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Dare To Be You

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Because history is a lie
and most of what is written is untrue
and most heroes never get their due
don’t worry about what they say about you
live your life the way God called you to
do the things that you’re supposed to do
stay out of the shadows and live your truth
forget about their boxes and dare to be you
dare to soar like the birds, and like the flowers dare to bloom
dare to be kind and to give instead of to consume
dare to smile when the world has the audacity to frown at you
dare to throw off the shackles that they use to control you
dare to speak up when they try to silence you
dare to die for your beliefs, but do it being you
dare to confront the fear they use to stifle you
dare to Love them, but first dare to Love you…
dare to Love them, but first dare to Love you…
and when they greet you with their hateful words
greet their hateful words with the retort of I Love You…

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Take a Load Off

Mini-Me

There’s one thing I learned a long time ago that freed me from the burdens and pressures many people struggle with. In short, I quit worrying about stereotypes and trying to carry the weight of everyone else’s opinions of me, my people, and my culture on my shoulders.

Let me give an example. Many of my friends, family, and acquaintances find themselves struggling with not only trying to be good fathers to their children, but with also trying to change the perception that black men aren’t good fathers. This weight, this burden that so many carry like monkeys on their back is a constant drain.  No matter what they do or how well they do it, there’s an unhappiness in their heart that permeates from the idea that their effort is unacceptable.  There’s a feeling of being insulted by those who don’t appreciate what they do.  There’s an anger, from constantly dragging these burdens and perceptions around their neck.  There is also a deep rooted fear of failure due to the lack of father figures in their own lives.  Add it all up, and it leads to so many falling short of their full potential and often becomes the things that prevent them from becoming the kind of fathers they could be.  

To be clear, these were the demons I had to face when I had my first child. How did I get over it? I got over it by ignoring the perception of what others thought of me and working to just be the best father I could. By forgetting about being better than my father and striving to just be the best father I could. By not paying attention to all those people in society talking down about black men and putting in the work of just being the best father I could. I got over it by taking a load off.

Unfortunately, with so many other stereotypes and perceptions working to derail us, we, men and women, are faced with the reality that the negative stereotypes about parenting is just a tip of the iceberg. Constantly, we find ourselves trying to fight an uphill battle against the stereotypes of ignorance, being anti-social, lacking drive, violent tendencies, abandoning our kids, welfare recipients, and a host of other B.S. that gets thrown at us daily.  It’s tough, but over time some of us develop an understanding of what it takes to overcome these ghosts and demons that haunt us.

Eventually some learn that we don’t have the time nor the energy to fight against all the stereotypes and perceptions while simultaneously reaching the pinnacle of who and what we were created to be…  and when we do, we raise our middle finger in the air not to curse, but to declare our sovereignty and independence from the imperialism of our burdens.  We raise our middle finger to say,  forget you and what you think about us, because we’re focused on the business of being who we are. Focused on the business of just going out there and being great, and then reaching back and teaching someone else how to be great.  At this stage, we understand that if we’re all working on being great and building one another up, the stereotypes are going to die a natural death. Death at the hands of proven greatness.

It would be wonderful if you embraced us, accepted us, encouraged us, but at the end of the day, what you think of us doesn’t matter. Our job is to take forward steps toward becoming who we were created to be and to leave the judgment of whether it was good enough to God.

If You Know That You’re Free

Celebrate Life

If you know you’re free
Then you’re free
If you’re still asking for freedom
Then you might not be
How high can you go
If you have no belief
How healthy can your soul be
When you worship a thief

If you know you’re free
Then you’re free
If your debt is out of control
Then you might not be
How high can you go
When stacking paper is your belief
Founded in 1492 by Columbus
Columbus was a thief

If you know you’re free
Then you’re free
If you still believe the propaganda
Then you might not be
How high can you go
When violence is your belief
The government bailed out Wall street
Wall street is a thief

If you know you’re free
Then you’re free
If you’re blindly patriotic
Then you might not be
How high can you go
When worshiping man is your belief
The war on terrorism
Is funded by a thief

If you know you’re free
Then you’re free
If you’re standing in line on Black Friday
Then you might not be
How high can you go
If consumerism is your belief
Corporate America funds the news you believe
The news is funded by a thief

This land is my land
My land is the land of the free
If you live in fear and with hate
Then you might not be
How high can you go
When the media controls your belief
How will you get to heaven
Believing the word of a thief

If you know you’re free
Then you’re free
If your life is fueled by love
Then YOU JUST MIGHT BE
There are no limits
When God is your belief
When you live with a purpose
You don’t have to worry about a thief

If you know you’re free
Then you’re free
You’re free
You’re free…