LC’s Commentary

Listen To The Voice of Reason

Free-falling to the bottom

A change must come!

People! When will we wake up and see what is happening in our families and communities? How long will we pretend we do not see the utter destruction of the black family and community?  The black community’s acceptance of the behavior of its youth and young adults contributes to its destruction.  Take a look around you. The black community has lived with and observed it males, young and not so young wandering about with their pants sagging for so long that they have given up trying to get these folks to pull up their pants. If the black community does not have the resolve and power of persuasion to get its males to do something as simple as pulling up their pants, how can they be expected to get them to do something that requires a little effort and thought? How can the black community expect its males to make a real effort to find work (a real job), when they cannot persuade them to dress like they are really looking for work? Can the black community expect its males to show respect for others and the community when they show no respect for themselves?

Is the black community asking its males to do what they do not know to do? It is said that Sense to a fool is like music to a mule.  There seems to be a total misunderstanding and disconnect with society and societal norms. What convinced black males that sagging is normal? What convinced them that disrespect for oneself and others is normal? There is the distinct possibility that the ability to discern the difference between right and wrong, correct and incorrect and last but not least good and bad does not come easy to these folks. What in their physic convinced them that ignorance and stupidity is the way of the world? How in the world has it come to this? One must agree that the predisposition to self-destruct, destroy family and community, in all probability, is not normal. In other words, individuals with the ability to make rational and sane decisions probably won’t go out of their way to create hardships for themselves, their families or their community.

If one really observes what is taking place in the black community, it becomes very clear that a lot of self-imposed destruction is taking place. Black males are destroying themselves by their actions. Black families are destroying themselves by allowing black males to introduce their behavior into the homes. Lastly, black communities are destroying themselves by allowing black males to behave in a manner that brings down the community. Their behavior contributes to the decay and decadence of a community. Viable businesses pack up and leave and are replaced with convenience stores plying all kinds of unhealthy food and illegal activity. Well-kept neighborhoods, once occupied by employed, taxpaying occupants are replaced with ill-kept properties occupied by non-taxpaying occupants.

Will black families and communities ever realize that the current behaviors of too many of its black males will not self-correct? Black males, some totally out of touch with reality do not have the will-power to change. Many do not have the courage and intellect to change. Still others do not see the need to change. The changes required must utilize an outside change agent. Heads of households must insist on change. Communities must insist on change.

Some folks thought the current behavior and dress of many black males was a passing fad and would take care of itself. Some thought female insistence on behavioral modification would force them to change. After all, what right-thinking female would want to be caught dead in the company of a male who rear-end is getting more attention than hers? Guess what, neither action has taken place. Matter of fact, things has gotten worse and females are regularly seen in the company of males with their pants sagging. In some instances she is holding one of his hands and he is holding up his pants with the other hand. What right-thinking female wants to be the provider for her so called soul mate? Pitiful does not adequately describe the situation.

Somehow, some way, a change is going to come. It may be change for the worse, before it gets better. However, things will change!

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December 30, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Running on an empty tank

As I mentioned in my earlier writings, it is very difficult, if not impossible to get on the freeway of life and maintain the speed limit if you are ill-prepared for the trip.   Look! You can bluff your way on, by pretending that you are ready for the trip. However, the trip will be short-lived.  Ever notice vehicles stuck roadside-overheated; flatten tires, on fire, stalled, out of fuel etc. There are similarities in life. Over heated (stressed) stalled (stuck in minimal job) on fire (do something irrational) out of fuel (doing nothing to sustain self) Flatten tires (stuck in a perpetual rut) 

Let us look at this Stall thing in depth.  What are some causes of a stall?

  1. No fuel=no education
  2. Contaminated fuel=poorly educated
  3. No spark=no ambition, not wanting to better one’s self
  4. Broken drive train=bogged down with personal problems
  5. Failed ignition system= brains scrambled with drugs and aclohol

What causes overheating?

  1. Overloaded=not enough education for job. Constantly in a strain
  2. Undersized engine=does not possess sufficient computing power necessary for tasks.
  3. Blocked Cooling system=thought process not configured to allow free flow of and assimilation of data. Thus data not turned into information.
  4. Outdated equipment=antiquated ideas and methodology

 

          Let’s revisit this Stall thing again.  Many never make it out of the garage. Not their own garage, but their mother’s, aunt’s, grandmother’s-anyone else but their own.  Why, you ask, is this happening?  Simple-empty fuel tank and dead battery.  Nothing to get started with and ill-prepared to continue the journey. Always just coasting along and waiting for someone or something to come along and give a push or pull to the next down slope. No education, no drive, no ambition, no spunk, no job, no legal income, no vision that requires a legitimate job.  A body totally absent of the necessities required for self-sufficiency.  Consequently, a push, pull or jump start is constantly needed. 

          Some manage to make it out of the garage but they are running on contaminated fuel. One can never be sure how a vehicle will perform when its fuel is contaminated. A life style fueled by drug money comes to mind.  Individuals running on that kind of fuel emit noticeable exhaust fumes. These fumes attract law enforcement and other criminal elements. The vehicle will sputter and come to a halt at the most inopportune time-usually in heavy traffic.  People living this lifestyle are constantly running on the back roads of life.  They are always on the edge and one step from an accident that will put them out of commission for long lengths of time-sometimes forever(death.)

          How many able-bodied young men do you know whose main source of fuel is their mother or some other relative-Young men who will grind to a halt if the person supplying the power stopped pushing or pulling and boosting? 

Life requires a lot of resiliency. There must be give and take.  You have to be able to roll with the punch.  What has that got to do with this road thing?  Life is full of dips and bumps.  You must be able to cope with them.  Why do you think automobiles have springs and shocks?  Simple! They smooth out the vehicle’s reaction to dips and bumps.  They act as cushions and regulators. The springs cushion and the shocks make sure the springs flex in a predictable, orderly and stable manner-not too fast and not to slow.  

Ever watch a car bouncing down the road. Its shocks have failed.  That is a loss of control of the upward, downward and sideway sways of the vehicle.  Life is like that. Lose control and you wander about unsure if you are coming or going.  One form of control is knowledge, another is wisdom. Let us not forget discipline.  All of these traits and attributes contribute to self-control.  Knowledge suggests you know what is expected. Wisdom suggests common sense and an understanding why certain behavior is necessary and expected.  Discipline suggests that you will govern and regulate your actions based on your knowledge and wisdom.

 Lets take this scenario to the road.  Why do you think roadways are plastered with regulatory and directional signs?  Quite simple-For predictability on the highways and byways.  You are expected to stop when the traffic light facing you is red, and proceed with caution when it turns green and the intersection is clear.  Why did I say proceed with caution after the intersection is clear?  Some fool may not obey the traffic signal and fail to stop.  Yield signs say let that person go before you do-and the list goes on.  

But wait!  Is it reasonable to assume that just because someone has been given proper driver’s training, they will exhibit good driving habits?  The answer is a flat no.  What does this mean?  It means some things cannot be taught.  One of the main ones is ethics.  Plato suggested that since it is utterly impossible to define ethics, it is just as impossible to teach it. In other words, how can you teach something if you don’t know what it is?   In a article I wrote several years ago, I coined a word called stupidology.  What I said was many things are taught in schools, but nothing is taught to keep pupils from acting stupid.  I did not realize at the time how difficult, if not impossible the task is.  It seems that the only thing that can be passed on to students is knowledge.  How this knowledge is utilized is the question.  Is it to be used for good or folly? In this instance, folly is defined as stupidity.  I see absolutely nothing that schools can do to cause students to utilize gained knowledge in a predictable manner.  One can only hope that they will use it as the intuitions’ and society intended. 

          One has to wonder what many Black men use as sources of information when spouting off about all kinds of subject matter.  Just the other day, one stated that he would never agree that Blacks have made progress until a Black is the President of the USA.  He is sitting in an establishment in Stone Mountain Georgia and stating emphatically that Blacks have not made any gains.  He may not be old enough to know that it wasn’t long ago that he was not allowed to be where he was currently sitting.

          Remember when leaded gasoline was on the market?  Older autos could burn it but it would harm the engine of newer ones.  Many people tried to use it in the newer engines because it was cheaper.  This caused engine damage in many cases.  Despite the fact that it was clearly marked in conspicuous places to use unleaded gasoline only-people tried to burn leaded gasoline.  We are talking about choices. Disaster is in the making if we choose to fill our mind tanks with the wrong fuel.  Misinformation leads to bad decision making-decisions that will haunt one forever.   Without a good source of clean recommended fuel to burn, getting started means little, because your thought process will sputter when your mind demands action.  Indecision, irrational, and bad decisions will be the norm rather than the exception. You will not be able to keep up.  All you will be able to do is idle along.  Your mind is asking for 90 Octane unleaded fuel and you are trying to run on 86 Octane leaded fuel.  This is a recipe for disaster.

          One must not forget that this road we travel is not an isolated one, with infrequent travelers. The Roadway of life is cluttered with all kinds of people, situations and pitfalls. Why is this important? It is important because interaction with others suggests the need for social skills.  It suggests the need to be able to behave in a prescribed manner.  It suggests the need to be able to read and interpret the road signs.  What we are talking about is the ability to behave in a predictable manner.  Society put laws and other restraints into place so that the behavior of those under its authority will act in a predictable manner.  Why do you think there are lane markers in roadways? The lines say stay between us until you can make a safe lane change or you or exiting this roadway.  What does the double solid yellow line say? It says do not cross.  What does the solid white line along the edge of the road say?  It says you are in the lane next to the shoulder of the road and to use caution if you cross it.  It is called a fog line.  Life is like this. There are hints, signs, guides and other forms of information that are designed to cause you to behave in a predictable manner.  A person driving on the right side of a double yellow line does not anticipate meeting another automobile head-on driving on the left side of said line.  To repeat what I just said. Predictability is the name of the game.

          Let us explore this road thing a bit further.   When you approach a signaled intersection and the light facing you is red, you are supposed to stop.  If it is flashing red, you are supposed to stop and proceed when it is safe to do so.  If it is green, you can proceed if it is safe to do so.  However, just because the green is in your favor, it does not insure that you can safely enter the intersection.  Why?  Because the driver 90 degrees from you with the red light face him may choose to ignore the light.  This is one place where the saying that you can be dead right comes into play.   If the light is flashing yellow, it means slow down and proceed with caution.  Does just because you have a flashing yellow in your favor mean that you have total control of the intersection?  Not at all.  The flashing yellow assumes that the person approaching the side that has the flashing red will act according to written rules.  There is no guarantee that this is what will happen.  Simply put, this means you have to know when to back away even when you are in the right.  Someone said that he, who runs away, lives to run another day.  Life is like that-a lot of giving and taking.

          Society has said very plainly through its rules, regulations and norms that certain behavior is expected.  Society has also said that deviations from these norms will exact certain punishment-punishment as deemed appropriate by lawful authority.  You must be prepared to behave accordingly if you wish to interact peacefully with those around you.  You may disagree with the rules and regulations, but until they are changed, you are expected to comply. 

          What we are talking about is life in its simplest form.  A life lived to get along and behave in a manner that is for the good of the community at large.  You must recognize the fact that the road of life is filled with all kind of people with all kinds of ideas, feelings and biases.  You must be flexible and conscious enough to recognize these differences.  If you don’t, you will drive as if you own the road and are the only one on it. 

In his writings entitled What is an American, Michel-Guillaume-Jean De Crevecoeur said something to this effect:  “Men are like plants; the goodness and flavor of the fruit proceeds from the peculiar soil and exposition in which they grow.  We are nothing but what we derive from the air we breathe, the climate we inhabit, the government we obey, the system of religion we profess and the nature of our employment.”  He is talking about what shapes our behavior.  Mainly what we consume through sight, sound and the friends we keep.  Someone said that if you lie with dogs you will get fleas. What does this mean? It means that you will likely take on the characteristics of the people and environment to which you are exposed.  If you hang out with thugs, it is reasonable to assume that you will eventually become a thug.  If you enjoy being in the company of the unlearned, you become comfortable being unlearned.  Ignorance will become bliss to you and you will settle into that comfort zone.  You will see no need to change because you are surrounded by those whose behavior mirrors yours. Like thinking people behaving similarly, surround each other and reinforces and sanction each other’s behavior.  There is constant reinforcement of said behavior.  What does this have to do with the road of life?  Plenty!  Question a person about why they drive 75mph in a 55mph zone and they will tell you that they are just going with the flow.  Pray tell me who is creating the flow.  Isn’t someone just keeping up with them?  Listen to this.  Question a parent about them allowing their children to listen to foul and profane Rap music and they will tell you that it is just a fad that their child is following.  They will tell you the same thing about baggy pants and bare mid-riffs.  Their child is just aping someone else’s child. They don’t think for one minute that a child might be emulating their child.  

December 26, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment