Love is Love

Love is Love!

Love is Love….. I hate drama and I really do have a lot of work to do. But, I recently read an article that my childhood friend Tina had shared. You see she is white and dating a black man. Which got me thinking of my brother whom I love just as much as my other  “biological” siblings.
Best family photographer in Memphis

My brother ! Cindy Meisch Photography Memphis, TN

This is my brother. Yup brother! Yes, he is adopted but I don’t think of him as adopted or as my Hispanic brother. If I had to label him it would be “adventurer, fearless, heart that loves everyone and yes sometimes a pain in my bum” But, Tina had shared this ARTICLE it  took me back to a conversation I had with my brother when he was still a Senior in High School.
We grew up in a very small town. I had already moved to Chicago by the time he had his license and and was finding his independence. In my little home town EVERY one either cruised up and down main street or went out to the lake and just hung out no actual destination in mind….
He had shared with me how he was constantly stopped just because he looks black. He is and was then a great person! Doing nothing wrong never getting into trouble.
One of the items in the article had said as a black man you don’t have the leisure of just driving around. The first thing a police officer asks is “where are you headed?”
I sit here thinking about the people I love and that it breaks my heart that they are first judged and “grouped” into a category because of their skin color.
I think of the lady that gives the most amazing hugs and speaks with a soft voice and raised her sons to be amazing men. I can not imagine my life with out Corrine or her family in it!
I think of my clients that have become great friends that have lovingly opened their hearts and homes to anyone of color accepting them as family or friend.
I am not here for a debate but I will stand up for the people I love!
On the same note…. My Dad was an Auxiliary Police officer when I was young. And a chaplain at 2 local Maximum Security prisons as well as the local jail. Our phone rang at all hours of the day and night because he was known in our town and at the prisons as the person to call for council because he never judged you. He was there to represent as Christian man called upon to listen to a Child of God.  I know what the inside of prison looks like, smells like and what the inmates yell at you as you walk to visit someone. I never ever want to be on the inside waiting on someone to visit me.  Probably one of the biggest reasons I never got in trouble. Talk to the people in prison. With the exception of 1 person they would all tell you it wasn’t the police that put them in there. They committed a crime and got caught.  
My brother in law is a police officer in the Chicago area. Not all Police officers view people of color the same way. Do I personally think you should treat people who put their lives on the line for you daily with respect YES! You get what you give. I am truly sorry a person of any color comes across any law enforcement and you get a bad cop. But, all of the officers I know are the good ones.
It doesn’t feel right that every night before my head hits the pillow I am praying that those people I know that are working make it home to their family safe.  
We as a planet need to stop the hate. May you dislike of someone be justified because they have disrespected you or harmed you… Abso-freaking-lutely. But, there are plenty of  people with more hate than I care to be associated with. To make a blanket statement about Police because of a few incidents isn’t fair. 
 I do not make my choice about whether I like, love or do business with based on their color of skin, how they look or who they love. MY CHOICE is based on how you treat me and the people I love. It is far easier to start with an open heart than it is to judge someone based on their skin color.
Think of the words coming out of your mouth like a tube of toothpaste…. Once you say it you can not take them back or smoosh it back into the tube!
Then I think of my Momma and all Moms who have probably said the same thing “If you don’t have anything nice to say… don’t say it!”
You make think “You have no idea….”  Maybe I don’t. But, I do know that I grew up in a town that to this day has very few jobs and many people live below the poverty level.  When I was little my family did. My dad worked 3 or more jobs as well as my Mom.
They still taught us to respect everyone! We literally had nothing!  In the winter we supplemented our heat with a wood burner. And oh no our wood was not delivered it was hauled by us from the woods on our property and cut and stacked by us. We hung our clothes outside to dry in the summer and in the basement on a line in the winter.
But, we NEVER asked for a handout or expected our city, government or church for anything unless we needed it. And you better believe our parents expected us to have a plan to pay back society for being generous to us. For example getting reduced lunches at school meant feeding the homeless and growing so much in our garden in the summer to give to someone who had nothing to eat.  Our parents also taught us to give and do it with love no matter who it was.  We probably needed a Thanksgiving meal as much as the people we served at our church. But, we also cooked, served and cleaned it all up because that is what you do when people are in need.
My parents worked hard and were also hard on us. They made sure we knew right from wrong and to respect people. Work hard and your effort will be rewarded. Ask any of my siblings employers and they will tell you we all give 110% they instilled the greatest work ethic no matter if your job is to dig around your entire foundation of your house to waterproof your basement (true story).  Or the paying job you interviewed for.  I worked for Payless for almost 15 years. I was paid well because I was awesome at my job. I worked my way up from a Part-time associate to a manager to a Training Manager.  It may sound great but I worked my ass off for that company going to stores that had high shrink (employees and customers stealing) typically turning the entire staff, training a new staff, getting sales back on track, training a manager to take my place so I could move to the next store and fix it all while watching over 3-4 other stores making sure they were training their associates and sales were good.
When I left Payless I went to work for Home Depot.  I took a pay cut because I was burnt working 60+ hours a week at salary. At Home Depot within a year I was back to making the salary I had left Payless for because I worked and showed I was worth it. When they opened the Expo Design Center (part of HD now closed) I was asked to move there because it was a Customer based business and I excelled at that.  I did what most people could not imagine.  I managed the Counter-top shop. We made our own Corian and other solid surface countertops in the back shop of the store and my team installed them. I had 4-5 guys that worked in the shop with me that I was in charge of. In that situation I had to earn their respect and I did it quickly. Not only did I manage the jobs coming in and out of the shop but I also proved to those guys I could work as hard as they did. I learned how to make countertops and would jump in when we were running behind. If the guys were out on an install and my sheets of material came in. I think they were 4ft x 10ft I put on my back belt and gloves called for help from receiving and unloaded the truck.
When the countertop shop closed I went to supervising the project managers. Again an all male team that oversaw the stores Kitchen, bath remodels luckily many of those jobs had already involved me in someway and those guys already knew my work ethic. As well as if I was in the store I was also considered a manager on duty. I took all the complaints, compliments and was good at it! I know because a lot of associates would call and see if I was busy before they called another manager. Line getting long at the register I would jump on one, Closing out at night I cleaned bathrooms, emptied trash and used the dreaded mini zambonie to clean the floors.

So not counting living on a farm and babysitting me in my late 40’s I have had 4 jobs in my life! Why? because you don’t need to jump from job to job unless they are paying you more because they have heard of your awesome rep and work ethic. When other companies did come with an offer Payless always countered it to make me stay and Home Depot I left for maternity leave to have my son.  I then went to work for my photography mentor who taught me all the basics. In return I did more than expected. Swept floors, cleaned the bathrooms, set the studio for sessions and whatever he asked of me.

Now I own my own business. It took my a while to rank high on Google. Yes, I did the work and took the classes, workshops to get the “business” part right. But, ask my clients just because you may rank on the first page of Google that means nothing if you don’t treat people with respect. I have one client that knows my prices and plans and saves because she wants me as her photographer.  I have another client that has kids that are the happiest before 8 am. I am not a morning person but on that day they are scheduled I am! Have I stopped giving back to society…. no!  I volunteered for almost 3 years with Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep taking pictures of babies that were going to heaven instead of home with their families.  I have photographed a gentleman at the nursing home so that he could be in the church directory with his wife. Gone to visit a friends mom in hospice and photographed her holding the hands of her daughters and grandchildren. I have photographed Senior pics for kids in Foster Care and hopefully didn’t make them feel like one of my charity cases but someone who deserved to feel beautiful and worthy just like their peers. I can honestly say I love my job and my clients are like family to me!
XO Cindy

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