Friday, April 03, 2015

"It's not you, it's me"

For those of you who didn't know, I facilitate a youth mentor program called STYA which is an acronym for Successfully Transitioning Youth to Adolescence. My demographic are nine to twelve year old's and we do everything from critically analyze cartoons, arts & crafts, cooking classes and etc. to encourage them to expand their consciousness, build self esteem and discover their purpose in life as they transition into their teenage years. What I love most about working with youth, which I've done with various programs and initiatives for over a decade, is learning ideas, attitudes and behavior adults have in their infancy. In other words, I see nine year old girls learning to play the "make a boy jealous" game that eventually becomes a fully functioning operating system I see thirty something year old's use every day. Some things don't change, people just get older and continue doing the same thing. And the same way jealousy games may not change among females, some male's level of sophistication to appropriately respond to these games doesn't change either. I can't tell you how many times I've had to talk a ten year old boy down from an emotional ledge because some little girl was playing with his emotions. His reaction is no different than seeing emotionally unstable men committing social media seppuku because of what some female is, or isn't, posting on Facebook. Some of us simply never matured intellectually or emotionally; we're just older versions of the same child.
Because my Ole Earth was a Psychologist/Sociologist I've been orientated to analyze human behavior my entire life, literally. Normal family outings were going to places just to people watch; my Ole Earth would find a public place to sit with some of my siblings and I and we would discuss what we see in people's body language, style of dress and etc. One of the games she would also play with us was the book of questions -which I discovered later in life was a psychology book, not a game at all. This kind of investment into my growth and development as a child, coupled with the cultural contributions of my Ole Dad, has helped in my successful transition from boy to man. Some males never had a mother invested in them in this way nor did they have a father around to teach him what it means to be a man. Because of this, some of us have manufactured our idea of manhood 'a la carte' and the emotions and intellect surrounding this lacking remain raw, immature and underdeveloped. This is not an excuse, it's an assessment of what I've witnessed in its infancy and what it has the potential to become when it's not responsibly addressed as an adult. Ladies, young boys may destroy toys when they don't get their way. The same boy who doesn't get his way as a grown male, will destroy you. There's a lot of truth in what Drake says about these days.

Like with any group or society of people, some of its members are going to be emotionally and intellectual immature. One of the challenges I've dealt with over the years are these same boys/girls, not yet men/women, referring to themselves as Gods/Earths. Thankfully this doesn't reflect the overall consciousness of Five Percenters I know, yet there are some of us who are like that -sometimes for reasons only known to them. This is the reason I wrote the book Explorations of God/Earth Mental Health; to empower my peers to recognize and address it. Because one of our cultural motto's is "Peace" or Positive Education Always Corrects Errors, we've always encouraged each other to grow and develop beyond whatever circumstance we've come from or are presently in. For any of us who are sincerely striving to elevate their consciousness and condition, it's a journey that involves removing the negative residue that comes along with seeing and believing ourselves to be inferior. All of us who have taken this step to gain KOS [Knowledge of Self] started out emotionally and intellectually immature. On many levels we're rewiring ourselves emotionally and intellectually and that takes work, sometimes a lifetime. Nothing happens over night, except the night -especially not the growth and development process.

In closing, I want to reiterate the importance of us men getting ourselves together. This is not to minimize the responsibility of grown females who need to grow up either. There are women I know who are successfully speaking from this perspective. As men, we can start getting ourselves together by being more vulnerable with one another by speaking honestly about our upbringing and emotions. I'm not talking about ranting, posturing or posting inappropriate stuff on social media under the guise of "keeping sh#t real"; that's immature and messy. I'm talking about investing the time to really examine the who, what, when, where, how and why we think/behave the way we do with each other and the opposite sex. That is one of the most integral parts of KOS. Females share and are vulnerable with each other all the time. That female-to-female Educator and Student relationship directly, or indirectly, has remained pretty much intact since we've been in this country. Males are the one's usually holding stuff in and back from one another. Some of us males were grown up before we had an open conversation with men about hurt, lost, frustration, insecurities, inadequacies, embarrassing situations and etc. Even though some of us aren't sharing these things with each other in a healthy way, it always come out in the most unhealthy of ways -whether that's throwing tantrums or shade, being abusive, gossiping, broadcasting how great we are, taking serial selfies, being a whore or etc. Additionally, there are some things we've experienced as boys that we decided to take with us to our grave. Part of the emotional frustration or indifference you see us express is us trying to live with that lifelong decision. So ladies, when some grown males tell you, "It's not you, it's me", believe it! Also believe the likelihood that they haven't said or done anything about it for over twenty something years and don't plan on saying or doing anything about it after telling you that. We got work to do in order to help get our families/communities back in order and emotional instability and intellectual immaturity won't get us there. As civilized men who advocate righteousness, as Five Percenters and definitely as Gods, we must expect more from ourselves, and each other, to get that job done.  

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