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Mel Hopkins

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Blog Entries posted by Mel Hopkins

  1. Mel Hopkins
    It all begins with the character.  The story has its genesis in the character. Without the character - there is no story.   

    Whenever I'm having a problem writing fiction, ( or even in my own life)  I know I have to return to the protagonist. 

    If she's fully developed then I have to concede that maybe she's in the wrong story.   

    -Originally Posted in The Thriving Writer 
     
  2. Mel Hopkins
    One Trillion Dollars! Earlier this month, Apple executives announced their 42-year-old company is worth One trillion dollars.
     
    For those unsure how to write one trillion dollars, there is a one followed by 12 zeros.  
     
    Today, some believe Apple changed the world with its products. Still, there are quite a few who get along fine without Apple.  For the rest, the company is a game-changer.   
     
     Apple went public in 1980, and for $22, anyone could buy a share.  During the company's initial public offering, a middle-aged professor, who taught at a university in Brooklyn, bought a few of the more than four million shares available. He encouraged a young widow who'd just inherited a half-million dollars to buy some too.  Her goal was to leave a financial legacy for her children, their children, and generations to come.  Not knowing much about the stock market or IPOs, she was skeptical about making a purchase.  
     
    She passed on the offer. Instead, she kept her money tied up in real estate and her family.  She thought that would be a safer deal. It wasn't.   Today, most of her family is gone.  She and the bank own her one home.  
     
    There are a lot of reasons, why she isn't wealthy today but mainly it's because "we become what we do."  
     
    There can be hundreds of articles on how Apple hit trillion dollars in valuation.  The reason is this; Apple is run by people whose goal is to make money by any means.    
     
    So, if you find you're in a place far different than you'd envisioned for yourself. 
     
    Stop doing what you've always done. 
     
    Lose the fear and make money whatever it takes to allow you to live your dreams.
  3. Mel Hopkins
    As long as black women need to get their hair "did", and black men need to get lined up, we will always come together in the "Shop" or around kitchen tables to share the latest news. 
    No matter how many social networks like Myspace, Facebook and Twitter spring up they will never replace Low tech media such as The Barbershop,The Beauty Salon & Kitchentalk.   
     
    On this video, Software and Mobile App developer Anari Sengbe, illustrates this point when after his days of disrupting Silicon Valley, he returns to the village to talk about cryptocurrency.
    I've been following this tech guru since he came up with the GoVote app that would allow volunteers to wait in line for others who couldn’t afford the long wait time to vote
    I was updating ads on my blog and I came across a story I "pressed" on him last year. 
     
    As you can tell, from the name of this blog, I look for interesting  "characters" and so I followed up with him on LinkedIn to find out the latest. 

    Earlier this year, Anari Sengbe launched OWO (Yoruba-English translation: Money).  OWO.world is a digital platform that has a suite of applications from social to gaming with a twist that allows users and developers to earn/exchange cryptocurrency.   

    I'm working my way up the learning curve to understand this digital currency, but I like the questions these brothers ask because when you teach you learn.  And Sengbe is able to answer these bitcoin questions in a way that s easy to understand.   

    By the way, Gaming is included in the Trillion-dollar Media & Entertainment industry but I don't think the government did an assessment that includes bitcoin mining. 
     

    My head is spinning trying to make sense of all this  but you only get old when you stop learning. 
  4. Mel Hopkins
    The Black community who have nearly zero wealth but $1.5 trillion buying power keeps the U.S. economy afloat.    

    Some have the belief,

    Absolutely some of those tactical and strategical solutions require mental reprogramming and behavior modification.
     
    The Black community didn’t create fiat money or its banking system.  Therefore, we're clueless when dealing with it.  The system terrorizes and traumatizes others, crushing them under the weight of insurmountable financial problems.
     
    The former can be solved by education, while the latter would require reprogramming to alleviate ourselves of its pressures.  
    For example, many believe we derive our worth from our financial portfolio, our parents or where we were born.  
     
    Society programs us to believe what we own, who we can influence even our zip code determines our value. 
    Once we’re indoctrinated into that belief system; once we begin to equate our intrinsic value to tangibles such as assets, physical appearance, influence or anything outside of our control; we quickly travel downhill on a slippery slope.    
     
    For many of us, this is a way of life.  It is as natural as breathing.   
    We’ve been taught to seek outside acceptance, or even popularity, i.e., create an artificial demand for ourselves. 
    We will do anything to achieve it.  We'll pay for things we can’t afford to get the attention of people we don’t know, have a relationship with, or even like.  
    When we follow this path, we create demand for human-made products giving it value and thereby enriching its producer.
    Ironically, the value comes from the demand. Without demand, there would be no value.  Humans, however, are valuable whether or not there's a demand.   
     
    Looking for outside validation, or even valuation wouldn't be necessary if we recognize that we're invaluable from birth.
     
    More on that later when we discuss remedies for financial pathology.
     
    Some attention-seekers don't understand how attention derives its value or its purpose. So, they exchange it for money.  Others attempt to convert it into status. Once in demand, the goal for many is to gain an illusory higher ‘position’ in society.  
     
    Hollywood even has a rating system for a celebrity’s popularity and will pay according to the rating.   
     
    And as a society, we’ve agreed to this rating system as if it’s nature’s design.  Instead of what it is, an artificially created social stratification system. 
    In nature, there’s no such hierarchy only symbiosis and mutualism.
     
    Every species has a role and carries out for the continued evolution of this planet.  
     
    Our belief system should reflect what exists in nature.  
     
    Our innate abilities, talents, and Love at its apex are for this planet's growth, not its destruction.  
    It's inherent within the Black community or any indigenous people to know their role in nature.   
    We're here as sustainable support for nature and all that exists within. 
     
    Still, that knowledge conflicts with the members' need for acceptance.   
     
    Further, the natural system wouldn't benefit parasites who have learned how to thrive off the artificial system of selling attention-getting products. 
    Unfortunately, they have convinced us to bury our talents and abilities and instead trade our time for a pittance so we can pay twice the amount of our earnings for trinkets.  
     
    The price of human ingenuity is incalculable.  
     
    Meanwhile, the black community is financially-strapped because they work to get attention. Some will convert the attention into money to buy things they don’t need, tire of it and unfulfilled will self-destruct.  
     
    Others will use the attention currency, convert it to power then into money to maintain the social stratification system.  
     
    Of them, in whispers, we'll say, "so-and-so sold their soul."  
     
    For the rest, the tactical solution is to remember individual intrinsic value. Then we'll realize humans belong at a roundtable not in a pecking order.   
     
    But I digress.  
     
    There's a difference between how things are and how they should be. There's a difference between reality and belief.  
     
    Maybe our psychological challenges stem from overthinking this lopsided mixed economic system. 
     
    Therefore, a strategic solution is to understand that in democratic capitalism, money is a medium used in an exchange of goods and services.
     
    The key is knowing the difference between price and cost.
     
  5. Mel Hopkins
    I love it when a good plan comes together. 
     
    Many who are dazzled by the media and may have missed the plot. 
     
    We must remember, we're a civilization rooted in story-telling.  
    We share information filled with iconic imagery, symbolism, and sounds.  
     
    Celebrities are no different. 
    They use the media to tell stories that voice their platform position or opposition.


     
    Case-in-point, On December 5, 2017 "Beyoncé surprised free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick with Sports Illustrated‘s Muhammad Ali Legacy Award."  
     
    Here's the backstory for those who missed it.
     
    Beyoncé became Enemy #1 when she performed "Formation" during the 2016 Super Bowl.   
     
    SUPER BOWL 50.   It was the only time the NFL ditched the Roman numerals.
     
    Like a Trojan Horse, Beyoncé and her Black Panther styled-warriors marched out on their field.  She resurrected Malcolm X and gave corporate America the finger.
     
    Without those who sound off every time a celebrity offends their sensibilities, we'd miss the story unfold.   
     
    White folks screamed bloody murder and cops threatened not to provide security for her upcoming concerts. 
     
    Butthurt.
     
    Now, 45 and white America are butthurt because Kaepernick took a knee 7-months after Bey danced into Formation. 
     
    For a protest to be effective, you got to surprise them on their battlefield.
     
    Awarding the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award to Kaepernick is nearing the apex of consciousness raising. 
     
    If this were a monomyth, also known as the Hero's Journey; it would be where the Hero gets the gift from the Goddess right before he returns from his journey. 
     
    Together, whether it was planned or not, they used their platform to bring attention to police brutality and state-sanctioned murders. 
     
    Beyoncé and Kaepernick didn't level a gun. They waged protest in an arena the military used to raise support. 
     
    Raise. Support. For. War.  
     
    Maybe like me, you weren't aware of how the National Anthem and the NFL wedded at the conclusion of World War II.  The Washington Post shared that part of the story in September. 
     
    Up until 2015, the Department of Defense contracted with the NFL using millions of taxpayer money.
     
    I never had a problem with military pageantry.  
     
    I do have a problem with hypocrisy.  
     
    Neither Beyonce or Colin Kaepernick used taxpayers money to advance the cause of bringing attention to police brutality.  
    They told a story through their actions.  
     
    Proving once again; a storyteller's wheelhouse is winning hearts and minds. 
  6. Mel Hopkins
    What does it take to get to a Happily Ever After?  

    It's 2017 and romance novels are still the best-selling trade books in the America, maybe even the world.
    I'd go out on a limb to say the reason is two people always find their happily ever after.  But how about outside the book covers? In life?  What does it take to get HEA?
     In today's podcast, I explore the reality.  Do you have what it takes to hurdle the obstacles to achieve your happy ending?     Transcript available on melhopkinsdotom  in the comment section.  
     
  7. Mel Hopkins
    No one can live up to the story that you create about them. If it's an amazing story, however,  it doesn't matter.  That is, if you remember this one thing.  
    Listen to my podcast "Careful, or you'll end up in My Novel" Pilot episode:  Characters

     
     
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