Version 2.0

Culture, healing, politics and bullshit - Not necessarily in that order

The general, socio-political and very personal rantings and ravings of a hip hop head from the hood hustling for change... Of himself.

You all know me and are aware that I am unable to remain silent. At times to be silent is to lie. For silence can be interpreted as acquiescence.
—Miguel de Unamuno


Friday, January 10, 2014

You Cannot Trip On What's Behind You

It's funny how people assume things about you, even when you tell them...

I've been very direct and forward, honest and truthful about the events that have happened in my life most recently both physical and emotional. Even though these posts come far and few between, if you read this with regularity then you know somewhat what's going on with me.

I thought it would be refreshing to share even the good and bad with you, the reader. I'm not afraid to say that I was wrong.

Just because I kind of, sort of look like you, speak with the dialectic you familiar with, and probably came up in the same neighborhoods with the same family values that you're probably used to does not mean that I believe, practice or even tolerate some of the things that you do. This goes for education, spiritual/non-spiritual beliefs, morality, where I place my value systems and how I see the world.

The funny thing is, in the 10 years that I have been blogging as well as the many conversations that I have had with some and maybe even most of you over the past decade, there should be certain things that stand out in one's mind to differentiate me from everyone or everything else.

I am not a believer of the God concept.
That means I'm not Christian.
That also means that I see religion as man-made and abstract.
Which means the tenants of Judeo Christian/Islam do not resonate.
I do not follow modern day tradition.
I don't observe so-called holidays and birthdays.
I am also not a pagan.
I do not place value in material objects.
I also don't place value in what someone else says.
I do not seek validation based on groupthink or societal values.
I prefer human contact rather than virtual.
I believe technology is a tool and should be used as such.
I believe that my peer group has substituted in person for virtual...

Friendship that is.

To see a couple hugged up on a park bench, or a group of friends at the dinner table, or a family gathering where all of the uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces and nephews are all bantering about and to have that one person staring at a 4 inch screen, distracted and detached, soaking in such a limited view of the world from the average 4 to 6 apps that they exclusively use sickens me.

Coming from a network engineer I know it seems odd. But also coming from the old-school it seems appropriate. Reminds me of what happened when I ran into this beautiful young sister applying for entry to the network engineering program at this networking Academy. She was very curious and she asked tons of questions, and I answered everyone I could to the best of my ability. Hell, I was excited and I told her that there isn't anyone that looks like you in this industry right now.

I ran into the sister again last week, this time she was securing the funds and grabbing test scores to make sure that she secured her space in the program. She brought me up to date about the research that I asked her to do from the time that I saw last and also indicated that she bought a few books to help her so that she knows the basics of networking so she wouldn't jump in the program cold. If you haven't guessed, she has no technical background and doesn't have a clue about programming and networks, but she is willing to try.

I noticed something different about her body language whereas she was more open and receptive to the things that I was saying more than the last encounter we share. She then told me that she took up most of the things that I said to heart and knew that she had research to do, but when I told her that no one in this industry looks the way she does, she thought that I was flirting with her. I addressed all of her questions or concerns with jumping into networking and being black as well as being a woman, but I avoided addressing the flirt comment. What I noticed upon our first encounter a month or so back was that she had a tablet, a cell phone and a Bluetooth device, and she seemed very well-versed in using these devices and accessing information and data.

I can say the same for most of my people, but it irks me when I walk into the workplace or even these training academies as well as universities for that matter and not see any brown scanned people that are native of this land. I do notice that a lot of people that I know that look like me spend an inordinate amount of time on social media sites. What I also noticed is that the information and data mostly pertains to celebrity, and that is passed off as information that one needs to know. A majority of my people think that information regarding the rich and famous, reality TV and nonpolitical high-profile figures is the information that keeps them in the know.

And on the way home on the train, even though I only have about 34% vision in one eye I see the disparaging differences in how we live, what we do to live and how it foretells what the future will probably be for us, and it doesn't depress me, it disappoints.

This past so-called holiday season, I watched most of my people struggle to put food on the table for their loved ones and families. I also watch them struggle to put together family gatherings, holiday parties, purchase gifts and favors and decorate their homes to celebrate something that has absolutely nothing to do with them.

A handful of my friends had their unemployment benefits cut off. Some of them took furlough days from. Others took extended vacations because their jobs just couldn't pay them during the holiday season. A lot of people struggle to make ends meet and picked up extra jobs if they could just so they can keep up with the Joneses and be seen as viable during this holiday season. And when they weren't working they were on Facebook, twitter and other social media sites wasting time.

We live in a day and age where we don't have to ask for anything. We live in a time will we don't need permission to do anything. Most of our parents and grandparents fought the battle for us, so I am at a loss as I watch my people struggle.

A couple of days ago was the three-year anniversary of my slip and fall accident that led me to be in this particular state. From that time to now I've relocated three times in different places in the United States, when from married to single, had more than 20 surgeries, went through various rehab programs and also suffered organ failure and had an episode of cardiac arrest. The only thing I lost in that time was human contact. Thanks to all my friends busy on Facebook and twitter, I was forced to go it alone. Doing things by yourself allows you to see everything!

I am thankful that I had to go alone. Even though I've gone through all the things that I have these past three years, I was able to build more than what my body was destroyed. Does that make any sense to you? How discouraging is that to see the people that you once loved and trusted disintegrate right in front of your eyes? In this era of information and data, it is hard for me to watch my generation become stagnant and irrelevant when they don't have to become this.

At one point in our history as a people, we had to ask for permission to do anything and everything. As a child of that movement it staggers me to know that in me making the moves that I have to make in order to move forward that I have to leave almost my entire generation behind.

It's time for me to move on, move forward. What I do next will be perplexing to some and possibly empowering to others, I don't know.

I don't even know if I'm willing to share that with you, dear reader because for most of you, you have the instant inkling to want to tear me down.

Some of you will probably hate me. Not because you actually hate me, but because no one likes the feeling of being left alone and left behind. But in doing what I need to do for myself, leaving this place will probably be the best thing I can possibly do with the limited time that I have left on this earth to be productive.

Tradition be damned.


The Second Sixty-Eight said...

As you know, I generally choose empowering.

The...digitization of the young I find disturbing. They are connected while being more disconnected as they find more connections.

"Coming from a network engineer I know it seems odd. But also coming from the old-school it seems appropriate."
This I fully understand. The cell phone I carry doesn't have a camera.

Be productive my friend.

I am, until I can't anymore. Until then, I shall always be...

Unknown said...

Man I been down that road a long time very long. Even as a child I felt different from my brothers my mother seem to care more for them than myself . But I brush it off that they need her more than I feel your pain! Truly to the core . Whether you believe in a deity or not I will continue to pray for you. But will not force my believes upon you. My only things is I want to know that you as person is alright . Thanks for touching my life with your generous nature .

Unknown said...

Brother, I felt this way about technology since 1985. I have felt this way about people since my family was broken up since 1979. I have lived my whole life looking at the world thru two different lifestyles, spoiled kid and watching others spoil their children and figuring out how long it will take them to unspoil their children. When you see the world thru different eyes, the world calls you crazy, geek, nerd, dork. Whatever non-conformitory word they can think of. I gave up on technology, I could still invent programs and uses no one has ever seen, but honestly the world doesn't deserve it. I understand your pain, I expect you to get thru this with the fervor of everyone in our generation has. Do not give up, it is not worth it. Tried that too, guess I just had an earlier wakeup call to the cruelties of life. Stay strong my friend, and keep your mind on the new growth of this 3+ years of your new life. The life of complete understanding of the frailty of life. Bless you my friend, I try to live normal, but it can only last for so long, I revert back to not trusting this world.