Statistics show that by the end of our lives we would have spent six months at stoplights, eight months opening junk mail, a year and a half looking for lost stuff, and get this, five years standing in lines. All I can say is, “Wow”, what a colossal waste of time, talent, and resources. As African Americans we also spend more money than any other race on hair and hair products, clothing and shoes, finger nails and eyelashes, and lastly cars. All of which have no real value that can be passed along to your child. We don’t apply ourselves in the areas where we have great talents but we occupy prisons in quite alarming rates. Is it that we simply don’t know? Or maybe we know and we choose to exist on earth not leaving any type of impression on society nor an inheritance for our children and their children. My philosophy is ‘if you know better, then maybe you will do better. But a pastor friend says that, “we are simply a lazy race of people.”
At some point, someone has to say, ‘I am breaking the generational curse that’s been on my family for years’. Somebody has to wake up one day and say ‘this dish my family has been eating from for generations will stop today with me’, by breaking the plate and getting up from the table of wasteful thinking, useless time spent, and misuse of genius expertise. We must think more of ourselves, realizing there is power within that caused us to be African kings and queens, survivors of slavery, and victorious Civil Rights warriors. But don’t get it twisted the struggle is far from being over. In order to break the cycle we must come to understand who we were (our history and our forefathers’ history), who we are today, and the possible destiny that gleans from us for tomorrow. The only way we will know how to break the cycles that have been purposely imposed upon us causing us to remain enslaved is to realize your self-worth. Can you believe that many think we will never be any more than what we are, who we are, and where we are simply because we don’t care about ourselves nor do we care about someone else that looks like me and you? Pay attention, there are mental gymnastics still being played on us, so we will forget how to move past this place in order to be an awesome race of people who not only know the statistics, but also understand we have the power within that will cause us to make a change.
It starts at home! What are you doing with your time, talents, and resources? Are you sitting in front of the television doing nothing day after day? What do you enjoy doing? How can you use your talents and time to become your own boss by starting your own business? If you are going to hustle for somebody, you may as well hustle for you, your family, and something that you can call your own. We are no longer slaves but we sure do act as if we have no freedom or liberty to make better choices for our lives. However, more times than not we fall into this hole forgetting our history and the legacy left behind for us by those who fought and died so that we can call ourselves free. Are we making our forefathers or anyone for that matter proud, or are we just sitting around waiting for the time to pass by, letting the legacies put into place for us so many years ago just slip away?
It doesn’t matter what the statistics say, we’ve overcome gargantuan issues in the past and we can still overcome adversities today. How you may ask? We must start one person at a time, one household at a time, one neighborhood at a time, one community at a time with a new mindset; that my life is worth more to me and my children than the frivolous things in life that have no value. But it starts right now, at this very moment in time, today with you! Let’s get it right and do for ourselves what we want others to do for us. It’s time out for foolishness and it is time for creating legacies that will live on with our grandchildren and their grandchildren. Let’s change those statistics and the way we operate as well as our mind set by investing in ourselves.
By Tina Kay, www.tinakay.net National Sickle Cell Advocate, Speaker, and Patient, and the NAACP Health Coordinator for Alabama