Have you ever stopped to just take a moment and ask yourself, what exactly is the reason for my presence here on this earth? Who am I, why was I even born and where in the heck am I going? Maybe you have and were fortunate enough to have the proper guidance, discipline and nurturing that was needed to insure your transition into life would not be a difficult one. Maybe you are one of those who have never had these thoughts and were always confident of yourself and where you wanted to go in life. You indeed are the exception. However, there are those of us who aren't as fortunate to have guidance or certainty of who they are, where they fit in or what it is that they are supposed to do. They are the lost minds and the silent voices.
Man I can remember those periods of bewilderment and being dumbfounded as though they were yesterday. The memories are so vivid in my mind and most times I find myself reflecting on my journey in life which has traversed many different landscapes and experiences. For me this had been a very familiar place where I would reside for a significant period of time.
You see, my life was void of any direction and I never quite understood exactly what the requirements as well as what the demands of life were... More often than not I would find myself consumed in fantasy or just trying to figure out whom I was and what I was supposed to be doing with my life. I found myself searching for my identity through television or by observing those around me to see just where I fit in. I wasn't a popular kid and most times I would experience a great deal of rejection from my peers and other folk. My parents were good providers but were truly lacking in instructive guidance. That in itself is another topic for another time. So I found myself somewhat alienated and constantly asking myself questions that I had no answers to.
Life itself does not provide us with a manual of descriptive guidelines for navigation and even if it did a lot of us would have been very reluctant to follow it. I believe that most of us who lack any real sense of direction are prone to cast caution to the wind and venture off on our own because we feel as though no one knows what is in our best interest except us. Most times the reckless manner in which we behave and the choices we make carry considerable non-welcomed ramifications for our actions.
The questions are very relevant to ask especially if your life has been one which has experienced countless periods of hurt, disappointment, rejection, betrayal, injustice, and inequality. How does one begin to deal with such adversity and turmoil and who lends an ear to the voices of despair and hopelessness? Without someone trustworthy to offer guidance we are most likely to slip through the cracks, never to be noticed or relevant. Unfortunately this is the scenario that is seen throughout most of urban America. There is a large segment of us who gaze around and see nothing but poverty and are overwhelmed by the challenges we are confronted with on a daily basis. The environment in which we reside has very little to offer in terms of encouragement for a better life and just about everything around us screams out road block and no way out. Then we ask ourselves, man why did I have to come into this world and why did I have to be born into this. Yeah, I know, we play the cards that we have been dealt but this is something that has to be taught or in my case, learned through experience. Besides most kids have no clue whatsoever what that aphorism (adage) means.
For the most part there are so many of us that are at a tremendous disadvantage who come from single parent and dysfunctional homes with siblings who aren't faring too much better. The family is either poor or financially strapped and void of anything that is nurturing and cultivating. We receive very little in the way of positive instruction because of the mere fact that most of us today have parents who've never had this instilled in them or who are to young themselves to have experienced life.. Based on that fact alone, how could they possibly offer guidance and positive direction/influence to the children?
The theme gets replayed over and over again and no one seems to recognize its repetitiveness. There are a staggering number of us who have felt either not loved, not wanted by our parents or anyone else and this just compounds those feelings of disconnect and alienation. The situation usually translates into feelings and thoughts of no-one cares about me so why should I care anything about my life. This by the way is the prelude to making choices that are extremely detrimental to us and sometimes to innocent people around us.
No one seems to take notice of the staggering number of youths that have absolutely no sense of direction, personal insight or personal development and growth. They have become orphans of the streets, members of gangs, swallowed up in drug addiction or a life of criminal activity that either results in homelessness, incarceration or death. They are the ones who have been abandoned and left to fend for themselves just like those before them. The emotions that are stirring inside beg for release, reconciliation, and understanding but our voices remain silent. We feel the absence of ear and concern so we act out these feelings of abandonment and neglect by other methods because we are yearning for attention and help. Life has taught us to remain silent, to acquiesce, and to capitulate. No-one really cares.
Not exactly true but it's a legitimate feeling and also an excuse for unacceptable behavior.
The art of teaching and instruction has fallen by the wayside and appears to have been trampled into oblivion. The pride and self dignity that was once embraced and championed among our people has given way to a shameless and disconnected population of folks who cry victimization and self-pity. We have become so misguided and consumed with self promotion of image and indulgence that we have lost sight of who we really are and what our real purpose in life is. What was once the catalyst of the family, a community and its success has become noticeably absent and for some inexplicable reason we are lacking real sense of urgency to turn it around.
We are not exposed to the multitude of possibilities in life because from day one we have been conditioned to believe that certain achievements or realities are beyond the realm of possibility for us. We are taught not to waste our time with silly notions regarding aspirations of success because they are not attainable and the educational process does not work. We have been served a constant and steady diet of you can't make it to the point where we have come to eat, sleep, and breathe this poisonous rhetoric. The constant consumption of negativity only helps to perpetuate the non truth. I mean if a person is taking garbage in it is only natural that garbage will come out.
I can relate to this because I have lived it. I remember countless times that I was told that I would never amount to anything. Once a junkie, always a junkie. People have no conception whatsoever how the hurtful and offensive remarks they make impact people. I was almost at the point where I felt as though there was no way out for me and I was destined to be a hopeless case. Just another brother who slipped through the cracks and most people would have expected that and would have never missed my presence. It has been said over and over again that God helps those who help themselves. I believe this to be true but how do we get people to realize they need help and secondly, how do we get them to accept that help. Here in lies the greatest of all challenges.
Unfortunately more often than not we can't do anything about their situations. They are the ones that need to acknowledge how dire their situation really is and that it requires attention or they are doomed for a life of disappointment and failure. So I'm guessing that we need to reach these folks before they ever transition to that stage in life. I believe wholeheartedly that I was not an exception but that I made the exception. I was able to discover with the help of others my identity and what I wanted to do. The exception was reaching out for help, letting my voice be heard and being willing to accept assistance with turning my life around. We desperately need to get people to want to discover themselves and all of that which is good and great inside of them.
To each one, teach one. The process has to start somewhere otherwise we will be sure to keep repeating this over and over again and as we do there will be more and more lost minds and silent voices.
Set the standard and become the positive example that will empower those around us and just maybe we can begin to turn this around.....
Be a voice, be a champion, and help to salvage a mind and a life....
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Written by: Africafifth
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