It’s a beautiful, sunny day and you are going outside to take a walk and enjoy the brush of the heat on your skin. You change your mind, head back inside. Suddenly, you remember that you forgot to take your cell phone with you. But, you want to spend quality time with yourself un-interrupted, like meditate as you stroll around the neighborhood. You don’t want to be reminded of that heart ache you’ve been trying to bury, or that disturbing message you’d received that got you twisted and confused. The back lash from the grapevine!
Instead, you go back inside, grab a bottle of water and sacrificially bury your cell phone inside the kitchen closet and walk out of the door; chin up, chest out, feeling proud of your little courage. You are certainly on a roll! Phew!
Wait-a-minute! ’Congratulations! Awesome bravery…but, for how long?
I remember in 1995 when the song “Gangsta Paradise by Coolio was just released. Every house party in Port Harcourt then played it like they dined and wined with Coolio himself! I didn’t understand the content of the lyrics much, but we all just hummed to the chorus and showed off our hot steps.
Apparently, until much later when I sat down to watch the movie it featured in: “Dangerous Minds” Starring Michelle Pfeiffer as retired U.S. Marine Lou Anne Johnson, who took up a teaching position at Carlmont High School in Belmont, California, in 1989, where most of her students were African-American and Latino teenagers from East Palo Alto, a poverty-stricken, racially segregated, economically deprived city at the opposite end of the school district., the film was released to a mixture of mostly negative critical reception, but became a surprise box office success in the summer of 1995, leading to the creation of a short-lived television series.
At the end of the year, the teacher announces to the class that she will not continue teaching at the school, which prompts an unbridled display of emotion from the students who refuse to let her leave. Overwhelmed, she decides to stay. Hmm! Yeah…’stay back with the same students who had wickedly crawled up her skin into misery! Who does that?
So, our life is filled with twisters – indecisions, contemplating over lifelong struggles, overcrowded schedules, impossible demands from friends and families, unrealistic expectations, emotional bankruptcy, and physical exhaustion. During those turbulent times, how did you handle it?
Growing up, I would run and hide under my blanket or just bury myself in a good book and block the world out until the storm passes over! But now, my blanket is consciously pulled off by my 3 wonderful children reminding me that (1) Homework needs to be reviewed (2) Dinner needs to be served! (3) Mom! life goes on! just step out of that blanket and get-it-together!
So, I have come to two realizations; first, there will always be another storm and second, what I must do is learn how to prepare for storms before they hit or deal with the storm and move forward!
As we approach the end of the year, let’s think back to the past months and review the reasons why we have been stagnant, stuck or suppressed? any reasons why we just need to bury some hatchets and start afresh? Have we embraced solitude after a storm?
‘Are we sincerely seeking God’s face for direction? how about how brave Michelle Pfeiffer was in the movie as she dealt with challenges that made her stronger and daring even at the face of death? Or Coolio’s heart rendering concerns on how we live our lives in false declaration? ‘are we still in tune with personal goals to do better? Are we addicted to social praise? Craving for recognition or acceptance by a confused world itself?
Why do we still always end up hurting each other, with our bashful words and resentful attitude? Even as we portray such magnitude of holiness, while our personal mirror sees us as Pharisees? ‘Aren’t we still living in that hooded paradise? Hopefully, by the time we begin the countdown, our hearts will take us to places our emotions dare to thread; so that our mind, body and soul will be renewed for 2016.
Yours in HOPE as I share one of my favorite Coolio’s music/Dangerous Minds soundtrack: “Gangsta Paradise”