Saturdays for laundry, shopping, fun, and socializing. Midterms and finals will clearly show which students have studied and which have not.
*Get on the Dean’s List ASAP. Not only will it mean your grades are high, it can also provide, 1) a pipeline into the ‘hidden realm’ of scholarship money, and; 2) it can make it easier for you in the off chance you have a ‘row’ or ‘disagreement’ with one of your professors.
*Learn how to do things, fix things and think for yourself. College is a great place to ‘re-invent’ yourself, but don’t transform yourself into something that ‘Jack the Ripper’ would call a friend. Also, drugs, booze and the opposite sex make lousy substitutions for academic progress.
*College is an investment. It has a depreciation value attached. Once you pay in, you’ll never get it all back if you decide to drop out. However, once you DO get the degree, you can’t have it taken away from you.

*More than likely, you will have to live ON campus for the first one or two years of college, with a roommate. Stay AWAY from the thugs, non-studyers, gypsies, tramps and thieves. AVOID members of the opposite sex who are after YOU as their MRS. degree, drama queens, thuggettes, drug dealers, and trouble makers/jealousy starters. Do NOT ‘hold’ things for folks you don’t know in your room.

*Lastly, courses in Parliamentary Procedure, Public Speaking, Economics, Etiquette, a foreign language and/or Creative Writing–even in our ‘tech’ age will give you the ‘soft skills’ that will take you farther than your classmates, and put a little ‘pizzazz’ in your skill sets when it comes time for job hunting and graduation.

Yes, this is a short list…but this is only the beginning. College is not a sprint, but a marathon. More and more of our young men are realizing that they have to compete in a global marketplace. They also are realizing–in spite of the ‘crying jaggers’ that call themselves ‘journalists’ today–that there is cause for optimism. The future is so bright for many young people–they have to wear ‘shades’. Let’s give them all the encouragement we can.

Mike Ramey lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. © 2015 Barnstorm Communications. You can reach him at manhoodline@yahoo.com.


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