Monday, July 07, 2008

The Role of Responsibility

Here goes another old entry that I never posted. Why the hell have I been holding back posts? Hmm....anyways this goes out to everybody out there gettin' their grind on...working hard for their successes. Sometimes I know we sit back and ask ourselves "What's the point?" We deal with delayed gratification, lack of reciprocity, naysayers, and haters...but guess what? It all works out in the end. This is for you.

This is also for the people out there that may be blessed with opportunity but fail to work for their graces...learn from this!

Get into it below. I missed you all!

The Role of Responsibility

I was watching the oh-so-eloquent FUTURE First Lady Michelle Obama speak the truth last Sunday at an Obama rally here at UCLA, and she left me with this quote, thoughtfully plucked from the Holy Bible:

- Luke 12:18

This simple quote epitomizes the responsibility that comes with ENTITLEMENT. Many of us have been blessed with a rich family life, money, good friends, excellent educational opportunities, social status, beauty and other physical attributes, athletic prowess, wisdom, courage...the list goes on. Chances are you weren't just born with your graces...they were created by another person's hard work and toil, or another person or entity enabled you to accomplish great things. So many of us have these resources, these tangible gifts, and we fail to recognize or deny the responsibility attached to them.

My belief is, if you've been given something great, or achieved greatness through another's work, it is your obligation to WORK in honor of your graces. Take what you have and magnify it. Work your ass off to be even better. Have something even greater to pass off to somebody else. Serve as an example for those who haven't quite achieved a particular level of greatness.

I say this because I'm constantly encountered with this friction in my life. So many people around me constantly question my endeavors..."Why do you have to do work so much?" "Why don't I see you any more?" "Why don't you think more about yourself?" "How are you gonna find a man if you're always doing something?" And my favorite..."What makes you so damn special?"

Hell, sometimes I even question myself. I have very special people in my life that I treasure as friends, but I yearn to have the closeness and invested time I see in so many other friendships. An active, fruitful romantic life has escaped me for years. I willingly decided to make tremendous sacrifices of my social and personal life for my education...will it be worth it? What if I grow tired of this field or become disillusioned...what do I do then? What if I "miss my man" because I'm focused too hard on my studies and/or burgeoning career? Am I passing up the opportunity to get my groove on on the regular in order to stay focused? Do I risk losing the few real friends I have because they don't happen to reside in the "bubble" I find myself inside so often?

At the end of the day when I'm consumed with doubt or frustration over my current circumstances, I remember that quote: "For he whom is given much, much is expected." Generations of people inside and outside of my family have fought, sacrificed, and even died for me to have a shot at success. My parents may not have had fancy degrees and big-name jobs, but they were gracious enough to provide me opportunities very few in my family have ever received. Although we may not see or even talk to each other on a constant basis, I have a group of friends whom I love dearly and will have my back whatever the circumstances (it's amazing when you have people who you know will catch you when you fall). And now I have mentors and colleagues that AFFIRM me not only as an academian but as a person. They KNOW me, and they actually care about me. They work hard to open up doors and enable my growth.

I'm not gonna my opinion I have it pretty GOOD. Yeah the sacrifices suck ass, but my options are boundless...all that is required is I WORK. So that's exactly what I do. Teaching, learning, writing, speaking, counseling, training, networking, volunteering, arguing, advocating...WORK. Not just for me, but for everybody that helped me along the way. I WORK for everybody that wanted to be where I am, but by chance or fate couldn't get there. I WORK for everybody that said I couldn't make it. I WORK for everybody that discounted my abilities. I even WORK for the young bucks that might need to learn a thing or two in the future.

For all of you out there that aspire to do great things, I encourage you to WORK for your blessings. Leave the excuses at the door and GET IT CRACKIN'. Get into the process and stop obsessing over the final outcomes. Don't worry, you'll get yours when you're supposed to. For y'all that have been blessed, please make them count. Don't rest on your pisses us WORKers off like nobody's business.

I'm done.