Pro ME is Not Anti YOU™! Exist Because Black Play Still Has to Look Differently
I remember when I was about eight years old some kids were outside dancing and just having what appeared to be a good time. I wanted to go outside and dance with them, but I could not. My grandmother said,
“While they are merely having fun, if the wrong person comes by they may end up being called something nasty or something may happen to them. Being Black in America means you don’t have the option of a second chance or being viewed like any other kid. If you forget and behave like a kid having fun on your street and take that into your classroom; you could be labeled the troubled kid and be treated differently, because flipping back and forth between acceptable behavior for society and acceptable behavior for a Black child is not instinctive or easy at your age. I kind of understood what she was saying, but I was still confused. I felt like I was being forced to be the more mature person all the time, even for grown White people who acted as if they were better than me. I’m sorry, but that didn’t make sense.
I have always been fascinated by the will of people to do what they do and say what they say. Regretfully, some people never fail to provide a degree of amusement or confusion on some level because of only being in their head. I remember being at the grocery store once with my grandfather, and this White kid fell in the floor screaming and hollering. My grandfather wanted us to keep going, (because he knew that even watching interactions between White people could not work out for my good or in my favor). But I was curious about why falling in the floor was the right response for this kid, and what would be the end result with his mother. In watching, I saw that the little boy wanted a toy, and initially his mom said no. He clearly did not like her response, so he threw himself on the floor. He wallowed and screamed for a few moments, as his mother begged him to get up.
I was confused by the little boy doing the wrong thing and his mother begging him to get up; so I kept watching. I was even more confused, within a few minutes, when his mother conceded and gave him the toy. A little Black boy, watching the same cycle of events, saw the results so he must have wanted to try it. Within seconds, this Black boy fell in the floor, screaming and throwing himself about just like the White boy did; but the end result was completely different.
His mother began to pop him right in the store, as she verbally reminded him how to act. She told him, “Didn’t I tell you not to come in here expecting anything, and if I said no, the answer was no? So why in the world are you wallowing on this floor? You don’t know when these people mopped it for one, and you are not allowed to have a tantrum for two. If you don’t get up off this floor, right now…”
But before this mother could continue correcting her child for misbehaving in the store, another woman; a White woman who saw both boys do the exact same thing; called the little Black boy a monster.
I could not understand for the life of me, what was the difference. The White boy and the Black boy did the exact same thing. The only difference I recognized was the conversation spoken by Black child’s mother. I was puzzled by the White woman publicly reprimanding the Black child while saying nothing to the White one, who stood there watching. I did, however, feel a little bit of pride because I saw proof that the rules insisted upon by my grandparents, where the same in that Black child’s house with his parents.
When I came home, I could not wait to tell my grandmother what happened in the store. I was excited about not feeling alone with the rules. I wanted her to know I finally understood some of her logic, but I was still confused. For the longest time, I felt I was the only Black children who had so many rules to live by, because some kids in our neighborhood seemed to be able to do anything they wanted to. But hearing that child be reprimanded by similar rules made me feel pretty good, and for no other reason than comradery; I was really happy.
The rest of my conversation with my grandmother began by stating how I did not like, love, or appreciate most of the rules demanded of me especially since I couldn’t figure out why I was supposed to be the most mature person in interactions with racists’ White grown people. My grandmother had plenty to say, and I’ll leave it at that.
At one time, I struggled with why my grandmother’s rules never made sense in the moment or why they never seemed to address my current problem the way I thought it should. But observing that one interaction in the store between the Black child and the White child, at eight years old, made me see some of the validity for how living as a Black child had to look different. As a result of my grandmother’s willingness to prepare me for living for my good, and in my own best interest, she taught me the following to broaden the idea of selfishness, to empower me and it’s now listed in the Pro ME is Not Anti YOU™ Compendium!
Strategic Selfishness is a gift each person must give to themselves to surpass overwhelming levels of inequality; the still prevalent acts of racism and discrimination in America; any trust issues a child may have with adults; and/or the often unwavering expectations of society not slanted in every persons favor. Each action initiated through strategic selfishness should open the door of allowance to work in one’s best interest, without working against anyone else’s interest. Acts of strategic selfishness should show others the work being done modeling each person’s varying repertoires of greatness, to help others readily accept and appreciate the greatness seen within them, without feeling the need to compromise rself in any way, for any reason. Strategic selfishness allows every person the benefit of living their truest self without believing they have to qualify or do some type of trick to be treated as well as…, in the midst of varied perceptions. Instead of selfishness being seeped in a slew of negative connotations based on an individual’s perception, able to hurt or limit the probabilities of any other; the gift of strategic selfishness purposely includes actions respectfully incorporating self as the priority, and the best possible response to life and its hits, especially when life happens from the mouth of some choosing to be unenlightened.
By taking the time to adopt the ideologies incorporated in John C Maxwell’s definition of Big Picture Thinkers (those who purposely take the time to look at life through the issues, people, relationships, timing, and values of each scenario); each person grants themselves permission to view each life scenario entered into from the stance of there being a resolution capable of working in their best interest, without any negativity because of the intentions or racists opinions of people. When people instinctively incorporate the probability or intent of the issues, people, relationships, timing, and values confronted with into the best possible response for themselves and society in every scenario (while purposely adapting the meaning attached to each person as a person on purpose); the world experiences something else it needs and the probability of chaos, confusion, controversy, or strife are significantly reduced or at the very least severely disempowered.
Big Picture Thinking, according to How Successful People Think is
A big picture perspective brings a level of maturity to an individual’s thinking. Maxwell has found that big picture thinkers tend to learn continually, listen intentionally, look expansively, and live completely. Through lifelong learning, big picture thinkers are able to connect ideas that appear at first glance to be unrelated to one another.
The goal is to purposely act in manners beneficial to society at large, and the needs of each striving individual. These persons know that society is a collective instead of individual unit in need of the gifts and talents of every person throughout society, to produce the greatest results for each person and the overall global economy.
The objective is to open the door of acceptance and allowance of each person being mutually beneficial to the ongoing of society at large, so no one’s gifts or talents are purposely dismissed, undervalued, given limited probabilities, diminished, or discarded. These people know and believe every person’s gifts and talents are of equal importance, and mastering one’s gifts and talents has nothing to do with or should diminish the gifts and talents of any other.
LOVE BREAK! As each person makes the purposeful effort to be respectful and appreciative of the value of each person’s contributions to the world (offered through masterful usage of their gifts and talents and varying repertoires of greatness); the world experiences another piece of what it needs to survive and flourish, in the most beneficial ways for each person and the greater society.
Help Love In Abundance give our children the power of their voices on a national platform by referring them to firstname.lastname@example.org. In an action modeling the concept of reward and reciprocity, and there is a little something in it for those referring students to us. Our goal is to show our children the power of our united voices via collaboration, with every person participating gaining benefits in a more tangible way. The objective is to show our students the power of working together for our good, to incite the idea of working together later in business. Won’t you help us?