Finally, after much deliberation, procrastination… my book, Imminent Reaping has hit Amazon and Kindle. Imminent Reaping, my first book, is a 45-page short story for now. I am writing this up to a 300-page masterpiece. I hope you all like it, I hope it sells. Anyway, that’s all for now.
I recently gave a speech for our local National Guard unit. I was speaking on toughness, or as the Army calls it, resiliency. In my view… toughness is something that has to be developed. Merriam-Webster’s calls resiliency “the ability to rise above adversity”. How many of you consider yourselves to be tough, or resilient? How many of you honestly can look down at your life and say unecquivocally that you have that trait? In my eyes, we all have it, but in varying degrees. In my case, I had to grow into this. It was painful and took almost 35 years. This is something near and dear to me. I love seeing people “get over”. I am all about “putting people over”. Toughness is a whole hell of a lot more than using curse words, talking loud and being overbearing. Some of the toughest people I ever met were under 5 feet tall, under 100 pounds.
I am sure a lot of you are reminiscing by now, looking at your body, looking at the tattoos, the scars, memories. If you grew up in my era (late 1990s/early 2000s), you can attest to a shift in the overall consciousness of Americans.Seems to be a less confident, less resilient people now. More groupthink, less “rugged individualism”. More victimhood rather than a “can-do” spirit. I will leave you all with this: Do not be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid to be hurt. Never fear anything.
Recently a buddy of mine in the A has been racking up wins. Now, he’s a supervisor at his new job. I am very pleased and proud to know that he is doing great. Add to that, he’s a burgeoning writer. As a friend, I can stand by and watch him succeed (as a fan watches his/her fave sports team). I am proud to know Mr. LeBeau and to watch his development- from ashy to classy. He had been taking quite a few L’s since I’ve known him. Now, I would like to take the credit for his development and his success… I know I’d be lying, and doing that makes for nothing more than being a disingenuous fraud.
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT AN ANTI-WOMEN RANT. THIS IS FOR ALL PEOPLE, MEN AND WOMEN ALIKE, SINCE PEOPLE ARE SCREWED UP SIX WAYS FROM SUNDAY IN THE 21ST CENTURY. I WILL BE VERY BLUNT. THIS ONE IS NOT FOR THE WEAK AT HEART, POLITICALLY CORRECT, PROGRESSIVE-MINDED OR ANY COMBINATION OF THE AFOREMENTIONED.
Earlier this year, I did a story called “How Do You Know Your Worth?”. It was simply my musing on social media memes that “talk a good game” but offer no solutions. Folks always talk about the problem, but never really get down to the task of fixing anything. Like with political people on both sides of the spectrum. Liberals, Conservatives- they all talk but have no solutions (I will get around to talking about THAT on my American Defense Teams blog and repost it here on RnL). The money is not in actual answers. The money is in the pointing fingers, demonizing and destruction of those who are deemed to be “bad” (take Donald Sterling- again, another issue for another time). When I take a look around in our society, I see so much angst, anger and hatred. Yet no solutions. Why? What we been taught over the past six decades by the so-called “brights”, “elites” and all their worshippers/hangers-on that demonstrations, “civil disobedience” is how to affect change. Note that all of that are viewpoints from dictators and despots (how they attained and kept power, mind you). Sociopolitical topics aside, the real point of this article is how does a man or woman determine their worth? It is very simple indeed to determine your worth. The way to do it is:
1) Look at what you are wanting to do in life
2) Look at where you have come from (in my case, I came from the lowest of the low- simply from the bottom)
3) What are you wanting for the future of not only yourself, but for your city, country and for the world?
4) What do you desire in a mate- and what are you not going to tolerate
5) How much value do you put into your time, efforts and ideas/ideology?
6) Who do you listen to as far as life lessons go?
Add all that up (with introspection) and you will have a pretty good idea of what you are, what you want and what your worth is. Sadly today, people do not know their worth. Academia and entertainment has replaced self-worth with groupthink, yearning to belong to a clique, or to be a part of a movement. None of the popular modes of thinking can make up for the lack of self-worth. It’s just not being taught. Social media tends to dumb people down even worse.
Self-worth is just that. The amount of worth and importance you place upon your person, ideas, ideals and everything else that is the intangible part of you. People in this era have either sold out or were brainwashed from childhood to be compliant, malleable sheep who have no backbone, spine or will other than what their masters in the Academia-Entertainment complex tells them to.
Knowing your worth is something that needs revisiting. Knowing your worth is essential in life. The concept of knowing your worth will cut down on most of the relationship ills going on today (SIMPery, women mating and chasing scumbags, etc).
In closing, the reclamation of such things as a spine, intestinal fortitude, will only come with time, experience and struggle. It is part of “the process”. The process of growth, the process of maturation. Knowing your worth is so much more than a social media meme. Knowing your worth is part of a successful life.
I am putting myself out on front street again. Ya’ll know I am not afraid to do that. This pic is of me from 1990 (8th grade). Yes, I was a stuttering, bucktoothed, short kid who lacked the self-confidence to do anything. I posted this on social media this past Thursday for a #throwbackthursday meme. I was a bit embarrassed at first, until God pulled me aside and showed me how far I have come in my 37 years of life. In fact, the past 5 years have more than made up for the previous 32 that came before it. All the things I have conquered through faith, perseverance, diligence and sheer will. The question I pose to all of you is are you still growing? Are you still making strides to BECOME something, someone great? Or are you just wanting to sail through life, make money, have fun, have friends and die? Only you can answer that question. I, for one, can honestly say, though I am just getting started, I HAVE COME A LONG WAY BABY. Never allow yourself to settle for anything less than what you want out of life.
Only through pain, strain, defeat and conflict is anyone ever going to achieve anything worthwhile. Yes, greatness is within all of us, but are you willing to suffer, starve, fight for what you want?
I gotta ask the question here: How many of you have tried getting things done, but could never really enlist the help you needed? How many projects, dreams, hopes and visions go unfufilled simply because people are afraid, skeptical, arrogant, etc. It has happened to me several times. I tend to think about these types of things when I am working, or doing something around the house. It used to KILL me at how folks act. I made sure I got the upper hand, as I do now. The key is to simply lay all that down. I didn’t say I gave up. I didn’t say I backed off of what I was shooting for. I laid the disappointment, the anger down. I laid it all down, and started hitting the books again. I prayed, I got my mind right. Now I am on the trail again. I keep working. Got a new job this past week. I refuse to allow circumstances, people and disappointments get me down and to sour on my God-given dreams. I will never allow that to happen. How many of you have given up on something because everything seemed tough, rough and bad all over? Well guess what- winners never talk about what they are going through. They talk about what they are going to. GET YOUR FIRE BACK. Never allow anything, anyone to dictate what you think. Why would you allow hard times to keep you from what you were put on Earth to do? Why allow someone to steal your dreams? I don’t care how bad things may be. People everyday overcome their obstacles, they climb the mountains and plant their flags. This is exactly what I am doing. This is what I am looking to do. I got my mind trained on it. I think about it 24/7. I challenge each and every one of you to make sure to get you fire back. Get excited about life again. Start setting goals, and stick to them. Make sure you enjoy life, as opposed to merely enduring life. Life isn’t easy. In fact, seems to get harder everyday. All of you gotta commit to victory in life… and to commit to God. GET YOUR FIRE BACK. It’s not too late to see your dreams come to pass.
It’s your boy once again- I must ask all of you to think. Ever feel like you didn’t measure up? Ever felt like a failure? Ever longed for something that you just couldn’t get, no matter how hard you tried? I have had decades like that. Now I am not fishing for compliments or sympathy. I can empathize with anyone who feels like they are “less than”. Frustrating as can be, isn’t it? Entertain the notion that the pain is for your education. I have learned that every betrayal, every setback is the setup for the come-up (thanks, I thought that one up on the fly LOL). I have also learned to desire the pain. What and why in all of God’s green Earth would you want THAT, you may ask? Seriously, check it out. Pain, obstacles and setbacks are a part of life. I understand this is the postmodern era, and we are in 2014, where things need to be as easy as possible. You all must understand that pain, conflict, distress and disappointments are simply a part of life. It’s just a big a part of life as love, food, sex and happiness. In my life, I have seen that pain, struggle is quite harsh. It is necessary. It has served me well. I remember growing up a weak, soft little boy. The hardness of the times I grew up in served only as a catalyst for me to be better, and to overcome every hardship foisted upon me. The hardness of the times I grew up in served to make me more analytical of why things are the way they are. It also made me hungry for success. Remember the article “Loser Mentality” I did around Thanksgiving? Me growing up the way I did, I desired pain and turmoil. Why? So I can say I conquered it all. My challenge to all of YOU out there in cyberspace is to not dwell on your failures- instead, try this: TALK TO YOUR FAILURES, TALK TO THE MOUNTAINS IN YOUR LIFE. It seems crazy, but know this- we as people often form our opinions of ourselves and the world around us from those closest to us, and the dominant people in our lives, whether that be parents, your favorite entertainers, athlete, whoever. Why do you think that there are so many memes and quotes on social media featuring some celebrity (i.e. B-List comedian, political theorist, writer) plastered all over some peoples’ walls? Simply because people are not taught to think critically. What do I mean by critical thinking? Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally. It includes the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking. I have noticed in recent years that most people don’t have this skill, oftentimes going off emotion as the basis of all thought, attitude, etc. Don’t feel bad, I operated that way for years until I knew better. Now what I mean by talking to your mountains is making your words craft the life you want. Do you realize you have the power to create the life you want, simply by speaking it? Ever say something about a situation that you didn’t want to happen, only it seemed to do exactly what you didn’t want it to do? I challenge you to train your brain to have a positive outlook. Don’t like your life? Change it by changing your outlook. Look at what you’re putting in your head- the music, the movies, what you read, etc. Examine yourself. Make it of the utmost importance to destroy any and everything that is potentially holding you back from having the best. If you believe that you have been held down long enough, that you deserve better- give this a try. What do you have to lose?
As stated before, pain is merely a part of life. Bottom line, I wish people would get this. Life is nothing more than a fight. I do these quotes called BATESisms, touching on things in life and the living of it. I had once posted on facebook that ‘life is nothing more than a fight- so hit it in the mouth repeatedly until it submits”. Our society has become so detached from reality, so over-indulged in excess (nothing exceeds like excess), and generally soft by general standards. The “offended card” is overplayed, as our nation has sunk into a nitpicky, politically correct pose. Not much freedom of speech to be had now. I am off my soapbox (didn’t really intend to go there LOL) now.
In closing, I ask you- what’s it gonna be? Life, or a slow downward spiral of pain, shame and hiding from achieving your potential because of the fear of loss, the fear of looking dumb, the fear of rejection? It is time for you to take control of your life.
Webster’s Dictionary says that an obsession is a persistent preoccupation, idea, or feeling. Obsessions can be in a good way, or a bad way. A good obsession is your expression of faith towards your deity of choice, following the doctrines of your religion to a T. A bad obsession is wanting someone’s spouse, and allowing that to dominate your life. In the case of this post, an obsession can and will be used for bettering yourself, versus the opposite, which is wasting your life and destroying your life. So let’s begin. I can honestly say that I am obsessed with physical fitness, obsessed with dominance in all areas of life. I remember when I was younger, I went vegetarian for almost two years. I went from 290 pounds to 160 in 13 months. At times, I had to make myself eat. I became obsessed with physical fitness and making myself better. Unfortunately, at that time, I had an obsession with having people like me (experience has shown me that that is a waste of time), and it killed my motivation. To quote Chappelle, “haters gonna hate”. I learned the hard way that people are a snare to your success. I personally challenge anyone who is unsure of their standing in this world to go be about something- you will instantly start collecting haters (haters are like a combination of remoras on a shark and that white stuff that collect on the corners of your mouth when you’re REALLY thirsty). I simply am aghast when I reminisce on how people act when it concerns approval from others. It is sickening to me- partly because I have come from the background where I was like so many others- a slave to approval, wishing to have everyone’s adoration. THE WORLD DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY. To be obsessed with making yourself better is something that should be prized, something that other people should aspire to, and to admire. Often enough, we sit on the sidelines of life, watching life pass us by as it were another Monday Night Football matchup.
In my humble opinion, there are so many things that need our attention. Bettering yourself. Overcoming obstacles. Doing what’s right BECAUSE IT’S RIGHT, DOING IT THE RIGHT WAY- ESPECIALLY WHEN NO ONE IS LOOKING. That is integrity. That is courage. That is stuff that will never be sold on MTV, or on the internet. The closest thing you’ll get is some comedian making fun of something and all the lemmings laugh, thinking it’s humorous somehow. In closing, I would like to say to all them who are “on the fence” about their lives- just go do it already. You don’t know what is waiting for you on the other side of your doubt. You don;t know what’s waiting for you on the other side of your pain. Dreaming of a better life is one thing. Just don’t let it stay a dream. It’s not a crime to be obsessed about something that is good. It’s not a crime to want to work at something you want more than life itself. Never ever complain about your life that you refuse to change and make better. Other people usually don’t care about what you are going through, or your problems. Most of the time, they are going through some kind of pain themselves. In summation, it all goes back to “your life, your choice”.
Yesterday, I saw a “man” who was insulting everyone. This guy is running around slamming doors, cussing (no typo there), yelling and screaming. I kept myself out the way, as I know how law enforcement tends to act in these types of cases. This guy is a serial drunk, has very little in life other than memories of what he was- or who he thought he was. At times, he seems to be good, but under the smell of alcohol and the appearance of shame- he never has a leg to stand on. I tend to stand back, look and observe. Now, my buddy’s wife tends to run her mouth a lot, and it gets her in trouble. I tell my pal this. He understands he is not responsible for cleaning up her mess all the time,which is why WE left the premises when the ensuing argument jumped off. Two people who swear they are right all the time, don’t know when to shut their mouths- especially during the holiday season, usually equals conflict. I sat back and let them argue (remember this is between a man and a woman). Back and forth for a few hours, me and my pal sat and watched the Knicks and Clippers, occasionally laughing at what was said. It was mostly bluster and swearing on both parts, or “selling wolf tickets”, as we say in the South. It is most apparent that in times like these, that people must remember that this is the type of thing that gets people dead. Somebody takes offense at what is said, and there are no cool heads to prevail. “If they can’t get along, get it on”, as it was taught to me. I see NO problem is this. I personally wonder what would have happened if the dude had went ahead with his threats of knocking the F outta her, and all that jazz. My buddy’s wife ended up suggesting that we go to the back room just to stay out of the conflict. At least she has the balls to stand up for herself, even when she is wrong. As stated before, I have seen her run off at the mouth and later regret it, because her husband was about to beat her. Typical mess.
Some people don’t know when to quit. They run their mouths, always thinking they are right, always coming with criticism. An old Southern colloquialism does this justice. “When you go out in a field with a shovel, you gonna come back with some dirt”. A lot of problems would never arise if people would exercise some caution- as I do. I try to keep “situational awareness” (the ability to know your surroundings, keep cool and execute a well thought out plan in case things get dirty) a top priority. In so many cases, so many times, especially when I was a youngster, I saw so many people smacked up, shot, all because they ran their mouths too much and were proven wrong- and also when some joker ran off at the mouth too much, not realizing they were outnumbered and were handled swiftly. I once was in a situation like that, having to fight off 5 guys- with nothing more than a broomstick. THINK THE KNOCKOUT GAME IS BAD? TRY DEALING WITH IT BACK IN THE 1990S, WHEN MOBS WERE THE STANDARD. I am often regaled with memories of people getting shot simply because they didn’t know when to shut up and let the time pass in various situations. I almost died myself because of that. Messing around with some thugs in Baton Rouge, talking big, with “my nose wide open”, cause that’s how I got down back then. I could have died in the streets that night. I remember it like it was yesterday. All trying to act thug, when the streets were NOT in me. I was reminded of why that was the case. In any case, I was reminded of a LOT during the arguments, especially the mistakes, miscues, misplaced trust, false hope, false thug ambitions, etc.