The wife and I drove to the nearest Popeye’s Chicken. It’s Tuesday, so that means two-pieces of chicken and a biscuit for a pretty low cost. Always a good deal. She then drove us to a nearby park and we ate there. She talked about how she grew up there–was there for the local sporting events and parties. My wife, Jasmine has had a very unique upbringing herself, being the daughter of a local hip hop legend in Austin. We talked a bit about how politics and technology have crept into and dictated the way people live their lives. How would this country have been if say–our technological communications were the way they were now in 1981. We’d have smart phones to go with our antenna television sets, and the world would be a strange place indeed. Or how America has yet to find that sweet spot of making life manageable for both the well off and the lower income families. As I sat there staring into the park, at a couple of people sitting at the park benches, I contemplated the way things must have been thirty or thirty-five years ago. The contrast of the way youth live now as opposed to then is tremendous. Could some of the problems we have now be solved or handled better if we all simply went out for a walk more? Or if kids played together for an hour or two everyday? Would the racial divide be settled if we all played together in the ultimate game of kickball? Of course not. But I always like to romanticize the idea of settling differences with sport. I truly miss playing with my white, Hispanic, and Asian friends without care or worry. I do not ever recall bothering over what race someone was until I got into middle school. I never was concerned with how race affected me personally until I began to get picked on for the color of my skin. I’m a dark-skinned, African-American. A handsome, intelligent, and blessed dark-skinned African-American. If we as adults relied more on the positive experiences we have or had with members of other ethnic groups, creeds, colors–as a way to judge their worth, as opposed to the negative experiences, would we not be better off?
What saddens me about he state of affairs here in America right now is the intent figures in authority have. What is the reason behind certain agendas? Is anyone sincere anymore? Or are we perhaps too compassionate to the point that reason is left at the door? I don’t think a grey area exists when it pertains to the way our countries leaders approach the top issues plaguing our country. I personally think it doesn’t help when we seem to be so willing to ship off support to other nations, while placing our own struggles at a lower priority status.
And so with all things considered during my lunch with my lovely wife–I decided on two things. Number one, I’m going to press even harder to find a writer’s workshop to join, whether in my community or online. And two, I’m going to really have to decide how I feel about living in the best place on Earth. Because it’s very easy to say that I love it here, because I do. While at the same time, I sit and think about the condition of my people (African-Americans) and the future; and I can only be concerned. I wish only to protect those I love and care about. Be the man, my God wants me to be, and bring you the reader my best work.
So as we threw away our trash and joked about a couple of ‘hood-fabulous’ vehicles driving by, I smiled. Because I understand I wouldn’t trade this country for anything. It’s what I know. But I also knew we have so very long to go before we truly reach our potential.