Remember John Singleton's movie 'Boyz N the Hood?' (if you didn't see it, it's on you I'm not breaking shit down for you)
Remember one of the early scenes in the movie where Doughboy's mom is telling him "You ain't Shit, and you ain't never gone be shit" calling him a "Fat Fuck" and carrying on as if he wasn't even her child?
I often find myself wondering (when I watch that movie) how different DoughBoys life would have turned out had his mom just been a little more patient with him and nurtured him like she did his brother Ricky. Would he have taken on a "thug life?" Or would he have sharpened up and walked a straight line?
Well this post is not a movie review but the movie is a great helping guideline for what I want to discuss.
I've been thinking a lot lately about how important words are. Especially words from the people closest to us. Because, let's be honest, those are the words that matter the most. On the playground when dealing with bullies or kids that would tease us, we were taught to respond with "Sticks and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me." Oh how wrong they were. Yeah, it's true, words will never hurt you.... Physically! But words can be a Mother Fucker! I defy any adult reading this to tell me they've never been hurt by what a loved one said to them.
So I started thinking, it's very important that we are more patient with children. It's very important that we nurture them, encourage them and support their dreams. And the more I thought about it the more I realized that we need to carry on that same mindset (obviously not as sensitive) with adults. Words Do matter.
Think about your life, tell me: Do you love your job? Let's say you don't; how hard is it for you to get up out of your bed each morning? You dread the idea of your alarm going off so early, you having to get dressed, commute to work, usually with strangers you can't stand to get to a job you don't like to work with people who annoy you. Am I right?
How great would it be to have someone at your side telling you "Hey, it's just work, be positive, you'll be great, and you look amazing today." Sounds farfetched doesn't it? But is it really? Why does that have to be something out of the norm? I mean don't get me wrong, I'm the spokesman for: "life is not a fairytale, ain't nobody got time for all that shit, suck it up and get to it!" Not realizing that I've been callused because that's how it was for most of us growing up.
Our parents may not have been as harsh as Doughboys mother, calling us names and putting us down, but how often where they more nurturing and encouraged us to reach for the sky passed a certain age? I'm willing to bet not many.
The underlining reason for this post is: in thinking of all this I find myself thinking about myself and my dreams. I can't lie and say that I don't have support from certain people, I might even say many people. But as far as the people closest to me, I can count on one hand the ones who make me feel they believe in me. In fact my brother Rudy is probably the only one (as close as he is) that makes me feel like one day I'll make a career out of my passion.
I remember a time I'd asked my father for a few bucks because I was going to shoot a video for a friend of mine. In his typical fashion he lashed out at me and told me "I'm always hearing you talk about videos and photo shoots, but you never have money!" Implying that I'm wasting my time with a hobby. I'm sure he didn't mean it to be discouraging or mean, but those words hurt me. I also remember a time when someone asked my mom, an earshot away from me "Oh, he's a photographer?" To which my mom replied "Well, that's what he says!" Shit!
My mom has always been my best friend so I got over that quick, however those words really hurt!!
Now this post is not meant to express resentment for my parents, because I know them both very well and I know they only want the best for me, plus I don't resent them. And let's be honest anyone with foreign parents knows the deal. Nor is this post intended to make you feel bad for me, because trust me, I don't need your pity. But I am saying that to say as parents we need to be more nurturing. Not only when our children are babies, but throughout life. Again I'm not saying I need my back to be rubbed while you ask me "who's my baby" (Gross, get out of here) but just because we don't get star stickers next to our name charts anymore, doesn't mean that positive reinforcement isn't appreciated.
We have to be careful of telling our loved ones "You ain't shit, and you never gone be shit!" Because even if you try to sugar coat it, those words do hurt. Think of how your words effect the ones you love. Think of how they choose to carry those words. Think of how long they will carry them. Also think about where your words are coming from. Are you taking your own frustrations out on others?
It's true, I'm only responsible for what I say, not what you take from it, but how often does someone say something and you read deeper into it? Think about what you're saying and what's being taken. A simple "Ehh, whatever" (given the context of course) could be taken for "You're not good enough."
As people we like to carry on with a facade of being strong, and for the most part, I know we are, however it doesn't mean that we can't use a little boost of confidence through words of encouragement. I mean, what could it hurt, right? Support is free!
Stay Up and Stay Tuned