Division

In mathematical terms, when any number is divided, in a sense, it is reduced to lesser terms.  I have felt the power of division most of my life.  As an African American Man, I have often times felt like I was standing on the outside of America’s window watching what happens on the inside.  As a child, my very first images of anyone that looked like me began with slavery.  I was told that my people were bought and sold as property.  Following that lesson, we were told that Abraham Lincoln helped with the passage of the 13th Amendment, thereby, bringing an end to the institution of slavery.  That’s what my textbook read.  However, through the lenses of my own eyes, I saw a very different world.  I saw a world that seemed impossible to escape.  For example, when I was in school, many times, our classrooms didn’t have pencil sharpeners that worked, yet the football team seemed to regularly get new uniforms.  We rarely, if ever, went on field trips due to budget restraints, yet the basketball team seemed to travel the state.  My mother worked two jobs, and as I illustrated in an earlier post, we always seemed to have more month than money.  That’s the reality I lived in.  It seemed like no matter how hard I worked, I simply couldn’t get out.  Then, I took a leap of faith that changed my life.  When I was a child, everyone in my community looked just like me.  We had the same ideals passed on by the same people.  Our perspectives on the world were the bi-product of fears, failures, successes, or otherwise of the people we came in contact with.  Simply put, if your dreams surpassed their understanding, your dreams were quickly put to rest.  When I went to college, for the first time in my life, I had an opportunity to live, work, and socialize with people that didn’t look like me.  Through that opportunity, I quickly learned that we had much more in common than we did in relationship to differences.  For example, I have a friend from Meridian, Mississippi, and he told me about his life growing up.  His parents worked hard, they played by the rules, they worshipped regularly, and they loved their children.  Their crime; they were poor.  He told me stories about how his parents often had to choose between paying the electric bill or the water bill.  Food was sometimes compromised in order to purchase gas for the car that would allow them to go to work.  However, like me and my mother, they never gave up hope.  In fact, when my friend went to college, the only thing that his mother could give him was a hug and a wish for good luck.  My mother did the same.  The only difference between my friend and I is the small fact that I am an African American and he is Caucasian.  Despite our very small, and often pointless, cultural differences, we blossomed into friends and professional men.  Poverty is poverty, pain is pain, struggle is struggle, hardship is hardship, and hope is hope.  There is no difference between poverty in Alabama and poverty in New York.  The only difference is the zip code.  I have come to realize that it’s quite expensive to be poor.  The food costs more, the gas costs more, the taxes are often higher, and because of the lack of opportunities, the jobs often pay less.  However, like most Americans we never give up hope.  When Donald Trump spoke out against the NFL and NBA, I was bothered because it seemed like the two outings that we regularly come together to celebrate were now being used as a means of dividing us.  For me, no matter what is going on in my life, when my team hits the field, for approximately 60 game time minutes, I have the opportunity to seek shelter from my troubles.  As I said when I began this post, when anything is divided, it is reduced. Today, we are clearly divided. America, my heart is bleeding.  I know yours is too.  Personally, I believe that until we begin to work on unity, we will all continue to suffer.  I have seen the beauty of Americans coming together.  We can do this.  If you’re truly interested in keeping, not making, America great, lead with empathy rather than sarcasm.  Seek to give more than you are willing to take.  Your supporters give you more than votes.  They’re hoping that you’re going to find a way to make their lives better, and in doing so, the Country will improve as well.  Right now, I feel that we’re spinning in a non-stop cycle of confusion.  If our leaders won’t lead us, let us lead ourselves just as we did at the origins of this Country.  As the song states, “let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.”

2 thoughts on “Division

  1. Joshua Garland September 26, 2017 / 4:08 am

    Eloquently stated “pain is pain and hope is hope”, the way I see it those two words juxtaposed with one another can either be a great motivator, or a great adversary. I see people in pain that are constantly hoping for an end to their pain, but what does that even mean? Where did this ideaoligy come from that pain is an inherently bad thing? pain is a response to a situation that is not effectively beneficial but explicitly harmful, pain is good! On the opposite side constant pain is debilitating especially when the only solace one finds is in the elimination of ones pain without a goal. The vicissitudes of life govern our circumstances but what must be understood is that pain and hope go hand in hand, in conjunction with one another these two things can push an individual further than they ever thought possible, essentially reshaping the human condition. As a black man I have recently learned we are all hurting, so what does that say about what we are doing, is it right?

    Like

    • Hueman Movement September 26, 2017 / 4:14 am

      This is my son Family! I am soooo proud of him! Joshua, despite what we’ve been through, despite all of my failures, you were NEVER one of them. I love you past my finite understanding of what Love even means. Fly Son…

      Like

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