A couple great minds over the past year have been reinforcing the necessity of knowledge of self to me. And not the cool packaged kind for $19.95, or whatever–no, real knowledge of self. The kind that only develops after innumerable hours of researching, dialogue, and reflection. These great minds took the time to remind me that other avenues taken in the interest of liberation have not worked, and are simply not the answers. And yet, these are the same avenues we continue to push for. Why?
Most teachers and leaders offer no truly sensible solutions, no new information, and no direction. The same propaganda has been promulgated for decades but has yet to bring about that highly sought after change. Followers are encouraged to listen, buy products and lend their support, yet they fail to help cultivate the seeds of critical thinking and objective analysis that lie dormant in most of our minds–rendering our conversations fruitless and actions futile at our own expense. Which in itself should make you question whose interests they are really serving.
The change that many of us are looking for cannot be made within this current system. It is against its very nature. This system is not one that respects humanity, it dehumanizes and devalues. Our worth is measured by what we have, not who we are. The solutions will come once we all achieve the same level of understanding of what it is we’re dealing with. Change has to be initiated from within each of us. But, we all have to collectively define what change that is–undefined goals are counterproductive. Until then, we will be trapped in this vicious cycle for generations to come.
For many, your 21st birthday was a day full of drunken stupor and good times. For me, it was a day of reflection. A day to reflect and be thankful that I have made it to see the age of 21. Words can’t explain the emotions I felt as I reminisced on the plentiful memories leading up to April 9, 2014. I thought of my loved ones who never got the chance to see the age of 21, some not even 18. When you look back at your life and the trials and tribulations you overcame, the close calls you had, and how far you’ve come . . . it really humbles you. I invite all of you who read this to make a toast. A toast to life and the fact that you are still here, that you have beaten the odds, that you are a survivor, that you have foughten through the struggle and have the ability to continue to do so. As you take your next breath, someone else is taking their last. Be thankful and cherish every second you have on this planet. This journey of life is not an easy one, but it will be what you make it to be.
There comes a time in our lives where the glorification of violence should no longer infatuate us. It still surprises me how much the gang culture fascinates people in areas where it’s not present. A lot of people who want to be a thug or gangster are completely oblivious to the destruction it brings to them and the people around them. If you aren’t ignorant to this fact, why are you still trying to be a thug or a gangster? For those of you who aren’t familiar with Stanley “Tookie” Williams, he was one of the founders of the Crip street gang in LA. Unfortunately, he lost his freedom, and ultimately his life, before he could come to this realization. But he did. He walked that long road to redemption in the last years of his life and did what he could to give back to the community. Many of you trying to live that life have no idea what it actually consists of because if you did, you wouldn’t want any part of it because it is not what you think it is. What’s so cool about prison, death, paranoia, killing or losing loved ones? Be happy you don’t have to grow up in that kind of lifestyle. Do not destroy your family’s lives, your own, and your community’s just because you want to be a gangster. Those of you who are in that life, please start playing by the rules. Senseless violence has to stop. R.I.P Tookie.
R.I.P. LiL Slick & LiL Fat Bat
Wow…very inspiring video. It’s good to see people get together in the spirit of helping someone in need. This is all it takes to get your voice heard. As you’ll hear in the video, these people had already exhausted all other options to get this matter resolved, so they brought the issue to City Hall’s front door in the form of a peaceful, singing protest. This just goes to show you don’t need 100 people to get your voices heard. This was a small group of maybe 10 people who came together to assist the Carter family in their time of need. Stand in solidarity with your fellow man regardless of racial, religious, political, etc. differences. I pray swift justice is served to the Carter family.
Very thought provoking words. The part about depression really stands out to me. A lot of the time, depression does seem to stem from something that happened in the past that we just can’t let go of for whatever reason. It is best that we come to terms with whatever it is and move forward or else we allow ourselves to become a victim of it. Stay strong.
This is a timeless song that never fails to make us think. I imagine a world not torn apart by violence, where beauty is recognized beneath the surface of one’s outer appearance, where poverty is a long lost concept, where racism isn’t welcomed, where men and women are equal, and where peace and harmony are the norm. Rest in peace John Lennon.
This post is about the need for peer mediation in our communities. More specifically, unbiased peer mediation. Like that which was used in the movie The Godfather to handle the dispute between the two families. I, personally, am not the type of person to go run and tell my problems to everybody, but at times this is absolutely necessary whether we want to or not. We, as humans, a lot of the time tend to deal with problems based off emotion rather than logic or reason. This often times leads two people, sometimes more, down a path of destruction over conflicts that could have easily been resolved had they sought out proper mediation and not let emotions cloud their judgment. This alone has been the cause of several violent outbreaks in communities, families, and two or more parties. We need to start holding each other accountable for the things we do. My proposition is for people to start a group in the community strictly for this – similar to Neighborhood Watch. Maybe hold meetings every week, or as needed. I feel things should be handled directly in the neighborhood rather than in a courtroom or before the situation escalates into something much more catastrophic. Just a thought…