Friendship

Happy 39th Birthday to Dr. Santresa L. Glass

Dr. Santresa L. Glass

Photo Courtesy of Dr. Santresa L. Glass

As you continue to celebrate life, including your own life, I wanted to take a brief moment and wish you a Happy Birthday! I’m so grateful to have you as a best friend. In fact, you’ve become more than a best friend; you’re my sister.

Through you, I’ve learned what a true best friend is and what one is not.

Thank you for being you and thank you for teaching me so much about authentic love and friendship.

Have the greatest day!

Love ya,

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Happy 35th Birthday to Dr. Santresa L. Glass

Santresa L. Glass

Courtesy of Santresa L. Glass

I want to take this opportunity to wish Dr. Santresa L. Glass, my best friend, a Happy Birthday! San, as she’s affectionately known, is such a loving, caring and thoughtful person. She’s passionate about friendship and love. Whenever I have good news to share, Dr. Glass is always more excited about the news than I am. In a world saturated with jealousy and envy, one must truly treasure that aforementioned aspect of a person. We have a friendship like none other. It’s a joy to wake up each day and know that you have someone in your corner with the love and support that Santresa extends. Yes, my life is great because of Jesus dwelling on the inside of me, and Dr. Glass is one of those precious treasures He’s given to me that makes life even more special.

Although we disagree 99% of the time, our ardent discourses always add to our friendship rather than take away from it. Too many people are looking for “yes men” and “yes women,” but San and I seek authenticity, and that’s exactly what we receive from one another 100% of the time. We always honor each other’s authenticity because it comes from a genuine place of love. Dr. Glass and I embrace each other’s differences and those differences help us to learn so much from one another.

One of the dimensions of our friendship I appreciate the most is how she’s able to give me valuable insights from a woman’s perspective and I’m able to offer her meaningful insights from a man’s perspective. You would be really surprised how we’ve used this “insider knowledge” to our advantage.

While many still believe we have a sexually intimate relationship, our friendship is not based on sexual relations at all. We share an intimacy that is much deeper and rewarding than what people experience in relationships involving sexual intercourse. The essence of our intimacy and love is best encapsulated and delineated by William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116. Our love and intimacy cannot even be eradicated by the ravages of time.

San, I’m so proud of you and everything you’ve accomplished. Whatever you set your mind to do, you conquer—no matter what challenges and problems you encounter. As you know, I’m only a call, text, tweet or Facebook message away. It’s my prayer that God’s Grace will manifest into your life on this day an abundance of spiritual elevation, divine health, love, peace, joy, happiness, wealth, faith, favor and miracles.

I love you and want you to have the best birthday ever!

Happy Birthday, Dr. Santresa L. Glass!

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Happy 34th Birthday to Santresa L. Glass

Santresa L. Glass

(Photo Credit: Santresa L. Glass)

For over 13 years, Santresa Glass has gotten on my nerves and continues to get on my nerves. Although I have had to endure her getting on my nerves for such a long time, she’s unquestionably my best friend.  San, as she’s affectionately known, is a beautiful person, inside and out.  One of the central reasons why I cherish our friendship is she’s never looking to simply use me to obtain something she wants or needs; she loves me just for who I am.  We share a metaphysical relationship and love.  Our love for one another is so deep that many people think we are intimately involved—she can only dream that this will happen one day. Our relationship is akin to the relationship Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King share.  I will always treasure our relationship.

When a problem arises in my life, she does not contribute it; she’s there to support me through the problem. We always know that we can count on each other.

If more people could experience a relationship like the one we have, the world would be a better place.

San, I’m super proud of all of your accomplishments.  You know that I’ve witnessed the highs and lows life has presented you.  The lows have been pretty low and the highs have been pretty high. Through it all, you’ve made it.  You have blossomed into a remarkable woman.  In a few weeks, you will earn your doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership—what an awesome accomplishment!  (On the official day you complete all requirements for your doctoral degree, I will pen a piece focused solely on this accomplishment.)

Although I’ve always cherished our friendship, it was not until 2009 that I truly understood just how valuable of a best friend she is.  We never become too old to learn.  Life has taught me that there are special elements about the friendship that are absent in my other friendships.  What’s odd about our chemistry is we disagree 99% of the time.  I am right 100% of the time, however.

It’s such a great feeling to know that our friendship is not dependent on what I can do for her, and it’s wonderful to know that what I can do for her does not define our friendship.

Our relationship is envied by so many that we’re responsible for a number of people just popping up with “best friends” all of a sudden and/or falsely characterizing their relationships with others as “best friends” when they know full well this characterization is dishonest.

Today, in my own unique way, I want to wish Santresa L. Glass a Happy 34th Birthday!  Enjoy your day and your day off.

Love you,

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Don’t Invite Disloyalty to Your Doorstep

Disloyalty

(Photo Credit: Bole Gain India)

The waning embracement of loyalty is becoming ever so lucid throughout America.  When you fail to be loyal to your family and friends, you invite disloyalty to your doorstep.  The costs of being loyal are significantly less than the repercussions of being disloyal.  Often those who are disloyal to their family and friends are governed by a spirit of selfishness.  This spirit of selfishness frequently defines those who are disloyal.  Most folks willing to be disloyal will try to make everything about them.  If you, therefore, have friends and family members who attempt to make everything about themselves, then they have great potential to be disloyal to you.

Although it can be quite emotionally painful to have someone you trust be disloyal to you, it can be empowering: You have a chance to learn his or her real name: Enemy.  Once you discover his or her true name, treat the person accordingly.  The discovery of disloyalty will remove the blinders from your eyes about the person.  This will enable you to invest your time in people who genuinely love and support you. Even when people painstakingly endeavor to conceal their disloyalty, disloyalty has a way of being revealed to you.  Disloyal people tend to have disloyal friends, family members, and associates, and those individuals often—without the least thought and regret—communicate the disloyalty to the victims.

While it can seem easy to respond to this piece by saying, “Don’t trust everyone,” some of the victimizers can be people you’ve never had any reason to suspect of being disloyal.  You should not immediately blame the victim.  It’s not healthy to go around distrusting everyone but it’s wise to keep your eyes and ears open.

Should a family member or friend be forgiven for being disloyal?

Forgive everyone for everything.  The disloyal will inevitably receive justice.  You will recover from the pain disloyal people have inflict on you—just don’t let that pain stifle your progress.  Find the strength to overcome this pain or it will accomplish just what your enemies hoped it would: destruction.

After reading this piece, let your loyal family members and friends know how much you really appreciate, love and support them.  Being a victim of disloyalty offers you powerful insights about why your loyal family members and friends are so valuable.

As a quick reminder to disloyal people, your actions can cause those same evil seeds you planted in one place to sprout at your doorsteps.  You do reap what you sow.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Bye! You’re A Burden Anyway

Girl Bye

(Photo Credit: Meme Crunch)

Do you have people in your life who like to pout like they’re little kids when they don’t get their way?  Do these people try to make everything about them?  Have you ever thought about whether these people have any true value in your life?  It may be time for you to remove yourself from these people completely.  What kinds of benefits do you receive from being in relationships with people like this?  None.  To stay in relationships with people like this is to continue to remain just as foolish as they are.  Although it’s difficult to end certain relationships, there comes a time when you have to eliminate pointless relationships.

What is a pointless relationship?  A pointless relationship is a relationship where one person never gets any benefits from the relationship and the other person obtains all of the benefits.  This type of relationship is unfair and unhealthy.

Being in a pointless relationship wastes your time, results in an undue amount of stress, and leaves you with a sense of emptiness and unhappiness.  You have the power to get yourself out of these types of relationships.  Once you sever ties with those who you’re in pointless relationships with, you will see just how great of a life you can live without them.

Although you may use the “friends” label with people in your life, are they really your friends?  Do they really encapsulate your ideas and ideals of what friends are supposed to be?  Do they give you more pain than pleasure?  If your “friends” are giving you more pain than pleasure, it’s time for you to acknowledge that they’re not friends—they’re burdens!

You must begin to value yourself in such way that allows you to eliminate those in your life who are simply a waste of your time.

When you talk with certain “friends,” do they always find a way to dominate the conversation and/or make the conversation all about them, never giving you a minute to get a word in edgewise?  It’s time for you to realize that these are selfish people.  In the conversations that you’re having with your “friends,” are those conversations mostly about the things they want you do for them?  Again, it’s time for you to admit that these people are selfish.

Selfish people are burdens and they always make the relationships they’re in pointless.

The funny thing is selfish people will often try to threaten not to be your friend any longer and/or stop communicating with you for a period of time and ignore you, as their attempt to punish you. When they do these things, you need to push them completely out of your life.  They’re the ones who really lose when they do these things; they’re the ones who are constantly dependent on you.

You have to take some responsibility for how you have allowed these selfish people to maintain relationships with you.  For whatever reason(s) you continue to stay in relationships with these people, you’re the one who has to break the chains linking you to them.

When selfish people in your life ignore you, stop communicating with you for a period of time, and/or threaten to stop being your friend, you should be happy because these burdens are being removed from your life.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Happy 33rd Birthday to Santresa L. Glass

Santresa L. Glass

Look at those cheekbones! Lol!

I want to take this opportunity to wish Santresa L. Glass, my best friend, a Happy 33rd Birthday!  I appreciate your friendship and love.  Each day, my understanding of the value of your friendship and love becomes clearer.  I am so proud of all the things you’ve accomplished.  At 33 years old, you are proving to get better with time.  Although some people believe that your posts on Facebook (including your pictures), your tweets, and Instagram pictures/posts are attempts to present yourself as being more than you really are, those individuals truly don’t know you.  If they really knew you, as I do, they would know that the glow they see is authentic happiness.  I may (notice the emphasis on “may”) tolerate people attacking me for a little while, but one thing I will not tolerate is any attacks on my best friend, Santresa L. Glass.  I don’t mind getting life without the possibility of parole for annihilating anyone who would try to attack and do you harm.  Believe that!

I’m truly proud of you for being so close to completing your doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership at Argosy University.  Although some are already trying to downplay and criticize you for obtaining your doctoral degree online, they are simply “toxic mushrooms” (I’m pretty sure you can appreciate that term).  I cannot wait to read your doctoral committee approved version of your dissertation!  Oh yeah, for the haters, Santresa is required to pen a dissertation.  It will not be long before I get to call you “Dr. Glass.”  Sounds great, right?

You are beautiful!  You always have been.  Time has only ameliorated your beauty.  You’re not pretending to be beautiful—you simply are!

No one can ever question your authenticity.  You have never been afraid to express who you truly are.  You embrace not only the great things about yourself but also your imperfections.  One of the things I love most about you is your authenticity.  When I’m talking to you, I always know that I’m talking to San and not some inauthentic persona you’ve created to please others.

On this day, take time to reflect on the many blessings God has bestowed to you.  He has a tremendous number of more blessings for you.  Enjoy YOUR day.  Have the best birthday ever.  Again, happy birthday!

Love you,

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Keep Squares Out of Your Circle

You’re responsible for the people you allow to be in your circle.  When you’re constantly frustrated about the people you choose to accept in your circle, then you deserve to be frustrated—you have no one to blame but yourself.  Keep people around you who are going to help you to progress.  Don’t attempt to disassociate with individuals who are going to hold you accountable to high standards and who offer you substantive critiques you need to hear.  Too many people cast away those who they should retain in their circle and discard those they need to keep.

The people you have in your circle are going to play an instrumental role in your success and continued success.  If you’re a truly mature adult, you will deal with those in your circle in a straightforward way.  When you’re a mature adult, you will not communicate with them in third person and send indirect messages to them using various social media platforms.

Although it’s vital to surround yourself with positive people, this does not mean you should have a bunch of head nodding yes men around you.  You shouldn’t want the majority of the people in your circle to sit around in awe of you; you should want people around you who merit awe too.  Many people maintain a circle of friends and associates who aren’t going to threaten their weak self-esteem, but the truth is you need people around you who are candidly willing to tell you that you need to do something to ameliorate your low self-esteem.  While you don’t want someone who is persistently trying to maliciously attack you to stay around you, you should want people in your circle who aren’t afraid to offer you constructive criticism even when you don’t solicit it.

Arguing

Too often people are so concerned about associating with “rubber stamp” people that they don’t give much focus to the tangible signs revealing those individuals aren’t really their supporters.  The reality is when “rubber stamp” people hang around one another, especially all the time, it becomes nothing more than a futile competition between themselves.

While some people like to boast about having an extensive circle of close friends, the truth is you really don’t have but a few true close friends, and when you recognize this, you free yourself from a certain incapacitating ignorance.

Make an honest assessment of the individuals you consider to be in your circle.  If those individuals add no value to your life, then you may want to consider removing them for your circle—just make sure you’re not eliminating someone from you circle who refuses to accept mediocrity from you.

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison