Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What Do You Do?

One of the hardest issues I think we as a people face today is figuring out what route we should take when we "make it". Firstly, what is "making it"? Is it graduating from college? Is it getting a high paying job? Is it getting married and starting a family? "Making it" is one of those ambiguous terms that has a different application for each individual. It is similar to how a mathematician might solve the same math problem in multiple ways.

Anyhow, let's assume for the purpose of this blog that you take your own personal definition of "making it" and apply it to yourself. Now, what happens after you "make it"? What important decisions do you now have to make in your life that you would not have made before? In the last few days, I found out that there are many thoughts that you need to ponder because when you "make it" it is only natural that your mind "makes it" with you. What do I mean by that?

Throughout your personal struggle to get to where you want to be, there were friends and things you did that was acceptable at the time that may not be acceptable "to you" right now. It could be hanging out late at the club, smoking weed, mismanaging your money or associating yourself with friends who may or may not be on the level you are on. Level you are on? Hmmmmmmmm............... That is always a tough one for most of us. Why? The reason is because we all probably have a friend or friends who have had the exact same opportunity as us and they squandered it. When you get a chance to look up and somewhat examine some of your friends, it is inevitable that some of them will "get it" and some of them simply won't "get it". How do you deal with the ones who don't "get it"? Do you become their counselor and put them on the right path? If so, what age is it or when does the time come when you can't help them anymore and they have to do something for themselves?

We have all heard the phrase: You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.

So if you are faced with a decision about a friend where you either have to cut them off completely or cut them off to the point where you only deal with them on certain levels, what is the right decision?

I think there is no clear cut right decision but one thing is absolutely certain: YOU HAVE TO MAKE SOME SORT OF DECISION!!!!

You can't sit there and let things linger to the point where either your long time friend hates you or you hate your long time friend. The decision may isolate that friend or even piss them off but the things they are doing to affect you may have already isolated or pissed you off!!!!

It is very true that you have to judge people by their heart and not by what they have or where they are in their life because sometimes circumstances can really prohibit a person's ascension into success. However, if they are not EVEN TRYING to ascend, what do you do when a man or woman still acts like a child?

1 Corinthians 13:11 (New International Version)

11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.


  1. As for as making it goes.... Does one ever actually "make it"? If so, are they setting themselves up for eventual failure down the line? I think one should never sit back and feel comfortable in the position that they are in, especially at our age/peer group. When that happens, you loose the ability to dream and ambition to continually better your situation. I think that everyone is programmed with this mindset, however few act upon it. Naturally, most fall into their comfort zone, when they feel like they have "made it" or accomplished the goal that they have set for themselves as kids. This leads me into the fact that "we" can't help everybody. Help those who help themselves. Those that don't, help them from a distance. If they can't get with the program, let that distance grow further and further. Remember, college isn't for everybody ... but it sure does add some sweet advantages that only a graduate would understand.

    J White

  2. Okay, let's touch on "maiking it" first. "MAKING IT", that term is definitely in the eyes of the beholder (I'm going to piggy back on Mobley's points)becasue your standard is different from some else's, therefore through your eyes you may think they haven't made it but they may have at some point realized that they're not going to reach the level they once strived for and settled for or became content with the situation they're in and found the silver lining.

    Secondly, the "don't get it" part. I'm not white so I don't know what goes on in the depths of the white community (you know the stuff they don't want us to know, LOL) but what I've seen in the black community is turning our backs on our own or leaving them behind. I know it sounds harsh but let me explain. When we reach a level in our life some of our friends remained stagnant on our way to the that "level." So now this/these friend(s) start making comments about how we don't hang out like we use to or our attitudes have changed, etc. So what we do is try to give them a hand in reaching a certain "level" where we can relate to each other, but when leading a horse to the water and he doesn't drink we (black folks) walk the horse back home and try again later instead of leaving the horse by the water. If you leave the horse by the water he/she will eventually "get it" and drink the water or die.

    A perfect example, I have two friends that gave me the opportunity to join them in a business venture. All the arrangements were discussed and we had an objective by a certain date and I couldn't meet my obligation on the arrangeed date, but I have still have time to meet my obligation. When they decide to move on without me I'm not going to be upset because I don't have a "crab in a barrel" attitude. I have a "gotta get on their level" attitude.

    So what do you do? I'll leave the horse by the lake. What would you do?

  3. You can't make a horse drink, but can you make him think?

    I think I would try to offer hope of some sort or be a positive influence regardless. Basically, I don't have to "make it" to open a door. Opening a door doesn't necessarily mean providing a job or giving a hand out, but it could simply mean that I become an outlet for something good.

    I know people without a diploma, people who pride themselves on hustling, and people who don't mind not working. I don't distance myself from them because I'm a forward positive thinker and they may be the opposite. Hopefully, they look at me and strive to be that much better.

    Anytime they want advice or a resume critique or help with math or whatever, I embrace the opportunity to help, because that's the christian thing to do.

    As far as the nightlife; as long as my safety isn't in question and I'm not overextending myself, I dont see a problem hanging out.

    What if there are two friends who actually "made it" and one person wants to hang with VP's now and the other doesn' the situation the same just on a white collar level? Is the person who hangs with the VP's a cut above and the other now the horse who doesn't drink?


  4. Very interesting Mr. Mobley. Well Ray, I can't help you with the white people b/c I'm really a black man in a white mans body... especially from the waist down HA!

    This is a very personal topic for me, and probably most people in general.

    The future best man in my wedding is my best friend I have known all my life; him and I are not on the same level with academics or finances. But I feel that he is on a higher level on things like being a man. Accepting people for who they are, not getting extremely angry and getting caught in "THE MOMENT" So I really look up to him for those reasons. He is very true to his family and is my brother and always there to help me when I need, as I am him... AND THAT IS THE IMPORTANT THING!!! We know that we are not always exactly the RIGHT things for each other and there is that understanding so we don't hang out like we used to, for we have different paths of life; but we still maintain respect for one another even though he may think that I need to not get upset about things and accept issues for what they are and probably even thinks I should be more involved with my family, but yet looks up to me for my intelligence and ambition in my career, academics, and finances. So what do we do? We talk with one another. We don't critize each other or even turn our backs... so I guess us white people.... wait he's a Mexican so that doesn't apply, sorry Ray!! LOL. But I think he gets it. In his mind, he may have made it with his academics; but I know he feels he hasn't made it in other area's of his life and he's striving to meet his goals.

    My relationship with my sister is different. It is a huge struggle and I had given up. She doesn't get it. The most aggrevating thing is that when you would try to help, her resentment would flair, the walls would go up and shut you out. Recently I have a new ambition to help her, but I've had to think about ways to be not so aggressive with her; but it is so hard when someone doesn't get it, I guess you can say I left the horse whereever it was and walked away. Now that I've been 'away' for awhile I feel refreshed and patient enough to 'help'. Will she ever be as accomplished as me with education? Probably not. Career? probably not... but maybe she'll push herself to happiness and contentment and understanding.

    For the fact of the matter is this, we were not all created the same, but we are all 'equal'! Every member of society is needed... even the bad guys. Donald Trump needs his janitors like the janitors need Donald Trump. Those janitors may be better fathers and husbands than Donald is, but Donald is more educated (not necassarly smarter) and sucessful with finances and business aka some have 'made it' in areas that other's haven't 'made it'.

    I guess my point is this; regardless if they are a friend or not a friend, everyone should be treated with respect and as an equal. Help if asked for help, lend to help if not asked. Know your limits, don't be affraid to take a break if you're suffering from anothers actions; for you can not control that person, and you are fully responsible for yourself.


  5. “Making it” is synonymous with reaching goals personally, professionally and in everyday life. “Making it” is all in how it is interpreted; some people feel I've made it, however, I don't think I have because there is so much more I want/need to do.

    Maturity level plays a huge part in the "so called making it process"; how people view life and how they maneuver within their sphere of influence keep them in a place of solitude or a universe to flourish. We all make choices, some better than others…at times we can carry friends or family; other times, we have to leave them and negativity behind for our own personal growth. It’s all subjective, the way I see it is when people tell you you’ve made it they’re using your growth as a barometer for success. The real question they should be asking is do you view your growth as success? And if you do, does it make and keep you happy. Sometimes we have to go above and beyond what people consider our personal successes or making it and be able to position ourselves to assist on a grander scale; which at times may possibly leave others behind, even though we care for them. Sacrifices have to be made, people who “make it” are willing to accept and deny many things to reach that status.