I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to a few people who has offered some very inspiring, wonderful and undeserved compliments to me on what, why and how I write. I simply do not deserve the compliments, because I’m only putting on paper [screen] what I’m thinking or have concluded about a particular subject, but I do appreciate what you have to say.
I often get called some terrible names by some people that never gets seen. I try to consider what they have to say, no matter how absurd or offensive it may be and use it as inspiration to promote a message of consideration of others. Often I feel that it is not heard or understood, but I try to not allow the negativity of others become my own. We all need to be encouraged in some way. I try to always be a source of encouragement in my own way. You never know who you may interact with and how you may affect their day or life, so I strive to make it as positive, meaningful, encouraging, inspiring, informative or even funny as possible. I don’t always make the mark, but I try.
There are many reasons why I write this, but one is the inspiration received from an interview I heard on NPR: Morning Edition that reminded me of a poem or statement of truth as I like to call it from James Baldwin. This is essentially I’ve found it to be incomplete in a way and the reason why I try to do what I do.
“An Insight Into Black America”
Composed By: James Baldwin
You give me this advantage.
Whereas you never had to look at me
because you’ve sealed me away along with sin and hell and death
my life was in your hands and I had to look at you.
I know more about you than you know about me.
I understand exactly what Mr. Baldwin is saying in this, because it is at heart what Blacks are saying to Whites that continues to get lost in translation. It may be crazy for me to believe that I can be the mediator or translator of this, but I’ve always been compelled to try.
I know one group is not all what another group says or believes that it is. I simply want people to see people and the things of life for what it is and for who they are. And when the picture is not so clear or great, help them see what it can or should be.
We can see beyond race when we stop running from it. We can love everyone when we can stop hating someone who loves. It’s not that difficult for us to work together when we stop trying to do it all on our own, only in our own way and for just us.
Consider others beyond yourself.
This is simply what I believe I’m suppose to get you to do.
I may just be an observer of the majority culture, but I too am apart of that culture. I am tempted and influenced through the same media and venues as you.
Often I get some ‘interesting‘ messages from our more staunchly conservative ‘friends’ politely tell me that, “I only speak from a Black point of view, and have a chip on my shoulder.” They often are willing to tell me how or why I’m wrong, but never seems to see the truth in what I’m saying. I’m willing to accept being wrong, but that doesn’t mean you’re right.
I use to get upset over that, but now I can smile or laugh, because what they have yet to understand is that it’s not a chip, but a burden to translate the privelege you may not think you have that allows you to think that and help you understand what you may not know. It is not just one, but all. This means everyone, White and Black and Hispanic and Asian and Arab and Jew.
When I talk about consideration, I’m talking about how you see me and how I see you.
I can love you even if you can not love me. This has not always been true for me and I do struggle with it at times, but I’ve learned that it is much easier to love than it is to hate.
I can only refer you back to the words James Baldwin offered to the White audience he was speaking to.
“You give me this advantage. Whereas you never had to look at me, because you’ve sealed me away along with sin and hell and death. My life was in your hands and I had to look at you. I know more about you than you know about me.” – James Baldwin
Most of the time I’m not only telling you the problem, but trying to offer a solution or extending an opportunity for us to work together towards a solution. You may see me one way, but I can see you in another. Not as someone different than me, but someone just like me trying not to go insane by the ridiculous and sometimes evil things that goes on in this world we both share.
I ask the question why should I hate, only to get a hateful response. I ask in a different way and provide current examples, but often get the same response. I just want people to better understand each other, because that is essentially at the root of our problems. You should know just as much about me as I do about you.
I wish I could send this to everyone I know or have it read after I die, but if you never hear from me again in life, this is the one message I want you to take with you from me. Consider Others Beyond Yourself. If I could add this one last thing to that it would be to, Consider others beyond yourself without bias. Give people the same opportunity to introduce themselves to you as you would want them to offer to you. Accept people for who they are more than what they are. Appreciate where and who you are.