I had initially planned to write about  my recent accomplishments with a landscaping project in our backyard  however I ran across an article featured in the AFRO newspaper  that caught my attention. I couldn’t help but bring attention to the June Labor statistic regarding African Americans who not surprisingly  lead this month’s unemployment  picture.

Alan King, Staff Writer for the AFRO   mentions in his article ” African Americans lead in unemployment-June Labor Stats Show Little Change In Unemployment.” The overall unemployment statistical picture showed the number of unemployed persons in the U.S. at 14 .7 million. ” African Americans led the list at 14.7 per cent, Hispanics followed at 12.2 and Caucasians at 8.7.  Believe me, statistics and scarcity has away of  bringing you to your knees.

They say you have to tread lightly when reading and deciphering statistics because they can paint a skewed picture. However, the present economic photograph has many  flaws. America in all its grandeur and color is faced with dramatic present and future uncertainty.  I am proud to shed light upon a culture and economic class (African Americans) who leads the number of workers unemployed here in the U.S.   African Americans have wavered the storm in past histories and will do so again. However, they like all other Americans will have to implement ways in which to improvise.  Quite frankly, creating a niche for yourself has much to do about your longevity in the economic marketplace whether it’s getting a new job or starting your own business enterprise.

Just recently, I experienced firsthand how difficult it was to get a job. I applied for numerous jobs in which I know I was over qualified and jobs with less pay. I received  pleasant, polite, and politically correct responses “stating how rigorous it was to find the most qualified applicant.”.  I failed to take a look at all the different reasons why I wasn’t hired. I think you do have to consider the overall unemployment picture while building on your personal and professional skill set! 

 So, let us  all consider  how we will make the necessary changes to stay afloat. What belt tightening will you have to implement. Consider tackling two birds with one stone i.e. finding gardening space to grow your own vegetable garden giving back to the environment while improving your overall physical health.  As African American, I can give testimony to  the synergistic energy behind storytelling which I have recently found beneficial.   I must share with you that initially my objective were to bring attention to  the misery and uncertainty in the African American community whom have been affected by job loss and unemployment way before the recession of 2007.

Unemployment is debilitating , individually painful, and  has a way of tearing down  all families and communities both locally and globally. It’s  a natural component of the U.S. economic system and will never completely go away.  Do not for a moment conjure in your mind that I’m downing America . Our country (America) continues to possess abundancy,  human potential , and opportunities unlike many of our global partners.  Now’s the time to secure more knowledge, seek your passion, and set realistic goals !

I hope this article  will personally help each of us to take action reflecting on our strengths and innate gifts as we meet the growing ecomomic uncertainty facing our nation.lulu project 028

Curt Canada MSW provides Professional Coaching and Career Advisement at Finding Your Zenith in Washington DC.    

      Visit me!  www.findingyourzenith.com


lulu project 041It has been awhile since my last post and it was a flat-line experience in terms of the number of readers that visited my blog. Here’s a story I think you will enjoy reading . I chose the title because I think there’s wisdom in planning and completing most projects. I suppose you or your family has some household project you  have planned to accomplish this summer season? So, here’s a story that’s not so like all my past blogposts!

 My wife and I are landscaping our entire backyard let’s say about a quarter of an acre. We’re not in a hurry and our plans and goals have been discussed leaving us to array of possibilities and creativity. I suppose you have experienced such; perhaps not in the form of a landscaping project but another planned activity. In addition, Things don’t always happen as planned ; for example the time when I looked up and there was a huge dumptruck greeting me with a huge pile of dirt. The truck was so large that he had only one alternative and that was to drop the dirt sandwiched between our place and the neighbor’s house  next door. Actually we needed this dirt to level off our backyard but not at such a price or inconvenience.  Nevertheless, this pile of dirt remained in place for about 45 days. Let’s just say that for the sake of Murphys Law, it rained at least six days in a row during that first week . A small lake had formed in the backyard. Water does seek its own level which happened to be our basement windows and the driveway leading to the front yard. Nothing is wrong with great intentions especially when there’s a definite plan or at least a forseeableway out. Well you and I know that things just don’t always happen that way. Thanks to our friend Daniel and his little yellow tractor. I looked up one day and all of a sudden that pile of dirt or human-made obstacle had been moved. I had not to my knowing agreed to paint his livingroom if he moved our disaster.That was reaching higher heights because all of a sudden the dirt disappeared right in front of my eyes.  Gosh, it felt absolutely strange .We could now begin again to  create a plan of action along with bringing in an additional sundry of personnel to assist us in completing this portion of our mission and vision.  We’re reaching higher heights because that was last year and with putting in 25hours plus each week this spring ,we’ ve managed to complete three retaining walls and various gardens with  flowers,veggies, and strawberries peeking up way above the soil.

However , yesterday I sat out early around 8 am to replant and locate a bunch of Alaska Shasta Daisies along the right side of the hilly slope  near a fence . I began digging the soil which had been very moist from yesterday evening’s rain. This would only take me less than an hour tops to dig, pull  weeds, replenish the soil, plant ,and water. Surprisingly enough, I felt my shovel hit against something below perhaps a buried car part or a leg from a metal chair. I couldn’t tell what it was even after I knelt down to get a closer view.  I had dug around this thing for about another 2 feet and forty minutes. I sat down next to the hole to get even a closer look.  All of a sudden my morning zestful positive mood had shifted a bit.  Now the time to ponder a solution.  I began to reflect on a few other projects and goals of mine that had hit a plateau, a place of suspension.  What can I do and what can I learn from this experience. I jumped up and ran to the house with excitement with let’s share this moment with others . I brought back my camera and began taking pictures from all sorts of angles . In doing so I began to tug at that this object and it began to loosen a little. All of a sudden after trying to remove it with a wood saw , I gave up I suppose and gave one more back and forth motion while grasping it, it simply broke off.  There’s so much to impart from this experience but it was definitely worthwhile.  I finally completed this portion of our mission as the heat from the almost noon day sun became unbearable.  I suspect that each of us at times sat out to do something when all of a sudden we’re forced to find or seek an alternative path  labeled on the sign in front of us “Reaching Higher Heights.” Photos are forthcoming…


Curt Canada MSW provides career / personality assessments and coaching in Washington D.C. at Finding Your Zenith.