HELP IS VOLUNTARY NOT ENTITLED: WHY WE THINK PEOPLE ARE SUPPOSED TO HELP AND NOT OFFER

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“You want it, go get it; no one owes you anything.”


Growing up being babysat by my grandmother and great grandmother, you learn a lot about how they had to grow up during their time periods. You were expected to go into the world and work your behind off, no excuses. And these were people coming out of Jim Crow south where opportunities were so vastly scarce for African Americans. See, my great grandmother was part of the G.I. Generation and my grandmother was a member of the Silent Generation. Two back to back tough generations in the United States of hard working Americans. Since both of them have passed away, I often think about how they would view so much of what’s going on right now with regards to every kid getting a trophy. To an extent I know how they felt, because I have always heard no one owes you anything in this world.

So what has taken hold that makes so many of a young generation feel they are owed something in life? One of the problems is this whole notion that my 75% is your 100%. And the underlying issue is that when we both step out into society, your 75% is 75% and my 100% will propel me straight pass you. Then, the person who didn’t put forth the effort will live out their lives in bitterness. And a lot of the downward spiral could come from every kid gets trophy and making all young people believe they’re special. So when you step out into the world you have these visions for how your life and life itself is supposed to work and it just doesn’t work like that; it’s more complex. There is no real trajectory, and you could be taken anywhere at any point in time.

For those that have navigated the landscape and found their way into a stable situation, the thought is you’re supposed to reach back and help. And yes, if you are in a position to help that most are not; if you possess a certain degree of intellectualism, then you should want to help. But understand the difference between you should want to help and you should help. You should want is clearly a voluntary choice, while should help is more geared toward who owes you. Life is a place where you go out and try to stake your own claim. Too many people think that something is allotted to them by way of existing in this country. Which brings me to another reason why someone may feel it’s the successful person’s duty.

There is another piece to this give me something for nothing mentality and that is the welfare system. Men and women had it hard wired into the minds of their children that you had to get out and work. But the introduction of the welfare system made it possible for the government to dole out payment to every woman raising a child as a single parent without the father present. What was supposed to be aid as a stepping stone to help women get on their feet has inevitably turned into a crutch. The reality is, if no gives you even a slice of bread, it’s not their job to do so. That was understood over my parent’s generation and prior. But somewhere down the line we became comfortable as a country and lost that work ethic. In the end, no one not only owes you anything, but help is voluntary. Even if they never acknowledge you, it’s still on you to go get what’s yours in this world.


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SILENCE

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“Quietness does not always equate shy.”

You ever see a child who is quiet all the time? You ever wonder, “Wow, that must be one good kid.” Or, “Their parents really done a good job at rearing them.” Maybe neither one is true; maybe it’s because of something more sinister. Have you ever thought for once, maybe just once that a good is being abused at home. Not only mentally abused, but physically. And what do I mean by physically, I’m talking about sexual abuse.

Now, I myself have never been a victim of sexual abuse, but over the years I have heard about some people who have been. They’re either too quiet or acting out way too much. They either over eat to bury the pain or starve themselves to the point of some physical ailment like anorexia or bulimia. There is no average, moderate, nor overall standard for them. Everything they do is in access. Now, that is not to say people who have certain sicknesses are directly linked to sexual abuse, but it’s the extremities that I have noticed.

But going back to the silence for a moment. Whenever I see a small child between the ages of 7 years and 11 who is more secluded than the rest of the kids, I start to question. Why is a child who should be a lot more energetic, cheerful, and full of vigor & excitement live so recluse? Are they shy, or is something else going on that needs to be addressed? Are they afraid to have conversations because whatever is going on at home may result in further punishment.

Ok, let me try to internalize this for a second. When I was young there were a lot of times that I decided to shy away from a lot of people. I wanted my space and wanted to just go to school and play sports. But now that I think about it, I was a late teenager becoming an early adult. Well, when I was a child, I was a class clown. Uh oh, there is another sign, acting out in class. Yet still, there was nothing that happened in my life traumatic. Then again, there were those times of extremes in my life. But, on the other hand that occurred during puberty when a lot of people my age experience those extremes.

So what is it? What are some signs that kids are being molested? Acting out is one of them. Now, there is a difference between acting out and an abused child’s acting out. My acting out was waiting until the teacher turned her back to entertain the class. I was fully aware that I shouldn’t do this, but with age I changed. Abused children acting out may be skipping classes or an inability to fully focus in class. Developing patterns in failure to turn in coursework do to home life. More common acting out is becoming more sexually promiscuous at a younger age than normal.

Sexual promiscuity is quite common because being abused makes one unsure about their sexual readiness. Children start to experiment with other children, and at times introduce other kids to sex too soon. Sometimes young children because of age can’t be too active with those their own age because those their own age have no experience. So abused kids become engaged sexually with older children. Such in the case of a 12 year girl with a 16 year old boy. Neither are ready for any real responsibility, but she really isn’t ready.

Which brings me to the gender topic. We are always looking at females as it pertains to sexual abuse, but what about boys. It’s so hard for boys to deal with sexual assault because as a male you’re expected to be tougher and more aggressive. So being taken advantage of could make you appear weak in our eyes. So we tend to bury things just as deep, if not deeper than females. Especially if the abuser is another guy. Now we are forced to ask ourselves questions that we are not ready to ask.

Am I gay? Why because sex is pleasurable. I enjoyed it, but I don’t like boys, but the molester’s touch felt good physically, but uncomfortable emotionally. And the craziest thing about everything I have been saying is that there are some parents who never talk to their children about sexual abuse. Why, well you might have a parent who was abused themselves and have no confident means of approaching you in an educated manner.

I guess in the end, the sad part is that we may never know why a kid is behaving a certain way. They could be just shy, but when I see a child so young, yet so recluse it makes me wonder. What is their household like where they would rather ball up in a corner than to communicate with other kids their age. Sexual abuse robs you; robs you of so much. Your confidence, your innocence, your sexual identity, and your mental stability. Unless a child know there is someone to converse with who will listen without conviction, they will continue to remain silent.