You Could Have Been An Onion!

You Could Have Been An Onion.

You Could Have Been An Onion.


Before you complain again about anything, appreciate the fact that YOU HIT THE CREATION JACKPOT.  You could have been an onion, slug, a roach, or a piece of sand. Instead you are blessed  to be human beings, to have the potential to mirror the attributes and qualities of God, and to be so valued and trusted as to be given consciousness, free will, and dominion over this world. Just think about the billions of  creations in this magnificent world of ours.  There are untold numbers of fruits, vegetables, plants, insects, birds, fish, organisms, and animals.  And yet, if you are reading this, you hit the creation jackpot because YOU GOT TO BE  A HUMAN.

“Humans have conscious thought and are aware of their consciousness. With this power, we can create or destroy, love or hate, believe or fear, take from others or serve them unselfishly. Circumstances may not be to our liking, but at least we have the capacity to change things and that’s the miracle and blessing of being a human.  Humans can create new reality.  Humans can make new and better choices.  Humans can willingly choose to change their circumstances through decisiveness, commitment, and focused action.”

Barbara Talley is a professional speaker, poet, and author.  Her presentations focus on vision, values, and virtues.  You can find more about her programs at

“Ouch” – BLACK ENOUGH? Remark About RGIII Hits the RACE Nerve.

one planetSo, just what does it mean to not be “black enough?”  While it was the most recent controversy between two high profile black men in sports that brings this question to the forefront, the questions of race and identity and what it means to be black have never been sufficiently addressed.  First of all, I’m not into sports, so the fact that RGIII is a celebrity, makes little difference to me. But the race and identity discussion does catch my attention, since I am African-American, I work in Diversity, and this question unfortunately hits too close to home.  As a mother, I’ve been dealing with this issue on behalf of my children for decades unabated. My fifteen year old daughter was outraged just a few months ago when she experienced this in her “magnet school” that lacks much diversity. A kid at her school told her she wasn’t black like the kids at a different school.  I too faced this same challenge as a child when my father took us from the north to the south while doing migrant work.  My sisters and I were often mocked and ridiculed by the other kids who said, “We talked proper.”  It didn’t stop there, many times in my career have I heard the ignorant comment, “You’re different!” What’s that supposed to mean? Although it was usually meant as a compliment, it left me with the same distaste as it did as a child.  I interpreted that comment as:”I’ve got this definition of what it is to be black, and you don’t fit it!”  Rather than the person admitting that perhaps their definition of blackness was flawed, instead I was the anomaly.  “I was different!”  So I got it from both sides, both black and white.

Who gets to define what “black enough” is: black people, white people or no one?  Before I go on, let me point out one thing.  Color is just an accident of climate.  People who live closer to the equator have become darker over the centuries than those who live in more cooler climates. Race does not define a person’s values, character, or identity.  There are those with good character and values and those without it in every ethnic group.  And finally, we are all members of one human race. There is no black race, white race, or brown race.  We are all humans and part of one race, one human family.  You are more apt to pick up traits from your environment and culture than from people who have the same “color”  as you. We all have different traits, yet we are predominantly the same:  “There are more than three million differences between your genome and anyone else’s. On the other hand, we are all 99.9 percent the same, DNA-wise.” 99.9% says it all. Race and color are cloaks for other things, racism, imperialism, and a convenient way to separate people to justify preferential treatment for some and disparate treatment for others.

I’m Barbara Talley, the poet who speaks and inspires.  To find out more about me check out my promo sheet or visit  my website.

YOU can’t become rich without ENRICHING OTHERS.

Enrich Others

[Note: Wealth isn’t just that green paper!]

True wealth is a feeling of being surrounded by love, joy, and completeness.

Just as true wealth is fullness; true poverty is emptiness. You can have all the money in the world and be poor and have very little financially and feel very rich. With God’s blessing, you can have BOTH but that can’t happen without enriching others.

So Many Have So Much And Yet Are Still So Poor

Don’t judge your own or any other person’s worth, value, or well-being by their bank account. True poverty is aloneness, incompleteness, dissatisfaction, and unhappiness. With all the blessings around them, the truly poor find it difficult to find anything to be joyous about. The truly rich are appreciative of everything no matter how small, their sight/hearing, their home, their last meal, their family, and maybe just the fact that they are alive to see another day with those they love.

You can have it all and feel like you have nothing, OR you can have nothing and still feel on top of the world.  But one fact is critically important to remember, if you want more wealth, what you do has to enrich others. Practice giving joyfully without expecting a pay back, otherwise it’s just a swap or exchange and doesn’t attract divine blessings to you. Take the example of parents as your guide. Their motives are so pure. Parents are natural enrichers; from the moment their children are born, their thoughts are focused on how they can enrich that child’s life. Their happiness is in seeing the child grow, prosper, and be happy. That’s the model we want to emulate. Now, go ahead and claim your real wealth. Begin by thinking about whose life can you enrich today.

I’m Barbara Talley, The Poet who speaks and inspires.   To find more about me, check out my promo sheet or visit  my website.

Are You Programmed for Poverty or Wealth?

I remember in my early twenties reading a book called the ‘The Magic of Thinking Big,’ In my circles at the time thinking big was being able to pay the rent, buy a suede coat after saving up for months, or just having a job.  My limiting environmental programming had taught me that to want much more was greed, to ask for more than the basics was selfish.  I had to overcome this early programming in order to be successful.

A familiar phrase of the elders were, “The children in Africa are starving.” Their intent was “Be grateful,” for they had gone through much harder times and sacrificed for us to have what little we had. But, the message I heard was, “Don’t ask for much in life.”  Even the church was complicit, teaching that, “It is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get to heaven.”  Their intent was to teach us not to put wealth before God.  The message I got was that I had to choose between God and wealth because it is impossible to have both.

Even as a child I knew that it was impossible for a camel to get through the eye of a needle.  Fortunately I learned later in life that ‘The Eye of the Needle” is a difficult camel passage and a place and not a physical needle.  That changed the message entirely.  To complete the negative indoctrination regarding money, my father would comment regularly when seeing rich people that they were crooks.  I’m sure that was probably his personal experience doing migrant work and growing up in the South.  However the takeaway message confirmed the church’s message, “If you choose wealth, then you are going against God and salvation.”

Who says you can’t have both?  There are so many spiritual teachings that teach us of our power and greatness.  Abundance is also an attribute of God and as spiritual heirs, wealth is ours.  The importance determinant is what we do with that wealth. Do we serve, remain moral and upright, and are we grateful to the point of sharing?  That’s how we measure the value of wealth.

I’m Barbara Talley, the poet who speaks and inspires.  To find out more about me check out: What Does Barbara Do? or visit  my website.

What Does Your Hair Say About You?

What does your hair mean to you? Does it represent beauty, culture, image, or identity.  Is it your crown or crowning glory? 

This past week while speaking at a Domestic Violence Luncheon, a lady the table and I got into a discussion about black hair.  She said she dissuaded her son from wearing braids because of the prejudice that he would receive.  She said she also didn’t wear her hair natural in 2011 for fear of discrimination.

Last May I spoke to an audience in Florida at an event organized by 100 Concerned Black Women and the topic of hair came up.  My co-presenter Iris Cooper had cut off her hair and a lady in the audience who self reportedly had worn wigs most of her life challenged why she did it.  The next day the older lady came to a followup session dawning her own hair.  She recounted how freeing it was.  She somehow had felt she needed validation, permission, and acceptance to free herself.  She explained how all her life she was called ugly because of her short hair.  And, now there is another trend, cutting off our hair that we’ve taken so long to grow and  letting go of what “long hair” means.  How do you feel about cutting your hair off?   It appears that we’ve still got a lot of work to do before we get to the point that we realize that we don’t all have to look the same and can see our own naturalness as beautiful.  Please comment and share “your hair story.”

I’m Barbara Talley, the poet who speaks and inspires.  To find out more about me check out: What Does Barbara Do? or visit  my website.