Solange Knowles & ‘Chance the Rapper’ Used Their Awards Appearance for a Greater Cause – #HometownChat

Hot Shot (Old-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
– Oprah Winfrey, TV Host & Entertainment Mogul

Hot Shot (New-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
– Kevin Hart, Comedian & Actor

doc-speak

#HometownChat – “Smart Community, Special Service, Civic Dreams”

It was another sunny day in LA as Red Carpet watchers came out for the pre-show. So it was in England as well, as Solange Knowles performed a music set for concert goers. Then she got on a plane headed for LA. Knowles & Chance the Rapper used their BET Awards appearance for a greater cause.

She was there to honor a social activist; he was there to receive the Humanitarian Award. After receiving her own award earlier in the show, Knowles embraced the work of those working to address issues of brutality and criminal justice. Meanwhile, Chance is no stranger on empowering kids on the block.

He was almost brought to tears by a surprise clip from former First Lady Michelle Obama praising him for his work. With the lead-up to the Essence Festival and Independence Day celebrations underway, there’re many getting ready to get their groove on. Others are also considering the issues of the day.

For some, these times feel like there’s a kind of fog over the country’s social/political optics. Whether it’s in cases of laws being enacted or rights being revoked, it’s not clear how long it’ll take for this fog to burn off. How can we get through the fog? What does the fog look like? Well here are some things to consider.

  1. When vision is low, turbulence is high.
  2. When clouds are in the way, civic instruments have a role to play.
  3. When sunshine is blocked, social/civic development gets cooled.
  4. When haze is in the air, proceed with caution or move to higher ground where things are clear.

The healthcare debate and criminal justice matters have taken center stage in recent days. There’ve been a series of court rulings and proposed Senate legislation that have communities wondering ‘what are we, worst-in-class citizens?’ Some are even thinking out loud ‘how could anyone be so mean?’

An often quoted word of inspiration says ‘where there’s no vision, the people perish.’ This might also be modified to suggest where there’s no vision, no sense of common purpose, no justice, the people perish. What we see in the back-and-forth is that when vision is low turbulence is high in matters of public affairs.

As an example, the turbulence on a flight can happen during the first 10 minutes of takeoff or later at higher altitude. Low lying clouds have a way of making the early part of the ride bumpy. In the case of higher altitude, it’s usually due to a phenomenon called ‘air pockets.’ This is like a pothole in the sky.

When clouds are in the way a pilot has to use on-board instruments to help see through the fog. In the case of our country’s optics, that’s what the Special Prosecutor role headed by Robert Mueller is all about. But there’re other civic instruments and institutions that as citizens we get to add our say.

We look back on our history and see those moments when ‘America was born, died and came back from the dead.’ This is seen from the events leading up to America’s Independence to the Civil War period to the age of Civil Rights. They’re times when the light of progress came through after dark days of pain.

Solange and Chance are helping us get through the fog or dampness in the air by letting their light shine through. Just like when the sun is shining it warms the air, when the light comes through, our social and civic development grows. But when the light is blocked our social/civic development gets cooled.

chance-the-rapper7

They also know when haze or ‘air pockets’ are in the path, to proceed with caution or move to higher ground where things are clear. When vision is high it points us towards that higher ground. In a sense that’s what can be achieved through the collective efforts of ‘Community 3.0, Vision100 and the United Streets of America.’

So where do we find ourselves on issues of the moment? Some of the concerns have been around for a while. It feels like same old stuff, different day. Maybe we’re at the crossroads of belief and relief. We’re trying to believe there’s room enough for fresh change while hoping for some relief from the confusion.

When it comes to technological change we’re in a phase known as ‘the Internet of things.’ This is where more of our electronic devices and home appliances are connected to the Internet. This way there’s more we can do to measure and manage the efficiency in our daily lives by being more connected.

To advance our effectiveness in social change, there needs to be a mindset that a “Community of things’ will move us from the ‘politics of things’ to the ‘common purpose of things.’ How we get there might seem a bit fuzzy. But it could mean connecting ‘Mission Ready Blocks’ (MRBs) with ‘Mission Rocking Beats.’

Abraham Lincoln once said Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character give him power. Martin Luther King Jr. is quoted as saying Every step towards the goal of justice requires sacrifice and suffering; the tireless exertions and passionate concerns of dedicated individuals.

Where we are today fits those quotes. Those in power show us their true character. What they propose assumes that anything goes. Lincoln and King would have us know we must fight for opportunity and against injustice. These things we can do in the meantime until sunshine comes after dark days are gone.

Block Talkback: These days should we fight for something (like healthcare for more citizens) or fight against something (like brutality and social injustice)?

Groove-tracks: Baby Cham ft Alicia Keys – Ghetto Story – https://youtu.be/loPRsrqrDXc

TLC – It’s Sunny –  https://youtu.be/EolE4i0UmWw

Advertisements

Maxine Waters: No Silent River, Nancy Pelosi: No Political Walkover; But It’s Not Just Them! – #HometownChat

Hot Shot (Old-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
– Will Smith, Hollywood Actor & Philathropist

Hot Shot (New-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
– Ne-Yo, Music Producer & Stage Performer

doc-speak

#HometownChat – “Smart Community, Special Service, Civic Dreams”

Recently there was a flurry of activity around the first 100 days. Some attended rallies or were at a convention and of-course D.C. networking events. In some circles there’s a war of words going on. For one thing, Maxine Waters is no silent river and Nancy Pelosi no political walkover. But it’s not just them!

Waters has been making her voice heard in a very significant way. ‘Queen Maxine’ has made strong statements about governing and the things that lead to communities rising. She’s got cred on the link between public policy and American history, based on her background and work in the trenches.

Pelosi made history years ago by becoming the first female House Speaker. Even as minority leader she’s leading the way as a gut check on things that might become a social train-wreck. For example, she sees the health and well-being of America as not just in taking care of a few but doing so for the many.

In a general sense the public policy debate throughout our history has been like a war for the soul of a nation. The battle these days isn’t just around Constitutional order but between the ‘pissed-off vs. stay-woke’ crowd for the sanity of the nation. This seems to go back and forth throughout America’s history.

In one corner are events around the Civil War. It was a protest flashpoint by those on a path that seemed like a more pissed-off union. In the other are events leading up to and during Civil Rights. It was a flashpoint for those who sought a more perfect union. This cycle shows up and affects us in new ways by:

  1. Challenging our understanding of Articles in the Constitution.
  2. Distorting the message of equality which led to the Emancipation.
  3. Stirring-up resentment on the subject of Immigration.
  4. Building roadblocks to a sense of community and trust in our Institutions.

Every game on the playing field has rules in the books. These rules are important to making sure that teams know what’s in fair play and what’s more like a foul. They help referees and umpires make calls that keep things moving. Without some basic rules a game would be more of an uncontrolled free-for-all.

The major rules of governing are found in the U.S. Constitution. This document has roles and responsibilities for each branch of government. Many public policy issues get tricky by challenging our understanding of these Articles in the Constitution. But things get messy when the rules don’t apply fairly.

That’s what happened after Independence, leading up to and during the Civil War. The Constitution made the slave reference as having three-fifths representation. This led to a distorted view of those Americans. That sentiment along with the Constitutional view of States Rights led to the confederacy spinoff.

But even after the Emancipation there was still public policy that created a ‘Jim Crow’ atmosphere. This prompted rounds of civil disobedience during the Civil Rights era. What we saw with public policy after the Civil War might be happening now after Civil Rights as a ‘new & improved’ version of ‘America in reverse.’

We find times in history where different groups are used as a scapegoat. Back in the day immigrants from some European countries were seen as a threat to American society. Now there’s a new stirring-up of resentment on issues of immigration. Pelosi and Waters might say the reasons are Un-American.

nancy-pelosi

The Statue of Liberty as a symbol of freedom was a gift from France for the mutual exchange during the American Revolution. Some want to view immigrants as a threat. This usually happens when a war of words feels better than a war of ideas. Thankfully, an inscription on the statue sees us as an asset.

Over the years especially between the Civil War and Civil Rights, whenever two steps of progress were made there was a step backward into shades of years gone by. That would be like a company improving a product and then reversing good changes. When people realize a feature is gone it causes a backlash.

In the case of social change the backlash can cause roadblocks to a sense of community. It creates a level of distrust in civic institutions the way consumers might begin to distrust a company acting shady. What’s happening nowadays helps explain the steadiness of protest and need for a Community 3.0 plan.

The ongoing confusion and whiplash feels like a professor describing a subject one way and a totally disputed way next day. This makes it harder to prepare for mid-terms or finals. Waters and Pelosi know that next year the focus will be on mid-term elections. It’ll be interesting to see who passes the test.

Late-night shows and cable anchors have their hands full each week. The material for political analysis and satire is overflowing. In between the laughs and the lessons is some food for thought on many social issues. But it’s good that other voices help us stay calm or keep things fun and lose until the pain is gone.

Block Talkback: Does Bernie Sanders have a point about the link between Wall Street and Government? What can be learned from the link between Progressives & Dems or Conservatism & GOP?

Groove-tracks: Daley ft Jill Scott – Until The Pain is Gone – https://youtu.be/_MrqznD97y0

Skip Marley – Calm Down –  https://youtu.be/eyq74jtdgnY

Barack Obama & John Kasich Return to Political Spotlight with More Faith in the People – #HometownChat

Hot Shot (Old-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
– Jamie Foxx, Actor, Artist & Comedian

Hot Shot (New-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
– Pharrell Williams, Global Music Superstar & Fashion Designer

doc-speak

#HometownChat – “Smart Community, Special Service, Civic Dreams”

There’s lots of talk these days around the basketball court and the halls of Congress. Whether it’s looking at the first 100 days or getting ready for the White House Reporters Dinner or enjoying the NBA playoffs. Plus, Barack Obama & John Kasich have returned to the spotlight with more faith in the American people.

Obama has been on a post-presidency honeymoon, spending downtime in scenic locations. He recently met with students in Chicago discussing the importance of civic engagement. While it might feel like he’s walking a tightrope as former President, he’s working on preparing the next generation of service leaders.

In the case of Kasich, his return is largely due to his book tour. He’s concerned about the static nature of today’s public policy with the feeling that more gets said than done. His time as Ohio Governor and as presidential candidate stands-out in the minds of those who see the nation being challenged by divisions.

Sometimes policy arguments are more left versus right, middle-class versus 1%-class, starched-collar versus no collar. Increasingly it seems to be about voices that are softest versus loudest. With social media as an added ingredient for dissent it can be difficult to get a handle on how public policy might:

  1. Improve economic stock value at home and abroad.
  2. Bridge community strength in the city and countryside.
  3. Reduce social divide across the have’s and the haven’ts.
  4. Embrace personal security within the issues and without the threats.

A constant concern for everyday folks is whether their money is well spent. For some there’s more month than money and something might get postponed or dropped from the budget. But if there’s a will there’s a way to make it to the next check. It’s in how households survive based on what’s spent and what’s saved.

With talk of setting aside money for a border wall, it makes some wonder if that’s the right priority. How might that improve our economic stock value at home or abroad? There’re airports that need upgrading and buildings that need repairing. There’re projects that need investing and towns that need boosting.

A few years ago a bridge in Minnesota collapsed, killing some motorists. It’s a popular roadway serving the Twin Cities area in Minneapolis. Further investigation showed a structural design flaw. The bridge has been replaced but government reports show many more structures in cities and countryside need repair.

This bridge is a major thoroughfare used by those in the Twin Cities. Their economies are closely tied to the commerce that moves on the span. The importance of such a bridge shows the value of public policy whether it’s in connecting two cities or linking community strength between the city and the countryside.

john-kasich2

When traveling the highways and byways of America there’s much to see and much that’s not seen. From the rolling hills to the urban skyscrapers, there’s a sense for where resources are plenty and where it’s otherwise few. There’re pockets of ‘McMansion Estates’ and relics of rundown hometown squares.

With this comes a feeling of the have’s and the haven’ts. This might be seen in tax policy or healthcare programs. Some argue that the discussions are presented as a choice between having universal appeal or unrestrained profit. The policy debate will have the most credibility by serving the haven’ts just as well.

More and more we find personal security as an ongoing concern. There’s the issue of financial identity information kept out of the wrong hands. Others worry about getting pulled-over on the road where something minor becomes major. There’re some laws that appear to out-muscle the civil rights of citizens.

Public policy debates are helpful by an approach to the subject around the pros and cons of the issues. Sometimes when it’s a debate around safety the threat is about losing federal funding. But what’s to be gained by projecting a fear of others other than demonizing and dividing groups of people?

In parenting situations there’re different ways for getting the attention of a child. Sometimes it’s a stern look or raised voice for ‘putting the fear’ in them. However, there’s a fine line when crossed that might lead to intimidation or abuse. It’s probably better for a child’s self-esteem by ‘putting the faith’ in them.

Maybe that’s where Obama and Kasich can agree with good public policy working wonders by ‘putting the faith’ in people. As with smart parenting, it takes understanding the issues and the effects on a child. The next generation of Community 3.0 service leaders will make a difference by advancing smart community.

So in the words of Obama, if we are the change we seek, then citizens are agents of change to policy-makers. In the words of Kasich, if politicians are too locked-in to own their shadows, then citizens will have to step-out of the shadow. History shows that when people free their minds, the rest will follow.

Block Talkback: Why should officials who tend to put fear in people be anymore trusted by the public if ‘putting the faith’ in people is better for making a difference in community?

Groove-tracks: En Vogue – Free Your Mind – https://youtu.be/i7iQbBbMAFE

Beyoncé ft Kendrick Lamar – Freedom –  https://youtu.be/dOuZA5ftyJw

Shannon Sharpe & Angela Rye Share Some ‘Bread & Butter’ on Staying Woke and Being Real With Folk – #HometownChat

Hot Shot (Old-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
– ‘Diddy’ Combs, Rap Mogul & Game-Changer

Hot Shot (New-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
– Lebron James, Pro Player & Philanthropist

doc-speak

#HometownChat – “Smart Community, Special Service, Civic Dreams”

It’s been an interesting few weeks in sports, business, politics and culture. You could count those ‘shaking your head’ moments. There was enough to make it to the SNL highlight reel. But Shannon Sharpe and Angela Rye choose to share some ‘bread & butter’ on staying woke and being real with folk.

Sharpe had a few thoughts on the American Dream as a response to Dez Bryant’s social media comments. Rye had some thoughts on public policy as a response to another TV guest. It wasn’t the first time they’ve had to tackle a hot-button issue. They take pride in getting the word out on such matters.

There were also those who made news for making comparisons to Dr. King’s legacy and Rosa Parks’ advocacy. It was an interesting line of reasoning to link King’s social tactics with current political antics. The other tried to compare the United Airlines debacle with Rosa Parks’ action on justice for a people.

If there were ever a time to put things in a Community 3.0 perspective it’s now when we’re not sure if people are serious or making a joke. After the dust settles on these recent events there’ll likely be a new order of things from making sense of what happened. The role pop culture will increasingly play is to:

  1. Export clips in entertainment and import nuggets in enlightenment.
  2. Engage progress in system accountability and explain the process of self accountability.
  3. Experience more fun in the groove and put more hustle in the grind.
  4. Elevate ideas that clear-up confusion and express emotions that send a good vibration.

The Fast & Furious movie franchise took over the box office lead in its eighth release. It ranked #1 setting records in weekend-opening revenue. The movie saw the return of the regular cast of characters with a few new additions. Where it made big waves was with an international audience pulling most of its sales.

An ongoing ‘balancing act’ with pop culture involves ways to export clips in entertainment and import nuggets in enlightenment. Nowadays, people are paying more attention to getting jiggy and staying woke. It’s not enough to laugh out loud without making sense of the new order of things happening around us.

In the early days of America’s beginnings much time was spent crafting laws and the language of social engagement. There were emerging issues at stake that would determine the foundation of our nation. Some of those matters were handled fairly and squarely. Others seem to linger-on or live-on in new ways.

That’s partly where Bryant and Sharpe are coming from. It’s as if they’d like to see more happening in pop culture to engage progress in system accountability and to explain the process of self-accountability.  Maybe it’s not happening fast enough when compared to shifts made in technology over recent years.

These days there’re more tech tools at our fingertips. The smart phone is one such device that’s made the world smaller. Furthermore, seeing headsets hooked to phones is part of everyday life. This creates options to experience more fun in the groove, hustle in the grind and make community smarter.

angela-rye

Those who put more hustle in the grind let their best unwind. We see this with Sharpe and Rye as they do the things to broaden their influence. Maybe they as well as Bryant help us see that the political swings between left & right or the social swings between smooth & coarse call for greater impact possibilities.

In one sense, Sharpe knows we’ve come a far way since our founding. But there’re dreams that don’t make it because of system roadblocks. Bryant’s take is that even with system roadblocks there’re still ways to move past these circumstances. This isn’t a case of ‘either or’ but of both making good points.

The debate over who’s right and who’s off may end soon. But some debates can fall short if they do little to elevate ideas that clear-up confusion or express emotions that send a good vibration. While the topic is good for getting people stirred-up it might take a bit more of a personal ‘aha’ to get folks turned-up.

Sharpe says that’s what happened to him. He had some trying circumstances growing up being raised by a grandmother. It was her influence then that helped him reach great heights. He knows that while that worked for him it’s not always the results others see from coming up on the rough side of ‘Mean Street.’

With Easter behind us and Summer ahead what might pop culture do for Community 3.0 and vice versa? Well, it would be great for Bryant and Sharpe to deliver a ‘Coming to America’ moment. That’s the broader perspective people get not just from visiting, but by seeing the light that becomes eye-opening.

Bryant will be back for another season with the Cowboys. He’s probably getting in shape for his return. If he’s on his game he’ll likely have a few more replay moments for cheering fans. But beyond work & play, the more that people experience ‘Coming to America’ moments the more value there is to pop culture.

Block Talkback: Does Rap get a bad rap when people generalize about its affect as an art form or is the pop culture pendulum swing between ‘smooth & coarse’ something that’s been around for ages?

Groove-tracks: Common – The Light – https://youtu.be/OjHX7jf-znA

LeCrae ft Ty Dolla $ign – Blessings –  https://youtu.be/i58IH2D8sWQ

Beyoncé & Chrissy Teigen Do Other Things Behind the Scenes To Impact Social Culture – #HometownChat

Hot Shot (Old-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
– Oprah Winfrey, TV Personality & Media Mogul

Hot Shot (New-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
– Sergio Garcia – Pro Golfer

doc-speak

#HometownChat – “Smart Community, Special Service, Civic Dreams”

It’s safe to say that two things driving pop culture are music and fashion. Take a look through any popular magazine and there’s so much to see in style pictures. You’ll find it at Awards Shows too starting with the Red Carpet. But Beyoncé & Chrissy Teigen do other things behind the scenes to impact social culture.

Beyoncé has grown in mainstream relevance since her time in Destiny’s Child. These days as mother and wife she’s preparing for her new twin arrivals. Beyond what she does in studio and on stage, she’s also inspiring a growing list of colleges offering courses with content in the area of ‘Bey Brandalicious.’

Teigen who made a name for herself on the fashion runway is also playing that nurturing family role. Her dude John Legend keeps turning out music that puts him in the Billboard Awards arena. It’s also their acts of civic consciousness that seem to drive topics of conversation in the classroom and on social media.

Lessons from their celebrity-life chapters & verses remind us of how the value of pop culture is more than just hooks and looks. It’s why these college classes might show that when pop culture is at its best, celebrities and other personalities make a difference in ways that are not just trendy but also timeless by:

  1. Sharing information that widens the scope of general understanding.
  2. Spotlighting showbiz moments that bring thrills to everyday enjoyment.
  3. Celebrating stories that give sense to today’s new realities.
  4. Spreading views that provide clarity to free-speech in public spaces.

Remember those times of what’s hot and what’s not? Well it’s been said that you live life forward, but understand it backward. This is true for those who’ve grown-up before our eyes. The things we see from watching them go through growth and change might have true meaning to our personal experiences.

There’s a special feeling in thinking back to the before-and-after times in general understanding. That’s one reason why fans can become die-hard supporters of their fav artists. What they provide as an experience in fun and dance is just a part of why they’re admired and cause others to be so inspired.

Sometimes it’s being able to say ‘I was there when.’ Whether it’s going to a concert or performing in the mirror, there’re moments in pop culture we savor because of a certain thrill it brings to everyday enjoyment. Beyoncé has a way of pulling this off in her appearances, even if it’s just in a snap or gram.

Furthermore, in each decade from the past we find those moments that stick in our cultural memories. Some can point back to the hippies of the 60s, the discos of the 70s, maybe the styles of the 80s and so on. Along with these flashbacks are certain signature events in the life and times of those decades.

These days many look to social media to get the skinny on what’s happening culturally. Teigen who reigns supreme with her posts recently did something for someone whose goal was to finish beauty school. So Teigen paid off the balance of what was needed in tuition to complete the program.

chrissy-teigen2

Celebrating stories like these can help us respond to today’s challenging realities. It’s one way of providing hope when others feel like life’s saying nope. The person receiving this random act of kindness from Teigen might view this gesture as an example of what pop culture has done for her lately.

The U.S. Constitution affords us as citizens the benefit of free speech. This means that people are able to have and hold opinions without fear of reprisal. Now, not everything someone says or believes is necessarily all there is to know on a subject. We have the option to hear and study these ideas further.

Beyoncé and Teigen aren’t the traditional social experts. But they seem to have a way of cutting through the noise and bringing clarity to free-speech in public spaces which can be easier said than done. They know sometimes it’s better to get a point across through art or poetry than through theory or prose.

The cultural dilemma nowadays is balancing the voice of the people and the views of the pundits. It’s getting past the bad news and connecting with the good news. It’s stepping-up our game in order to do the things that bring change, gain a measure of choice and give us the courage to face those challenges.

How pop culture moves us is similar to how the weather shifts. Sometimes the temperature at the start of the day doesn’t change much throughout the day. Other times there can be a huge swing in temperature from daybreak to nightfall. Sometimes we have small shifts and other times huge swings in social culture.

The real story in what we express and enjoy about pop culture is in how love looks good or music makes us go or how we grow and have fun. The benefit from savoring this depends on if we take an approach that’s forward-looking or backward-looking. In the end, these times have helped many reach their best.

Block Talkback: When it comes to taxes, if the storyline of ‘Everyday America vs Enterprise America’ never goes away, how should folks bridge the gap and feel like there’s enough breaks to go around?

Groove-tracks: Janet Jackson – What Have You Done for Me Lately – https://youtu.be/r9uizdKZAGE

Usher – Love Looks Good –  https://youtu.be/AC2t6cjss1E

Alec Baldwin & Alex Rodriguez on What’s Good for the Game & Worth Its Weight in Gold – #HometownChat

Hot Shot (Old-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
– Alec Baldwin, Actor & Comedian

Hot Shot (New-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
– Drake, Rapper & Entrepreneur

doc-speak

#HometownChat – “Smart Community, Special Service, Civic Dreams”

The baseball season opened this week to wide stares and lawn chairs. Fans are ready to see strikes and homers at bat. For many it’s considered America’s past-time as an evening sit-down at the ball park. These days Alec Baldwin & Alex Rodriguez know what’s good for the game and worth its weight in gold.

Baldwin has been seeing a great surge in popularity with his SNL role playing the ‘Trump’ card. His new movie is off to a great box office start. It wasn’t always this way as he explains in his book. Nevertheless, he’s ready for whatever doors open for him as he puts his passion to work on stage and screen.

Rodriguez has been out and about with his new eye-candy. Now that he and Jennifer Lopez have made it official that they’re dating, it might explain why he’s ready to slide home. Baldwin and Rodriguez now know well that while passion is good for making hits, compassion is the quality that makes for nicer fits.

They’ve bounced back from public blow-ups/blowouts that cost them dearly. Now they’re able to bring a special touch to their respective life’s work as many public figures do to enhance their fame. A-Rod & Alec know if we could bottle that quality and apply it to Community 3.0 it would be seen in those having:

  1. A hustle for business that’s more than just assets and profits.
  2. An economy for sharing that’s more than just nickels and dimes.
  3. A system for excellence that’s more than just bells and whistle.
  4. A heart for people that’s more than just a smile and nod.

Every business enterprise has its unique kind of hustle. It’s kinda like the thing we do to bring passion’s edge to the ledge. It might be seen as the grit people bring to a venture or the mojo they bring to an adventure. When hustle shows up in the game it doesn’t have to be limited to assets and profits.

That’s because while hustle and passion are good for the money that gets doled-out, hustle and compassion are good for the soul of an enterprise that’s rolled-out. That’s likely the difference between Rodriguez of old who made mad money as a pro and the Rodriguez of today working with young players.

alex-rodriguez3

Recent public policy proposals have raised concern for the kind of economy we’ll have as a nation. The budget cuts presented seem to leave some worrying about those who might get left out in the cold. Many appreciate the sharing economy as being able to manage/market what they own as new income streams.

We see this with ride sharing and home leasing. But an economy that’s more than just nickels and dimes is one where it’s not about how much folks make but how much they care. While passion tells something about who we think we are as an enterprise, compassion says more about who we really are as a people.

Back in the day when farms were the job havens we’d find people doing back-breaking work to make a living. Some used it as a way to make hay while the sun shined. Others used it as a way to keep people below the poverty line. Then there was a system shift bringing more industrial engineering to the forefront.

It was a case of making efficiency improvements to raise the grade of production. This opened the door to new opportunities for excellence in business. It also made possible more bells and whistles to have and own. A system of excellence for industry and community meets needs and produces seeds of greatness.

One of the most universal forms of social communication is to wink at someone. When a guy winks at a girl it might mean ‘I’m checking you out.’ Even beyond a wink, a smile and nod might show a desire for personal connection. Experts remind us that more communication can happen non-verbally than verbally.

With business and policy initiatives, ‘talking the talk’ is a verbal thing, ‘walking the walk’ is a non-verbal thing. Whether as coach, CEO or community leader, having a heart for people is more than just a smile and nod. It’s in how passion puts us in the race and compassion puts others’ situations in a special place.

In baseball, the ‘squeeze play’ can be one of the most exciting. It’s where the batter tries to get the runner on third-base home. The batter usually bunts the ball expecting to get thrown out at first-base. Meanwhile the runner on third-base is expected to make it home safely. It’s a tricky play that can have mixed results.

As in sports, if the ‘squeeze play’ is used wrongly in business or public service it’ll have negative results. Instead of a community or nation feeling like home, it instead feels like a strange place. That strange place can have facts turned into fake, living turned into lording and pop culture turned into ‘poop culture.’

Passion in its various forms can find itself in careers, in the club, on the block and the field of dreams. It might show up in how we work on self or in how we work on what sells. Passion knows it’s hard to beat a person who doesn’t give-up on self. But compassion knows not to beat-up on a person to gain for self.

Baldwin & A-Rod have seen bad days at home, work and play. They turned the corner in ways that make friends, fans and family proud. They know that a difference between who we say we are and who we are as a Community 3.0 nation is in knowing what’s good for the game and what’s worth its weight in gold.

Block Talkback: Why are ACA Exchanges good for Congress but not for the American People? Is this a case of ingenuity versus inferiority? Ideology versus illusion?

Groove-tracks: John Legend – Who Do We Think We Are – https://youtu.be/YuS0Eg-I2VA

Gallant – Weight in Gold – https://youtu.be/qh7BCluk3wc

Barack Obama, Kevin Hart: Making Passion Do for Hometown Blocks as for Brand Stocks – #HometownChat

Hot Shot (New-School): “Real Talk with Industry Players and Biz Leaders”
– Kevin Hart, Entrepreneur & Comedian

Hot Shot (Junior): “Real Talk with Industry Players and (Future) Biz Leaders”
– A’layah Robinson, Budding Social Entrepreneur

doc-speak

#HometownChat – “Smart Community, Special Service, Civic Dreams”

“It’s not where you start but how you finish.” For Barack Obama, it started as a community organizer on the streets of Chicago. This helped put him in the White House. Kevin Hart’s journey went from Philly to Hollywood. They might tell us something on making passion do for hometown blocks as for brand stocks.

These days Obama’s is looking to work on his memoirs. After signing what’s thought to be a hefty book contract, he’s setting aside time to recap his eight years as President. Hart’s become one of the hottest stand-up comics and is busy as pitch-man for all kinds of consumer products. The latest is for underwear.

Recently when word got out that Obama was in the NY area a crowd quickly gathered. When word hit social media that Dave Chappelle gave a nod to Hart in his Netflix show some buzz got started. Maybe that’s also what happened when the NFL announced that the Raiders were moving to Las Vegas.

There’s a list of cities that would love to have a team in their backyard. Many know they can’t depend on such fortune to change their future. They’ll have to do it in other creative ways for hometown blocks as an NFL team or biz start-up might do for their brand stocks. So for those on ‘Third Street’ this could mean:

  1. The local club isn’t just for getting your groove on but for Community 3.0 getting a move on.
  2. The beauty shop isn’t just for hair and nails but for social shifts and setting sails.
  3. The ‘race track’ isn’t just about black versus white or wins and losses but for dreams and causes.
  4. The street hotspot isn’t just for phones or ‘cards & dice’ but for letting ideas spread at a fair price.

The biggest part of getting an NFL team to switch cities is getting a new stadium. That usually starts out with a vision for the physical venue. This stadium would likely have the latest in service amenities and social niceties. Part of the consideration would also be the impact it will have on the surrounding area.

If only there was a strategy to have passion do for those ‘around the way’ as for those who come to play? That’s usually another sticking point with city officials for coming up with public/private funding. It’s why the local/social club might not just be a place for getting your groove on but also getting a move on.

The move from Oakland to Vegas is likely to be a big talking point on sports radio. Many have been ‘banking’ on such a decision after other teams made plans to change cities as well. The pros and cons will get discussed forwards and backwards. Some fans might be seen cheering and others seen jeering.

Another place where this will get some attention is in the barber/beauty shops in town. Beyond the bars and pubs, there’s no better place for down-home sports analysis than the place of many post-game experts. These neighborhood social shops don’t have to be known just for styling and profiling.

The passion expressed each week reminds us that the beauty/barber shop isn’t just for doing hair and nails but for social shifts and setting sails. It’s a place where the unsung get heard and the unsaid gets told. It’s a place where you might come-in feeling low but step-out feeling high and embracing a new flow.

kevin-hart3

Hart’s been using his passion to do just that. He’s done it on stage with various road shows. He’s done it on the big screen with box office success to his credit. He’s doing it as a pitch-man for consumer products that fit his taste & wallet terms. And he’s even doing his part to push others in areas of health & wellness.

Everybody’s passion finds itself on a different kind of ‘race track.’ So, every community’s passion should be more that just about ‘white versus black’ or wins and losses but also civic dreams and social causes. Plus, the ‘race track’ should do more than have us going in ‘political circles’ to feel good or not feel used.

In technology the hotspot is a kind of virtual space where wifi connections take us to a far-reaching place. When you connect to a hotspot you get access to ‘ramps and lanes’ on the information superhighway known as WWW. It brings a whole new world. It’s a wider reach of content. It’s a web of resources.

What if the new hotspot approach to community isn’t just with tech streams but also with social streams? This would mean being more than just about smart phones or playing cards and dice. It’d be about letting breakthrough ideas spread at a fair price. It would be about handling resources as a smart community.

There’s talk on whether government should be run as a business or whether community can be run like a car. How that’s done effectively might depend on who’s at the top or who’s in the driver’s seat. But based on what happened in Flint Michigan, public service passion is in how much the powers-that-be really care.

In one sense, for some who bring passion to be trusted it might help to have social indicators related to a kind of ‘check system light’ similar to a car’s check engine light. So when new program ideas are introduced they get reviewed and measured on an e-scale, fairly serving needs from many to everyone.

Maybe that’s a lesson from Obama’s Presidency and the recent healthcare drama. It’s what the CBO, a good CEO or community leader might help us see through. Passion can do good for hometown blocks as with brand stocks. But if left unchecked it can do more tearing down than building up, so keep runnin’.

Block Talkback: How about a new ACA View; from ‘Repeal & Replace’ to ‘Repair & Repaint’? It’s not ‘totaled,’ just a few dents, no need to right-it-off?

Groove-tracks: Pharrell Williams – Runnin’ – https://youtu.be/jDoUrLtdVEY

Anderson.Paak – Come Down – https://youtu.be/Nh5WSnh8s4Q