The one who cares the most wins.
When I was eight years old, a Love Boat episode made me cry.
While none of my family will address the reasons that I was moved to tears (a young kid was arguing with his parents because of a pending divorce and my parents were divorcing around the same time), they all had a great time making fun of me and teasing me.
Many years later, I would be moved by the sight of Jamie Foxx courting Debbie Morgan(on the sitcom Roc).
Foxx’s character, although mentally challenged, knew and wanted love and tenderly went about obtaining it.
In a world that rewards unrepentant stupidity and the belief that thinking is uncool and a waste of time, it is very wise to remember that it’s ok to give a shit and actually care about anything.
As a person committed to his own and the world’s growth and maturation, I often remind myself that change and reordering society always comes about because someone was moved by something that altered the way they saw themselves and the world.
Anybody who takes on social change in any capacity has had their version of the “love boat” emotional response.
Over the years, I have learned that it is not a bad thing to be moved my outside forces and then to take action based on some very deliberate facts and objectives.
Much of my younger years we spent in tears.
When people see little black boys crying, they become angry, confused and agitated.
I am aware that any outward showing of emotion (by a person of color) makes everyone uncomfortable.
The belief is that we are always stoic and emotionless unless we are angry.
With a passionate response to anything, we run the risk of being misunderstood and scaring a whole lot of folk.
We, as black men and men in general are not “supposed ” to be moved or charged about anything.
We can work ourselves into a frenzy before and during the playoffs or the Superbowl and yet are unable to love our gay sons.
We are morbidly afraid of being broken-hearted and since so much of our cultural baggage comes for being broken-hearted and aggressively disappointed, we choose to disengage as an effort to prevent upset and the realization that so much is beyond our control.
Culturally, black men and women have a nomadic history filled with unpredictabilty regarding their relationships, housing, etc. When loving or caring too much becomes a possibility, we often choose the immediate relief of shutting down emotionally.
While this option often leads to predictable and limited results, it does nothing to promote emotional growth or healing.
We are all a part of the broken-hearted club and yet we are rewarded with pretending.
Pretending things don’t hurt like hell when they do.
Pretending that we are not offended by racist and intellectual slights.
Pretending that we neither crave nor deserve true love.
All of this psychological hiding causes some serious mental health issues. There is no way to effectively build a life that can withstand disappointment, anger and resentment if we are unwilling to admit our bruised hearts and minds could use some care.
Many of our broken-hearted are leading countries, deciding who dies if and when wars are started and stopped and what we get to experience, know and see in the world.
These individuals who have limited what either themselves or those around them get to achieve are steeped in jealousy.
This lends itself to the thinking that no one should get too grand or want too much.
As Nathaniel Branden stated “to be miserable is to belong”.
Many of our broken-hearted spend their lives in a state of wanting something that will never happen.
My family will never understand whey things move me so. My family will instead tease me about a perceived character flaw. My family will instead remind me of ways that my version of maleness is lacking.
As a passionate individual who creates art and desperately wants to see the world and its inhabitants think and behave better, it it crucial that I continue to cry and be happy regarding things that move and excite me.
My decision has been based on the great Roseanne and the quote she gives from the Art of War : The One Who Cares the Most Wins.