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As a kid I used to enjoy the rain & constantly tried to find ways to get out to play in it. The older I got I began to hate the rain, because it always ruined my nice clothes, new shoes, & my parade (or fun, for a lack of better words). As I became a man I learned to appreciate the rain & all the aspects of it. Naturally when the rain comes it washes away the dirt, cleanses our society & provides a better environment. The smell of spring, pretty flowers, rainbows & pots of gold! Then comes the spiritual attributes which creates a cleansing of the mind, body & soul. It provides opportunities to zoom in on ourselves without the rose colored glasses.

For me it wasn't until I was in the middle of a mental thunderstorm, with non stop rain, that I finally grasped the concept of not only being a MAN but a BLACK MAN. In a society where the incarceration rate is 1 to every 15 BLACK males vs. 1 to every 105 white males. Statistics say 1 to every 3 AFRICAN AMERICAN males will go to prison. At that very moment I realized that I needed to use the rain to my advantage & not become status quo, until the sun came which signified BETTER DAYS! All while in my storm I consulted my peers, mended relationships with my parents, let go of dead weight & I grew closer to God. All so that when I overcame this turmoil I would be able to sustain the blessings given to me.

With that came an opportunity to start positively impacting those around the community with my annual book drive. By starting kids off with a book bag & supplies on the first day of school, it's saying, "I believe in you"! As a result of that, Destined To Be was put into place. Destined To Be is geared towards providing youth with opportunities to be kids & young men with values that amount to more than just settling for an average lifestyle. With great inspiration from various people in the community & even some from the big screens, I was inspired to recently write my first children's book DESTINED TO BE.

DESTINED TO BE, ( or Barnes&, goes through the ABC's of careers, in hopes to show children that it's ok to dream but it's even better to fulfill them. One of the greatest accomplishments in the world is knowing that because of all of your hard work & dedication something has changed for the better. In your life you are 'DESTINED TO BE GREAT!'

Now I ask you how, will use your time in the rain?