On a particulary cold and windy evening back in 2003, I was in Hollywood, Ca. leaving the Starbucks on Gower and Sunset blvd. Having my warm coffee in hand, I rushed back to my ‘91 Camaro RS (I loved that car) to crank on the heater and blast Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto’s (Im a geek I know). Anyway, as I was getting into my car, a homeless man stepped up to me wearing only a t-shirt. He asked, “Say brotha, you got a dollar?” I replied, “Nah man, I’m broke myself.” Turning away, I noticed a trench coat I had sitting in the back seat of my car. This was an expensive London Fog trench with liner that I got with the clothing allowance we received as Marine embassy guards. Being two (2) years out of the military, I found no occasion to wear it while in southern California. So, there it was, sun stained and collecting dust from the weeks it sat in the window. I grabbed the coat and held it to the man. ”Yo, I aint got no money but if you want a coat you can have this.” He immediately held out his hand and received the gift with deep gratitued. Thanking me enthusiastically, he walked off with a pep in his step no amount of pocket change could have achieved. I got into my car with a satisfaction no amount of pocket change could have achieved either.
I really felt like I did something for someone! It was more than feeling good about my actions, it was feeling good about the functionality of my actions. Another Human Being was going to stay warm, which if you’ve ever been really cold you know how golden warmth can be!!! This was his golden fleece and through Jesus Christ I was able to provide it to him.
Project Golden Fleece is dedicated to supplying coats to those living on the streets without sustenance for keeping warm. When your out in the cold, warmth is more precious than gold. No matter what material the coat is made of, it is your golden fleece!
Project Golden Fleece is a “Viral Charity” dedicated to providing functional sustenance to those living on the streets who would other wise be forced to do without. Through the individual actions of good samaritans, coats will be deployed to those in need with a purpose of keeping them warm during the coldest months of the year. It is through this unified action of charity, we illustrate the true meaning of living in a community as compared to a herd. Let us tend to one another as we would like to be attended to.
Project Golden Fleece: Conquering The Fear of Giving
Project Golden Fleece: Conquering The Fear of Giving
(A report on my first coat deployment for your edification)
By Craig Davidson
Unsolicited giving can be scary. You never know if the person will be apathetic, indignant, or just plain violent. Today, I went driving throughout my immediate neighborhood to hand a coat to a homeless person in need. I prayed this before I went, “Lord, you know who stands in need of a coat. Let your will be done no matter what. I don’t know who is really in need or not so you direct me to the person to give the coat to. In all things let your will be done. In Jesus name, Amen.”
As I drove I wrestled in my mind the possible scenerios I might encounter. WIll the person be truly in need, will they sell the coat off when they need food or water, will they sell their warmth for drugs, will they throw the coat aside during the heated daylight hours….etc. These thoughts tore away at the joy of what I was trying to get accomplished. But God…..
Doubt and second guessing seized my joy until I began to think about Jesus. Here is the God of all creation who manifested himself in the flesh of sinful man to be scorned, mocked, and killed by his own creation just for offering a gift. He had to be tortured and killed to aquire his gift to Man, I only spent .000000001% of my paycheck at Goodwill. How much more should I be bold in my giving, having no regard to those who may or may not reject that which I have to give?
So I was rolling down Crenshaw Blvd near Colliseum pondering this when I came upon a Ralphs supermarket. I said to myself, “Self, most homeless people stick around places where food is served. Let’s patrol the parking lot and see if there be someone in need.” Low and behold, as I make my rounds, I come to the front of the store near the news stand. Hidden behind the row of stands, I noticed a man crouched in a corner eating a meal. Now, at this time it is drizzling and rain is highly probable. This man wore only a t-shirt and obviously needed a coat for the chilly night. I pulled a little ways up so as not to attract attention and walked over to him and asked, “Hey brotha, you need a coat?” He immediately said, “Yes!” I replied, “Hold on, I got one in my trunk.” As I handed him the coat the appreciation was all in his eyes as he chowed down on his salad mulch. He then asked me for money. I told him, “I don’t have none. But I try to do what I can. I figure if I can’t give you money at least you can be warm you know?” He replied with an understanding nod and we gave each other the fist knock. I departed with, “Jesus loves you.” to which he commented the same.
The accomplishment I felt was two fold. One, I saw to the end a goal which I set for myself and two, a human being is going to be warm tonight from a gift I was fortunate enough to be able to supply.
Giving can be scary when you’re only thinking of how the gift will be received. That is a ploy from Satan. If I was to let those thoughts mature, I would have turned around and went back home. This man would have froze to death (figure of speech) all because I was thinking about how I would be embarrased if my gift was not received the way I wanted it to be.
Take home lesson for me…..DON”T THINK, JUST GIVE!!!
I look forward to the next coat deployment beginning 11/15/11
On Saturday July 16, 2011 I was privileged to attend the Men Of Color In The Industry (MOCITI) Masters Acting Class featuring renowned actor/musician Obba Babatunde. The 5 hour intensive was held on the set of “Love That Girl” starring Tatyana Ali at the black owned HI-POINT STUDIOS located at 5925 W. Pico Blvd. in Los Angeles, Ca.
Obba showed us through intriguing examples and spirited explanations the importance of breaking down a characters inner humanity vice their outer identity. For instance, if your character is a cop, don’t mimic a perceived notion as to what a cop is. Dig deeper. Cop’s are human too. What is this MAN who happens to be a COP going through? Who is he as a person? What does he want in the scene? Dig past the identity and get to the humanity.
Each attendee was given the opportunity to memorize a given side and perform the piece for Obba who then gave valuable critique and adjustments as needed. As a writer, I felt it necessary to take advantage of this opportunity if not for anything else, to better understand character development as a screenwriter. I was NERVOUS to say the least but, as all MARINES know…It’s okay to be nervous as long as it doesn’t get in the way of the job. I felt good during my performance and discovered a new respect and desire for acting
This report on the Master Class is only a squinted look through a glass darkly when compared to the full experience of actually being there. I am proud to say it was provided by MOCITI and ever grateful to Obba Babatunde and the good people at HI-POINT STUDIOS for allowing this event to come to fruition.
"Every exit is an entrance to somewhere and every entrance is an exit from somewhere." —Obba Babatunde - On analysing the scene
A healthy breakfast can mean the difference between having a good day and having a bad one. Now, when I say having a certain type of day I do not mean good and bad things happening TO you. These extrinsic actions are out of our control. It is how we interact with the outside forces that determine what kind of day we’re having. So, being that NOTHING EXTRINSICALLY can cause you to have a bad day, lets look at what WILL cause you to have a bad day—YOU! You and you alone are the determining factor of the good and bad of your day. Yes, you got cheated on…yes, you gotta go to work an hour early for the inspection…yes, your dog crapped on your new shark skin rug…yes, yes, yes. In all those YES’ make sure one of them says, “Yes, though all this crap happened to me, at least I had a good breakfast!”
Before the bad of the day, treat YOURSELF good in the morning. — Craig Davidson
…and it aint stopping so you better jump on while you can!
I’ve been an active member of Men Of Color In The Industry (MOCITI) since August 2010. Since then, I’ve had the honor of witnessing a powerful movement of black, asian, hispanic, & caucasian men, all on one accord, harold a new paradigm in the television and film industry. Each month at the Terrell Moore art gallery in downtown Los Angeles, this eclectic inter-disciplinary pool of talent gather to share professional experiences, build meaningful relationships, and offer valuable lessons learned gleaned from personal journey’s in the entertainment business.
Notoriously dependent on “who you know”, Hollywood can be a labyrinth of dead ends leaving one who chooses to “go it alone” just that—ALONE! We as men of color must come to the realization that we cannot continue to work with an attitude of “destroy or be destroyed”. We must understand our station in this industry and fight against the goad by supporting one another through the proliferation of information and mentorship leading to a tight nit circle of influence fostering artistic responsibility and professional accountability. Only when this practice is in full form will our village mentality transform into a village reality.
With a New York MOCITI chapter on the horizon, men of color will have a bi-coastal outlet of resources, opportunities, and forums to showcase their artistic expressions on a world wide scale to an international audience clamoring to experience our visions from within.
“To each man, lend a hand.” - Craig Davidson (M.O.C.I.T.I.)
or·gan·ic-phi·los·o·phy /ôrˈganik-fəˈläsəfē/ - A surmised critical thought based on ones own experiences & observations not above re-examination.
Through trail and error, I’ve learned my most important lessons in life. Though I’ve had mentors, parents, older brothers, etc. do their best to try and teach me the best way of doing things, it wasn’t until I tried it my way—and failed—that I REALLY LEARNED the value of their advice. I am a person that has to do something the wrong way in order to really understand the value of doing it the right way. This is hardhead I know but it is my nature—I’m working on it, hahaha! But, in my unholy marriage to trial and error, I’ve also gleaned a valuable trait that I do not see in society today, I call it Organic-Philosophy.
Organic-Philosophy only differs from traditional philosophy in that it derives from YOUR own personal experiences & observations (organic) not Seneca’s, Aristotle, or Plato’s. We are all experiencing and observing life as we exist. The things we learn through error and that which we strive through trials are the foundations of a functionally based organic/personal philosophy worthy of being passed down from generation to generation.
I do believe historical philosophy has a place in society but we tend to lean on the greats of the past far more than what their philosophy prescribes. Yes, it’s cool to quote the mega proverbs of Solomon, but what if you took the time out to ponder your own experiences and recorded a one sentence quote summarizing the lessons learned through that experience? This would be a far greater legacy to leave than a watch, car, or even money for that matter.
The trick is not to make it too formal. Just a journal or word doc entitled “Thoughts” and try not to go past three sentences per thought. Remember, this will not only show the lessons you’ve learned in life, it will also show who you were as a person. Now that’s what people remember!
P.S: Think philosophically when writing your thoughts!
"Life can be cool if we look beyond survival." — Craig Davidson
A sphere with no poles has no surface direction. Though you may travel—even for a time, you do so on a path of no direction. The ability to gain a directional bearing does not exist until arbitrary reference points are place on that object.
The key to getting anywhere in life, be it personal, professional, or spiritual, is to first gain a reference point of your present state. Where are you? Who are you? What are you? Then, and only then, can you make a discerning choice as to where you would like to go and make an educated decision on the best route to get there.
It’s easy to travel the “sphere of no poles” down directionless paths to no where. But you can prevent this by setting reference points. First, acknowledging your present state (polar assessment), then where you would like to go (polar goal), last find your best route (achieving action) to accomplish your goal. Don’t worry about making the best decision, the important thing here is to MAKE A DECISION and adjust as you travel and learn.
Life is unpredictable, what is out of our hands is out of our hands. But if we properly organize, plan, and execute that which is in our hands, we can make life that much more enjoyable. I hope the best for you.