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Life's a Mirror Unto Itself
9/14/2016 1:22:15 PM

By Hakim Abdul-Ali

Over the two decades plus that I've been writing this column for "The Charleston Chronicle," I've used many odd words and/or differently concocted terms frequently to illustrate a point. In many ways they signal my rather unique way that I see things.

One such term is "the living process"; words that have significant meaning to me. After speaking to a woman of style last week, I decided to shed some light on why I interject certain catch-worthy words and terms in my writing flow in my columns.

This very classy and stylish sister of color spoke with me and suggested that I write what I'm putting into print now. She and I had a delightful chitchat about life, racism, dealing with certain ethnic "colored" folk of all nationalities and just dealing with one's self. Those are some serious topics to face and deal with if you're honest with yourself and others.

This lady of style was on point in laying the groundwork in testimony that "life is what it is." I concurred with her to the absolute max because she was on target in her analogy, if you choose to accept my agreement in this instance.

I told the sister that everything that she succinctly said and observed about some ethnic "colored" folk, racism and "the living process" was true because "Life's a Mirror Unto Itself." That statement is valid in my thoughts as I write. Is it for you?

"Life is what it is," a phrase I first heard from my son while visiting him in Los Angeles in 1999. He was very explicit in telling me that because he was trying to illustrate to me verbally (and with undeniable reasoning) that you can't change certain folk, even racists and other bigoted folk.

They have to do it for themselves, if they truly and really want to put forth the effort to alter their present behaviors/demeanors for the better.

Somehow, in listening to my son's rap, I saw wisdom in his utterances because he laid the foundation for me delving further into the mysteries of "the (complex) living processes" in more ways than I had previously viewed it.

I shared this thoughtful reflection with the sister of style, and I told her, as I'm telling you, that's "Life's a Mirror Unto Itself" because many times what you see about things and certain global ethnic "colored" folk of all nationalities' views and actions are inherently in a fractured mirror called themselves.

That may a little hard to "process" for some ethnic "colored" folk because they like to throw stones at others, but they never take a introspective look at themselves, which is where the majority of self-deficiencies lie.

To some elite ethnic folk here, life is often a one-way nationalistic mirror, which can be very difficult for some of the world's other globally confused, biased and prejudiced segments to digest at times.

When racism and bigotry are dressed up to be optical political illusions, then life is a contextual one way mirror, going nowhere, except for only some elite or politically connected type folk. Many of stark daily news about certain political candidates' views genuinely mirror my sentiments about that theory without debate.

In reality, life in this phase is the temporary arena we all are passing through as the countdown to death starts with the next moment, and it is not a given certainty for anyone that they'll see the next one.

I told and explained this in-depth to the sister in order to get her to comprehend more fully why I'm always interjecting "the living process" in my opinions because life has become so fragile and priceless in our Afro-communities. Just look at the statistics.

As a Muslim, I believe that life is the special and sacred gift given to us by the Creator Alone, and I have to respect and value that decree. My understanding about "Life's a Mirror Unto Itself " begins and ends with that "processing" because in my heart and soul I deeply believe that there should be more love for "all" Americans and hatred for none empathized coming from the lips of all politicians and elected officials.

When that mirror of equal opportunity for all is truly envisioned as a two-way vision, and not a one way snapshot for only certain hued "colored" privileged folk, then, and only then, will America be what it has commercially claimed to be. I love my country, but we need to seriously look at what's going on in our midst through the prism of actual reality and not through blind sense of patriotism without hype and emotionalisms. The mirror needs polishing in many instances.

If a clear mirror is supposed to be a device, or object, that shows an accurate reflection of what is before it, then, again, how can we call ourselves democratic citizens of the home of the brave and the land of the free if it doesn't reflect that image and reality for all?

Think about this perpetual reality when you look at "the other Black, White, Brown, Yellow and Red" Americas where injustices reign supreme against its so-called people of color.

The painful reality, with its "his-storically" bitter truth, if you're a victim of racial oppression living in an openly divided America, is a despotic, distorted image of dream-like freedom when looking at and into the American mirror of equality. I'd say that it's a mirror divided unto itself. Just look around.

"Life's a Mirror Unto Itself," and, sometimes, what you see and are taught in today's visual worlds of imageries is not what you'd like view and listen to.

The real life mirror replica in our potentially great nation can only come to fruition by the nation morally being about and politically see to it that "wishing for others what we wish for ourselves is the only thing that's visible in our country." In America, when that occurs, then the cherished democratic equality we champion would be a reflective reality (for all) to enjoy and, for today, that's, "As I See It."

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