On Life and Love

Take a vote

Prometheus 6 recently posted a poll: “What is Black folks’ most pressing need?“. Intrigued, I checked it out and found a great discussion taking place that I want to think aloud about.

Of the options, the one I most agree with is, “Develop or increase control of our lives”. Like Temple 3 suggests in his comment:

I believe that economic freedom, physical safety and spiritual/cultural continuity requires discipline. I selected “Develop or Increase Control Over Our Lives.” I chose this option because self-control is the cornerstone of these three imperatives.

He honestly hit the nail right on the head for me. It is discipline and self-control that lead to personal responsibility, and that, I think, is the cornerstone of a healthy community, as it opens the door to the “economic freedom, physical safety and spiritual/cultural continuity” Temple 3 mentions.

A strong sense of personal responsibility and accountability keeps a community aware, and an aware community is more likely to be critical/considering of its actions and choices and dealings with others. Many of the the other options in that poll then become possible, if one wants them to be–I’m not convinced that “Become as independant [sic] as possible from others” should be a goal, especially if it is the separatist sort of sentiment I’m interpreting it to be.

Honestly, I think the world could benefit from this, but when I get news from my mother about my family (and maybe it’s just my crazy-ass family), I’m always hearing about how so-and-so is in such a situation, and oh, it’s nothing they did, it’s the system.

Don’t get me wrong: the biases in our society have certainly influenced all our (members of my family) lives–people get ripped off, they get thrown in jail in very questionable circumstances, etc. There are problems within and without, however, and we can work to heal those internal problems while working on the external.

But when you (for instance) quit your job at the post office because you don’t like getting up early, then start selling drugs to make a living (because there are “no other options”), you don’t get to complain about the shittiness of the system that arrests you and puts you away for a couple of years. You were selling drugs, and drugs generally fuck people up. You get to take it up the bum for a little while, fella. The lack of discipline has limited your economic freedom and physical safety.

Don’t sit at home playing video games when your FAFSA is due, then complain about racism when your Financial Aid Department doesn’t bend much to get you money. (I had three f’ing smart cousins do this.) Again, there’s your future in jeopardy–economic freedom, severely injured.

Working on the internal problems will give us more strength and power in handling the outer problems.