The last couple days have been more of the same of what we’ve grown accustomed to in America. Gridlock in the government. Two opposing sides, digging their heels into their ideals, stubbornly resisting any inkling of progress. I was almost brought to tears when I saw Rep. John Lewis’s speech before the sit-in—tears of pain and frustration at our inability as a people to make our country safer by implementing at least some restrictions on guns in America.
I know my answer: fear. Pretty simple. I hate admitting that and saying it out loud, but it’s real. As I look forward to another day, another month, another year, the one thing I want focus on is accepting my fear and moving beyond it. I want to continue to work on letting go of the phantoms of things that haven’t been because of my fear—fear of judgment, fear of failure, fear of saying the wrong thing, fear of doing too much, fear of doing too little, fear of not being the husband or dad I want to be, fear of not being the man I want to be…so. many. fears. They’re not debilitating fears, but everywhere in my life I can see the remnants of decisions based on fear.
I’m ready to move beyond it.
In my first #nerdlution goal, I set out to write publicly via this blog, every day for 50 days. I found that knowing it was “out there” for others to read and respond to really inspired me to get it done and pushed me in ways I couldn’t have predicted.
I’m in the middle of week three of my second #nerdlution goal—playing my trumpet every day—and I’m finding that I’m more lax with getting it done. I think I’ve only missed three days out of 17, but still, I’m less inspired and I think it has to do with a lack of audience. There’s also the fact that (for me) it’s a harder and more personal goal than writing.
Photo by DeShaun Craddock
Today I read about ?uestlove’s offensive remarks he made while touring Japan. Then I read his statement he posted to his Facebook page addressing it. Maybe I’m biased because I’ve been a fan of The Roots and ?uestlove since I was in high school, but his response was honest and heartfelt, and not some ass-covering, canned PR auto-reply. Here’s an excerpt:
—look. i’m a human being and dumber yet, i’m a public figure. if you’re lucky enough to be either of the aforementioned, then not only should one stay clear of saying or writing hurtful things, one should actively work against feeling comfortable, thinking hurtful thoughts. given that black culture consistently finds itself at the butt end of so many offensive “outsider” jokes, I should be way, way more sensitive (after all, who’s zooming who). I for one, should never allow my cultural bias to take precedence over my “examined life” (clunkers be damned). i know the whole kinder and gentler thing reeks of a self serving political correctness, but eff it, it’s “all me”.
Ahmir Thompson / “Questlove”
Here’s my take:
This past couple years I’ve unplugged from the Matrix. Unlike the popular movie, it hasn’t been so dramatic as joining an underground militia to start a human revolution against machines, but the plot is actually pretty similar.
If you’re somehow not familiar with the movie, the basic gist is that people in the future become slave-batteries, powering machines, and are kept subdued by having their brains tapped into and fed fake realities. It all seems real until you’re unplugged from the matrix and shown a much harsher, but ultimately freer reality; a reality in which you have choice. In my own life, I’ve started focusing on my problems, stopped drinking alcohol, started working on my spirituality, and started realizing that in everything—even how I feel—I have a choice.