“Being defeated is often a temporary condition. Giving up is what makes it permanent.”
-Marilyn vos Savant
I now understand why people quit after being defeated. It’s easy.
This week I did something that I could regret for the rest of my life. It was nothing immoral or illegal (actually it was totally innocent), but it was taken out of context and offended a lot of people. Though I am one person, I realize a single action can change the course of history, for better or worse.
Since then, my life has been a roller coaster ride mentally. I’ve gone from the top of the mountain, feeling like I’m contributing to society in every aspect of my life, to the bottom of the valley. I feel like giving up, quitting, running away, all at the same time.
Normally I like give advice on how to make the world a better place and support to people who need it. In my typical blog with the subject of perseverance, I would encourage people to fight the good fight and don’t give up, because in order to build better communities, cities, and country, we have to persist through the good and bad times. I would then use examples of how our ancestors didn’t give up. When George Washington and the Patriots wanted freedom from Great Britain, they persevered so we can become America. When Africans were kidnapped from their homeland, enslaved unjustly, and force to stay in oppression, they didn’t give up. They fought for their freedom so I have a liberty to write this piece.
I can’t write that now. I don’t have the answers. All I feel is pain, defeat, and disappointment. The motivational “pick me up” will not suffice now. I need something better. The movement sucks… Quitting is easy. The only reason why I haven’t is because I was taught not to.
I need you all to support me. I need to support you. We need each other: in the best of times and worst of times. I fully see how the season of light can turn to the season of darkness so quickly. Regardless, giving up is easy, but it’s not worth it… We have too much work to do.
As I reflect on how we’ve overcome as a people, displaced Africans in a foreign land against our will, fighting for our freedom, and then fighting for our equality; all at the same time contributing to society in the world of agriculture, science, the arts, technology, etc., I realize presently we are not doing what we are suppose to do. We are losing…
Ricky Bobby’s father said it best, “If you’re not first, you’re last”. In America, even though we are considered one of the most advanced (and innovative) nations on Earth, we are still not the best. We are slacking in education (9th among industrialized nations from ages 24-35), and it’s even worse in Black American culture, having Black males among the worst in standardized test scores across the board. Without education, we cannot progress as a people!
How do we correct this? How can we educate a generation of people who we’ve lost because of our own selfishness and self-gratitude (greed)? How can we get back on track in order for America to be on top again like we were 20 years ago? The good news is we are capable of making the change.
As stated in the beginning of my rant, Black Americans were enslaved and forbidden to read, write, and learn in general. We defied this by doing whatever necessary to become literate. Some ran to freedom, some read secretly and taught others, some even positioned themselves amongst Whites in order to be in the environment where education was prevalent. We did ANYTHING to make it work. We were hustlers grinding to better ourselves.
We still have that “hustle” mindset. In Hip-Hop, when artist like Jay-Z, Diddy, Russell Simmons, and others used their talents, skills, and education to build an empire from their vision, it’s proven we are capable of living the American Dream. In athletics, the Michael Jordan story, where MJ was cut from his HS Varsity team then worked his way to being the most significant basketball player in history shows that hard work pays off. We have numerous examples in our culture to show this… we just don’t care to look. WE ARE TOO LAZY TO EVEN CARE…
What now? As a people, we tend to rise to the occasion once we either feel threatened or oppressed (being reactive). It’s proven: we fought slavery by the civil war, fought racism by the Civil Rights Movement. Once we acknowledge a problem, we solve it. The issue with us now is that we don’t have these feelings. We don’t think anything’s wrong. I’m here to tell you: WE ARE OPPRESSED. When about 1/3 of our black men are either in prison or juvenile detention, we are oppressed. When our black women have some of the highest STD infection rates in the country, we are oppressed. When the black unemployment rate is double than the average, we are oppressed. When black teenagers can’t finish school because they have children and they need to support their family in order to survive, we are oppressed. LET’S WAKE UP!!!!!!!!! THE OPPRESSION IS HERE!!!!!! NOW LET’S FIX IT!!!!!!!!!!!
We’re losing, but we haven’t lost yet. Let’s be proactive. Let’s make a goal to positively change the life of one person instead of tearing them down (it’s not that hard, I promise). Once you see a person improve, a euphoric feeling will go through you and you will be energized to help another. It’s so easy: open the door for someone, make someone smile, teach kids how to read, show a young man to line up his shirt with his belt and his pants to show the importance of not sagging. It’s very simple. We just have to be stewards of the gifts God gave us. If everyone does this, we will make the world a better place.
I’m done… I can go to sleep now. I’ve finished my reflection. Have a goodnight.
Let’s change the World,