By Hakim Abdul-Ali
Today’s message is one for the “keen eyed” among us. I don’t know if “keen eyed” is an acceptable term in the parlance of today’s Americanisms, but I don’t mind because it’s something that I, hopefully, want to use to get my point across.
Speaking frankly and thinking provocatively as I sometimes do, I’m going to take you back in time somewhat for my current vibes. As you read on, let’s just say that it goes with an undeniable understanding of knowing certain things about today’s “me, myself and I” technological climate.
We all should by now have come to know that the living experience in this phase of existence, as most aware spiritual folk assume, can be gone in a literal heartbeat, if you “truly” know what I mean. I sense that with each current, unfolding moment in time and space, I’ve come to acknowledge that we mustn’t play with each breath we’ve given because the next one isn’t guaranteed.
Having that indisputable understanding and visionary ability is what I believe makes one “keen eyed.” This intelligible comprehension is evident when one, possessing great spiritual vision, knows, understands and sees that being “keen eyed” applies to every aspect of our living experiences, and I do mean “all” aspects.
Being “keen eyed” is seeing things into being or action as my father used to say to me when he was giving me encouragements when things were not clear in my mind and thoughts about certain things. He would say that being “keen eyed” in handling life’s trials, tests and perplexing moments was to use my imagination in seeing things through to their completion, sometimes before they were even attempted.
I thought that I understood what he was saying but I, sometimes, misinterpreted what having imagination and being “keen eyed”’were really about. So, my father distinctly and clearly told me that there was a distinct difference between the two.
He said being “keen eyed” always differed from one’s sense of imagining things, even though the process starts with one’s internal imagination. Before proceeding, I trust I’m not confusing you thus far, but just hold on, and I believe you’ll see the rationale behind what my father was instructing me about in learning about this key facet of achieving things in life.
You see, my father was an artist in his spare time, besides being a very spiritual wise man of color. My father would would relate to me in artistic norms that one’s visionary imagination “only” takes the pictures of things dreamt to be, but being “keen eyed” turns them into the artist’s realities for me or anyone else me who designs items, paints images or construct things from them.
This truly quiet, tall and very reserved bother of color always told me that men and women who are “keen eyed,” and who are also spiritually grounded, are the ones who will be accomplished and do well-meaning things in life. He always said that one trait of positive, competent doers in life is the disciplined way they assembled their ideas and moved ahead with them, never being really being concerned about the naysayers or detractors around them.
To my late father and all achieving men and women of color during his time on earth, they dreamed of things which were fueled by their faith in God and in the ideas in their minds and souls. These intrepid folk of color, unknown and forgotten by many today, are the ones who are the undaunted strivers, who I respect the most because I know whose shoulders I and many others stood upon and nestled on to be who and where we successfully are today.
Never forget that. I don’t as I think of my father and mother, along with all the other mothers and fathers of yesteryear who struggled and worked from early morning to midnight to keep Black America alive and well during their apartheid eras of American History.
Defiantly, they let me know what “Black Lives Matter” really was all about then through their unified ideas and visions of expressing cultural dignity and empowering dreams of liberation as they clearly made being “keen eyed” an understandable necessity for me. If you’re of color, do you “keenly” understand what I’m saying?
I’d like to think so because many folk of color today don’t get what the olden folk of my father’s and mother’s time meant when they used to talk about being “keen eyed” in thinking about loving, respecting and educating your own kind first before you can whimsically talk about loving someone else. Some disillusioned folk of color right now don’t have a clue about what I just offered. Do you?
Listen closely. My father and the Black men (and women) around him in his inner circle, in particular, were the ones who I saw who were very much “keen eyed” because I saw them help one another and not tear each other apart by eating each other’s flesh. Don’t get that expression twisted because I remember as a child one of father’s “keen eyed” buddies, Mr. Ralph, told me that “to eat someone’s flesh was likened to speaking ill of that individual behind his or her back with things you wouldn’t say to them to their faces.”
I’ve never forgotten that, and, sadly, that really is very prevalent in many quadrants of today’s uncaring, gossip tinged living reality existences for so many miserable and lonely ethnic folk. The mounting societal problems facing Black America are so multifaceted until, many times, you don’t where to start in resolving them because of the dearth of genuine “keen eyed” folk among them.
Black America, “his-storically” speaking, as a national entity, has been ostracized for over four centuries but we’re still here, barely serving according to and by the standards of the majority of other ethnic folk’s standards. Think about that factor, even though you’ll probably want to toss up a “few” select names here and there of some who’ve “made it,” but that’s not really being “keen eyed” if the masses of our folk are still deaf, dumb, blind and suffering and having no idea what the word unity really is about. Think about it if you dare?
Please don’t go to sleep with that prior assertion hanging in thin air. Now, please check out yourself, your family, your friends or significant other casual associates and “see” if they are really “keen eyed” about possessing ideas to address and remove some of the many pressing issues that are literally killing our so-called vanishing communities.
For example, are you “keen eyed” enough to actively do something about addressing habitual and nonfunctional politicians’ idle claims, Black on Black crimes, gerrymandering, unemployment, police brutalities, broken homes, corrupt miseducation school systems, babies having babies, high Black male and female incarceration rates, poor education in just about every urban center in the USA. I’ll stop there, but do, or should, l have to go any further?
I don’t believe so because the aforementioned viruses are just a few of the many hazardous and toxic realities that are presently plaguing and affecting us in so-called the Black worlds of today. They are all cancerous to respected healthy, unified Black survival.
“The Virtue of Being ‘Keen Eyed’” should open our minds, hearts and souls in coming together, like the olden folk of color did, in solving our problems of today before they become worse. “For today and always, that’s, “As I See It.”