By Hakim Abdul-Ali
I had the opportunity to talk to a young Euro-American soul the other day. It was an absolute delight to listen to and to have spoken with him because he was fresh out of prison.
This young man, all of twenty-three-years of age, humbled me because I saw that he had possessed a rare quality, and it was bursting forth from him in full blown dimensions by his every word and actions. You see, he had something in my view that was worth more than all the money in the world.
What he had was a thing called “character,” and it’s something my mother told me a long time ago to observe in certain folk’s words and actions. It’s a unique quality that I’ve tried to observe, as best that I can, wherever I go in meeting and coming in contact with different ethnic folk from all types and religious backgrounds.
My late mother, a renowned and very respected schoolteacher, would tell me that real character in spiritual folk is the sum total, or efficacious worthwhile, of what a spiritual “hue-man,” male or female, has after he or she has gotten everything he or she desired in life. She also added that real character is the sole thing that that a spiritual soul has left after he or she has lost it all.
The young man in question reminded me of that in so many ways because, like I said, he’s been recently released from prison, and he’s very positive in his approach to life going forward. His demeanor and optimistic outlook were powerful to say the least.
Those unprompted vibes brings me to an essential quality that most real folk have and that’s one of soundness, which is how to describe what real folk have—powerful personas. Real character is something that you don’t see too often in many folks today because it’s a missing part of their basic “hue-man” value makeups.
My mother was a very, very spiritual soul who taught me about what it took to be successful in life, and she always never left out honesty, trust and possessing real character as necessary building blocks for it to take place. I’ll never forget that she used to say that real character is evident in the highest degree when times are hard and true friends are nowhere to be found.
She’d emphasize that the corridors of a man’s or woman’s inner character will withstand the most toxic and injurious strikes from their enemies. Mom said that’s where real character becomes strong because one’s true, or real, faith in God comes shining through when one is tested to the max.
The young man I was speaking to epitomized that in words and actions because he most definitely has and had been put through the ringers of life, but he’s not bitter. I told him that some folk may try to pollute his reputation, but if he maintained his faith in the Most High Alone, they’ll never taint or disgrace his character.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t know of any “hue-man” being who hasn’t been tried, tested and put through some wrenching ordeals in this thing I respectfully and loosely refer to as “the living experience.” It’s the nature of knowing that life is constantly testing us all from birth to death.
As I told the young man, don’t let some meaningless folk’s opinions about his reputation be a deciding factor in how he chooses to live his life from now on. No, I told him, as I’m telling you, real character is “really” what makes a man or woman, not his or her reputation.
I owe so much to my parents, and to the hard times in my life, for letting me know what possessing character was all about because I saw it displayed in them, especially in the ways that they interacted with each other and with other “hue-mans.” They weren’t rich or famous, but they were simply tenacious in their faith traditions and in the respect they had for another “hue-man” being’s life and property.
In today’s ever-increasing world of bi-polar political chicanery, rampaging gun violence and escalating broken relationships, I, sometimes, wonder where is the missing real character in the vanishing souls of so many depressed and troubled folk. Think about that before another tragedy hits the airwaves of your television as you try to become immune to the horrors surrounding your unimaginable thoughts.
I told the young man that having been in prison should never define him and to never, ever forget that “this too shall pass.” Life is a test for all, and we all are going to be put through some unthinkable experiences, but like I said before—reputation doesn’t define a “hue-man” being, his character does.
The young man asked me to explain some more, and be in depth, about why I said what I said to him about possessing real character. I related to him that a “hue-man” being’s real character is greater than fame, education, skill, acquaintances or fortune, etc. because you can’t compare apples with oranges.
They are not the same, and there’s nothing that compares to one’s real character—absolutely nothing, so don’t get it distorted. A “hue-man” soul’s genuine and unselfish real character yields timeless dividends, and it makes a man or woman, who possesses this trait, a mighty expression of folk who are about doing good deeds.
That’s why it’s always good to do business with honest and trustworthy folk in the business and political worlds of existences. Oh, do I need to mention that possessing sound character, in seeking, finding and establishing lasting marital relationships is not something to aimlessly dismiss?
I don’t think so because to be straightforward in showing respect for your fellow created male or female soul of creation is a generous display of having spiritual character. And, along with being loyal to God Alone’s covenant of living in a peaceful state of mind is another powerful and fearless example of respecting one another despite our religious, ethnic, cultural and nationalistic differences.
There’s too much blinding hatreds existing in today’s politically charged and subversive apartheid worlds that’s very counter to our own national unity and cementing long lasting respect for every person of color. Sadly, one can never establish nor practice love for all and hatred for none when concealed racist supremacist characteristics are on display.
I told the young man as much, and I told him that he was a good soul, who obviously hated no one because of skin color or religion. He was an intent listener, so I suggested to him to continue to build upon that solid real character that he had and was clearly demonstrating to me and others because it “Something That’s Worth More Than Money.”
We all, including me, need to strengthen our real spiritual characters in order to make America (and the rest of the globe) what it claims to be for all. For today and always, that’s, “As I See It.”