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Lawrence D. Elliott
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Lawrence D. Elliott is an author who has had many stories published in many popular books, including four from the best-selling Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

Lawrence is a member of Toastmasters International. He's also been interviewed for such radio programs as The Daily Wrap from The Wall Street Journal with Michael Castner.

Originally from San Diego, California, he is currently living in Ontario, California, working on several writing projects.

You can connect with Lawrence through Google+, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. You can also visit his website at http://www.lawrenceelliott.com.

Entries by Lawrence D. Elliott

A Higher Purpose

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2014 | 1:23 PM

This week, I stopped at a Fresh & Easy food store to grab something quick for lunch. I love shopping at this chain because each store is filled with a large variety of wholesome and delicious food, making it so much easier for me to eat healthier. They deliver great...

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The Man Known as Sugar Meat

(0) Comments | Posted April 3, 2014 | 1:24 AM

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, is quoted as saying "Without an education, a people will perish." From the moment "The Great Emancipator" set America on the path of the abolishment of slavery, black families have struggled to keep their race from perishing, even when faced with...

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Paul Wesley Willrich: He Had the Last Laugh

(2) Comments | Posted January 21, 2014 | 1:33 PM

It was the spring of 1979 when a sedan carrying two young African-American men was stopped by two police cars just as they entered the onramp. It was 9:15 p.m. and they were headed home after a hard shift at work. They were employed at a warehouse showroom in the...

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Love Is Love: Why I Decided to Work on an Indie Film

(1) Comments | Posted January 16, 2014 | 8:53 AM

When I returned to the U.S. in November of 2013, working on a film had never crossed my mind. I just wasn't there. I'd been in Germany since May of 2011, and knew I needed to restart my life here in a hurry.

I applied for jobs everywhere I could....

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A Christmas Tale: A Fruit For The Season

(0) Comments | Posted December 20, 2013 | 9:03 AM

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When I heard this story out of Germany, I immediately thought of a quote from Mother Teresa: "Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand."

There was this woman I knew in Germany. She's...

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Contradictions: Medicare and the Social Security Administration

(1) Comments | Posted December 10, 2013 | 3:12 PM

Imagine yourself in this situation.

You're in your mid-40s. You've worked hard all of your life. You own a modest home. Like a good American citizen, you paid your taxes every year. You saved for your retirement in order to comfortably live out your golden years. Then, you acquire a...

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As a Man, I No Longer Feel the Need to Apologize For Crying

(0) Comments | Posted December 5, 2013 | 11:46 AM

I recently contributed a personal story to a book titled 101 Awesome Things To Do For Someone Who's Sick. Created by actor and award-winning author Elaine Wilkes, this thought-provoking book is filled with heart-warming stories and wonderful ideas to make life easier for anyone who is ill. I...

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When Your Best Is Not Good Enough

(0) Comments | Posted December 1, 2013 | 8:44 PM

Winston Churchill, one of the greatest statesmen of the twentieth century, once said, "Sometimes doing your best is not good enough. Sometimes you must do what is required."

Admitting when we just don't measure up is difficult for many people. They believe it's a sign of weakness to admit one's...

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GOP Shutdown: The Tea Party Fiddles as America's Image Burns

(0) Comments | Posted October 7, 2013 | 9:48 PM

If it was the intention of the GOP to make the United States of America look foolish, you all can lift your glasses in congratulations. A job well done! We've officially become a joke before the world. But if you don't mind, please stop before you make total idiots of...

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Post-Zimmerman Verdict: What About That NSA Scandal and Snowden?

(2) Comments | Posted July 17, 2013 | 11:50 AM


When I was a child, I learned many wonderful lessons I still use today. My grandparents taught me the true meaning of faith and how important it is to be kind to others. I discovered I could write in middle school from my special education teacher, whose actual job was to teach me to read at a proficient level. I learned from a high school teacher that it would be cool for an African-American kid from the inner-city to learn German. Pretty important, since I'm now in Germany for the second time in my life.

From my mom, there were many lessons I learned, including those of working hard and fighting for what I need, especially when times are difficult. Oh, and there was another very, very important thing she taught me: how to get stopped by the police. As strange as it might sound to some, there is actually a technique to this:

Stop. Don't make any sudden movements. Move very slowly. Then, tell the officer, "My hands are in the air. Tell me what you want me to do."

Of course, this technique can vary based on whether you're walking or driving, but I think you get the idea. You're taking control of the situation. It's your job to make sure the officer understands you're not going for a weapon and that he's to tell you exactly what he needs from you. That way, there aren't any mistakes. I learned early that a sworn police officer had the power and authority to hold me until he was satisfied I was no longer a "threat". If I did as I was taught, I'd get home alive. If I didn't, I probably wouldn't. It was just that simple.

However, with the Zimmerman verdict, things have changed for mothers like mine. If she were raising a son today in the state of Florida, she'd have to teach her son that another entity has authority and control over the life of her child: an ordinary citizen consumed with fear and armed with a loaded weapon.

Think of it, her son could be stopped on the street by a fearful civilian. He'd either have to subordinate himself to the citizen's on-the-spot interrogation or risk an altercation, which could end with a bullet in his chest.

As I watched the commentary and analysis of the court decision, a story is mixed in regarding the National Security Agency scandal and Edward J. Snowden, the NSA contractor who leaked classified documents about U.S. surveillance programs. It was the wrong time, because it made me verbally articulate what I'd been thinking for some time.

"I really don't give a sh!t about Snowden or the NSA?"

Listen, I enjoy my privacy as much as the next guy, but there are certain rights I gave up the moment the Lord sent me to earth in this beautiful, black skin. For the most part, those who are most strenuously protesting their civil liberties being trampled upon by the NSA will never be subjected to the experiences I've had to deal with. They complain because they expect their constitutional rights to be paid in full. But if you're someone like me, yours are usually stamped with a great, big NSF -- Not So Fast!

White people -- yes, that's the group to which I'm referring -- expect certain treatment, yet African-Americans, Latinos, and other minorities have to struggle for ours. And that struggle continues even after 237 years since the founding of this country.

If you're white, you assume you're born with inalienable rights, as defined by the United States Constitution. If you're African-American, Latino, or another minority, you know your rights are alienated at the whim of anyone who has fear of you. And when it's backed up by the law, as was the Zimmerman acquittal, why would I care if the government knows whom you're calling? Do you care about my civil liberties? A police officer will know exactly what's in my pockets when he pins me against a cold wall or bends me over the warm hood of a car during a Stop-And-Frisk.

Please understand, I'm not faulting anyone for having white skin. I don't believe all white people are racists, because they're not. I refuse to fall into that trap. That special education teacher was white, and thankfully there have been other white people in my life who weren't racist, either. I'm grateful for that. But there is something we all need to acknowledge. If you're white, there are rights you were given when the Lord sent you to earth... and to America.

For example, you'll never have to endure the experience of being constantly surveilled -- or even questioned incessantly -- as you shop at a department store.

You won't find yourself riding an elevator alone with a woman, only to notice her hugging the wall as she clutches her purse tightly to her body. Your white skin wouldn't be particularly dangerous and scary to her.

You won't get stopped by a cop while running out of a store. A running white person is not a threat.

You won't be walking down the street with your buddy -- also white -- and get stopped at gunpoint by police officers because they were looking for two suspects of a crime, the description being "two white men, one taller than the other".

And you probably won't be walking through a suburban townhome complex at the late evening hour of seven o'clock and be seen as someone who "doesn't belong". You're white, so that would mean you must have a right to be there.

So forgive me if I don't lose any sleep over the NSA scandal or Mr. Snowden.

Of course, we can thank the state of Florida with its attempts to suppress the voting rights of minorities and its shoot-first-ask-questions-later "self-defense" laws for exposing our hypocrisy to the world. Once again, The Gunshine State has made all of us in America look like complete a-holes.

My God, you can't get anything right, not even human rights!

I've said it before and I'll say it again. If I were to give the world an enema, there's only one place I'd stick that nozzle:...

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What Would You Do if Your Spouse Was Your Rapist?

(52) Comments | Posted June 11, 2013 | 7:50 AM

This week, I had a drink with a very good friend. After a little conversation about this and that, we started on a very interesting subject. It was regarding an upcoming event and I could see it was weighing heavily on his mind. I listened to him because that's exactly...

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More Than Just an Autograph

(3) Comments | Posted May 27, 2013 | 12:57 PM

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Recently, I attended my first sales seminar in Germany. I went with Conny and two other friends, who had invited us. And, of course, it was conducted in the German language. With 10 speakers, I really had to focus on my...

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Heavenly Reunited

(1) Comments | Posted May 22, 2013 | 4:04 PM

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It was the summer of 2006, when I stepped off the cool airplane into the heat and humidity at Monroe Regional Airport. I was back in the Louisiana of my ancestral roots. My body was filled with great anticipation. It had...

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The Outing of a Recovering Homophobe

(15) Comments | Posted April 30, 2013 | 4:55 PM

It was 2010 when Iris and I first "met." It was through the German social media site Wer-Kennt-Wen, or, as it's more commonly known by its users, WKW. This was the time when I began relearning the language after reconnecting with friends I'd met in Germany when I...

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Respectful Love

(0) Comments | Posted March 27, 2013 | 4:54 PM


Memories of the Past

If you ever saw her on the street, the words glamour, class, and style would immediately come to mind. Her sunny smile would brighten up the most cloudy and gloomy day. Whether wearing a dark winter coat with a white...

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Furlough From Heaven

(7) Comments | Posted January 14, 2013 | 3:36 PM

Imagine you literally died and went to heaven. After your first hundred years of enjoying the peace and tranquility of the place, the Lord pays you a visit. He puts his hand on your shoulder and says, "You've been a good little angel. I'd like to grant you a special...

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One Ring

(2) Comments | Posted November 15, 2012 | 12:43 PM

"Give me one ring," is what I always heard from Lisa's mom as we headed out the door. It was something that was said every time we left Lisa's parents' Anaheim home on our journey to our home. It was her mom's traditional farewell.

It dated back to when Lisa's...

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'Being Raped'

(2) Comments | Posted November 1, 2012 | 12:43 PM

Conny is a German mother of three adult children with three grandchildren. She's not only a great photographer, but she's also a great writer and poet. She also operates her own firm. I'm amazed at what she's accomplished and I care for her very much.

Since we met, she has...

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Yes, Mitt Romney, You Built That!

(30) Comments | Posted September 4, 2012 | 11:08 AM

A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed President Obama had the support of 94%, of African Americans, while Mitt Romney had the backing of 0%. When I saw those results, I first asked "How the heck does Mitt Romney get no support from African Americans in a...

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Does the World Believe America Has Really Changed On Race?

(94) Comments | Posted July 19, 2012 | 7:26 AM

Recently, America celebrated its 236th birthday. But for the first time in decades, I was unable to be a part of any of the picnics, parades, or firework displays that signal to the world the country I love has turned one year older. I could only watch through an Internet...

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