What is on my mind today?
Recent events have made me much more pensive. Caused me re-assess my aims, goals, expectations, just what the heck I’m about…. as it relates to others.
Anyways, I googled Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem, “If” Now I’m not in total agreement with Kipling, but I’m moved by at least 95% of what he wrote. Especially, the “if you can keep your head…..” and of course, the folks lying about you like a dog. But I think this poem is relevant to most anyone who is about anything.
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build’em up with worn-out tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
Next up, something I heard today: “Delusion is as essential to our happiness as reality.”
No man is happy without a delusion of some kind. Delusions are as necessary to our happiness as realities.
Christian Nestell Bovee
This is the kicker. This is what got me in this ‘thinking’ funk. Being on Facebook and being added to all these dumb ass cultural/community groups, it makes me wonder if self-hate and feelings of impotence in the face of the reality of racism make delusions of “joining” them necessary, is essential to the average black/haitian psyche, his/her ability to keep on keeping on? You know the drill: “I’m in “corporate” America.” That type thingey. Like blacks in the 1940s and 50s used to say of a janitor, “He’s into banking” because he mop the floors in the bank. Or he’s into “finance or the market” because he shined shoes in front of the Stock Exchange building.
I’m no fan of such delusions. When it comes to race, I prefer the clarity of reality as most are aware. However, black people evidently needed those delusions in the 1940′s and ’50′s to, well, keep on keeping on. With the advent of the Civil Rights Movement, we began to feel powerful, moving as it were from the fringes of history to center stage and no longer needed them, thus discarded them (for other, almost as silly delusions). The point is, they were necessary in the 40′s and 50′s, maybe even essential, to keep from feeling totally worthless and powerless; once circumstances changed, those particular delusions were no longer necessary, so were discarded by the race.
I think about delusions in one’s personal life, as well. Truth to tell, I shudder at the self-hate delusions, the “projecting” ones failings and insecurities onto others delusions (e.g., she’s a BIG liar! when the deluded one does nothing but tell lies. Or, my fav, he hates white people! When the deluded one is afraid to face their own hatred for the white race, find it so terrifying they throw it on those who are NOT afraid of, who do NOT feel inferior to white people). That said, I agree with the saying – delusions are as essential to our happiness as is reality. And in the case of oppressed people (individuals), maybe even MORE necessary than harsh, oft-times ugly reality which, if that were all we had to look forward to, most wouldn’t want to get out of bed in the morning!