Nonessential expressions in writing are words, phrases or clauses that are not necessary to the meaning or structure of the sentence. It’s easy to determine whether an expression is nonessential by omitting the phrase from the sentence. If the meaning of the sentence is still conveyed and if proper sentence structure is preserved, the expression is nonessential.
Example: We reserved this section for their fathers, none of whom attended the program.
The bolded phrase is nonessential; but sometimes I wonder whether families today consider fathers as nonessential. This Father’s Day, in addition to celebrating fathers and father figures, I think we should spread the message that fathers are essential to the family unit.
As I thought about the purpose of Father’s Day and creative ways to thank and celebrate my father for being present in my life, I began to reflect on his influence on me. That thought snowballed into my thinking about the significance of a father’s contribution to his children (generally speaking) which then led, for some reason, into thoughts about famous African Americans and their fathers. I thought about Tiger Woods, Venus and Serena Williams, Michael Jackson, Beyonce, and even Oprah. Each of these people has dominated their field. They have risen to the top and succeeded beyond ordinary success. But each of them also credit their fathers as essential to their success. In fact, if you omit their fathers from the sentences of their lives, meaning and structure would not only be lost, we probably wouldn’t even know their names.
We can learn a few lessons from the practices of these African American fathers.
- They insisted upon their child’s excellence.
- They demanded discipline and practice.
- They were unwaveringly dedicated to their child’s success.
- They held their children to high standards and expectations.
- They also, in most cases, did not ask their children what they wanted to be when they grew up; they told them.
Because of these essential fathers, the above-mentioned celebrities will be known for what their fathers dreamed they could be, as they are forever etched on the pages of Black, American and World History.
As we acknowledge fathers and father figures today, let us make sure we do our part to raise a generation of boys who will be fathers that will dream dreams for their children and gift the world with someone who will impact it in a significant and meaningful way.
Happy Father’s Day.
Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009. It was a sudden and almost abrupt exit that literally shocked the world. There have been conspiracies surrounding his death and even speculations circulating about him faking his death. Unfortunately, there have also surfaced rumors of some activities that he engaged in during his life. Among them are the ideas that Jackson, a purported follower of Alister Crowley, conjured the spirit Cybele – the goddess of the nature/ fertility. Some have said he worshipped her and that some of his love songs are written to her.
For the sake of where this post is going, let’s say that these accusations are true. Let’s say Jackson, through rituals and other methods, got in touch with the Spirit of Nature. Let’s say they communed with each other. Let’s say he wrote songs to please her and to make the world aware of how she is hurting and in need of healing.
Michael Jackson’s message was one of love and healing and taking care of the planet. At the end of the movie, “This Is It” I heard something that was VERY interesting. Right before they prayed after one of the rehearsals, Michael Jackson said something to his team to inspire them. “We have four years to get it right or else it’s irreversible to manage what we’ve done…”
If Jackson was in communication with Cybele, did he know something that we didn’t know? Was he a messenger? What do you think he referring to? What can we do to reverse what we’ve done? What are the consequences?
I don’t have the answers, but I do have a few thoughts. The weather has been changing drastically over the last few decades. Biblical predictions seem to be coming to pass. Did Jesus know more about the Earth than we give him credit? Is our planet really unintelligent? Over the last 6000, we have done so much to hurt the third rock from the sun. Our lifestyles have become so demanding and are based on so much ignorance that they now require the destruction of the Earth. Perhaps nature is responding to us in some way. A warning? Or have we already received warnings?
As we remember Michael Jackson on the anniversary of his death, let’s not reduce him to a mere musician. Let’s remember him as a philanthropist and one who had a heart toward humanity and taking care of the planet. Let us hear anew the songs and follow the advice given in them… before it’s too late.