Wednesday, September 24, 2014

These 5 Things

"the air wreaks of burnt fire, and inside we're piercing flames...the burning of ‪#‎mikebrown‬'s memorial just makes us more focused...its an illusion meant for distraction. don't fall for it. staying focused." 
-a friend. 

When I saw that Mike Brown's memorial was burned to the ground, I was immediately reminded of the aftermath of Reconstruction and the days leading up to the Holocaust. I don't take such history lessons lightly. These days, it's not as clean cut as black and white. Furthermore, people don't just go around lynching people and getting away with it (unless they're police officers and the victims are black). But no one has to touch you to destroy you or your family. Pay attention.

This post is not intended to encourage or make people feel good. If you want to feel good, go get a massage. This post is about paying attention, being strategic about your life and safety, and doing what you need to do to survive based on what you value and not what public opinion tells you. News reports are skewed over time. You know what happened and you know how you feel about it. Trust your gut. 
Furthermore, this post is not eloquent. If you want eloquent, read The Prophet.
1. Trust What you Know: Simply pay attention to what's going on around you. Don't let anyone convince you that you didn't see what you saw. Don't let anyone tell you that you didn't hear what you heard. You know what you saw. You know what you heard. You also know who brought water versus who fanned the flames.

2. Everybody Is Not Your Friend: Stop posting social media memes just because they look clever. It is skewing your perception of relationships. Those who love you the most won't necessarily be there all the time. Those who love you the most will hurt you sometimes. Those who love you the most will not always agree with what you say and do. If your idea of love is people who agree with you or tell you how wonderful you are all the time or are always in your face, then you are setting yourself up to be deceived by the guy who was trained in college to tell people they're beautiful and wonderful all the time because that's how he makes his money. The people who love you are the ones you seek out when you're traveling because you know that you're welcome at their home. The people who love you are the ones who will make sure you have something to eat when you're hungry. The people who love you are the ones who interrogate you whenever you make a decision they don't understand. If you're not confident in your choices, that's a personal problem. Stop throwing away the best friends you'll ever know in this life just because some meme on facebook told you to. In fact, get off of facebook if you can't tell the difference between reality and a facade. 

3. Some People Intend You Harm Even When You've Caused Them No Harm: When people show you who they are, you can believe that. People will tell you who they want you to believe they are. But when they show you who they are, you can bet your bottom dollar on that. It is not mystical. It is not intuition. People are showing you who they are all the time. Stop making excuses for them. If they will burn your grave, they will burn your body.

4. Protect What Matters: Take care of yourself and your family. When Hitler was on the rise in Germany, many Jews stayed behind in the name of tradition and culture. Many, however, got out. Einstein was one of them. These people were dispersed, but they survived. The survivors were able to meet up again later and form comedy troops and write sitcoms and invent things. If you are so tied to community that you forget to protect yourself and your family, then you are co-dependent and addicted to an idea. It is human instinct to self preserve. If you are violating your nagging instincts in the name of "community" then you will not make it out in time.

5. Know Your Values: What you have is not an indicator of who you are. What you have is a bi-product of what you value. If you have lots of stuff, then this is evidence of what you value. If you are constantly surrounded by loving wonderful people, this is evidence of what you value. Neither is good nor bad. But don't plant watermelon seeds and expect an apple tree. Nobody else's opinion matters. You know if you're happy or not with what is around you. Furthermore, if you are attracted to people with lots of stuff and then discover that you are not valued, please stop being surprised.


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