Liberty and Death

Well, if you’re following me, you know that I didn’t write last weekend.  Just so you know, when I don’t write, it’s because, for the moment, I am either stagnant, depressed, or both.  It’s safe to say that this weekend was the combination of the two. Truth be told, I’ve got so much on my heart and mind.  I have so many questions.  Dr. King once said that we will never be free until we diminish our love of wealth and lose our fear of death.  Those two qualities once dominated every aspect of my life.  In the words of Langston Hughes, growing up, “life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.”  However, as I have written about me (anyone who knows me will know that I hate focusing exclusively on me), I will discuss my present thoughts rather than only on my past experiences.  The lash of struggle and financial hardship played an extraordinary role in my life.  I vividly remember days sitting outside my window playing a game called “That’s my Car.”  I remember looking at the faces of the drivers and passengers, and they all looked so happy.  I remember thinking; “that’s what happiness looks like.”  I had to imagine happiness because to me, it always seemed so elusive.  Nonetheless, I began my pursuit for the fruit rather than the tree. When I could afford to buy my own clothing, I only bought the “best.”  My logic, buying “quality” is always better than buying “cheap.”  I guess it’s safe to say that quality costs money.  I spent so much money on quality, I soon began to forget who I was.  Rather than being greeted by Patrick, I sought to be synonymous with Polo, Jordans, Range Rover, BMW, True Religion, and Rolex.  You see, I lost myself in material things.  I lost my joy in the pursuit of material things.  My mother was right, one should never love anything that doesn’t love them back.  I loved owning those things, and in turn, they truly owned me.  I have bounced checks and negotiated with bill collectors far too many times in my life.  Now, I realize that it’s politically correct to tout a 790 or above beacon score, but I’d rather be a beacon of light than a beacon score. (There’s that!) I have suffered in the name of perceived joy. No more.  I feared death. I was so afraid to die that, to some degree, I was also afraid to live.  I was shackled to the very ground that I feared being confined to. In my fear of death, I died a thousand times.  No more. NEVER LOVE ANYTHING OR ANYONE THAT DOESN’T LOVE YOU BACK!  That message now resounds in my mind.  Once upon a time, my friends were like plastic plants; they looked beautiful, but if you poured water on them, the only thing they’d be is wet.  They didn’t love me, they loved what I represented.  Why should they have loved me?  I didn’t love me.  Truth be told, I didn’t even like me.  I was far more comfortable being a character that me.  No more.  Today, I seek to experience life rather than live for my expenses.  I’d rather travel coach for the experience of my life rather than travel first class for a “coach-like” experience.  My true religion is love, BMW stands for Beauty, Modesty, and Wisdom, and I’m proud to say that some of my closest friends aren’t concerned about my wardrobe as much as they are concerned about my well being.  I am free.  I’m not rich, but I’m free.  Freedom is a state of mind, not a state of being.  I’m free.  Take your freedom too.  This week, do something for someone other than yourself for no reason at all other than to make their day better.  Also, if you make it to where you’re going, please don’t forget to leave a map for the rest of us.  Patrick

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