Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Orange Juice Equals Home Owner

After leaving the FICA Pastinha Roda last week, me and a few Capoeira comrades went to a local bar to talk a little about the games that went on that night. As usual, everyone else got some alcohol, and I got my OJ. As you can imagine, the jokes came to no end about my choice of beverage. We all had some laughs, then went home.

It occurred to me then that out of the group of us at the bar that night, I was the only homeowner. I also came to a realization that there was a real correlation between my choice of drink and the fact that I own a home (mortgage). It's not the drink itself, although I imagine OJ probably has a better impact on long-term health than Guinness, it's the act of making the choice that adds the value.

What I mean by that is that drinking OJ at a bar, in spite of the contrary desires of my compatriots, is a choice that I make to get a cheap drink that's healthy. $2 for OJ. $5 for beer. Financial and physical well being comes from making lots of choices just like that. Don't eat that second piece of cake. Do your homework. Pay the bills on time. Do that first push up. Run that first lap. A single choice to take a positive action doesn't affect much, but when those choices begin to add up to a pattern of behavior, that's when the magic happens.

A few years ago, I went on an outing with my brothers and their wives. The ladies wanted to lose weight, and had been trying to do so unsuccessfully. Since I was in the best condition at the time, they asked for my advice. Before, passing along the words of wisdom, I should mention that they each lost (and have since kept off) at least 10 pounds by the end of the year.

My advice was to do one sit up a day for the entire year, without missing a day. Of course, their initial reaction, much like my bar buddies, was to mock me. I went on to explain that it wasn't about the sit up. It was about the mental effort required to do one sit up, which is far greater than the mental effort required to do ten. Basically, once the behavior pattern is changed, the extra sit ups will come with little effort. And one sit up a day for year will definitely change your behavior.

So, it's the same with orange juice. Unfortunately, in many of the communities of black men around the country, there is little to no apparent reward in making decisions like that. If the reaction to my selection of drinks is any indication, that perception is pretty common.

One of the main reasons I bought my 2005 Corvette was to show the youngsters in my community that you can acquire something of value at a young age through legal means. To make the success of all my little choices tangible. I don't know if I've convinced anyone yet, but I'll continue to have faith that my small decisions will eventually add up to something of value in my community.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

uhuh... OK O.J. hehe!

6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mo, you should have been a lawyer. It's not too late.

10:38 PM  
Anonymous brett w said...

Hey great post man. I would be remiss not to point out to you the health benefits of Guinness. I will need to shoot you an email on this but there are a few articles comparing the properties of dark beer to that of red wine. So good for your blood and your heart. It's my favorite beer so ... I am just a little bias LOL

4:35 PM  
Blogger moluv said...

Hmmm ... Attorney at Law. Has a nice ring to it.

I actually had a REALLY good dark beer once. I didn't even believe it was beer because it tasted so good. I think you have a valid point Brett W.

Now, if I can get these anonymous characters to think as logically. :-)

5:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mo, Just curious. Were you educated through the Oakland Public School system or private/Catholic?

8:16 PM  
Blogger moluv said...

Berkeley public schools.

4:17 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

Orange juice tastes better than beer, too. I salute your choice.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mo...we're almost two months into a new year...and NO new posts?!

9:18 AM  

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