Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Family (& Neighbors)

Just this past week or so, I've talked to 3 cousins I haven't seen in years!! One of my cousins I hadn't seen since our grandfather's funeral. She big sistered me a little, and I thought it was kinda funny.

Another cousin I may not have since we were both little. Not only do she and I favor, but what's even more exciting is that I think we sound alike! I don't know, I find that comforting.

The last cousin I talked to this pass week didn't even recognize my name when I sent him a friend request on a social network. He thought some random person was going around with his grandmother's name. The name is unusual enough that he knew we had to be related somehow; he just couldn't remember how. And me? I hadn't even known his real name!

To top it off, my brother just got engaged, so I really have to do some heart opening.

It's just amazing the way family works. . . when it works right, I should add. Not only do we share common facial features, there's the common interests. One cousin and I enjoy music and don't mind bearing the cross of genuine leadership (You remember what genuine leadership is, right? Marked by things like integrity, honesty, accountability. You remember all that, right?). Both of us can run hot thinking of the state of Black America; even though, truth be told, once you hold for income, our issues aren't any different from anyone else's.

Another cousin and I are walking similar spiritual journeys.

It doesn't take much to get a laugh from any of'em. The tendency to laugh at the slightest hint of hilarity is something I share with my family. Or, it could be that we all find hilarity in irony. Like, when I hard Bush say that the recent NIE report was reason to use even more "caution" with Iran, I almost rolled into the floor!

Then, there's the automatic genuine concern and interest. "How ARE you?...Well, I'm really sorry to hear your health is that bad. I really am." They ignored the sudden intrusion into their schedules and spent hours on the phone with me. There's the unconditional love and protection. There wasn't any shock that I'd be irate at a cousin's ex-fiance despite not having been in contact with my family for years. Cause, shoot! Family's family, and you just don't let some recreant scrub roll up on fam. Once I heard the entire story, I wish I had been there to stop my cousin on about the third mistake in. (Btw cuz, I'm not really feeling your bff's either! One of them should popped you on the first bad decision. But, no. They just "had you[r] back" right into a disaster!)

Okay, so why have you been reading about my family life? Well, because when family works right, you look out for each other. It's not enough just to be there to jump in to fight for family. Family is supposed to be there to slap you when you need it. Family is supposed to make you graduate high school and go to college. Family's supposed to tell you not to sex everything the moves! Maybe even try waiting for marriage before you have sex, or at least until you can be responsible handle any consequences of having sex. Especially those consequences that get hungry and wake you in the middle of the night. Family's supposed to tell you stealing a car is illegal and will get you jailed.

Right? People who really care about us encourage us to enjoy life to the fullest. They help us turn our potential into reality. They celebrate our success. They celebrate us. And they throw up warning signs when we start heading in the wrong direction.

So, I don't know. At some point in the course of this blog, you can best be believing BushCo will be taken to task. I'm going to find out as much as I can about the health care crisis and candidates' plans to fix it. I'm positively sure something's really gonna get in my craw and I'll have to touch white America up a bit. I guess I just thought it'd be a good idea to reflect on family. How it's supposed to work. Without the abuse and violence, drugs, 25 hour work days and such. With parents being parents and giving their children the gift of their presence. When everyone in the neighborhood is interested in collective success.

Children shouldn't feel it's okay to resort to violence to solve problems. Children shouldn't be embarrassed to be virgins. And, when the state DOES get involved in family disputes, children who have been victimized by parents shouldn't be farther victimized by the system. (Neither should adults, btw.) And for the love of all that's good and holy, QUIT DENYING INNOCENCE TO CHILDREN OF COLOR. Stop charging black and Latin minors as adults just because of some racist notions of accelerated physical maturity.

If you're no longer a child, surround yourself with people who'll support your best. People who'll be around for better or for worse. People who won't eat popcorn while watching you self-destruct. Don't get involved with people who'll eventually destroy you, I don't care what you parents did. Look out for your family and friends. You support others at their best. Don't eat popcorn while one of your friends goes from one mistake to another and another and another. But don't hesitate to offer a bowl of soup, or a couch if the occasion makes one necessary. Don't you be the destructive friend.

So in the end, take better care of yourselves and your families. If you're a single adult, be an other-mother or older brother. Making the human family better starts with making our individual families better.

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This isn't too complicated. If you disagree with me, I'm more than happy to have an honest discussion. I'm quite open to learning new facts and ideas. I'm dying for a conservative to explain their ideas in a sensible way.

But, I do have rules, and they also apply to those who agree with me. They just get the benefit of my already knowing the fact they'll be referring to.

So, here're the comment thread rules:

1 - Use facts.
2 - Refer to policy.
3 - Don't rely on theories and conjectures. Show me how, for example, a public health insurance option will lead to "rationing" of health care.
4 - No unfounded attacks on any entity.

If you break those rules, I will edit your comment to my own whimsical satisfaction.

Lastly, perhaps most importantly, I'm not going to entertain too much pro-white/racism-denying discussion. I want this to be a space to discuss strategies to fight racism, not space where I have to fight racism. I want anti-racists to be able to come here for a mental respite. If what you're interested in doing is attempting to demonstrate the fallacy of anti-racism by repeating the same ole comments and questions and accusations we hear all the time, please do that somewhere else.

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But Don't Jack My Genuis