I live quite the mixed up life (or so it would seem) and let me do some literal garbage dumping of character. This is a good personal exercise and I do it for the reader’s benefit – ‘I just wanna know if I am pulling people closer’ (Steve Taylor) – so one, two, three, get ready to ‘stone’ me…this is really who I am.
Why write any of this? Well, I want to be honest I have very little to hide. I actually prefer hanging out with ‘the world’ and having some drinks in their presence – and possibly be an encouraging word to a dis-couraging world (for some). I do not liberally break all the rules that I believe because I go out and meet with people who ‘do not have faith’ – actually had a great convo with an atheist last night, a chief’s son, and discussed my grandfather (with my cousin).
I am friends with known drug fiends and ‘gang-bangers’, I am a family member to known criminals and drug addicts, I am a friend to people who mock my faith in God (yet I still care about them), I am a friend to people of the gay persuasion (even been to the gay bar handfuls of times), and I genuinely care about the plight of each person (rich, poor, race, sexual preference, ethics, etc – these things are just the ‘way it is’).
I do not check my ethics at the door either – if I drink I drink to my own damnation – so be assured of that. I don’t get into physical altercations (but have broken up many), I have never cheated on my wife (yet opportunity isn’t that hard to find), I do not back illogical ethics and support causes that are outright damnable by law (ex: drug selling or prostitution), I stick up for my friends and encourage them when they are down (some even to the point of depression), I reserve judgment and respect people for their stories and lives, I do not participate in gossip (yet I do hear a lot of it), I don’t push any belief I have on anyone but I share when asked.
Sad fact, every murder in this city this year I either knew the murdered, knew one of the murderers, or had a family member involved in some way (ex: kid just murdered and my brother did the wake). I am not going into the most safe of situations (namely where gangs and drug dealers are). I don’t care though – who else is going there and being any kind of encouragement whatsoever to those people? Maybe I am stupid (of this there is no doubt) but I care about ‘my people and their plight’. Is there a better way to do this – probably – but these same people in fearful scenarios just might need someone to speak with or get things off their chest – and I hear some doozies (still never dis-respect confidentialites). And you know what – I feel good doing it – I feel good with our mutual respect one for another – I feel good about them and I let them know they are ‘worth something’ at least in my eyes – and I feel good for the honesty that a drunk can share (or spill from their inner core).
I’d rather be judged by you – than have lost their respect. I am a hypocrite to our most common beliefs – I am not saying I am generally a ‘good person’ – I am actually not all the good of person in a lot of more righteous people’s eyes – and they just may be right (I don’t doubt that). I swear, I joke very excessively about dirty issues, I have driven drunk before, I smoke, I drink (and don’t mind being drunk)…you be the judge. Actually, if truth be told, I can be your neighbor or your cell-mate depending on how one wants to view me (I have a lot in common with the lowest common denominators in society – moreso than with the highest common held values in society -ex: I understand why kids join gangs or why someone might be violent – I don’t quite understand the perspective of rich people and well to do families).
In case you don’t know me that well – I also was a thief as a kid and in trouble with the law and came from a tough community and abusive life – none of which I think God forgets or forgot. I probably self-identify more with the song below than any Christian number I can name – But hey, ‘thats just the way it is’.
“I got love for my brother but we can never go nowhere unless we share with each other, We gotta start makin’ changes learn to see me as a brother instead of 2 distant strangers, and that’s how it’s supposed to be how can the Devil take a brother if he’s close to me? I’d love to go back to when we played as kids but things changed, and that’s the way it is”
“Take the evil out the people they’ll be acting right’ cause both black and white is smokin’ crack tonight and only time we chill is when we kill each other it takes skill to be real, time to heal each other”
“But some things will never change try to show another way but you stayin’ in the dope game, Now tell me what’s a mother to do bein’ real don’t appeal to the brother in you, You gotta operate the easy way”I made a G today” But you made it in a sleazy way, sellin’ crack to the kids. “I gotta get paid,”Well hey, well that’s the way it is”
“And still I see no changes can’t a brother get a little peace, It’s war on the streets & the war in the Middle East. Instead of war on poverty they got a war on drugs so the police can bother me. And I ain’t never did a crime I ain’t have to do…But tell the cops they can’t touch this, I don’t trust this when they try to rush I bust this. That’s the sound of my tool you say it ain’t cool but my mama didn’t raise no fool”
(Excerpts from Changes by 2Pac – I song I admire to the Nth degree)
Oh man, I said too much – or have I said enough?