I had a great Fourth of July, with family, friends and strangers. Everything was great, the weather; the food and the festivities. I’m not sure if this is considered complaining, but through all of today’s goodness, I can’t help but consider the various posts I saw on my social networks stating their ‘discontent’ with ‘Independence Day’ and what it represents. There were statements about slavery, racism, segregation, and the fact that Blacks were not free during Independence Day…etc-The statements are completely valid, so in no way am I downplaying or refuting the truth behind the information stated. What bothers me is that as a Black woman, who lives and has lived in ‘black neighborhoods’ all of my life, I feel like what’s the point of pointing the finger at other races for disparities and stereotypes that we perpetuate?
We sing and dance to music and many of the songs, sung/rapped by black men and women, have verses that are laced by the ‘N’ and ‘B’ words. Hooks, that repeated a degrading view of women and life. I wonder where are the posts that cry out against this type of esteem suicide? Where are the posts demanding better
We call each other all these crazy names and wonder why other people do it too? We laugh about it and treat it like it’s a cute thing to refer to another woman as ‘my B’.
Why are we demanding an apology from Paula Deen a million years later, but we justify the use of the ‘N’ word among ourselves (although it’s not limited there).
I can’t blame the ‘white man’ for my brothers that I see grouped on the street corners at seven o’clock in the morning as I’m on my way to work, or for the school drop-out rate, legitimate inmate rate…etc
We as a people know and have been through a lot. And in today’s day and age, I feel like, ignorance is no longer an acceptable excuse. I dare not say that we are all counted as equals because there are numerous injustices that exist, (not only) for the black race, and since that’s the case, why not unify and continue the fight for equality? Some (of course not all) of us are working against our progress and I believe that forward movement continues with us.
They say, ‘charity begins at home’ well, what about it? How can we change our image? I refuse to believe that it’s too late or that we’ve gone too far, but the situation does look pretty bleak. To even speak out in this way is even taken as, being ‘too deep’ or causes one to be looked at as if he or she is crazy. How can we change our image? What else can we do to get the message across, that we ourselves possess what it takes to clean up the polluted idea of who we are? And it starts with recognizing our role in where we are today. There’s a saying that states, ‘the only person you have the power to change is yourself’. We can’t concern ourselves with what others say about us, more than we do about what we say about ourselves because what we say about ourselves will reflect in our actions-hence the current crisis of our condition.
“The tragedy in devastation lies not in the event, but in the lack of a lesson learned.”
When I consider various life threatening or life taking occurrences around the world, whether it be natural disasters or personally dreadful events, I am touched at how it often leads many of us affected, to want to embrace life, love, God…etc. more diligently. It causes the deepest offenses of our hearts to fade away and leads us to reach out to those we’ve disconnected with. We begin to see how truly small and insignificant were the moments of anger and bitterness that we’ve held a deep grip to, sometimes for a very long time. Our minds grasp a realization of how impermanent not only are we, but are those around us.
But as time continues, we tend to forget the desperation and sobriety that clings to the unveiled frailty of life. We become once again comfortable in the probability of being the exception in death’s rule book. Careless are our days. Bitterness finds its way back into our hearts and distance regains its wedge between us and our God.
Tragedy comes in many sizes; it is often on a relatively small scale, but many times wide-spread. No matter the range, there is always a lesson to be learned. When confronted with devastation, we face reality at the foundation of asking ourselves, “Right now, what really matters?” Things that we hold in high importance are usually what we seek after or have regret about in our time of grief-hence, the rekindling or deepening of relationships with God and others.
With life, which is ever changing and situations that never stay the same, it is hard to keep the same fervor and intensity concerning things that are important to us. We should try to remember the things that will matter most to us at the end of the day and use that awareness to guide us in how we deal with our day to day situations and relationships. The next time we are faced with a challenge or difficulty, may we weigh out its true worth in our lives and allot adequate time and energy to it, then move on. May we hug our loved ones, extend grace to our enemies and complete the God-given tasks that we’ve been given.
The harsh reality is, we will not always have the time to get things “right”. Death does not always send a heads-up notification. Tragedy is often a reminder that death is not too far and that it respects no one. We will all one day have to give a response to death and eventually, “Not right now” won’t cut it.
In no way am I suggesting that we should we live in a bubble or in fear of things to come. I propose we try our best to live in love and appreciation of what matters most in life, which will cause the fear of death to lose its looming power. Should-have, could-have and would-have will all be dissolved at their roots, because opportunities will have been seized, indiscretions forgiven and love generously given.
As continued sojourners in Life’s journey, it is my hope that we can sustain our focus and give all that we have to give. What good is storing up love or an apology for a tomorrow that is never promised? No matter how short or long we live, we will all leave our stamp here on earth, but how deep and staining the impression- is usually up to us. So, be diligent in giving your all and not assuming that another time will come or for tragedy to reveal an already available opportunity.