This feels awkwardly refreshing, as I haven’t written an article or blog in over a year; the truth is that I experienced burn-out from being a part of something that took more from me than it deposited, and from being associated with some major distractions. As I sit and reflect on the time that I vested into this situation, I was able to identify a very valuable lesson learned from the experience, and I’d like to share it with you all, in hopes that someone else can grab a nugget or two from it. There is an old saying, that hopefully my brain isn’t making up, but it goes “Nothing great is obtained without great sacrifice”; this is the truth, except in the case of the lottery of course! This brings me to the case of the greatest social role known to man-kind, the revolutionary, as the sacrifices required of a revolutionary are comparable to none. What exactly is a revolutionary, and what are a few of the mandatory sacrifices that are required of these under-appreciated heroes, and why are these sacrifices so vital to the success of the revolution?
A revolutionary, according to Webster’s definition, is an individual that causes complete or dramatic social change. That’s not my definition though; I like to keep it real and politically incorrect! In the words of the greatest Geno you all have ever met, a revolutionary is an individual, who is forced by the ills of society, to rebel against power structures to institute social change. It is the charge of a revolutionary to view the world and society objectively, envision freedom and life without boundaries, and sacrifice leisure and personal desires to advance humanity through education, direct action, and advocacy. Before we delve into the meat and bones, here is a list of the seven different sacrifices that I was able to identify that a revolutionary must make to be successful in their mission of achieving social impact:
- Slave Mentality
- Failure (Lack of Proper Preparation)
- Depression and Guilt
Slave mentality, as defined by the popular consensus and loud mouth individuals around the country, is the mentality of an oppressed individual, that cannot achieve freedom because the individual isn’t aware of the fact that they are indeed a slave, or they have been placed in a position of false privilege by their oppressor, and have indeed fallen in love with their state of captivity; so much so that they will assist their oppressor in their quest to enslave other persons that look the same as themselves. There are many pseudonyms for this character in history; one such nickname being coon. This individual’s role in society is to serve as the basis, on which the oppressor, can make claim that their reign of oppression and terror are false and non-existent. It is vital to the success of the revolution, that this weak state of cognition be eradicated from oppressed people, because it is this strategy of “divide and conquer” that keeps the group of African descendants throughout the world from being organized enough to overthrow and overcome their oppression. This blog can’t cover this topic enough, so we will agree to revisit the subject soon and proceed to the next great sacrifice of a revolutionary; greed!
Greed is the uncontrolled obsession with consuming any desire. Of course, that was a freestyled definition; Webster describes greed as the intense and selfish desire of something. In my pursuit of root cause analysis, I have come to understand that, at the heart of greed, lies fear of loss or void; an underlying anxiety caused by the uncertainty someone feels when they realize that they are unprepared to seize opportunity. In that fear of not knowing how their needs or desires will be fulfilled, greedy individuals begin a mad dash to obtain whatever they can before their inevitable peril. What is it that makes people greedy, because it is a fact that all people feel anxiety from the uncertainty of the future. What makes an individual choose greed over faith (faith being the belief in things not scene)? The answer to that question is nature vs. nurture; the balance of how a person was raised, weighed against their experiences. There is no magic formula to predict whether an individual will succumb to greed, or remain rooted in their faith, and persevere through the adversities of life. Why is it imperative that an individual overcome greed, for them to be utilized by the revolution? Simply put, the revolution is a movement of universal energy, that requires not a face, but utensils that are willing and able to be used to feed the purpose of the revolution. A person cannot be so trodden by experience, that they adopt a mentality of bitterness and selfishness. How do we cure the greed that hides within us? We accept ownership of our actions and desires, and that brings us to our next mandatory sacrifice of a revolutionary; excuses!
Let’s start this section off with my personal definition of an excuses; an excuse is a bullshit explanation for why one fails to accomplish a goal or task. In short, it’s a statement that one could really keep to themselves, because it doesn’t change the fact that the objective was not accomplished. In my opinion, excuses are for weak minded and spirited individuals; people, who instead of taking ownership of their shortcomings, would opt for frantically scrambling to identify a person or object to transfer blame to. Shame on excuses, and those who find this state of fuckboy-or-girlness, their comfort zone; I spit on excuses! Why are excuses a mandatory sacrifice of a revolutionary? Excuses are a defense mechanism for weakness; in this revolution, weakness must be identified and cast out. If the root of a problem can thwart discovery, through the presentation of excuses, that root issue will fail to receive the remedy needed to shore up that weakness in the movement’s integrity. As a leader in the movement, a revolutionary must be able to take ownership for mistakes, and be able to improve upon the overall operation of the revolution through the elimination of vulnerabilities. How does one rid themselves of the weakness that causes excuse-making? We must acknowledge, and fall in love with truth, which brings us to our next mandatory sacrifice of a revolutionary, lies!
I’m not going to bother explaining to you what a lie is; if that must be explained, you shouldn’t be reading this blog. This section is but an extension of the slave mentality, greed, and excuses sections. Why do individuals choose to tell lies, as opposed to telling the truth? I believe it is because the truth requires strength. The funny thing is that, for an individual to become strong, they must first discover that all the listed characteristics reside within them, then set out to eradicate their existence, and all traces that they were once there. Yes, you heard me right; we all possess these characteristics innately as humans. The difference between a person that remains immature, and one who overcomes weakness, is nurturing, reflection, and practice. While we are on the topic of practice, lets move forward to our next major sacrifice; pass-time and entertainment.
I once read a book, and the author referred to this new generation as the tickle-me generation. In his opinion, this generation’s priority had shifted to heavily focus on entertainment. I don’t remember the name of the book, or the author, but that ideal has stuck with me over the years. I very rarely agree wholeheartedly with anyone, as I attempt to always remain objective, but this was extremely profound. The truth is that I don’t know, or care to dissect the reasoning behind this new epidemic of thoughtlessness, but it most certainly is fact. Matter of fact, its what makes me so unique; my psychosis is totally opposite, as I feel like entertainment is the worst form of wasted time. In my mind, I am always weighing opportunity costs; what else could I be doing with the time I take to engage in any given task? In short, for the time I waste learning nothing in front of a television, I could be learning to code, which could translate into paid work; the opportunity costs for watching television is then, not learning to do something that could make me money! What I don’t do, is judge people because they choose to watch television; I am one of the few humans that minds their own business. Even with me not judging though, pass-time must be sacrificed by revolutionaries, as this social role requires that a human be able to maximize productivity. Revolutionaries understand the plight of their people, and understand that to overcome that oppression, unorthodox methods of social resistance are required. How does one go about eradicating pass-time from their lives? It’s quite simple my friend; read a book, or do something that helps you properly prepare for the revolutionary battle. This brings us to our next sacrifice of a revolutionary; failure and lack of preparation.
Failure (Lack of Proper Preparation)
Failure occurs when opportunity is presented to an individual who has failed to prepare. This characteristic is a mandatory sacrifice for revolutionaries. There is a popular saying, that is also a cool acronym, and it reads, “proper preparation prevents poor performance (5-P’s)”. I find it cool, simple, and ingenious. Don’t get me wrong, it is possible for an individual to take all necessary procedures to prepare to succeed, and still fail, but the chances of failure are 100% for an individual who has failed to prepare. In short, you plan to fail, if you fail to plan. I know it sounds cool, but you guys should really meditate on that point, as it should stand as a summation of all the sections that precede it. Why is failure, and lack of preparation, a mandatory sacrifice for revolutionaries? Simply put, because our oppression was masterfully crafted and instituted throughout history. It is silly to believe that anything other than a masterfully crafted plan, will be able to help oppressed people achieve their freedom, and ant the universal realization of their human rights. Even though a revolutionary may try and fail many times, a revolutionary must continue to be prepared to succeed in each battle, and must be able to quickly recover from the disheartening emotions created by small failures. Simply put, a revolutionary must be able to try, fail, and try again; this brings us to our final mandatory sacrifice, which is depression and guilt.
Depression and Guilt
This is the final, and greatest sacrifice of them all, because a prerequisite is having successfully rid yourself of all the previous flaws. What is depression? I had a conversation with a chaplain at the Jesse Brown VA hospital in Chicago a few weeks ago, and I had a Watson moment while speaking with him. I can’t quite remember what we were speaking about, but I remember explaining to him what depression was to me. I looked him in the eye, and without blinking, uttered “reflection without action equals depression”. Immediately after I had said this, we both paused with puzzling looks on our faces; I could tell he was digesting the complexity of the statement, and I know that he could realize that I was shocked that something like that could come out of my mouth. I mean, I’m not dumb at all, but that statement was one of wisdom. It’s funny how all the answers to life’s questions are housed within us! That’s neither here, nor there, but dissect that saying; the regret caused when we reflect on our mistakes, if not mitigated by corrective action, can lead to incredible guilt and depression. Why is depression and guilt a mandatory sacrifice for revolutionaries? Well, lets see; maybe because the state of depression and guilt is an incomplete one. Life is designed in a way that requires us to accomplish goals through accomplishing small objectives that collectively lead to success. That means, if our goal is to obtain 10 items, we must 1st start by gaining one, then we repeat that process of gaining one nine more times. What does this have to do with depression and guilt being a mandatory sacrifice? Simply put, a revolutionary must be a positive light for the people to admire and aspire after. This individual must have mastered the doubt, and regret caused by past failures and experiences. Our revolutionary must know how to wake up everyday ready to rise victorious over a new battle; even if the battle the day before ended in defeat. The revolution doesn’t need an individual who is still harboring the pain of yesterday’s defeat; harboring feelings of defeat lead to greed and jealousy, and that is a no-go for the revolution.
As I embark upon this journey, I feel compelled to offer up this contemplation for those who walk a similar path. I used to be extremely anti-social, but as I grow into the man that God created me to be, I realize that life is about sharing; building a foundation upon which others can add finishes to. What a blessing it will be to see the next generation build upon the radical ideas of this time we currently reside in. I felt it was important to write this because I needed to expose myself to a truth that I could only experience through questioning myself; I was the only person with the answers to the questions that I had. With that, it’s my time to shine; stand in the way and I will incinerate you. All praises to our creator. We need a new breed of leadership; signing off, but never offline.