Self-Hate is the worst...

Posted 6/17/2008 by CtotheB in Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Allow me to speak a bit about forming a relationship with God--not to be confused with the religious talk that often confuses, if not deters, folks from getting close with the Creator. I wake up every morning and give God praise for a new day because I know that through Him all things are possible. I give thanks to God because I have life, and that He has allowed me to live in abundance. And I must be thankful for this because to assume that this comfortable life I have been afforded is normal for the millions of people living in this country would be nothing short of delusional. I would be falling into the trap that too many before me have fallen into--complacency. I remember reading on the NAACP's website a quote which was to the effect of more leaders having been eliminated not by an assassin's bullet but by a comfortable paycheck. So once again, I woke up this morning and thanked God for all that He has given me and for never giving me more than I could bear.

Yesterday I began reading Chinua Achebe's timeless work, Things Fall Apart. The story focuses on the life of a man named Okonkwo; a fierce wrestler and warrior whose success is driven in equal part by his desire to be productive and an overwhelming fear of failure. He is a man who cannot honor his father through working hard because his father was a man of leisure. Yet, through all his success and achievement, he could never find rest. His success only created a greater desire to succeed. There was no time (EVER!) to rest upon one's laurels or find comfort in one's ability to provide. In the depth of his being, his facade of strength only stood to conceal his weakness. And his attempts to escape weakness, appear to be an exercise in futility.

I say all this because Okonkwo got me thinking. How many brothers do I know who are attempting to do the same thing? Do we all live with the fear of reproducing the sins of our fathers? When we fail are we merely fulfilling the prophecy that our self-doubt produces?

I did not grow up with my father and I remember one particular instance when I was voicing my frustration to one of my aunts. She advised me to never let my anger become hate because I would "become that which I despise." In essence, all that I could not stand about him would become me. It makes me wonder how many people have become the object of their disaffection and how many sentences of failure we implicitly cast on ourselves...daily?

Lastly, this all makes me think of our race relations in the United States. Does it all boil down to our fear of being that which we despise? Are we afraid that our poor treatment of fellow citizens and malicious forms of prejudice have made us more like the injustices that our America was created in spite of?

Watch a little video clip and see if you feel what I'm sayin'...

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