Friday, December 23, 2016

Dear Santa Claus

Dear Santa,

   I know you haven't heard from me in a while but I'm writing you on behalf of those of us who still believe in you. Many of us may not say it, but we damn sure do. We believe in you just like we believe these women taking contorted body selfies actually got an hourglass figure. We believe in you like we believe the generic commentary people copy, paste and post on Facebook to look intelligent. We also believe in you like we believe these goldbricking charlatans who claim they're for "the people" yet didn't do a damn thing for the people, in-kind, this year. We may not call you Santa, or even write you letters anymore, but many of us still believe in you.
   The other day in my preschool class when one of my students asked how you made all of those toys another student said, "He don't make them, he gets them from Walmart." Although I don't think you're buying your sh*t from Walmart now, it warmed my little Five Percenter heart to know that my four-year-olds haven't been exposed to that flat earth ghetto scholarship that would have them believing your elves are snow Twa people and direct descendants of Bes.
   Anyway, I know that Christmas has always been about the children but I wanted to ask could you do something for us adults this year? I know you know everything Santa but things look a lot different here in America than on Fox News from the North Pole. Some of my people were really f*cked up behind Billary not getting elected. So if you can.., please stuff their stocking with a little pick me up. Aside from that, here's a small Christmas Wish List I came up with if you decide to do something for us adults this year:
  • Please give some substance, work ethic and the ability to execute to people who are a part of the Conscious Community or who claim to be conscious, have knowledge of self, be WOKE or promote black power. Santa these are some of the most sh*t talkiness sedentary people I've ever seen. If that's too much to ask, please just give these Monday morning quarterbacks some constructive sh*t to do next year. I speak for many people in saying that we are tired of seeing and hearing them critique stuff they have no intention of doing anything about. 
  • Please give some solid reference materials to women throwing around the title Queen. Many of these women primarily define a Queen in terms of extravagance, appearance and Diva-like decorum. Even the names some of them identify with are aesthetic, lacking substance and have nothing to do with a woman's character and virtues. Better yet, there are quite a few sisters I know who exemplify what a true Queen is. If you can just amplify their social media platforms next year so when women are looking for that sense of consciousness, integrity and empowerment, they'll primarily come in contact with them. That would be excellent.
  • I'm not sure how cool you are with Mark Zuckerburg but can you please see if you can get him to automatically flag the bullsh*t memes and gossip in some of the Five Percenter Facebook groups I'm in? I think if people are forced to only post things that practically engage others for the purpose of actually building something tangible, especially for our children, as opposed to theorizing, debating or having pissing contests on Nation History, we could lighten your sleigh Santa.  
  • I would ask for something for these die hard Trump supporters but I'm not sure how you could make their Christmas any whiter. Well, just for sh*ts and giggles leave them and their children a gang of President Obama paraphernalia. 
  • Lastly, could you please give some brothers a list of agencies, organizations and institutions in their city where they can volunteer throughout the year. We need more men involved in helping build strong communities.
   Santa I hope these things weren't too much to ask on such short notice and I understand the enormity of getting it done. I'm only asking you to help us help ourselves. As always, I will continue to do whatever I can to add-on and I want to THANK YOU again for all you do to brighten our children's day in the dark world we adults have made for them. Tell Mrs. Claus I said Peace!


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Lover's Lane: What I've Learned In Relationships


     One of the most accurate commentaries I've ever heard to describe my life was by Will Smith during an interview with Tavis Smiley. In part, Will Smith said, "The only thing, that I see, that is distinctly different about me is I'm not afraid to die on a treadmill. Right. I will run. I will not be out worked, period. You know, you might have more talent than me. You might be smarter than me. You might be sexier than me. You might be all of those things you got it on me in 9 categories. But if we get on the treadmill together, right, there's two things: you're getting off first or I'm going to die. It's really that simple. ... You're not going to out work me. ... I say all the time, 'If you stay ready you ain't gotta get ready'." I have the exact same attitude. The only difference is I'm not afraid to die on my path or in a library. Over the last decade there are numerous goals I've reached and contributions I've made because of that attitude. Yet with that level of ambition, discipline and time appropriation, there comes many sacrifices. Many. An average day to me begins at sunrise and ends after sundown. In addition to teaching preschoolers during the day and pre-adolescents after school, my weekends consist of activities/events in and out of town. Even with all of this I'm still in my studio producing/recording music or working on articles, books, researching something or etc. Naturally people often ask me how am I able to do so much. Essentially, I'm just pretty good with my time. 

     I'm going to let you in on a little secret... In addition to time appropriation and having a strong brotherhood, one of the reasons I've been able to accomplish so much is because of the critical mass of women I am connected to and love dearly, starting with my young Queens Asiyah and Aziza. If it wasn't for their insight, guidance and support, especially when it comes to their critical analysis of other women, I would have fell victim to some BS a long time ago -like many of us men do. One of the craziest things I've seen men do is start denouncing all of the women in their life once they're in a relationship with one. Because of the life I lead I don't see the functional benefit in curving, cutting off or "acting brand new" with the women in my life simply because I'm in a relationship now. In fact, my Queen would have to genuinely appreciate these women, because she'll be joining a L.O.E.L. [League Of Extraordinary Ladies]. Not every woman is comfortable with this and I respect that. Some men, many men, aren't comfortable with a woman who has a  L.O.E.G. [League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen].  

   When I meet any woman that I'm getting to know, the fundamental question I ask myself is, "What role does she play along my path?" Whether getting to know her evolves into exploring a potential companionship, business relationship or something platonic, I always debrief her about certain things that come along with my path, as I am also debriefed about certain things that come along with hers. In assessing those things, be it personality, profession, core values or principles, it's all about compatibility and congruence when it comes to exploring a potential companionship. I once met a woman who had two things to read in her home besides the mail. She lived in a city for almost a decade yet didn't know where her local library was. Although her profession, looks and sexuality may have been compatible and congruent with someone else, that, among other things, didn't work for me. I couldn't imagine being out in the public, or not being present, and someone asks her opinion about a project I've done, an article I wrote, book I published and she doesn't know what to say because she never saw it, cared to see it or didn't even know it even existed. This is not pride or self importance talking. I'm talking about a person not being genuinely invested in, an Ambassador of or defender of our legacy. Don't get it twisted, this goes both ways. If my Queen was an artist and she had various pieces she's working on, selling and displaying at galleries, I should know the ins and outs about that. I wouldn't want to drop the ball speaking to a person who appreciates the arts or an art collector looking to invest in her work. Of course my twenty-year-old immature self didn't think like this; I evolved and continue to grow. The worst part is some of us men never evolve to think like this and regardless of our path we're only interested in what a woman looks like, what she feels like and what that mouth do. Not a legacy.

                                               "Love is a rose but you better not pick it
It only grows when it's on the vine
A handful of thorns and you'll know you've missed it
You lose your love when you say the word 'mine'."

-Love Is A Rose, Linda Ronstadt-

   As I grow, one of the most important things I've learned is that it's a better investment to share time with a potential companion along our path, not apart from it. Being apart from my path, there are women I've "crossed paths" with, or veered off of my path to share time with, that I don't even cross paths with anymore. Why? Because we crossed paths to begin with. We genuinely didn't share the same path nor were we headed in the same direction. Some of that time I enjoyed. With others, I know my time could have been better invested. Hell, some of them may think the same thing about me. Sharing time along my path means I've learned to invest time with women who are already going in the same direction. Going in the same direction doesn't mean if I'm an MC she got to have bars or we both need to be preschool teachers. I'm talking about sharing some of the same core values, a similar vision of the future and a tangible investment in a legacy. For example, I may work in the field of education, she make work in government, yet we're both pro-advocates for social justice. She may work in the entertainment industry, I may be a tradesman, yet we're both invested in community outreach and volunteerism. Our paths gotta be compatible and compatibility is about being congruent, not clones. We don't need to do the exact same thing, we just need to be headed in the same direction. When people cross paths, they are not going in the same direction. This doesn't mean that crossing paths is wrong or it won't last. Sometimes one or both people who cross paths may join their partner's path or they may choose a new path to share. That can be a very exciting and positive thing! The negative side of crossing paths is when either person tries to force someone on a path they didn't choose for themselves, even if they think or feel it's for all of the right reasons. 

   We all have our own expectations, boundaries and goals in regards to how a companionship should be and look like. Some things that work for others may not work for us. Some things will. As a public figure and one of the more visible representatives of the Five Percenters/Nation of Gods and Earths, there is a definitely degree of scrutiny that comes along with what I do, or don't do, that some don't even think about. As a Preschool Teacher, Author of over a dozen books and now a Human Rights Commissioner for my City, this further compounds that scrutiny. I have to be on point in ways that some could never imagine because they don't share my responsibility. My life is very different than working a 9-5 and then coming home to watch the ball game on T.V. If some dudes choose the wrong companion they can just change their Facebook relationship status and move on. If I choose wrong that would unquestionably affect thousands of people who trust my sense of discernment and see value in the things I consistently do. Over the last few years I've thought a lot about the level of scrutiny my Queen would have to deal with simply because she is by my side. There were some women I once took an interest in I knew would not be able to handle that when I saw how they consistently responded to being scrutinized by a handful of local people. They were overwhelmed. So I knew it would be more difficult for them to cope with people globally scrutinizing them, or coming for them, simply because she's my companion. This is often why you see certain public figures yet not their companion. Their companion is not in the public eye or all over social media to minimize the scrutiny of them, their companionship and the bullsh*t that will come along with that. Usually they were prepared for what to expect; debriefed and coached by public relations staff for how to handle being in the public eye and use social media. I never thought I would be in a place in my life where I would have to even consider things like that and I've only begun to accept that reality over the last few years. In accepting that, I also learned that it would only be right to share that responsibility with someone who is willing and able to positively represent, defend and add-on to our legacy. I, nor she, deserve nothing less than that.