As a Black Man, I exist in a circus called Life. America is my tent. Recently, I’ve been involved in “richer” conversations about equality and equity. Let’s be honest, when we are born, the only things that are relatively accessible to all of us are air and time. As we grow older, we become painstakingly aware that although we breath similar air, our times here are very different. Forget equality. That will never happen, as the wealthy have convinced themselves they’ve pulled themselves up from the bootstraps, while the poor can’t afford the boots. Let’s talk equity. In order for things to be equitable, there are very important words that are rarely, if ever, required in those talks; equitable distribution. Simply put, someone is going to have to give up something in order for another to have something. Are we ready for that? Oladuh Equiano once wrote about the cost of luxury in relation to the price of blood. Was it worth it? Only to those who live a life of luxury. I won’t say that the wealthy are blessed, as blessed is highly relative. If you’re looking for an example of what I mean, here it goes. Sometimes, the poor are blessed with authentic, enduring, and undying love. Sometimes, the wealthy are cursed with both animate and inanimate beautiful things and people that will never love them back. As they slumber, some ask themselves the same question in rapid succession; “is this what I worked for?” Yet, some of the poor are fortunate enough to experience the richness of Love for no other reason other than breathing. I’m not going to get lost in the weeds, so I’ll return to my original statement. As a Black Man, I exist in a circus called Life. America is my tent. I’m expected to play small enough to be non-threatening, intelligent enough to remain silent while smiling, nodding, and offering thanks for the privilege of being in the room, and educated from colleges and universities without ever knowing anything of myself other than the intentional crumbs that have fallen from the fat of their tables. Sometimes, when I dream, I dream of the ancestors that I don’t know. Did their eyes look like mine? Did they have my smile? Did they find reasons to laugh? Were they warriors? Were they Kings and Queens? Did they have music that moved their soul and spoke to their hearts? How did they survive slavery? Did they pray for my future life? If so, do I measure up? Do they have any guidance for me? As I grow older, I find that I have more questions than answers. Me, I am a product of America. I dance when the lights turn on, smile when the cameras focus, and cry out of desperation each time I sing. America finds my pain beautiful. Me, I desire to know what it feels like to be pain-free. I walk the wire. The balancing of life, pain, dreams, and purpose are often times confused with success. During the day, I guess you could call me successful. Yet, when the night comes; nights like tonight, I have questions. What must it feel like to stand upon solid ground and know that nothing is going to try to knock me down? What must it feel like to know that I, too, am included in all that is now? Hell, what must it feel like to know the native dishes of your Country of origin? Me, I don’t even know my Country. I walk the wire. While you sleep, I wash my feet, pad my shoes, and strengthen my stance. While you exist in all of the wonders of the American dream, me, I walk the wire… Patrick
This week, please do something for someone other than yourself for no other reason than to make their lives better. As always, if you make it to where you’re going, please don’t forget to leave a map for the rest of us. Always Choose Love Because Love Changes Everything.