Americans, all too often; stockpile resources pretending blindness toward the less fortunate. The nation’s motto “Every Woman for herself” provides a rational excuse for inaction for some. As Americans we tend to believe today if a woman works hard she’ll succeed. On the other side, her reality resembles a world not permissible to lone survival qualifications; she needs social help. Unfortunately, and dishonorably, we protect our conveniences first, (i.e., what will it cost to help); thus we meticulously ponder those essential thoughts cautiously. In the interim, no less, we remain idle while natural run its course. In short, I shamed myself also with exaggerated loss of sight and non-action; thus I’m guilty as well.
As my conscious mortality gradually grows and my youthfulness slowly decays; I’m certain the end exist. The transience may reside atop a mountain or below the seas; but it will come nonetheless. At that time, I hope to welcome its purpose and display fearlessness. With that said, eventual death allows a new reasoning about my inability to love deeper…Growing up poor and Black impacts all facilities i.e., affective, spiritual, emotional and not to mention, psychological, physiological, and social. We circumvent measures that may help us by concentrating only on our survival and social defense. Subsequently, as an African-American, you fight to feel good about yourself under such circumstances. One issue is how young people like myself grow up and not learn how to love fully. I suggest self-loathing influences the ability to deeply care about other people. Why? Because you hate you’re poor, hungry, and socially despised.
The perils of poverty demonize its actors in America. For instance, underprivileged presents a direct affront to our democratic and capitalist values. Americans do not adopt the notion publicly one can be poor in America. Why? Personal responsibility is the only factor to success. Meanwhile, our mythical meritocracy dissolves poverty anguished cries with its steadfast resilient cheer: “Help your Damn Self”! Or, “Get a fucking job bum”. The steel-plated capitalistic mantra influences others to non-action and others to charity. However poverty hurts the children of poor adults most when non-action occurs. In children, insufficiency disable development, as a result, children mimic adults’ behaviors too rapidly. Subsequently, children adopt those roles for the sake of survival and self-actualization. I can attest sadly, however, children and adolescent should not adopt some adult traits, the miscarriage in development is too vital.
Hate, a theoretical stagnant of poverty, cultivates hardness in children and adolescents or the perception thereof. As improvised Black kids, we believed or desired all families remain equal in scarceness in my neighborhood. Therefore we did not wish people bad but it hurt when they did well. Thus, on occasion, we would burst dreams and accomplishments like the fourth of July publicly… You have some news shoes, so what; your father got a new car, who gives a fuck, and then the ultimate class putdown: “Oh, you think you’re better than me now”? For all intents and purposes, we detested success if it was not ours because it highlighted our poor conditions. The popular culture today defines it as ‘Hating’. In retrospect, the ‘have not’ hated on the situational ‘haves’ because of their objects of success (i.e., physical appearance, materials, or academics wealth). Sadly, we believed, everyone was a possible enemy in the hood. In simpler terms, poverty’s residues and the lack of proper development constructed bitterness in young people. Well, it did in my family and ghetto…
Here it is…
‘Denied Caring’ is defined as: (the ability to appear as if one cares disguised by gifts of raw materials and Bullshit). Yes sir this is it, I’ll explain, be patient. Love and its purpose is misunderstood, I believe it’s mistakenly informed by what one gives away. Well, routinely I threw money and material trinkets at family and friends hoping it would help raise their circumstances. Money was the ultimate example of love for the giver (me) and receivers (family, friends). This phenomenon was possibly a cultural spectacle as growing up Black and in poverty your day-to-day existence is paramount or it seemed. Money soothed relatives and friends’ psyche and placed me in a noble light (I thought). I was God. No, I was a Black baby Jesus, yes Black baby Jesus, I like that…(RIP, Phil).
With the money and fame came a hardened soul. I never learned anything about myself or others (i.e., family, friends). The All-American success story was bullshit wrapped up in shallow waters of self-indulgence and egotism. Fuck real love, I’ll buy the knock-off one and everything else you got in the store. Shit, I was playing the game and being played all at once, what a trip. Damn, ain’t life grand?
Let’s wrap this thing up…I want to love. You know true love, as my mother would say, “Some shit you can touch and feel, wipe all over your damn head and body. Yes, those kind of love relationships, unbridled without the packaged process religious or spiritual B.S. I do not like making people feel horrible anymore and I take pride in practicing authentic love. Unfortunately, my past behaviors have created some family and friends to place upon me unpardonable sanctions. They cannot forgive or forget my ancient personalities and attitudes. I’m like a damn Michael Myers or Jason, you know the horror cats. In addition, the strong scent of my past egotism has created a force field that dissolves my soft presence instantaneous. I’m a victim of my infamous (past) that does not exist.
How alone do other make me feel?
The Invisible Dragon
(All grammatical errors are purposeful)
I am concluding my masters’ degree requirements this summer and I thought to include some conversations from our online sections.
Rebecca and I are classmates in a final course for my Ms.Ed., this summer. I thought it would be cool to blog some of our discussions. I respect Rebecca’s intuitiveness and her willingness to challenge status quo. She has been involved with marginalized groups (e.g., Blacks, women, Latinos) learning education for some time in her professional career. In fact, we are both reading instructors in the College Learning Enhancement Program (CLEP) at Northern Illinois University. The class is Nature of Adult and Higher Education and is guided by Dr. Karen Haley,
(Robert) The assumptions of postmodernism (e.g., Multicultural, learning-centered, informal experiences) considering gender and racial statuses are attractive as teaching modules. While I do not see learners as agents for social change, I do however value collaborative learning for the non-majority members, specifically African-American males. The tenet of ‘Caring’ is extremely important to marginalized groups in higher education. I find this principle in line with my belief in Humanism and culturally responsive teaching curriculum. Thus, each component together along with other variables (e.g., self-directed learning, self-actualization, and resiliency) provides a more Holistic learning experience for college-aged Black males.
(Rebecca) Hi Rob. Do you really not see learners as agents for change? You’ve spoken often about changing the landscape of education for African-American males, surely your approach is empowering and does have the potential to bring about change. I think all students are agents for change. Every life we touch brings about change!
(Robert) Dr. Vaughn (To Be) I knew this would stir your hornet’s nest.
I believe students should choose their paths and not follow a pre-package societal bucket list. In other words, if one chooses to help create social change through teaching that’s fine, I am on such a path. Nevertheless, I am not leading or suggesting every adult should follow my journey. The philosophy that “All” students should aspire___________ (Fill in the blank) creates followers not leaders. New Flash!!! You Should Be Who You Are!!!
Social change is just that social. If a movement arises and one feels the urge to make a different I commend them. However, African-American males are responsible for their conscious transformation first and foremost. If they decide to involve themselves in a mass incarceration anti-movement for example that’s great, if not, that’s great also. No person has the right to judge one by their civic, gender, or racial advocacies or non-involvement thereof. (Although I find myself during this more than I would admit) My teaching philosophy encourages self-actualization not a ‘Drum Beat’ of my definition of a life worth living. In fact: No one shall submit an outline of life’s activities as a precursor to cultural and social standards.
If you sit alone upon a rock…you are there
If you rail for social justice…you are there
You are who you could have become thus
potentials aren’t worth a damn
Life Exist With or Without You
At the center of your being you have the answer;
you know who you are and you know what you want.
Lately my life has become submerged in clouds of “Busy Work”. This phrase (Busy Work) I learned from students as it describes activities of routine and not of passion. As you are aware, the musings are far too between here on the Dragon, reason? (My mind is trapped in Busy Work). By the way, the longhand journal I keep does not recognize the ink of my pen. WTF, I am a stranger until myself.
How does one maintain deep peace? What sacrifices should one make for happiness? Describe that place? Valid questions, more important than graduate studies, these inquiries are possibly the foundation of my life. (One would only hope).
Since March 2007, The Invisible Dragon blog has been a sanctuary for reflection but lately it has become a foreign novelty. I would like to invite a reunion, a static gathering, where one again set the sunrise by it. Is this a peaceful start? (One does Hope)
I believe one should develop a life philosophy, a livable framework, flexible in structure no less. (If it sounds like I’m new to this I am). Writing to the Dragon is very peaceful; I wonder why one turns their back on it occasionally. What is outside my awareness that motivates these ambitions to flee? How does one maintain deep peace? (I Hope)
The Invisible Dragon
I ventured into the psyche of others to engage in fantasy. Normally this “castle in the sky” process as expected clips the massive reptilian wings. Is a Black Dragon a cold-blooded vertebrate or a groveling, mean, despicable creature? Hmm, one wonders. Again, I am diarist, maintaining a longhand journal, electronic blog, radio show, and an ironclad memory.
Nevertheless, inside the mind…
outside in humanity…
in the lives of others:
I am an enigma.
As mentioned, the Dragon engaged in his often-unannounced sabbatical inside the perfect dilemma recently. Important lessons appeared learned and some taught, however (I am weary of the second decree). First, never acquire the cluttered lives of others; the only realistic measure may insure your being bewildered.
The mind is a terrible thing to waste, or maybe not always, maybe the heart, yes: Is not the “Heart” a terrible thing to throw away? His smoke-filled nostrils signal perplexity.
How does one help…banished as a prisoner in a deserted prison castle? The Dragon may not. The mortgage on life has received a foreclosure notice; the debt, too great. For some, to go over the cliff is better than to request a Black Dragon’s love…inside my mind outside in their lives. I return among rebuffed fellows waiting an opportunity for redemption.