For every person that is currently alive on this planet there are an equal number of identities specific to those people.  Good, bad, or indifferent, we develop an identity (either by parents/guardians or circumstances) as a result of simply being present, whether we actively choose to participate or not.  And in this “being” our identity gains a voice, whether it be a whisper or a shout.  Over time, similar identities begin to pool together and draw strength from one another.  Point being, as time passes (and with influence both internal and external) the roots of this identity burrow deeply until one day….a day that comes and goes without warning… know nothing else.  You ARE your identity and your identity is YOU, so intertwined that you feel as if you could not imagine being separated from it.

So, with this in mind, imagine the day where something so impactful happens that you can’t ignore it.  It makes you question said identity to it’s very core.  Every thing you’ve ever seen or heard, or even thought, now chips away at that identity and begins to erode the foundation, with no suitable replacement.

This is why change is so difficult.  In society (today, it seems, more than ever), people have their respective identities and both hold them in place and protect them with the passionate shield of their emotions.  And any challenge to that identity is viewed as an assault on their core humanity.  When you look at it like that, is it any wonder that it seems like society is losing it’s collective mind right now?

But the reason I bring this up is because regardless of how “right” any particular stance might be (political, religious, it really doesn’t matter), if I hold a differing position, no amount of blustering or berating is going to change my mind.  I see it as an attempt to take away my identity, my community. That on which I have built my entire humanity.  The concept of “right” or “wrong” is neither here nor there in this discussion because it is subjective to the individual.  

Imagine it like this, I spend my entire life building a house by my own hand.  The foundation, the infrastructure, all of the components, whether “up to code” or not, are mine.  I like my house. I like my community.  One day, someone with a bullhorn comes into my neighborhood and says, “your house is messed up and doesn’t work for me” and tries to convince me (with either a sledgehammer, a flamethrower, or their words) that I would be better off in a different house, a different community. Before I even have time to agree or disagree, I have to hunker down in this house I’ve built for myself in my “community” (imperfect as it may be but perfect for me) and try to withstand the onslaught.  Then it becomes simply about survival, not renovation or relocation.  My gut instinct is to fight the opposition to the perceived threat.  Basic survival brain, no higher functions.

So let’s dream a little further and imagine that the torch-wielder gives me an opportunity to come outside, unassaulted, and “see what they see.”  I’m able to switch to my higher functions and when I get there, I realize, “wow, my house IS tore up from the floor up.” But the problem is, it’s the only place I’ve EVER known.  So, damaged as it may be, I’d rather live in a dilapidated dump with other people than be homeless by myself, even at the expense of positive growth.

So when you’re out there, screaming at the top of your lungs because you’re convinced you’re right, don’t forget, that identity you’re trying to take away from somebody else may be the only one they have.


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Meet your Poster Donn Bradley

When you figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.  I was put on this planet to help people, though you might not be able to glean that from the story.  Born in the Northwest but steeped a country boy, my journey hasn't just been geographical.  I have been on a quest to redefine what it means to be a man.  I'm a former police officer turned therapist who believes that if you have the capability, you have the responsibility.  When I knew...really KNEW, what I was put on this planet to do, it lit a fire stoked every day with every experience (positive and negative).  This may sound like fertilizer, but I'm going to change the world.  Not for some egotistical drive to become famous, but because I have to.....WE have to.  It's a world that needs changing and the only way it's going to is if we believe we should and we believe we can.
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Meet your Sharer Denise Doe

Dear Reader: I am extremely passionate about: family and the importance of letting family members know that they are loved, cherished, and can achieve whatever they dream regardless of their gender; ecological and sustainable, community-based rough diamond mining and gold mining in the Republic of Liberia, West Africa; health and wellness as it relates to strengthening the immunity and helping women and men cope with the swings in weight gain and weight loss due to flawed diet systems; and helping people work from anywhere in 100% legitimate online work-from-home opportunities within the ever-growing gig economy.   Let's start with what may be a screaming question in the minds of some of my readers: How did I get into mining? The short answer is, by default. You see, my great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother were all rough diamond miners in the same region and town I seasonally mine in today in Liberia. Sounds glamorous, but you would not believe the heartache and struggle these women endured!   I started my work life when I was a 12-year-old in Liberia. My jobs were doing the filing and office work for my dad part-time and working the cash register in the small cosmetics department of my aunt's supermarket the rest of the time during summer holidays.   There were no child labor laws in Liberia at the time. Even though they exist on paper today, Liberia, much like many Third World countries, does painfully little to enforce the rights of children, women, land occupiers and owners, the underserved, and the socially abandoned. No one can draw attention to and right these wrongs but us!   For example, when I was a 5 or 6-year-old, I told my dad that I wanted to be an "international business woman." Yes, it was quite an announcement! I remember thinking obsessively about it before I finally plucked up the courage to make my very important announcement.   The reason for even thinking about international business at that tender age was because my dad sold hard woods from the forests of Liberia to buyers in far regions of the globe. I must admit, I had a privileged and idyllic childhood.   In my young, newly-formed mind, it seemed perfectly natural to want to be just like my father. However, I soon learned that I was a girl and then I learned what it meant to be a girl. This cruel new revelation absolutely crushed my dreams. When I was told that because I was a girl, I was not allowed to travel with my dad up-country to his logging site, I felt like some mysterious  villain had just let the air out of my beloved balloon before my very eyes.   I wish it ended there! It didn't. Next, I was told that only my (obviously disinterested) older brother was allowed to go with my dad to the bush. Make no mistake, it took a little time for me to suck in some air after this sudden shock. Amazingly, I never let this nor many other ensuing injustices keep me down for long. By eight, I had a t-shirt to prove it that said, "I can beat any boy on the block!"   For various and similar reasons, working in corporate America reminded me of being a "girl" in Liberia. Except this time, I was a "black woman." I'll elaborate more in a later blog. For now, let's just say that I didn't get to fast-track my way through college in Ohio like my parents and some teachers planned.   Once again, fate had other plans for yours truly. As a 20-year-old first semester senior, the bloodiest civil war in the history of Liberia was well under way. What's more, the repercussions of the war would not end for me for another 22 years, as this was when I finally got to go back to my beloved Liberia.   During the gruesome war, my father was put under house arrest and his business was destroyed, albeit no less than the entire nation. To my naïve surprise, my college tuition was back-burnered indefinitely. Warring Liberia did not care that I had a 3.67 GPA; proofread college papers for many of my friends (who did end up graduating); and was on track to graduate that year with double Bachelors of Arts in English and Fine Arts.   Undaunted in 2011, after years of working in corporate America, I finally walked the stage with a Bachelor of Science in Business. A few years later in 2013 and after years of insisting that I come back to Liberia by my mother, I went back to Liberia for a second time.   The bloody coup and later civil war (a timeframe from 1980 to 1997 with a few breaks in between) were finally over. Mom wanted help mining and needed my continuing financial support, which began in 1995 when she was in exile as a refugee in the Ivory Coast. Tragically, cancer claimed her life just six months later on June 21, 2014 at 5:55 PM.   Crucially, my mother was always encouraging me to follow my dreams. She was not rich in finances, but she was a billionaire in support and belief in me. Her blinding light of absolute love for my brother and I has never been absent in our entire lives.   A few months later, the 2014 Ebola crisis began waging its own war on the lives of Liberians. I remained in Liberia throughout the crisis and volunteered my time to help create awareness about the virus. I actively participated in the effort of government leaders and officials to craft many simple direct messaging public awareness campaigns. The diverse and underserved populations received these messages by radio, billboards, television, and word-of-mouth. The messages were in their various dialects, so they could quickly understand Ebola and how they could implement measures to save their lives.   Locally, in our mining community, I held meetings with local leaders and influencers to make sure that every man, woman, and child understood how the virus was transmitted. I used the network of the government's regional and local mining agents to spread the message to the underserved local migrant and permanent mine workers about: hand sanitation and hygiene; vigilance about strangers entering towns and villages who also had to wash their hands and receive temperature checks for signs of fever; social distancing; and how to recognize Ebola virus symptoms.   My efforts in the interior occurred over a month before the national government could send tracers and trainers out to villages. As a U.S. citizen and active member of Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP -, I received Ebola alerts over a month before any word got out to the cities and the bush.   As a result of this and the efforts of many brave and persistent Liberians throughout the nation--some of whom lost their lives to the virus--our local mining community and the county as a whole recorded zero cases from the transmission of the Ebola virus during the crisis. The few "suspect cases" were caught at checkpoints and reported to the heathcare tracers as infected people migrating to less populated areas from the capital of Monrovia or elsewhere within nation.   Fast-forward to today and the #SARSCoV2 global landscape that's forever changing our world and planet in ways we cannot yet comprehend fully. Immunity, community, support, work-from-home jobs, trust, and caring are the urgent themes in our new normal. I want to make a lasting difference that I can be proud of and can share with everyone who wants to listen.   Let's make a lasting difference together by supporting the abused, the poor, the homeless, the essential, and non-essential workers with everything we have to offer.   Thank you for reading my bio, #staysafe and #stayathome.   Sincerely, Denise Doe

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