There was a story on AOL news today about a recovered car that was stolen back in 1969.
In 1968 this guy was going through a divorce and dealing with other life issues, so he decided to do something nice for himself, to make himself feel good. So he scraped up almost every penny from every asset he had and spent $6,000 on a brand new metallic blue Mustang.
He spent so much of his resources on the car, that he didn’t even have enough left to buy car insurance. 2 months later, the car was stolen on January 22, 1969. And here it is this past week, in 2006, that the car was pulled by customs. It seems some guy had sold it to a collector over in Sweden, and the VIN# came up as a stolen vehicle during a customs check.
When they located the original owner and told him his vehicle had been recovered, he had a word about what the experience taught him,
“It made me believe you can't fall in love with things.”
Ahhh, now THAT’S the lick!!
This is the time of year when we’re all supposed to hold hands and sing kumbayah after we listen to the last 5 minutes of Martin Luther King’s, I Have A Dream speech.
“When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
I guess I just find it kinda ironic the length we go to to have parades and banquets, commemorating the marvelous work that Dr. King did while he was on this earth, but yet so little energy is being put into making that dream he envisioned a reality.
Some folks are kinda mad about it, because they never wanted little black boys and little white girls to be holding hands in the first place and they DEFINTITELY don’t want them getting married! This preference for segregationalism isn’t just from white folks either, it’s a lot of black folks who ‘don’t like race mixin round these parts!’, especially when it comes to their own children.
Racism is still very prevalent and very real here in America. Tavis Smiley has even suggested that it’s our biggest problem even today. But I tend to disagree. I actually think the #1 problem we have in our black communities here in America, is the idolization of things.
People submit their lives and souls to attaining things. Gotta have as big of a house as I can almost afford. Gotta have as nice a car as I can get. Gotta have those clothes, shoes, jewelery and the biggest screen they have available. Gotta have it, cuz I like having things.
Families went from the Cleaver’s, with Ward working and June staying home and keeping the house looking FRESH, to the Huxtables, with both Claire and Cliff working and contributing around the house and now we’re to the point were a lot of families (the one’s that DO have two adults under the same roof) have the woman working and the dude just sitting around the house chilling and playing video games. They’re not necessarily married, more folks are just shacking up or ‘playing’ house.
But yet there is still this love of ‘things’. Status. Respect. Juice.
People go all out to have it. I’ll go into debt, I don’t care, I’ve GOT to be a part of this sorority. I gotta have that brand new 1200 ccc triple titanium driver!! I don’t care if it’s going to put me over my limit on my credit card, I gotta have the top equipment in the game!
Before long you have people working all the overtime they can and even hustling cool cups or selling candy in the hood, just to afford the minimum payments for all these ‘things’ that they gotta have.
Of course, we know that Dr. King was a dapper dresser himself. It ain’t nothing wrong with looking good while you do what you do. But the question comes up, how much of what you do is based on your desire to acquire more things?
Prosperity preachers are prevalent in the hood. Because they know Black folks want to hear about how God is going to break them off a blessing. Our ears itch to hear that. Don’t nobody want to hear about no fire and brimstone, let’s talk about getting paid like Jabez!!
As a people, we have lost focus. We went from being people that helped each other make it along in life, to being people that don’t even speak to each other when we pass by on the street. We went from people praying for each other, to people hating on each other.
We LIKE to see Whitney & Bobby looking throwed off and cracked out, because it makes us feel better about ourselves. “At least I’m not throwed off like THAT n’ga!!!”
So at some point we need to hold up our hand like Neo when those bullets were bearing down on him and we just need to say, ‘No.’ I’m not going togive in to this ocean of hate and prejudice. I’m going to stand up for love. I’m going to fight for peace.
And there’s a lot of different places that people seek their strength to hold on. Some get involved in chanting, burning candles and ritual meditations. Others join one of those granola groups that worship the mother Earth. But I know that all those methods will not withstand the fire. If you really want to be real and dig deep into that everlasting fountain of life and love, then you have to focus on Jesus.
“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help? My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth” – Psalms 121:1-2 KJV
People praise his activities to promote peace, but let us not forget the source of this love and peace that Dr. King had. Dr. King was a Christian, a man who stood up and proclaimed the gospel of Christ. A soldier for the Lord.
Some may decry his extra-marital affairs caught on tape by the FBI and others may point out the charges of plagiarism that have been brought against some of his writings. It is a higher standard of responsibility that the proclaiming Believer must adhere to, because the streets are definitely watching.
Who knows..maybe God would have allowed Dr. King to live longer if he would have assumed a more diligently obedient walk? Maybe God will let us live longer if we adhere to a more obedient walk? It’s not something for us to determine. Man does not own heaven or hell, and we have no control over who goes where. God is the judge of us all.
But one thing for certain, is that neither Dr. King or our Lord Jesus Christ would be pleased to see the state of apathy, hatred and inactivity that our community is mired in today. Either we’re cursing somebody out on the freeway or we’re rolling our eyes and not answering the phone when we know it’s someone in need on the other end.
“I don’t give a f*$k about them! I got my own issues to deal with!!”
Our kids are spending more and more time in daycare and after-hours care, because we’re having to work longer hours at work, striving to get these ‘things’. More time spent with someone who is paid to watch them, versus time spent with someone who loves them.
Dr. King had a dream, but here we are over two-score years later and I really don’t think we’re any closer to living this dream. We’ve lost focus. We’ve gone astray. We’ve put our trust into ‘things’ such as financial portfolios, instead of placing our trust in the Lord.
Dr. King wouldn’t be sitting back chilling and eating bar-b-que on his birthday if he was alive today. He’d be out hustling for the cause, because a lot of those same conditions of the American Negro that he spoke of in that speech in 1963, are still prevalent today. That check hasn’t cleared yet. There are those who have broken free from the rest of the crabs in the bucket, black folks who have gotten educated and gone on to have some things in life that they can pass along to their children and grandchildren. But so few of the ones who do gain financial freedom reach back to help others in need. People with money tend to hang around other people with money.
We may not have as many empty bellies in America, but if you’re pouring grease, sugar and salt down your children’s throat everyday, they might have been better off not eating, when you consider the toll the fast food diet is taking on their heart, liver and kidneys.
Some may ask..”I’m not an activist! I’m just a regular guy who goes to work everyday. What can I do to move closer to the dream??”
- Make the effort to get out and help someone in need. Not just someone with your name or your blood in their veins. Charity may begin at home, but it definitely shouldn’t end there.
- Join a worship community that has community service activities and programs.
- Get involved in helping promote the cause of love, peace and forgiveness.
- Stop hanging around player haters
- Dedicate more of your time to Bible study
- Stop being ruled by things.
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” – Mark 8:36 KJV
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