There is a go-ahead sign to think and be. “You should be who you are,” right? But then of course, there is the truth behind the models and the smiles and the name tags which, in fairness – I have to say it, I call bullshit.
Now, I do my best to never use profanity in my prose, especially in the first paragraph, in fear that some grammar-police critic will come along and slash the heart of my thoughts and point at every flaw. But still,
I call bullshit.
I say this to the politicians who walk around with their so-called systems and to those who preach from podiums or pulpits and their claims to be “of the people” are anything but true.
I say this to the people who look to roll their sleeves up in front of the cameras but they’ll never get their hands dirty unless it boosts stock.
I say this to the Monday morning quarterbacks and to those who wear the uniform but fail to do the job.
I call bullshit.
I say this to the people who sharpen their plastic smiles and they hold knives beneath the folds in their clothing, just in case, or say, just perchance, and should the chance arise, knives in the back can make an excellent ladder.
It’s a dog eat dog world out there. Or so they say, which is perplexing to me because dogs are more loyal than we are. Dogs can truly love unconditionally.
Can we? Can I?
Or is it like what Mark Twain says?
“Man is the only animal that blushes. Or needs to.”
I love this saying because it’s true.
In fact, I remember a morning of regret and although remorse was less of a strong point; I can remember an apology for my actions.
The terms and conditions of my apology are something that is better left unsaid. However, my memory serves a lesson that is fitting for now.
After my apology, The Old Man asked me, “Are you sorry? Or are you just sorry that you got caught?”
My guess is I was sorry about both.
Above all things, I am a real person. I think that above all things; admitting to our humanizing ways is not only uplifting but this also relieves the stress of trying to be something we’re not. Also, once we humanize ourselves, it’s easier to be less of an asshole.
Again, I explain that I seldom write this way in fear of critics or those who look to judge. I seldom write this way because my work is public and though my business is private, clients have the right to judge.
Then again, I suppose the clients I have are the clients that are tired of the rope-a-dope lies and people who dance around as a distraction.
I suppose the people I feel most comfortable with are people like me, real and humanized, with faults and all.
I have been studying people very closely for most of my life. Although professionally, I have been studying people for several years now. And there’s a reason for this.
My aim is to learn how to approach life. My goal is to improve and my primary objective is to figure out a way, a process or a system that can help people interact with one another.
It is true that I have a specific drive to fight back against bullying and substance abuse. I want to be an instrument of hope. I want to support those who cannot support themselves. I want to aid in the spark of life when someone doubts their ability and preferably, I’d like to see people stand up before they choose to lay down – or quit.
But I get it.
I get why so many people give up. I get why people grit their teeth and clench their fist. I get why the world is a frustrating place and I can understand why it’s hard to contend with the powers that be – especially those who smile and dress like sheep in wolves clothing.
And it’s hard too.
Who can you trust?
Who can you depend on?
We live in a time where there are sheep in wolf’s clothing.
We live in a world where there are those who use people and we’ve all been used, at least once.
There are mornings when it’s hard to face the day. The anxiety is high. We don’t know what will come or who we’ll see or what will happen.
It’s true that not everyone has our best interest at heart and yes, it is also true that most people have their own agenda.
I have stood in front of people, politicians, administrators, teachers and business people alike. I have given my share and opened myself up as an effort to share a message of hope yet, I’ve heard about the grumblings behind the scene. I’ve heard about the comments on my accent or on my looks that I do not fit the role or match the corporate setting, that I’m tattooed, or that I would be a better fit in jail systems or working in the lower ranks.
I have been told to leave it up to the professionals. I was told that I would be best served if I stayed in my lane.
One comment, which I always rethink, is from a team leader whom I worked under. She told me that I would never make a living doing what I want to do.
I was told that at best, I could make an entry level salary and perhaps go up the scale, slowly and gradually, but at my age – I should never quit my day job.
I was told that my level of education and my experience was no match for theirs, my supervisor, with more than 30 years of experience. She was wrong.
I see there are more who are like me, who are tired, beaten and we’re all still fighting and scratching to stand up and make it.
I see people who have to get out of bed each morning and literally have to give themselves a reason to live.
“It’s like you have to save your own life on a daily basis.”
I get that.
I see people who have talent beyond compare yet I see a stuffed population, fake as ever, of those who claim to be “inclusive” and they are (to their own kind, that is).
Meanwhile, there are people who I both adore and admire. They have come from nothing. They remained humble and hungry and I look at them in total awe because they never quit. They never stopped. They never cared about titles or labels. Whether they knew it or not, they learned to endure what most would see as unendurable. And do you know what?
I want to be like them.
I have seen people in their club ties with their secret-handshake friends. I have seen them open doors out of an exclusive context.
I have seen people who scream and fight ye; I go back to Henry David Thoreax when he said, “What I have to do is see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.”
I call bullshit. More to the point; I call myself out.
I call myself out here, out loud and in plain sight because I want to be better.
I say this because I am learning, each day; and each day, I am new again.
We all are.
I say this because here I am, thinking too much (as usual) and worrying about whether I will be accepted or not. Life does not wait. Insecurity does. But life, not so much.
The proudest moment in my life happened when I was told to sit back and “let the professionals handle this.” Know what happened?
The news ran a story on me and the person who said I should sit back was never mentioned.
What I have to do is see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the people who create predictions that do not empower me. What I have to do is see, at any rate, that regardless of whether I am like, invited, accepted or betrayed, I cannot lend myself to the ideas that I am limited simply because of a critic or a so-called statistic that says I cannot be successful.
It’s okay to call bullshit.
It’s okay to say what you think and feel.
Above all, it’s okay to have hope and passion – especially when someone tells you that you shouldn’t.
Do you know who Sean Stephenson is?
He was born May 5, 1979 in Chicago, Illinois.
Doctors told his parents that he would be dead within 24 hours.
This is according to Stephenson himself.
Stephenson reported that 35 years later, all of those doctors were dead.
“And I am the only doctor that remains.”
May 5th was my Mom’s birthday too.
I guess this was the day that superheroes were born . . .