Wednesday, January 17, 2007

ungrateful, selfish and lazy

Reflecting on the past week, it being the celebration of the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., I was wondering what has occurred over the years since his death and the civil rights movement. In many respects, things have changed significantly, but at the same time thing have also stagnated. I just look at us today as a people, as men and women that are supposedly the keepers and protectors of our community.

However, it seems as if we no longer value the virtue and integrity affiliated with family values. We have become silent to the things that we ourselves tend to ignore and turn away from. In a letter from a Birmingham jail, Dr. King wrote, “We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people.” I take it he was saying that when wrong and evil things are being perpetrated for people to see at the group and interpersonal level, there is no different than doing bad or being evil and passing by such evil and doing nothing about it.


Today, this stagnation is more rampant than ever. Just today in my neighborhood, the first two stories on the radio were about two men hiring a landscaper to do lawn work and shooting him 5 times in an attempt to steal his truck and the other was about somebody driving their car through Greenbriar mall and dragging out an ATM machine.

These actions tell me that we have a bigger threat to our community than the traditional white man – us. We are ungrateful, selfish and lazy. We think that all that we have should be bestowed upon us whenever we desire such and that it should not require any work or effort on our behalf. We think of ourselves only and do not have the fortitude in our heart to think and treat others as we do ourselves. In many cases, we are mean without first considering being kind. Nowadays, our families, the ones that do exist, have to deal with obstacles such as these that were never magnified as such before.

Individually, we men no longer accept and love and cherish the responsibility of providing for or families, for loving and raising our kids and/or being faithful to our women. In fact, there are some of us who think that just because they got some loot in they pocket and can sing or rap, that such provides them the right to disrespect women and the unit relationships that stabilize our community. The women now are also in concert with such behavior, allowing these men to sway their fancy and relegating them to objects as opposed to vesicles that should be loved, honored and respected. However, such would require work and commitments of the heart to what are right versus what is wrong.

Dr. King also said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. This is one reason I will never allow anyone to silence my voice. I will always feel and be free to say what I feel and express to whomever, as long as it is honest and without a mean-spirit. I will also work hard for what I desire for my family. Some folks think that there is an inherent obligation for being provided for. I do not know where this comes from. I mean if you quit your job, can you actually tell them to keep giving you money for your rent and utilities and club money and they agree to such. Where are we and what have we become? I can only speculate but I do know, as the great man that started this rumination stated, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

55 comments:

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Anonymous said...

Damn, is there any hope? And thats true, no body wants to work for anything, they just want folks to do for them without them doing for others

Nina said...

It is true. I believe the problem is selfishness. I believe that it's selfishness that causes a man to lack the desire to be faithful to his woman. It's selfishness that causes these men to drag their feet in regards to making that lifelong commitment and marrying the woman he does not hesitate to sleep with in the same bed on a regular basis.

There are also selfish women and mothers. These women don't take as much time with their children and families as the women in the past did. This, in turn, leaves any children to fend for themselves, even leaving a lot of them to raise themselves, learning about life from the streets.

So what's the answer to our problems? Well, for one thing, we have to take individual stands for what is right and also do what is right. Don't be ashamed to choose to spend quality time with your families and children as opposed to finding a babysitter and hanging out at the bar or the club.

The answer to the problem begins at home.

Anonymous said...

You forgot greedy, another trait which is extremely prevelent and that drive a lot of people to do inhumane things. Sometimes I watch the news in the mourning just as you did today and I couldn't imagine what it would be like in 30 years for my children. I especially liked that you touched on respect for women. Its funny because I was just talking to a young lady about that last night and what I found out is that because it is so common place for a women to be disrespected they loose self worth. Womens moral and self esteem is at an all time low. So when a man a "real man" treats them with an ounce of respect you get a gallon of grattitude.
And yes today people do think everything is owed to them for some reason or another which makes them lazy and ungratefull for what they have. Some of the worst ghettos here in the states look like condos compared to those in jamaica and many third world countries we have indeed progressed since the passing of Dr king but as you said remained stagnant at the same time. Its kind of a bitter sweet reality that we live in. If its not one thing its another. We can only hope that these traits are not instilled in the next generation of youths and the way we do that is through knowledge as you are doing here. Keep up the good work great writing.

Anonymous said...

It's funny you should lend your pen to this subject as I've lately shared a lot of the same thoughts. I've realized that this day and age selfishness is commonplace. People enjoy too many personal freedoms without any personal responsiblity. Instant gratification outranks any concern for others. It's a sad, sad, world when I find that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find "good" people. They seem to be so few and far between, that the collective voice grows softer and softer. Unfortunately, the "ungrateful, selfish and lazy" come through loud and clear.

JJJ

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with what was said. The younger generation (which I am a part of) doesnt really know what its like to work for anything. They feel as if it should be given to them, or they should just take whatever they want...However, I was brought up old school. I was taught to work hard for any and everything that I wanted to accomplish. As far as the men and women are concerned, they are now more caught up in the streets than ever...instead of doing what needs to be done to raise their children. This is why there is so much more crime and hatred for one another. It is stemmed from the home.

Ladynay said...

I can't do nothing but agree with this post. I nodded through the whole thing.

JD Anderson said...

It's true, we are ungrateful, selfish, and lazy. People of today want instant gratification. They are concern with the feeling you get after you've worked hard, on your own, accomplishing your goal, therefore succeeding. That feeling makes you walk with your head held high allowing your chest to stick out just a little bit further. Media has some blame in this, degrading women, bling, bling, thuggin. Being thought of as a thug at one time was an insult but now it is glorified. I'm not sure when or exactly why the family structure broke down, but Men are lazy because it is difficult to provide & keep your family together. Selfish, by leaving their children behind forgetting them without blinking an eye and taking on another family where the stepchild actual call him daddy. Women are not exempt. Unfortunately the US has too many young mother's who don't have a clue about parenting. And at some point before the child reaches adulthood they want their life back, the life that the child has deprived them of and begin to think that life is all about them.
Spending all extra money on them leaving the child scaps if any. Lazy, because through her selfishness she is not teaching the child what he/she needs to be an asset to himself and society. Ungrateful, she thinks the world owes her because of the hard struggles due to most of her own actions. Sometimes we as a whole think we have some sort of entitlement because of what the white man has done and still doing to us. Put it aside and work for everything you want and don't blame others and soon you will see that ungratefullness, selfishness, and laziness will no longer be words in our voucabulary

Anonymous said...

anonymous...

It is true. I see it across all ethnicities. This sense of "entitlement". I believe the younger generation was given too much too soon. They did not have to work for anything. Part of the problem is the parents.. parents want to be a "friend" to their children and hang out and enjoy life's luxuries. Parents don't want to say "no". Parents want to keep up with the "Jones", providing kids with all the "cool new toys". Not good. This new generation feels they should not have to work too hard, however expect all the luxuries that life has to offer. Selfish, lazy, greedy...wow, where will we be in 15 years. Our generation will be relying on this next generation and we are in BIG trouble. It may be the first time in history that the children are worse off than their parents. I have a 6 year old and keep my focus on teaching her to care for others, to be thankful, and reward her good behavior with "cool toys". I don't just give in to her "wants". I hope it works...

Anonymous said...

anonymous...

It is true. I see it across all ethnicities. This sense of "entitlement". I believe the younger generation was given too much too soon. They did not have to work for anything. Part of the problem is the parents.. parents want to be a "friend" to their children and hang out and enjoy life's luxuries. Parents don't want to say "no". Parents want to keep up with the "Jones", providing kids with all the "cool new toys". Not good. This new generation feels they should not have to work too hard, however expect all the luxuries that life has to offer. Selfish, lazy, greedy...wow, where will we be in 15 years. Our generation will be relying on this next generation and we are in BIG trouble. It may be the first time in history that the children are worse off than their parents. I have a 6 year old and keep my focus on teaching her to care for others, to be thankful, and reward her good behavior with "cool toys". I don't just give in to her "wants". I hope it works...

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