R.I.S.E. – Raise Intelligent Strong Economics – We don’t live on the Sunny Side of Street

Face the Future: Your Optimism Will Not Short Change You
February 26, 2019
R.I.S.E. — Raise Intelligent Strong Economics_Part 2 — To Live On “The Sunny Side of the Street”
February 26, 2019

By Farrah Gray

Today, it’s impossible to be a well-informed citizen without at least some knowledge of how governmental economic policies can affect our ability to earn a living and provide for our own future.

The Federal Reserve Chairman is arguably the most powerful figure in the global economy and the effects of the popularized “trickle-down economics” theory never reaches or benefits you or your neighborhood.   His decisions directly affect our financial lives in a way no other public figure can match.  He is a policy maker more powerful than the President of the United States, yet information about the man himself, his beliefs, and his actions inside the Federal Reserve can be hard to come by for the average reader.

Don’t turn full responsibility for your personal economic affairs over to a stranger. The Federal Reserve Chairman is someone you only know from news media and sound bites that you only see when flipping through channels on your remote control.  The buck must stop with YOU.

African-Americans live in a nation that may be considered the world’s fastest-paced society. Many liken it to the “microwave” society that consumes our thoughts and redirects our focus.  The populace in this society is hard-wired to be able to access every impulse and instantly satisfy every whimsical desire. It makes sense that it is this way–given that most (but not all) of us are descendants of folks who were unwillingly transported to this country and forcibly assigned to lives of complete servitude to better the lives of others at our peril.  We were the “children of a lesser God” who (like so much livestock) served as “beasts of burden” to those who did not value our lives.

We live with the residual remnants of the perception of us as subordinate and inferior to this day.  

Our problems are indeed large, but to the rest of the world, Black people in the U.S. still live and work in better conditions than they do. No this is not Darfur or the “Sunny of the Side of the Street” from an old song my grandmother used to play for me.

To quote Dr. Martin Luther King:

 “He who starts behind in the great race of life must forever remain behind or run faster than the man in front. The demands of history require that we be as productive, as resourceful, and as responsible as the people who never had these (our historical) disadvantages.”

Sometimes we move too fast for our own good or for the good of those around us. Caught up in a foot race through life, we race past the signals that are there to tell us what we need to do for ourselves or what our spouses, children, or friends need from us.

Psychologists know that manic (mentally erratic) behavior is often an avoidance tactic–a way of escaping our problems and the pain that accompanies them. To someone with manic tendencies, the stimulus of frenzied activity provides a protective shield from pain. We all know people who are like this to varying degrees, because we live in a manic society. To be more in touch with real life, we need to slow down. Some of us are beginning to do just that.

Moving fast comes naturally to us. It feels good–whether we are pushing the legal speed limit down the highway, racing downfield with a football, or charging up to make a three-pointer.

Eugene McDaniel’s song made famous by Les Mccann and Eddie Harris “Trying to make it real, compared to what?

We need to slow down, and some of us are beginning to do just that. We must become our own boss!

When it comes to charting your course for financial success, I also believe strongly in self-reliance. Don’t let the buck stop somewhere else.


Entrepreneur, philanthropist and bestselling author and award-winning fashion designer Farrah Gray has inspired millions around the world through motivational speaking, economic evangelism and the strength of his example. Gray is also an agent of social change. His partnerships include the Kauffman Foundation, the Floyd Mayweather Jr. Foundation, National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Marrow Donor Program, among others.