Excuse me, are you listening? 14-2
Sunday, January 25, 2015

 Dear Readers,

In this edition,  we start our 14th year.  It has been really amazing thus far.  We are having a celebration in conjunction with the Lansing Black Chamber of Commerce at their February mixer on Thursday, February 12th from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Plant Professionals.  They are located at 16886 Turner Street, Lansing, MI 48906.  Please RSVP to reshane_lonzo@yahoo.com before February 7, 2015.  The place is beautiful!
This year, we are buckling down and looking forward to bringing you information that you can use.  Today feels like a really good day!  I woke up telling myself I love to do the daily tasks that I despise the most.  
The problem is, if you do not want to do something, then you will not do it in a timely manner or well.  You may procrastinate, you may do it with an attitude or you may not do it at all.  The issue with that is no matter what, if you do not do it, it will still be there for someone else to do or in the back of your mind constantly nagging you along with the other 100 things that you stored in the ridges (gyri) or the crevices (sulci) of your brain.  Why not make it 99 or 98 things that you have not done out of 100?  Why not just do it when you should?  We play psychological games to make ourselves right instead of dealing with our own shortcomings.  In 2015, make it your mission to "like" and "love" more.  There is nothing like completing a task that you USED to despise doing. 
During the past year, I have learned about more about the publishing industry.  I cannot believe it has been 14 years.  Both of the babies are now 12 and 13.  Where does the time go?  My oldest is in college and living on his own.  
I learned that with hard work and dedication, you will be successful.  I also learned that there are people who do not believe in you and have the audacity to tell you.  I even had someone tell me that they left town for a few years, returned and was hoping that I was no longer in business.  They also apologized for thinking that way and realized that I have to handle my business because it is my business.  
Over the years, I have made some pretty amazing friends, acquaintances and business associates.  I have seen many go out of business and applaud those who are prospering.  I have also noticed people on the sideline, watching me and the paper.  I wonder what they are thinking at times?  However, I do not pay much attention to them.  I can tell you that I was thinking that of course I can make it pregnant, with a pre-teen and a 9 month old baby.  I was breastfeeding both too.  We have paid our dues.  We have fought the good fight and will continue to bring you information that can be of use to you and your family.  
I have one thing to ask of you this year.  I need you to pick up the paper and pass it on.  I always get giddy when I see someone reading it.  It is a great feeling.  
This year I had a business ask to remove our bin because there was something offensive in it.  I could not think of anything that we would print that was offensive.  However, the business that my family frequented will no longer have my patronage, which equates to a lot of money.  Everyone has an opinion about something and we express that.  Our advertisers primarily focus on the African American population, however, this newspaper is for everyone.   I believe Lansing is separated by class, more so, than color.  People with money live by people with money.  People who are less fortunate, live by others who have similar economic statuses.  Michigan is the hand that accepted so many who were looking for good jobs and stability.  Plenty of first generation college students were born here due to agriculture and the automotive industry.  We are changing and  morphing in 2015 and have been for the last couple of years.  So you must admit, we are diverse in Lansing and the surrounding areas. I am involved and give without expecting in return. 
Then I received this letter:
"Congratulations! It is my pleasure to notify you that you have been selected to receive the 2015 Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Delta Lambda Chapter, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Citizenship Award.  In honor of our dear fraternity brother, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the men of the Kappa Delta Lambda (Lansing Alumni) Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. would like to recognize Lansing area residents who have made considerable contributions to the community and represent the civic values that an ideal citizen should possess. 
You are invited to attend the 2015 Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. /City of Lansing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Recognition Program at Lansing City Hall on Friday, January 16th, 2015 at 12 noon to receive your award. The program will last an hour and will be televised. In addition, a lunch will be served. Feel free to invite as many guests as you would like."
Some of my friends showed up.  The auditorium was packed with family members of the choir that sang.  I was a little nervous but gave an awesome 3 minute speech.  It was a beautiful feeling too.  Do you take the time to recognize those who are kind and giving?  Well, pause take a moment and think about a prolonged absence such as death.  I do my best to tell people how much I appreciate them, I am hoping that you will try and do the same. 
Love people,

Rina Risper

This column was printed in the January 25, 2015 - February 7, 2015 edition.


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