Keeping Up With the Hebrews

As a people in this Country, we have suffered.  We have endured slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, Reaganomics, and the list goes on.  We have truly endured.  When I think about the struggles that we have endured in this Country, it makes me think about the Hebrews in Egypt.  Like us, the Hebrews endured extraordinary hardships.  However, based on Scripture, Moses saved the Hebrews by removing them from Egypt and taking them to the promised land.  The Hebrews were first hand witnesses to plagues and miracles like the parting of the sea.  However, once they crossed the sea, one of the first things they did was build an idol to worship.  Despite all that they were taken from, and despite all that they were witnesses to, in the end, the Hebrews continued to worship idols.  Today, we don’t worship the golden calf.  Today, we worship the dollar bill.  In our pursuit to “keep up with the Hebrews,” in my opinion, we have sacrificed our self-worth, self-respect, and overall commitment to our community.  Money buys nothing of value.  Money buys things.  It makes me wonder what happened to us.  As controversial as this may seem, in my opinion, we seemed stronger when we were segregated.  Now, I wish it to be known that I am not a fan or supporter of segregation, but it’s undeniable that we were able to prosper during that time.  However, today, we are integrated into a society that has made us forget who we are and from whence we’ve come.  Is this what Dr. King dreamed about?  Did Malcolm exhaust his means for this?  I don’t think so.  Today, our children seem to have no interest in our past.  Today, it seems that we adults would rather own nice things as individuals than do nice things for the overall good of the community.  As a community, we have remained silent while the bowels of community have been cloaked in diamonds and labeled as success stories.  We have remained silent while Bill Cosby was socially and professionally ostracized for sexual indiscretions while Donald Trump was elected President of the United States for virtually the same acts.  The difference; we didn’t have Bill Cosby on tape talking about how he did it.  Now, I’m not saying that Bill Cosby isn’t wrong for his alleged crimes.  Crime is crime, and no crime against women should go overlooked or unaddressed with the full power of the law.  However, if crime is crime, then justice should be just.  You all should know my opinions on “just us.”  We have remained silent while most of the movies, television programs, and shows about us are “hood.”  I thought the goal of the game was to have a better life, not nicer things.  So, here we are.  We are in a relentless pursuit for sameness.  Our need to blend in and be a part of “everyone else” has come at a great price to our community.  Our need to have the same things as everyone else has come at a great price for our children.  We have silently sat by and watched dogs be given more compassion and candor than our children.  We have silently sat by and watched the faces of gun violence be totally contrary to the majority of the victims of gun violence.  We have silently sat by and watched our young men become relative versions of an endangered species.  In the end, we have our cars, homes, investments, positions, and degrees.  However, in the end, it somehow feels so meaningless if it isn’t accompanied with societal and self-respect.  I have always believed that you should never love anything that doesn’t love you back.  I enjoy Apple products, but I can’t love them because Apple doesn’t know or love me.  If you have a family at home, love them enough to invest the most valuable thing a human being possesses; time.  While the Hebrews appear to be happy with their nice things, I’ve rarely seen them love from a pure place.  Life is short, and we are running out of time.  If you can free yourself from materialism and tangible joy, you are indeed free.  I’m working on my freedom, and I hope you are too.  As always, this week, do something to help someone for no other reason than to make their lives better expecting nothing in return.  Also, if you make it to where you’re going, don’t forget to leave a map for the rest of us.  Patrick

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