By Hakim Abdul-Ali
Living in today’s American landscapes of racial, political and societal complexities in many ways is frightening at times, especially if you’re of color. To say that “it is what it is” is to be putting it subtly at best.
Also, I believe that you’ll probably agree that the living process in this nation is wrought with all sorts of pitfalls, ordeals and hurdles and, as such, there’s no way any of us Americans can escape life’s trials by fire. Accept it or not, and like I said previously, “life is what it is.”
That brings me to where I’m headed today, and that’s about dealing with the struggles of life, no matter who you are. During these truly topsy-turvy times that we live in, no one is immune from these grappling inner skirmishes in one’s self which occur within the inner sanctums of our and other global ethnic folks’ mind-sets everywhere. Life is a test.
The living experience is the privileged expedition of a lifetime, and we, the living, may have to go through some deep personal periods of being under fire, or being tested so to speak, because it’s what life is all about life in all of its myriad testing platforms. I think that there are some Americans who forget that, and I trust that you’re not one of them.
Sadly, there are some folk in our nation today who may forget that from the cradle to the grave, life is about constant evolving struggle. The natures of equality and freedom for all in the living process are ones that tests us all to the very maximum of our spiritual, physical and mental capabilities and understandings.
I know this to be true because I’m struggling with some of those issues as I write this piece, but I know that’s what life’s all about. The natural living process is like that as I attempt to move forward, with a positive spin, looking at the present and future here in America in optimistic terms of endearments.
Realistically speaking, I believe that I’ve come to understand that life is full of unexpected challenges galore, so I greet them with faithful exuberance. It has not always been easy but I have come to realize and accept that life is under the Creator Alone’s control, and I know that life’s battles and struggles can only be overcome if I keep the faith and not give into negative situations or cynical folk.
In these politically chaotic arenas of American life, some ethnic Americans fall prey to disbelief and foolishness when it comes to not putting God Alone first in handling their trials in life. These same folk may forget that the God Alone living process has numerous testing hidden corridors of bewildering polarizing complexities at various junctions of their lives testing them in ways they may not immediately know why.
So, listen very carefully today because this is grown folk thinking today, and it’s not for the clueless patriotic faint of heart. No, to the contrary, I’m going to be very frank when I discuss with you about life’s tests and trials, in so many unqualified situations, being nothing short of revealing occurrences which are there for our own betterment. Think!
Many of these situations can (and will) literally make or break us if we don’t get a grip on what God Alone is showing us in making us spiritually solvent beings. The living process is the never ending growth learning period for all of “hue-manity” to matriculate in from infancy to death, so we must comprehend that the living process is going to be a predictable, unpredictable testing rollercoaster ride at times.
That’s what happened recently when I spoke to a young Euro-American guy, who I hadn’t met before, but we became engaged in an off-the-cuff conversation about life-in-general. Somewhere during our chitchat, the young man started complaining racially about this and that and how life was getting the best of him, so much so that he was feeling extremely agitated, depressed and unhappy with America.
As I listened to him expound on what was ailing and making him disgusted with so many tests in his own living equation, I had to politely say to him that life is about scuffling within one’s self, and I meant that from the bottom of my spiritual soul and heart. I related to him that “life is what it is” sometimes, and I (constantly) have to always remind myself, as I was also reminding him, of that in difficult moments of transcendence from one second to the next. Life is an endeavor.
The young man was plagued by a lot of inner fear about America’s racial uncertainty and of his present life’s dismal future as he saw it, and I could sense that by not only listening to him. It was very apparent as I could see it visually in his body demeanor and his overall posture, which showed all signs of being mentally destroyed by outside thought patterns of negativities that were obviously in his mind-set. But he remained civil in our rap.
In many ways, there are a lot of citizens who are like this Euro-Americans, facing life without awareness, faith and hope. I tried to remind the young man that all Americans, regardless of ethnicity, are being put to the tests and trials of life by God Alone in dealing with what’s on their solo plates. He was now thinking.
I sternly told him that no one, and I do mean no one, escapes being tried and tested in some shape, form or manner from the Most High Alone. Life, most significantly, is about understanding that we are not created for any other reason than to be obedient servants of the Creator Alone live in peace and harmony with others. Tolerance has become lost.
I further reiterated to the young man that he definitely was not the only one in present day modernity going through difficulties. A point was made by me to inform him that many, many less fortunate beings than him all over the globe were also going through pressing struggles at the very instance he was pontificating about his struggles of life in America to me. Count your blessings.
Do you feel where I’m coming from? I told him, as I’m telling you, that the living process is not a cakewalk to happiness without going through some sort of struggle in order to reach a comfortable and satisfying resolve that is pleasing to all the hands on deck, especially if you forgive my offhand reference in this case. Life is not fair to some ethnic folk, nor others, in their respective own eyes, but believe it or not, “it is what it is” and unless you get up off your you know what and do something about it, America will continue to be what it is presently.
The American living process, albeit unsavory at times, “is what it is,” and it’s about struggling during, in and on the rough seas of life’s interpersonal waters of dealing with self and others. It can be brutal and heartbreaking at times, especially when misery, bigotry, injustice, and self-hatred crowds one’s personal zones of discontents.
I believe that’s where the young Euro-American was at in his own personal mind spaces, thinking that his view of American life had no meaning. He said for me, as a complete stranger, a Black man and a Muslim, to take the time to respect, listen and talk to him the way that I did about “real issues” was something that he never experienced before because it just never happened before, even when he was in prison.
It was a turning point for me to tell this man that I respected him because we all are Americans with worth and value. I was not fearing him. I only love and fear the Creator Alone. Maybe, we all need to think about dialoguing with one another to resolve some of the real issues that divide us.
Talk ain’t cheap. It’s only “A Thought to Consider.” Give God Alone the glory in all matters, and for today, that’s, “As I See It.”