This young sapling that stands next to me, taller than I; but I with more rings, more branches that stretch in various directions, what do I say to him? He stands with me in the same grove, I have seen more sunsets, and I have witnessed more changes in season. He can only be what his DNA is, how can I ask of him what I still struggle to be? How can he define his goals and ambitions, when I, more than twice his age, have not attained my own? What does he see? Is he looking towards me or is he looking to the horizon?
Does he know to check the wind and the season, so that the seeds of his ambitions find fertile soil? Is he checking before he releases, so that the grove stretches to heights and distances that he can only imagine? So what do I tell him? Do I say it with a beat; do I give it a rhyme or make it street? I’m not quite old school, I’m not Hip Hop, but I want him to see that there is something beyond right-now; there is something different than what is popular. What I want him to see is what is sustainable; what is legacy; what truth is; and what love is.
The battle scars that he gets from trying to change people’s minds and opinions are worth the bloodshed of his emotional tears. Worth it, so that his name and accomplishments will be remembered; so that those who look like him and want to be him, those that follow in his footsteps know what path to take; know what the appropriate season is.
You don’t have to have music or a fad to get someone’s attention, at times people will be slow to follow. Be diligent about what you nourish yourself with and you will grow tall, you will grow strong, you will provide shelter, you will provide wisdom, you will be a beacon, you will be a guide-point, because you will be there in that same grove. From that same grove you can reach many horizons.
What I See!!
I’m not quite old school, I’m not Hip Hop, but I am a part of rap. So he stands tall, wonder how and what his goals should be, should I emulate what I see on television? He comes from seeds, I’m not gangster, I’m not a thug, he can’t change his DNA, and he can’t change his skin color. How do I tell him that he will always be faced with the challenge, that his color defines people’s perception of him without knowing him. That it’s more than one battle, it is a lifelong war, to move to challenge, to conquer, but to conquer with love, and appreciation of those that went before you and those who are to follow. Do not go it alone, but find some other warriors, some other soldiers who will stand by your side. Warriors that understand that the rhythm, of what he sees I have already seen, but since I’m not Hip Hop, I’m not Old School, I have to tell it in a rap. No music playing in the background, but there is a beat, there is rhythm. I do I make it prophetic, do I use metaphors, because there is a vernacular of what he is accustomed to, what captures his attention. Do I quote the existentialism: of “I must find a truth that is true for me . . . the idea for which I can live or die” from philosophers like Kierkegaard and Nietzsche. What about Chomsky, Shakespeare, Biggie, Tupac. Do I want to be poetic, and at the same time prophetic? Am I trying to entertain him or share some wisdom?
What he sees is no different; it’s just from younger eyes