By Hakim Abdul-Ali
Sometimes, in the parlance of day-to-communications, I find myself encountering many different types of “colored” souls of all ethnicities. These are fascinating experiences because I learn so much about others and myself.
Take for an example, last week when I met and became engaged in a brief conversation with a young Euro-American male who I knew. I hadn’t seen him in a few years so we were glad to see each other, especially since he was always a respectful soul in my view.
He said was disappointed because he hadn’t gotten a job this summer and even though various criminal activities beckoned, he said he refused to become involved.
According to him, he wasn’t interested in doing jail time of any sort, and he wanted to joined the military when he graduated from high school.
This young man, like so many other American youth, especially males, are of a vulnerable lot in this day and age of uncertainty. He impressed me with his discipline and future goals, so I told him to not give up on what he really wanted in life, even in trying times.
I told him that I was proud of him for remaining positive, summer job or no summer job, and I wanted him to think of himself as an “A” playa in the game of life.
I use the term “playa,” instead of player because that’s what young folk say in their manners of rapping.
The young man in our past discussions revealed that his father was a convicted drug dealer and was a serving long term jail sentence, and that he was a no factor whatsoever in his life. Unfortunately and sadly, that’s not an unusual occurrence in today’s American familial and societal structures.
After listening to him, I felt that he needed and deserved all the encouragement that I could muster, so I told him about the aforementioned “A” game playa concept that I’d alluded to. It’s something that you may want share and to extend to others, young or old, who maybe in your inner circles or worlds of existences.
You see, in the game of life I firmly believe that you’re in it or you’re sitting on the sidelines. It’s as simple as that, and I don’t think to an independent thinker that sentiment needs further explanations.
In my view, if you’re participating in the survival game of worldly activities looking for accomplishments, you’re in the game of life. If you’re on the sidelines, or on the bench, you’re merely watching, and many are even comfortable being out of the game.
Whereas, a true “A” game playa, is positively active being in the game of life, and he knows that bing involved signals that he is contributing to his personal deeds and goals. I related that to the young man, emphasizing that in the real game of life that there will some ups and downs, so don’t quit or give up when the game of life doesn’t go or turn out how you quite expected it to.
For some reason, as best that I can remember, I told the young man that if you’re in the game of life, you should be participating at a high level and by striving for what you want, you’re rendering service.
I felt compelled to say to him that if you play by the “don’t quit, keep on pushing” rules that governed successful achievers in life, he’d get more pleasure of out being in (and understanding) the real game of life.
A real “A” game playa to me knows that being a bystander in the game of life is why you see so many underachievers in society today. I told the young man to think and to look at all of the bystanders, underachievers and quitters in the game of life who he knew up to this point.
That hit him hard because the way I said it apparently made him think intrinsically. It made him think about all of those unproductive souls in an intense way of looking at what I was offering to him and from a more serious perspective.
These souls are everywhere in your and my worlds, in every culture and in many occupations among “The American People” of today. Some playas are doers and strivers and others are pseudo participants and born again quitters.
I said to the young man that he impressed me as a striver and not a quitter, even though a lot things may not have been going the way he wanted to this summer. I told him to let no one do for himself what he should be doing for himself, and that required possessing a stick to it attitude of not quitting that only an “A” playa in the game understands.
My late father used to tell me as a young boy growing up that a real winner in life is one who never quits, even when things are difficult and unpleasant. He told me that a winner (a legitimate “A” playa) must complete any task at hand in life or be labeled a quitter (a bystander) in the game of life and life moves on.
Being a very religious and spiritual soul, my father, who died in the early ‘60s, would also say to me that a quitter is classified as just that—a quitter.
That philosophy rested in my early thinking patterns, and it still hovers in my thoughts about many things that I became involved in my all of my life’s endeavors thus far. Life moves on.
I continued to encourage the young man, a good soul seeking direction, saying that the worst thing that a quitter, bystander or a bench thinker in the game of life does is to give up because of a few disappointments or trials in life’s ever-evolving games. The terrible thing about a negative thinker is that he or she contributes nothing to the game of life—they are only blank bystanders.
I don’t know if you’ll agree with me or not, but I’m tired of all the negative participants, rappers and playas in today’s life game. These folk produce nothing positively and loan less successfully to winning in the game of life.
Think about what I just said.
Our youth need to see and comprehend that life is a struggle on all fronts for everyone, and that the surest law in the world is the Law of Reimbursement. It’s undisputed rules states that its balanced sense of justice never falls short for the real “A” playas in the game of life. It’s about giving back.
Finally, I explained to my young friend that an “A” game playa in in life knows that if you perform a service, you get back a service. Sounds like Karma to me. So, I believe that if you desire to (or) do nothing in life, you’ll get back nothing. Does that register with you?
In conclusion, I told the young man before we parted, that since time is so short, and each moment is extremely precious, he mustn’t be a idle bystander or a quitter in the game of life. He assured me that he was an “A” gamer.
Are you a bystander or an “A” game playa? Please answer with a purpose to thinking about how we can make our communities, state and nation better.
For today and always, that’s , “As I See It.”