Honey and Vinegar….
In recent weeks, I have watched what would otherwise be considered successful people, tear others apart, with little side comments that they hide behind with a smile, or an explanation of what they “really’ meant. It dawned on me, that no matter what, there are those who will always compare their success or failure, based on what they see others doing even as they are not willing to take the risks to get there themselves. A young man I greatly admire, called me recently in distress because he was summarily ripped apart for no apparent reason, by one of his peers who had everything negative under the sun to say to him.
I explained to him, that he is young, passionate and hungry enough to be the change most people only talk about or worse,will wait for him to take all the risks then jump aboard seeking the rewards. I know. It is happening to me and with each passing day, I become more annoyed and find myself feeling resentful in ways that is ultimately no good to my own well- being. What is really distasteful though, is the fact he is considered an outsider amongst his own people for daring to be bold, brave and working while others yet sleep. He is also the hue of molasses with roots in another country, which leads me to the ultimate purpose of this blog;
Skin color among people of color.
I am what I would consider to be a dark complected woman, yet not once, in my almost fifty years on this earth, have I felt my hue has been an impediment to my growth. I have not allowed it to be as I consider that to be other people’s problem, not mine and as a direct result, no one has ever made a comment to me like ” you are beautiful for a dark-skinned woman” among other things. I suspect it is because as a young girl growing up, my parents, in particular my father, taught us to love our varying hues and likened us to beautiful trees.. I did not realize what a gift he gave us, until I landed in this country and watched far too many black people rip each other apart, over the very thing we should be celebrating about ourselves. I understood from my impressionable childhood, that my hue is but a small part of who I am, and my soul and heart were going to be far more important in my life’s journey.
It breaks my heart to see a young child with a molasses tone hang her head in shame as she feels the visible and not so subtle stings of not being ” acceptable”, or the honey child feeling defensive about her color and having to define who she may or may not be. exacerbated by all of this though, are the parents. At one point, do we recognize our roles in how our children feel about themselves? It is so easy to walk around with the excuse that the world is cruel but too many among us treat our own children differently depending on their hues. When does it change?
The bigger problem is this; it does not just stop at the hues. we fight about who has earned what over who. Are you kidding me? Happy is the man who works his fingers to the bone for what he is passionate about, he reaps the rewards and apparently, the jealousy. Who stops you from stepping out of your comfort zone and doing what you SAY you are passionate about? Why do you think it is ok to hide behind allowing others to take all the risks to their health, family and well-being while you sit comfortably waiting for a breakthrough you can hitch your wagon to?
When people like this young man put in the work, has the drive and determination to step beyond his comfort zone time and again, often hungry, often worried about how he will survive only to see jealousy coming from all ends, where do we expect him to go? When will we get to a place where we support folks without looking for “what’s in it for me?” When are we going to stop belly aching about the wrongs being reaped upon us and start supporting each other to do what is right?
Honey or molasses is really just a symptom of much bigger issues and we need some fire to our souls to melt our hardened hearts towards each other for no other reason other than we can. The Universe has shown us time and again that we reap what we sow. If you have ever wondered why you are stuck doing the same thing for decades while others are moving along, let me kindly suggest looking at yourself and the intentions you are putting out with your behaviors.
So will you be the honey that flows beautifully and breathes life into others or will you be vinegar that is harsh and strips people to the bone?
Do the work on your soul and the rest will follow.