Last night, I saw your wife. Nah, you know it was nothing like that. I just got off work; just left the building. I must say, you did well. I saw her walking down the street, sparkling like a princess cut, shining like a black star. Her outfit seamlessly complemented her classy characteristics. A young Michelle Obama; she’s on point like a box cutter. Sexy and slim, yet thick and shapely at the same time! You are one lucky dude. Funny, I saw her walking into the university. I didn’t know she was getting her Master’s Degree already! Are you doing the same? Anyway, even though she was looking good, for whatever reason, she didn’t seem happy. Like something was missing…
I think she was looking for you…
So, after she went into the school, I kept it moving, right? I’m headed to the parking lot to get my truck, and I’m thinking I saw your car! Nice, man, nice! A 2010 MerLexuCadilAudiBMW SU-Sedan-coupe?! I’m trying to be like you, man! That’s a nice car! I saw the lights just shining off it and everything. There was only one thing though; I swear I saw your keys. They were in the driver side door.
But I didn’t see you. Maybe I missed you or something.
Whatever, I got in my truck. I’m driving home; took the local roads this time. And wouldn’t you believe it? I saw your kids on Ideal Street! Happy and well-behaved as they could be! They were on point; well dressed, well mannered and confident. You’ve done a great job in raising them. I’m proud to know you.
So I’m driving home, and then I realized I took a wrong turn. Just like that I’m lost. But somehow, I must have slipped into your neighborhood. Who knew?! I thought I saw your crib. Is that yours, on Future Street? The five-bedroom, three and a half bath Victorian on an acre of land? That’s you? Man, you doing it up! Or was it the two bedroom condo on Potential Avenue? I can’t remember, maybe they’re both yours!
Anyway, I got home, right? I turned on the tube. For some reason, ESPN was showing women’s lacrosse, so before my eyes started bleeding I turned the channel. I flipped over to CNN. And funny, Anderson Cooper said he was about to interview none other than Y-O-U! So that’s where you were! He had a special interview about you? I’m not surprised. Who wouldn’t want to know about your successful businesses, that thriving practice, the excellence performances within your profession, those political endeavors, your rock-solid family life, and let’s not forget the non-profit organization and your ministry, which has touched all those young kids in a good way. You are the MAN!
So Anderson Cooper says you’re coming up, right after the commercial break. Finally, I can see where you are.
I went to grab a Seagram’s from the fridge. I came back and to my surprise Anderson Cooper had terrible news! Said you weren’t in the studio. I was confused… they expected you to be there, but for some reason, you weren’t. So I’ve got to ask…
Where are you good brother???
Make no mistake; the world does inquire about your availability. Life is your personal sifter, and it has an interesting way or filtering the solid and the stupid. I know some guys that answer the call like an automated service. Others will certainly – just as the sun rises – fall into the intervals of insubstantial irrelevance. Or in sister speak… they become some no-good… you know. Unfortunately, I see the latter far too often.
But it’s just not about what your counterparts think of you. It’s about answering the call to your destiny, opening up the doors God has set before you. We all have our own path. And it’s up to us to make it happen. That’s the reality. Too often, we’re smoked screened to the point we catch lung cancer. There’s too many fallacies that seek to fade our ambition like a barber. I need to keep it hood, I need to pop bottles at the club, I need to have a basketball roster-worth of chicks, I need a Benz and I need to mimic the fools on MTV Jams.
The reality is 34% of all black men are unemployed. The reality is black boys are killing black boys.
But the reality is also that the world continually calls for you to overcome, overachieve, and overwhelm with your God-given strength. It’s up to you.
Anyway, since the media likes to feed us lies like Thanksgiving soup kitchens feed the homeless, the BMBM offers ten realities I think we should all consider:
#1 Reality – Find Yourself Through God First and Foremost
Too often, we look for validation from the world. You’re not going to believe this, but the world doesn’t like us too much. Therefore, you’ve got to find your strength from the Lord. In developing a relationship with Him, we find a better sense of self and we can gain our self-confidence in a healthier way. Try these verses:
a. Matthew 6:33
b. Proverbs 3:5-6
c. John 3:16
d. Deuteronomy 31:6
e. Psalms 16: 5-8
Take it or leave it.
#2 Reality – If You Want a Quality Chick, You’ve Got to be a Quality Dude
We can talk about the cars, the houses, college degrees, credit scores, valid driver licenses, vacations and dinner dates if you want. But you can’t discount the character traits. If you’re looking for a wifey, consider working on yourself in those areas in which money can’t buy, like trustworthiness, consistency, resolve, mannerisms, eloquence, posture, attitude, and language.
#3 Reality – Go Hard Today, Can’t Worry ‘Bout the Past Cuz that was YehhSterday
Especially pertinent for the urban brother, the thing you can’t do is complain about your situation. Most likely, the only thing mom and dad (if you have one) passed down to you are love and encouragement. There’s often no generation wealth or generational education to give you that head start. Nobody’s buying your car. No one is getting you a house. No one is going to take you out to dinner, wine you and dine you, and let you chill. No one is buying you a drink. No one is paying for your school. And do you know what the best part is? No one really gives a crap that you’re shorthanded… especially those lovely ladies. Such is life, right?
Yet and still, you’re expected to rise up, make a way out of no way, and one day support a family – the way society says we need to. You’ve got to bypass the bullcrap, sidestep the snares, and then Manny Pacquiao poverty. A lot of bros don’t make it, which is why they run and hide.
But that’s not you, and you know it. So, don’t avoid the inevitable. You’ve got to go hard. Coasting along on auto will have you looking more mediocre than a hospital lunch. If you’re ever going to avoid the Party and BS Paycheck to Paycheck Corollary, you know what you’ve got to do. That means longer work days; more focus, and double shifts, whatever. Forget about the past, and remember, tomorrow isn’t promised. So go hard. Get it done. It’ll pay off in the end.
#4 Reality – You Should Have at Least One Tailored Suit and a Pair of Dress Shoes
Just trust me on this one.
#5 Reality – You Should Travel… Abroad
My best friend Reggie told me about this guy he knows that never left West Philadelphia. And he was 22. Never become that guy. Do yourself a favor, go to a computer, get online, and book yourself a trip on hotwire.com Even if you go by yourself, it’ll be worth the ride.
#6 Reality – No Matter How You Try to Spin It, Chances are… You’ve Got to Finish Your Education
Don’t BS me on this. I can’t even BS me on this. If your sisters can do it…
#7 Reality – Delayed Gratification is Most Likely Inevitable… Get it Over With
“A great issue with our people is our obsession with instant gratification,” so says Reggie the genius. “Anger usually ensues when you don’t focus and use patience.” Well said.
At some point in your life, you’re just going to have to go under. There will be some lonely nights, you will not be hitting the club every weekend, and the money will not come flying in your hand – you know, legally – so you know that if you want to be successful like Trey Songz and Drake, just know it doesn’t come overnight.
#8 Reality – You Should Always Dig Deeper
Ask questions. Real questions like, “Why am I here?” “Why do people feel a certain way about xyz?” “Why is my life like this?” “How long is this freaking note?”
#9 Reality – Get Your Driver’s License
Being 30 and not having a license is like talking to a woman that doesn’t cook. At all. Get me?
#10 Reality – Treat the Women Right
I don’t want to sound sappy like my main man Hill Harper, but I just can’t imagine that life lets you get away with screwing women over. Actually, it doesn’t. Ask (fill in the famous athlete).
Why be a jerk? At the end of the day, it all comes back around.
I’m not ashamed to say how I feel. Life is reality. The game is always changing and representing itself like a supermodel on the runway. And it continuously calls for challenge. That is our lifetime irritation, your personal irritant. If you don’t succeed, you’ll most likely be vilified by society as if you’re a leper. Succeed, and you’ve got to high-five the haters, mix through the minefield of pitfalls, and attempt faithfulness amidst a diversified sea of available women.
Nevertheless, I see nothing but good things for you in your future. The beautiful thing is that God has equipped us with all the tools and skills to make it. They say knowledge is power. Actually, knowledge in action is power. Use it well, my man. Good luck.
Nathan Wilson is a pro-writer, pro-sports enthusiast, and is flat out pro-black. Check out his musings at www.thecolorcurve.com.