Prelude: “That’s just my friend”. “Oh, we just cool. It’s not even like that”. Heard those before? Chances are you are in a situationship. An organized arrangement that’s suppose to be a relationship without the complications but always seems to be filled with nothing but them. So much of this new generation seems afraid to be in love. So emotion for a person. Admit, that maybe that person may just be the right one. But for the older generation or those still a little confused, allow me to elaborate……..
We all have that one person of the opposite sex that knows us better than we care to admit. A close friend, an ex, a potential that you were always nervous to pull the trigger on, maybe someone on a social network. But what does our generation do when they are afraid to take a chance on love? They create structured relationships called situationships. The “friend zone” is the most commonly seen variation of a situationship. Where someone puts a limitation on how far a “friendship” can go. Where a person tries to be “just friends” despite every sign that it isn’t a “just friend” relationship. So you try to suppress those sexual feelings, keep those emotions in check. Try to convince yourself that somehow, expanding more on this will ruin what’s already built. But then, in the same breath, say “The Best lovers are also the best friends”. Or that “you have to be friends before you can be anything else”. So how does one decide who can only be friends, and who gets to take the friendship to the next level? But let me continue………
Another commonly seen situationship is between exes who attempt to stay cordial after a break-up. Or try to be “friends” after the relationship has gone the other way. The Quiet Kid has to admit himself that he was guilty of this practice once. Doing the best to try and mask an old relationship as a friendship only to watch it erode and eventually fall to pieces. Too often, many of us believe that those same exes we separated from somehow magically make a 180 and suddenly want what’s best for us. Or we attempt to convince ourselves that they do. Until you talk about that new love interest to them. Or until you disagree on something, most commonly the reason you broke up in the first place. And don’t let kids be involved. That completely overblows it. You try to justify having them around because they are “good with the kid/kids”. That comfort level of how they were gets mistaken for how they are. Emotions are learned and trained. Contrary to popular opinion, they are not natural. A person does not naturally hate just as they do not naturally love. An untrained emotions are almost as dangerous as overtrained emotions. Feeling too much of one way or not enough of another. Emotions Play a bigger part in this situationship than any other one. Because they have history behind them. But it’s one more situationship that go unspoken……
At one point or another, especially in longer term relationships, comes the hardest of the situationships to spot and the hardest to remove yourself from. That moment where it’s no longer a relationship but you still together. Where you only with a person for financial stability, emotional stability, sexual gratification, for “the kids sake”, because you “afraid to start over” or any of the above. These are all examples of situationships. A relationship should be as fresh in year 10 as it is in year 1. Complacency plays a part in why relationships take that turn into situationships, but that’s for another Quiet kid Lecture. Any relationship that is only still a relationship because of what you “used” to do or what that person “used” to do is no longer a relationship. It’s an arrangement. If you only with a person because of sexual gratification or only keep a person around for sex, it’s an arrangement. No matter how many dinners you go on, movies you see, “dates” you try to call it, if sex is always the end result, it’s an arrangement, a situationship. There is a difference between a healthy sex life in a relationship and the after dinner bang in a hotel room. And it’s foolish for anyone in it, not to know the difference. Then staying for the “kids” sake. News flash: Kids in this generation are smarter than we were at their age. They know the difference between parents who generally love each other and those who just deal with each other because the energy is different. And as parents, the vision of what normalcy looks like begins at home. The image of what we portray as life is the first instinct of what kids mold their view of the world from. It’s naive to believe that they don’t know when something is wrong…….
At some point, we have to stop creating barriers unnecessarily and going in directions we know we shouldn’t. We can’t teach the future to think for themselves, if this generation doesn’t practice that same concept. We can’t hang around in a situationship for the gratification of those around us. We only get one opportunity to get this life right. Regardless of your belief on the afterlife, THIS life, as currently constructed, will never come back. Yesterday can’t be done over. And tomorrow hasn’t been done yet. Why not today as satisfying as it can be so that tomorrow can be even more? Tell that person you’ve been keeping out, how you really feel, then move on it. Get out of that situationship that you know isn’t good for you, long-term. The expression “Life is what you make it” couldn’t be any closer to the truth. It’s all in your hands. Until next time…….. Signing off…
Prelude: On December 14th, 2013, I lost a very dear friend. A beautiful spirit. A wonderful young lady by the name of Alyx Fisher. This bright-eyed young lady didn’t smoke, didn’t drink, didn’t swear, went to Church. Did everything a respectable woman was supposed to do. But she wasn’t without her problems. Like most of us, she had her worries. Especially as a single mother of 2 young men. But her worries consumed her, no matter how much she prayed and hoped and waiting, nothing happened. And she despite the support all her friends gave, she still worried. And as she worried, it affected her mentally. And as it affected her mentally, it began to affect her physically. And finally, her body shut down. A beautiful, bright young person, worried herself to death. Now while this wasn’t the primary cause, it speaks to an all-too-familiar yet unspoken plague of our society. Stress and how it can literally destroy us….
We all have our worries in life. Just human nature. From worrying about whether we are doing right by our kids to can we pay a bill to more trivial things like watching a last second field goal to win a game or whether we are in the right outfit for a party. But at what point do our worries mentally begin to affect us physically? Emotionally? What is a healthy amount of stress and what is unhealthy? Well the Quiet Kid has done the research and the following are going to make all of us re-evaluate how much pressure we put on ourselves. I want to start with a number. That number is 93. That is the percentage of Americans who have stated that they stress about at least 1 thing everyday. 93%. The number 1 thing is money. But the second thing on that list is what surprised me. Perception/image was #2. Ahead of family, ahead of work, was perception. What somebody else thinks about them or how they are viewed. I don’t know whether to laugh in amazement or laugh at the disappointment in that type of culture. So I’ll do both. I’m going to throw out a couple more numbers to further open some eyes. What do the 3rd leading cause of Teen suicide, The #2 cause of eating disorders and the #1 cause of depression amongst teens and young adults 15-23 all have in common? Yep, you guess it. Perception/image. The opinions of others. How shallow have we become as a people that what others think about us as individuals, actually can lead us to ruin our own lives? We speak of embracing individuality but yet people destroy themselves living up to someone else’s standards. And main root of this starts right at home. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters. The pressures of some who have to live up to a family name. Or a family image. The pressures of not being able to be yourself because being yourself might conflict with what your family represents. Is this really the world we wake up everyday, proud to be a part of? Is this really what we inspire for future generations? That the only path to acceptance is through the eyes of another? Even in the school of young children. Where the environment is popularity over prosperity. Where the person voted most likely to succeed is often times not the most popular person in class. Even in the modern workplace. Where positions are often based on perception. Where the confidence in a person can change just judging on the image they give off. How do we preach education and image at the same time? Is education somehow more important if you don’t have the image? Is it less if you do? But I’m leaning away from the subject. On to my next point.
The next leading stress cause: The Workplace. And not so much the environment. But, and we have all had 1, that over-demanding boss. That person who expects perfection from you. You can’t be late. You can’t have an emergency. It’s be here and do the job or I will find someone else who will. How do one properly perform under those circumstances? Find the motivation to go to work, knowing that they are one mistake away from being replaced? People who go to work sick, have that fear. People who would collapse on the job rather than stay at home, have that fear. Sure, we all like money. But as a boss once told me, “what good is the money if you aren’t alive to spend it?”. What is risking your life for one day. Depending on your religious or spiritual belief, there is a word that the Buddhists use as a balance of life. Kharma(its proper spelling). The expression that the energy you present is the energy you will receive. Or as modern society has coined it, you get what you receive. Just because one job doesn’t appreciate you doesn’t mean that you’ll never work again. US News and World Report has shown that employees who enjoy the work they do and the workplace are 72% more likely to live healthier lives and be more productive in the workplace. People often ruin their bodies, their minds and ultimately, their lives for places that will continue regardless of whether they are there or not. Now this isn’t to say everyone up and quit their job, but find a field that makes you happy. The great philosopher Alan Watts once stated “If you find something you enjoy doing, and make a passion out of it, you can turn it into a career”. Musicians, Athletes, Actors/Actresses. All career fields that are the result of taking a passion and making it a career. Too many times, as I have been guilty of myself, we break our bodies, and sometimes our spirits, for currency. Material things. And what do we show for it? Is this how we want to be remembered? Too much time making money we can never spend? Let me continue….
I want to address another issue that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. PTSD. For the oblivious, that’s Post Tramatic Stress Disorder. I have seen what this crippling mental disease can do, first hand. Especially to those in the military, who fight the wars that cowards in suits start, wear scars that never heal and experience tragedies they never recover from. Who give the ultimate sacrifice of their lives to return to countries that say once they have stop serving, they no longer matter. No quality aftercare, mental treatments, attention. But this disease isn’t just to the military, but people who live through life-altering events. Near-death experiences, witnessing the death of someone first-hand, the loss of a person. And the disease isn’t the problem. It’s the care these money hungry doctors prescribe. Pills. No one believes in real help anymore. Everything is pills. Take this pill, take that pill. Who said drugs aren’t legal? Just not the drugs that the government can’t regulate. That the insurance companies can’t profit from. The Christian bible speaks of helping thy brother. But where is the help? 44% of Americans either suffer or have suffer from some sort of mental illness triggered by stress. And with over 17 million certified Psychiatrists in this country, it’s no excuse how the number of cured mental diseases is at a record low but the profits of pharmaceutical companies is on record pace. How many serial killings, tragedies, acts of violence of the mentally disturbed could have been avoided by simple communication? Understanding? Instead of the medicated wait-and-see approach? Then blaming it on the medication when it goes wrong. But I get to final point.
People joke about stress. Like its a laughing matter. Like Stress is supposed to happen to everyone. But it isn’t. Stress literally KILLS people. Pride can lead to stress. People being too proud to admit they need help. That they can’t dot alone, because of the “perception” of weakness. Disappointment leads to stress. Stress is all mental. Stress only exists in the mind of the individual. Never put more pressure on yourself than you can handle. Never feel like you have to live up to anyone else’s expectations other than your own. Tomorrow isn’t a promise to any of us, why spend it worrying? If you get another day to get it right, it’s another opportunity to fix it. If you don’t get a tomorrow, you ended your life worrying about something you still didn’t fix. A lot of religious and spiritual people break themselves living up to the standards set before them by somebody else. Your faith and belief in the god in which you believe is YOUR faith and belief. Not your pastors, or bishops, or cardinals, or ministers, But Yours. There is an expression that starts something like “By the time a message reaches from person #1 to person #100, the message has completely changed”. Live your life how you think your God or Spirit wants you to, not what someone else told you it should. The viewpoint of every message is different. Family and friends, don’t feel like you have to be what they want to to. We, as humans, all make mistakes. Make questionable decisions. That’s the glory of life. That’s how lessons are learned. Good or bad. Because the same people who point the finger never like the finger pointed back. We teach the next generation to be Individuals but yet, we ourselves worry of what others think. The Mind is a powerful tool. It controls the body. So many are afraid to talk about how they really feel, what they really think, who they really are, because of others and how they are viewed. The number 1 killer of individuality is opinion. People don’t feel comfortable with themselves because of someone else.
In closing, I leave you with this. If we spent more time worrying about being ourselves and not being what the world wants us to, we could prosper. Live longer lives, be more productive in the workplace, in our personal lives. If we uplifted instead of degraded, put more into prosperity instead of popularity, the things we often stress ourselves physically over, would be obsolete. Stress is the leading cause of Migraine headaches, 4/10 major mental illnesses including depression and bi-polar disorder, and top contributing cause to workplace injuries and deaths, as most workplace accidents are the result of fatigue from stress or lack of attention due to stress. I invite a challenge to us all. If you are that boss at work, try uplifting and being positive to your employees. If you have a friend that feels like no one is there for them or they have no one to talk to, be that person. And be that person in confidence. Not as a gossip piece or as ammunition to use if they ever turn on you. If you are that family member, be that support piece. If you have a gay relative and you have a religious family, remember what the Book says about judgement. It’s not mans place. If you have a relative who can’t get right, who can’t find a way, be that direction for them. Lead them. Show them it’s a better way, and even if it doesn’t work, they know that you didn’t give up on them. Be a better person by being a better person to those around you. And if it isn’t productive to your life or your health than it isn’t necessary in your life or your health.. Until next time… signing off..
In Loving memory of one of my favorite people ever, Alyx. Your fight will never be forgotten. Your words will always be remembered. And your memory will always live in my Heart..
Prelude: The Quiet Kid must first begin with the following: I am addressing this is with full knowledge the everything that follows will fall upon deaf ears. But saying nothing is worse than at least saying something. I realize that as one voice, change won’t begin or end with me. But as a person, who has experienced stereotyping by all races, ethnic groups and lifestyles, the fact that everyone wants equality but don’t realize you have to give to receive has led to the beginning of this 3 part series on Racism, Sexism and Homophobia. Today, we unearth the 5 main reasons Racism won’t go away. Maybe ever….
Nigger. Nigga. That word. I’ve never heard a word so shallow bring such irrelevant emotion out of people. Some unwritten rule that Black people can use it, but nobody can. Or older black people despise it while younger black people embrace it. In the interest of full disclosure, The Quiet Kid must confess. I have used this word at a younger stage in life and have been called this word as a slur. In neither instance, has it bothered me. Words don’t have that power over me. And if someone has to resort to a slur to somehow demean me, I have already won. I’ve gotten in your head, under your skin. You know you couldn’t out think me, or beat me mentally, so you resorted to low ball tactics. So the world have never had any effect on me. While I fully understand the historic context of it, there are many words, events and encounters that have hurtful historical context that don’t seem to have the “sting” of the N word. But while that’s just 1 reason why Racism won’t end, here are the 4 others:
1) Black Comedians.
We’ve all seen a Katt Williams show or a Chris Rock standup special at some point. They all start off with the same dry humor line: “Looks like we got some White Folks in the crowd” as if somehow it’s a spectacle to see people of different races in the audience. Then process for the next hour and a half to toss around the N word every other sentence, mock every social stereotype that exists and then expect everything said to be In jest. Like the saying goes “it’s a little truth in every joke”. But yet when a White Comedian like Michael Kramer or Ralphie May uses the exact same language, the world is up in arms. Boycott this, stand against that. They can’t say that. Geez. Talk about Double Standards. Speaking of double standards, On to # 2.
2) Rap Music/Sports/Entertainment
Again, in the interest of full disclosure, some of my favorite rappers use colorful language. But, again, words don’t bother me. But for every Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, French Montana or anyone that has crossed over into Middle America, using the same language that everyone would protest if Eminem or Machine Gun Kelly used, I find the irony in watching rappers saying “we need to stand together” in cases like Trayvon Martin’s but on the next album will talk about “bussin guns on niggas”. Speaking of Eminem, remember when The Source tried to slander him for using the N word in a 20 year old rap? And people boycotted his music and tried to slander him? But went out and brought albums by Black Artists, saying the exact same thing? Amazing. Then into the Sports world. How many times are athlete placed in a box? A Black Quarterback can only run? A White NBA Player must be a 3 Point Shooter. He’s not a high Flyer. Oh, a Latino Baseball Player? He must be a 30hr, 100RBI waiting to happen. It’s shocking how many times watching sports, Players are put into a box. Same with Actors/Actresses. How only certain roles must be had by Certain Races. When was the last lead black actor/actress you saw in a horror movie? Or the Last Asian actor that wasn’t labeled as the “martial arts guy” in a action movie? Underlying tones of racial stereotypes exist in things that are supposed to be a distraction from the everyday world.
3) Too much Money in Racism.
Think of all the foundations that would cease to exist if Racism actually was stopped? The NAACP, The Rainbow Coalition, All the Black Associations for this and that. All the money those organizations raise “fighting racism and discrimination”. Like War, Politics and anything else that is harmfully divisive in this country, profit is made through pain. It’s how “The Rev.” Al Sharpton has managed to keep his hair black and slicked back all these years. How “The Rev” Jesse Jackson can still afford to keep a private jet. How all these so called “Black Civil Rights Leaders” manage to afford lavish lifestyles. When was the last time you saw any of these “civil rights leaders” in your neighborhood without some mass amount of media coverage. Think they do that because they care? Ha! How come none of them have gone near Chicago, which has the highest African American death rate for males under 21 in the country? Because it’s nothing financially motivated in it. But let a white guy shoot someone black? They are there before the ink has dried on the police report.
4) Affirmative Action.
We all know that little section of a job application that asks Racial Background and ethnicity. Affirmative action served it’s purpose when the opportunities for Minorities were limited in this country. But let’s switch roles for a second. Let’s say Caucasians were in the minority. Imagine going to the same school, with the same grades and applying for the same job as them, and you are passed over because the “law” says a certain number of minorities must be hired. Now, The Quiet Kid is not completely blind. I am well aware of the “good Ol boy” networks that are established where people in positions hire people less qualified because they are friends/family. I, myself have benefitted from such. So I understand why the impression would be that something like Affirmative action would be necessary. But if one wishes for equality, how can you ask to be equal without playing on an equal playing field? Imagine finding out that you were passed over for an opportunity as a result of a numbers game? Just a thought…
5) The Media/Politics
This is by far the number 1 reason Racism in the this country will never cease to exist. It draws too many eyes to the TV. Allows too many closed minded folks to be brainwashed. Every election year, how many times are the words “black vote”, “Latino vote”, “young white votes”, etc mentioned. Why must votes be classified by ethnicity? Why can’t it just be a vote? The Quiet Kid can’t mention how many times he has been approached by people wasn’t and assumed that his political preference is Democratic because the majority of African Americans in the modern day are Democrats. But if people truly paid attention to history, African Americans were traditionally republicans. Listen to Malcolm X’s earlier speeches, in particular, The Ballot and the Bullet lecture. While he never claim outright to be a Republican, he openly and loudly denounced the Democratic Party. Politics are quite possibly the most racially charged arena in all of modern society. While The Quiet Kid chooses to remain politically neutral, both Democrats, Republicans, Tea Partiers, etc, all target certain ethnic groups for votes as opposed to the overall spectrum of the American people. Then the media. The portrayal of all races leads to all the stereotypes Americans have seemed to label to ethnic groups. The Trayvon Martin case with the Ultimate example of Racial Division. The Media drew all time ratings playing the Race card. Instead of the actual tragedy of this case. The local news, also does this as well. Every time a certain crime is mentioned, the viewers already have a image of who or what ethnic group is associated. Whatever happened to non-biased coverage? Speaks to the last point about the all mighty dollar. Too much money in it.
This country, the world, will never be unified because of the amount of profit in suffering. The amount of instant celebrity that comes from division. Nobody is ever born with hate. Especially to a persons skin color. It is instilled in them through music, through TV, through stereotypes. Imagine if that ceased to exist? If minds of all colors could work as one? If only………….
Until next time… Signing off..
– The Quiet Kid in the Corner.
The Quiet Kid choice for Album of the Week
Prelude: Before I begin to ignite this wildfire, I want to preface my opinion with where the origin of my thought comes from. As most of us with access to social media and the internet probably know, about 2 weeks ago, The Artist formally known as Kanye West was having an interview on the Shade 45 Radio Station with Sway Calloway, a legendary voice in the hip-hop community. Upon being asked if he thinks the Fashion Industry is shutting him out, why not start his own line and market himself, the Artist formally known proceeded to belt out a reply for the ages: “YOU AINT GOT THE ANSWERS, SWAY”. The following 3-4 minutes of dialect are the stuff of legend but it led me to think of a very interesting point in my daily life, as well as the life of anyone with children…….
Now for the Gasoline to this wildfire: ARE WE REALLY RAISING OUR CHILDREN FOR SUCCESS IN THE FUTURE? Think about this before loading up on Barbs and Venomous replies. Are we raising our kids for today or for the future? As Kevin Hart would say, let me explain. When all of us were growing up, how many of us heard our grandparents tell our parents that their generation was out of control, lost all values, didn’t know what was good for them? How many of our parents say that about our generation? How many times have we said that about this next generation? See the continuing trend here? This all comes down to a phrase I love to use when describing the future of the human race: Social Evolution. Just like animals evolve so does the environment around them. Survival instincts change, mind sets change. This isn’t to insinuate that we, as a people, are unfit parents. But just asking the question of how do we prepare our kids for a world we don’t know about? We can teach what we know now, how to move and survive in the world now, but what about 5 years, 10 years from now? How many of us will still be in touch with this next generation at 30,35,40 years old? For every teenager, that we can that message through, it’s 100 that won’t receive it. I normally stay away from the religion topic but it fits well here. The practice of what Christianity was in the early Middle Ages, 13 and 1400’s, where the church was the institution for the cities, is not the case now.
The word may not have changed, but the interpretation of it has evolved as people have evolved. Is this to say that parents at that time, somehow failed to instill those values into their kids, and that they failed to instill it in their kids, and so on? Not at all. But at some point, our kids are no longer going to be kids. They are going to make their own memories, own lessons, own principles. It’s kind of like people who have kids and come across an abundance of wealth. It leads to a dividing point. We always say we want the best for our kids, but also want them to understand the value of hard work and effort. Can’t really have it both ways. Food for thought: If you woke up tomorrow, with 100 million dollars, how does that change how you raise your kids? How do they understand hard work, knowing that they have wealth beyond comprehension? Do you not tell them? It leads to so many different scenarios. We learned our lessons through our own struggles, own moments of clarity, own adversity.
While we do our best to tell our stories and live our lives in the hopes they will understand our message, what do they do when we aren’t around? How do we prepare our kids for life without us? How do we prepare them for a world that hasn’t been created yet? Do our parents understand the world today? Did their parents understand the world before them? If they did, would the world be what it is now? Would the morals and fabrics of our society be what they our now? Do we want our kids to be a reflection of us, or be individuals? Because they can’t be both. Do we want them to make their own decisions or make decisions that make us look like competent parents? Because if they do it for us, are they really being themselves or what they want think we want? It brings me back to my preface about the Artist formally known as Kanye West. The character that appears before our eyes is not the person most of us came to love as an artist. The missing factor? His mother. It segways to my thought: Is the person we see now, Mr West? Or was the person we saw before what he thought would make his mother proud? How many of us know people who came up in quality households, with good hard working parents, but became completely different once that element and structure was removed? Just something to think about as we continue to put forth the effort of molding our kids. Are we preparing them for the future in a present world? Today’s tomorrow? Can we prepare them for a world, we don’t even know? Let’s just give that some thought…… Until next time.. Signing off….
– The Quiet Kid in the Corner