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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BELIEF IS ACTIVE: WHAT YOUR FAITH SAYS ABOUT YOU

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“Believing in you, inside and out.”


What does faith mean to you? What does having a belief system mean to you? Is it important to have a faith base in our society or not? And when I say faith base, it does not necessarily have to be religious. I always find it odd when I hear people who have no faith. Now, when I say faith, like I said before, does not have to be religious. They can simply have faith in the idea of waking up tomorrow morning. But there are people in society that don’t even have that much. What does that say about a person who believes in nothing? What goes on inside of their minds on a daily?

Let’s first observe how people of a religious mind think for just one second. These are the people who either verbally or non-verbally express their thanks. They thank God for giving them yet another day on Earth. They pray that God gives them strength to get through the day. And they also pray that add the end of the day, he gives them yet another day tomorrow. So, to these people, they believe that there is a force, a deity rather, that is so strong it is above them. It is a force from the hand of God which places them in their situation of good spirits, good health, and an overall, good life. Because without him, they could not make it through the day. But what about other viewpoints?

What about the people who believe in their own personal selves outside the realm of a deity. They wake up optimistic no matter how rough the day might turn out. To these people, their belief in their capabilities will propel them forward. And their held belief in self is what makes up their overall faith base. They are generally people who deeply understand their own mortality. They realize that the end is inevitable, and it gives them a sense of urgency in life. “Go for the gusto,” they say to themselves. Because when the lights go out, they’re out forever. Make this one life count because it’s the only one you have to live. And believing in self at times can be just as strong if not stronger than your religious faith base.

But what about the people who don’t have anything they believe in or look toward? They are the people who just work and live to just exist. Luckily for me, I have something that keeps me going in life. That something to believe in, gives me hope and I have faith in my personal success. But there are people who live and then they die. Never in life experiencing anything remotely good or of pleasure. What does that say about them? What happened in their lives that they have no belief in anything? Not religion, not themselves, not other people, not even other living organisms. They have absolutely nothing to look forward to in life. And those are the people who are of the more depressed bunch.

Not having any faith is odd to me because what is your purpose. And I don’t mean just career, but existence. They refuse to commit suicide, well most don’t, so why exist. What is it that keeps them waking up? For most, it’s hopefully things will get better in life even if they don’t. And just like that, belief; just like that, faith. See, in the end, I don’t think that we have all these people who lack faith or belief. If we did, suicides would be of grave concern in society. The fact that people don’t take their own lives is belief that life may get better. Even as miniscule as it might seem, there is something there. An ember of some sort; if only the person could harness that ember and move on from that point, they might actually attain happiness.


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LOOKED DOWN ON: HOW CAN ONE MAKE YOU FEEL BAD ABOUT YOU

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“Who are people to make you feel bad?”


I have heard people say things like, “This person or people are always trying to make me feel about something.” But in my opinion, no one can make you feel bad about something that is not already in your head. They are just able to point out the thing that you are trying to hide. And they are able to use that to manipulate and make you feel bad because their own lives are in shambles. But it can’t work unless you allow it to work. So how do people allow it to work? By opening themselves up and being around people who frown on you. What are some ways people frown on you?

One way people can make you feel bad about yourself and frown on you is by having a child too young. Now in my opinion, like I said before, no one can make you feel bad. But they can if you feel any form of regret. And when it comes to having a child too young, then they can see that. You might ask, how so? You are not giving off any indication that you feel bad about having a child young. It’s not what you’re giving off, it’s life. They know that when you reach a certain age you look back and say to yourself, “Man I should have waited.” But that regret puts you in a a strange position. Because you don’t regret your child.

See, in context, not all regret is bad. It’s one thing to say I wish I had of waited and I wish I didn’t have this kid. One is less harsh than the other, but the minute we hear regret it speaks negativity. But the connotation it carries is up to the person who is on the end of the regret. Life is hard, and people know this, so regrets are part of life. And they know you will see this hardship and wish you had of waited. But like I said, if you don’t feel that way it means nothing. Yet, is having a child the only way people try to frown on you and make you feel bad about decisions you make.

No, with staying in line with a child, how about being unwed when you have a kid. Unless you feel you should be with the person you had a child by, it’s hard to convince someone they made a mistake. But they can make you feel hurt if you have the slightest feeling of regret. And there goes that “r” word again. Regrets seep into people’s lives and it hurts deep when other people can see it. But why, why do we allow people to bring us down? A major part of it has to do with wanting to fit into the dominant society. We don’t want to be ostracized so we live according to the status quo. If that status quo says marry with a child we do so. And another part has to do with wanting to not be a statistic. Usually, if we are doing something that people try to make us feel bad about there is some form of negative connotation that leads to failure in their minds.

See, in the end, you are the only one in charge of your feelings. If I think you are ugly and you think you’re not, how does it have an affect. It does affect if part of you is self-conscious about your looks. I can capitalize off that emotion and make it work for me. Carve out your own identity and let no one make you feel bad in life.


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PURPOSE: WHAT GETS YOU GOING EVERYDAY

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“What makes you push and keep pushing?”


There was a book written years ago entitled, “Purpose Driven Life,” by author Rick Warren. The book analyzed the purpose a human has on this Earth by using variations of biblical text. Even though the book is centered at toward a more Christian faith, anyone can read this book and takeaway from it the direction ones should go in life to live a better life. But what does the purpose driven life mean to you. Why do you get out of bed each and every morning? Is it just to go to work or is it to serve a much greater purpose? My purpose for waking each morning is existing in my own artistic space and expressing myself verbally.

But what gets you going everyday. Is it career, or is there something outside of that. For a lot of people of religious faith it is their love of God. No matter what religious background you come from, so many people believe in something higher than themselves. And for many of these people, God is their purpose. For example, my mother is of Christian faith, who I have watched pray on a regular basis. For others it may be visiting their local house of worship and having conversations with their pastor. But is religion the only reason people have a purpose? There are so many other reasons for purpose in society. What about the introduction of children into your life?

So many people have stated how much purpose their lives have once children come into play. For those who may feel lonely, it gives them purpose in a world where they feel they have no purpose. And then, you have those that birth children simply because they want to pass on the love they have for themselves. Giving something you deem precious to someone to pass along is of great gift to you. And there is nothing like holding and caring for something that has grown inside of you or you can shape to carry on your legacy. That purpose is a purpose that no matter your ethnic or religious background, everyone can connect to in life. Yet, there are so many other reasons to have purpose besides friends and family. What about your own career endeavors.

Embarking on a journey of your own success is of great purpose itself. Such a great feeling to build yourself into something especially if you’ve come from nothing like many do. Your purpose may be to prove the statistics wrong that have said someone that looks like you, coming from where you come from can’t be successful. Proving that stat wrong gives you so much purpose in itself. See, in the end, everyone’s life need to have purpose on some level. If not, you will fall into a rut and not be able to continue on. My advice is to find that purpose and push at it, because I have and take it from me, it’s worth the hardships you go through. Because there is something on the other end.


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