By Hakim Abdul-Ali
A few weeks ago I wrote an article called “Suicide and Lessons Learned”. The article was and is self-explanatory, and I’ve been blessed to have so many folk reach out to from beyond The Chronicle’s zip code to thank me for putting into print my vibes on that all-too-real issue.
Everyone seemed to tell me that they knew or suspect that someone in their worlds of existences fit the descriptions of what I was alluding to that seminal article. No one is beyond being tested is my overall and enduring understanding of being tried by life’s daily happenings.
The living process is rough enough when you’re thrown a curve ball of feeling like you’re out of sync and no one is there for you or even seems to care. There are a lot of us “hue-mans” floating about in the atmosphere who are harboring those kinds of thoughts.
This piece is written now because a young soul, who I know, was thinking about doing something crazy to himself because he thought no one cared about him. We talked and he asked me to write this so that others, who may be out of sync, will get back in sync soon enough with their real selves and enjoy the more positive dimensions of their lives’ evolving cycles.
This young soul’s courage in facing his hard times has influenced me tremendously because he’s a sign from the Most High Alone that we all can play a part in helping one another when our lives appear to be out of sync as they surely will get from time-to-time. When that happens, it’s time to put on “The Brighter Upside of Yourself”.
It seems that many local and out of state folk approach me asking questions about this or that, and I oblige them whenever I can because I’d like to think of myself as a people person. We all, who are breathing and existing in the here and now, need someone at various times in our individual and collective lives to listen to us, or to just be there for us.
Listen ethnic America, there’s much wisdom in the old adage that “a friend in need is truly a friend indeed”. Just take a stone cold moment in time to digest the brevity of that statement and tell me how many friends call you count on one hand or furthermore really, really depend on when times are shaky?
While you’re trying to solve that quantitative algebraic question, I’ll offer mine with simple completeness. I don’t have that many who are true friends, but I know of a million so-called distant acquaintances or lack thereof. Sounds familiar to you too? I thought so and I’ll move on to my next point.
Life is nature’s best teacher in so many norms, and it’s that way because the living process has revealed many things about many folks via their body languages and other notables, etc. to us all that should have let you know who really is there when you need them. So, I’ve learned to be very careful who I call a friend, and I believe that you should too.
The reggae superstar Bob Marley is purported to have once said, “The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.” Think about that now as you loosely consider who you label a friend (?), and please know that shouldn’t be camouflaged by fake smiles and the like in making a decision who call a friend.
Remember, and this is key, that “smiling faces, many times, not sometimes, tell lies galore”. If you comprehend that, then you know also that life is viewed exactly as what it is to the random and careless thinker in the living process, with no exceptions to the rule.
That’s where the young soul was who reached out to me was at in his mindset, and I thought of what Bob Marley allegedly said. He listened intuitively and he thanked me for always taking the time to check on him, his whereabouts and how he was doing because it meant so much to him, and for the first real time in his life, he felt that someone cared about him.
Listen carefully, I was taught a long time ago by my parents that everyone has value in life, so don’t undermine any of God’s created beings. I believe that, and I also know that no one is perfect, a thought I shared with my young friend.
This young soul reached out to me needing a kind word or two for what for him was a rough day (or more), and for him that made his life seem valueless at certain points and venues. In many nondescript ways, with no age variant, we’re all probably like that to some degree of intellectualism in our daily tasks of dealing with this and that as they appear on our circadian plates.
I, again, related same to the young soul, and after hearing the rather low energy coming from him, I merely said rather matter-of-factly to him, “You need to get a brighter upside of yourself going.”
I don’t know if it’s remotely grammatical correct or not, and I don’t care, but that’s what I told this young soul because his normal spirited energy wasn’t there. This young brother asked me what I meant by that statement, to which I said with a little bit more clarification, was that he needed to uplift his spirits and let his light shine bright even in the dimmest of life’s moments and trials because it’s all a test.
Do you know where I’m coming from? Have you ever been feeling so low that, at times, all you ever wanted to was reach out and touch a friendly voice or persona just to help you connect to reality, and that soul was nowhere to be found? Did I hear you shout, “Hello?”
In many ways, as think back on why I wrote “Suicide and Lessons Learned”, I know that it was so very, very important to let that young soul know that I’d be there if he ever needed an ear to call on because young and old souls both are going through inner and outer turmoils, so it is important to comprehend why it’s necessary to reflect “A Brighter Upside of Ourselves” in trying times because “thoughts are synonymous to actions”.
It takes wisdom in handling life’s burdensome ups and tedious downs with full spiritual comprehensions. Not everyone in “hue-manity” is ready to deal with those dilemmas reasonably because “misery loves company” as the olden ancestors would tell the young.
They also taught that “so as I think, there go I”. That makes wonderful sense because it definitely reflects “A Brighter Upside of Ourselves ” when we don’t let the small stuff get to us. So, I don’t because I know what is, simply is, because it’s nothing but a test, and it doesn’t define who I am or can be.
The young soul heard me rattle this off to his ears, and he said he understood where I was coming from. I told him that he’s not alone in what he’s going through because he was being tested by homelessness, but he must keep his head up and put “The Brighter Upside of Himself” forward for all to see.
As I said, he asked me to write this and I’ve obliged, but the greater message is that we all can make a difference if we only reached out and touched our families and friends by offering a helping hand to them when in need and by most certainly reflecting “A Brighter Upside of Ourselves” to those who are near and dear to you.
It wouldn’t hurt you also if you shared a little bit of that upside reflection with anyone else in your worlds of existences. They may be in need. Remember what “Suicides and Lessons Learned” was all about. For today and always, that’s, “As I See It”.