Telling It Is Like It Is

By Hakim Abdul-Ali

I’ve observed that in the living experience there are situations that arise where and when a lot of ethnic folk get tongue-twisted in trying to explain themselves, or trying to attempt to, in getting their point(s) across to others. Hmm! Does that sound familiar to you?

I believe that it should because in all “hue-man” interactions and communications, we all may skip a beat or two in expressing our real opinions about certain issues. Such a case occurred recently when I witnessed a frustrated soul of color, who had literally become tongue-tied in trying to get his point across to another inattentive soul of color.

As I witnessed this long winded one-sided debacle I felt compelled to say later to the frustrated soul that he was wasting his valuable time by speaking to an uncaring and clueless being. I, furthermore, reiterated to the frustrated soul that if he had something to say, he should have made it short and frank.

The frustrated soul asked why I said that, especially, after witnessing his continued angst in trying to “over explained” something to a non-listener, who only half-listened to the frustrated soul’s rather drawn out words. I “paused” and then offered the following.

I spoke to him about what I’ve learned about being frank and being to-the-point in any type of discussion or dialogue. First, I said that one must know that being frank is a speaking art form in  saying the things you “honestly” think (and know) as you exactly think them.

My late father would always tell me to speak directly and to look the other soul directly in the eye whenever I felt that I had something important to say, if not be silent. That’s key because just because you may think or feel that something’s important (to you) to express, it may not be the right occasion to do so. Think!

With that said, and moving forward, I related to the frustrated soul that just as a straight line is the shortest distance between two separate objects or points, so is being very frank in any discussions, which I firmly believe is the correct communication path to take between two “hue-mans.” I assume that position because I’ve learned that in being upfront, when necessary, is the correct communication posture because nothing in speech and time is wasted.

I’ll now reference one of my spiritual teachers who once related to me that a truthful, frank male or female being is the only one who is really worthy of trust. I hold that philosophy near and dear to my heart and soul to this very day. Do you?

Many of you know that decades ago I was once a serious student of the martial arts and my then sensei would always tell me that I should never turn my back on an enemy or foe. He said, “Always look your opponent in the eye because the eyes are mirrors to the soul.”

Again, to the very best of my abilities, I’ve tried never, ever to forget that advice given to me by someone who I respected so much as a very frank soul and an upright teacher. Being frank in speech eliminates a lot of needless, negative feelings in relationships too.

For some folk, living incognito in today’s illusory pretense, being frank may sound like a metaphorical cliché at best. That’s quite understandable because, to many, listening to others is only an opportunity to express concerns about their “me, myself and I” realities, which is what I tried to share with the frustrated soul.

Sadly, many ethnically narrow minded folk in all types of relationships only care about themselves, and being frank and listening becomes tasks not worth engaging in. Those folk apparently only care about themselves, and they literally don’t have the time for others, including you, if this scenario applies to you.

While on the hot topic of being open and frank in relationships, I’ve come to learn also that being frank and upfront is the only way to go. This sensible rule of thumb applies to you, me and others and to all of the ones who are our open enemies or nonchalant admirers.

The genesis of being frank about anything in any dialogue, in any form of communication, rests solely within you and me and no one else. Remember what I previously mentioned about what my sensei said about “the eyes are the mirrors to the soul.” Can you “see” where I’m coming from?

I hope so because by looking into the mirror of the self, it should most definitely reflect that the start of being confident in one’s self is to trust one’s true self and not play games. And that understanding yields mutual trust and boundless self-respect for the self.

I had to extend that to the frustrated soul because I felt that he doubted himself and may have felt that his casual  orations to the very inattentive listener may have been interpreted as crude and trivial opinions spoken and jettisoned to the atmosphere.

To the contrary, by being frank, I related to the frustrated soul was only him coming face-to-face with learning another priceless and immensely valuable lesson in life. And that lesson is that sometimes you (just) can’t talk to everyone because they don’t want to hear what you have to say in the first place. Such is life, and “it is what it is.”

That is a sad tragedy of the living experience that probably has been in existence since the very beginning of time. In saying this to you, as I said it to the frustrated soul, that I’d like you to know that being frank in communication takes courage in speech because it’s an in your face openness of one’s soul, heart and mind that challenges the real you to accept who you are and “to recognize others for who they really are.”

Do you get what I just dropped on your thought waves to, hopefully, comprehend to the fullest? If you do, then you already know where I’m coming from because to be frank and upfront in dialogue is to accept what you have to say as the pure, unadulterated and unglazed truth.

You must know that you can’t change others. So, I’m just “Telling It Like It Is” today in my column, and I also want you to know that the frustrated soul asked me to possibly write what you’re reading now in my “As I See It” mental frame of thinking.

I’m doing so because I know that the living experience is no joke. I, nor you or others, should take this second or the very next fragile moment in life to play or participate in foolish games of pretense with ourselves and others.

We must stand firmly on our respective spiritual principles and cultural heritages of self-worth and mutual respect for others in “hue-manity” in order to be sane and sound. When you do this, I, wholeheartedly, believe that you’ll marvel at the ease with which others will respect and understand you.

Never forget that “to one’s self one must always (not sometimes)  be straightforward and frank. Don’t be a recreant to the true and frank real you. “Speak what you mean and mean what you utter.” Say what you have to say in life with frankness and truthful  clarity because then you’ll be “Telling It Like It Is.” For today and always, that’s, “As I See It.”

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