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Facing Mirrors
8/1/2013 12:00:26 PM

By Hakim Abdul-Ali 

I hope you’ll bear with me for a quick few. I had to run into my abode, grab my computer and start putting some things down for this article.

I met an old buddy of mine, who I hadn’t seen for a long time a few moments ago night. He’s a local longshoreman and is a very decent and spiritual “hue-man.”

I’ve known casually him for many years now and we generally see each other in passing, but he’s always been very friendly, courteous and respectful to me, and I think that I likewise have been the same to him.

This longshoreman is a person you can’t help but like because he’s got a glowing smile that resonates wherever he goes. It’s a joy to see him even though we don’t run into each other often.

After a good half hour rap between us, he departed on his way as I went on my way, feeling totally rejuvenated and elevated. Soon, thereafter, I came in contact with another uptight and contrary-minded soul, who had the biggest frown on his face, forcing me to regroup my emotions ever-so rapidly.

What a bummer that was and like “Facing Mirrors” of different perspectives, I thought about what a difference a negative soul can have on one’s outlook on life. The upbeat longshoreman, a big man, had an even bigger smile and such a pleasing personality to go with it.

I’m trying to write about that now. Simply, I believe in the beauty of/in a “hue-man’s” face. It “mirrors” life in more ways than one.

Life is rough sometimes for a few “colored” souls, but there’s nothing better in rigid times than to see a sincere smiling face like the one the longshoreman greeted me with. It was authentic and it felt good to see and experience same. There was warmth that I felt.

It seems as though that the most marvelous thing Good Alone created in every ethnic “hue-man” is the face. The life we live, oftentimes, reflects itself in the way we see things. And for sure it’s going to show up on our facial expressions.

I know it does for me, and I have to check myself all the time to smile through the trials and pains that are ever-present in my episodic worlds of existences. No two faces have been exactly alike, except, maybe, in twins.

Many things can and almost certainly will blow your daily good natural high of feeling good, if you let it. Our faces echo so much about us until we need to look in the mirror more closely to see what our souls are revealing about ourselves.

Some folk are unhappy and angry for reasons only known to themselves. Did I hear you say in a low tone, “been there, done that?” Our facial expressions say more about us in more ways than we may think.

I am going to quote my mom once again because she knew what she was talking about when it came to analyzing ethnic “colored” folk. She said that “the face is the revelation of one’s character.”

Now that’s some deep stuff if you think about it for more than a stone, cold moment in time. As surely as the hand, guided by the orders of the brain, clears wide spaces, build bridges and cuts useful shapes from bare rocks, says a lot about “hue-mankind’s” achievements, so does the brain and thought of a “hue-man” carve and fashion daily the secret workings of his/her ideals and purposes into the lines and planes of his/her own face.

Does that make any sense to you, or am I too vague for your present ordinary interpretive thought? It shouldn’t be, because if you’ve read my views in my “As I See It” columns over the years, you know I will make you pause and think about life and its many parodies, real or otherwise. This is one of those occasions.

Thinking about the two scenarios that shaped my thinking for this article, the longshoreman set the right vibe in my head, heart and soul because of the majesty of his facial smile. The other soul, well, you know, sadly, “some folk get it and others don’t.”

That’s not a put down on the other brother because I don’t know what was on his mental plate at the time we met. “Life is what it is,” and it seems as though that we all are going through one thing or the other. I know I am, and if you real, you probably are too.

Still, we should make something positive of our faces and, maybe, our lives will change for the better. If we don’t, I’ll tell you something else my mother used to say about facial negativity and that was, “no one can hide from his or her face, even if they don’t look in the mirror every day.”

I believe that because it doesn’t matter (because) someone always notices you. That’s what happened to me, the longshoreman and the other abstract “colored” soul. So, I say try to make something beautiful of your face.

Remember that wherever you go, you carry your face with you, 24-7, from dawn to night time and back again. Making something positive of your face is also about making something of your character. The two seem inseparable if you ask me because you are what you think.

A face, my mom would say, never lies. Do you agree? Make your face a smiling, cheerful beacon of your inner self just like the one the longshoreman flashed on me the other night.

Try it out for a test run and see how good you feel. Nothing comes to a dreamer but a dream, but this is the real world, full of ups and downs, highs and lows and ecstasies and pitfalls. Life is what it is what is, so know the difference.

Somewhere in my teaching from a long time ago I was taught that the proper study of “hue-mankind” was to “know” a man or woman, but the way to “study” a man or a woman is to study his or her face.

Sometimes, all it takes to understand what I’m saying to today is simply to stand in the mirror before you leave your abode and practice putting a smile on your face. If you leave your home with it in its proper place, I feel reasonably sure that your day will bright. The longshoreman apparently has been practicing smiling and “Facing Mirrors.” Try it! Show your smile. On that occasion, I’m going to follow suit by “Facing Mirrors.” I hope you do too, and for today’ that’s, “As I See It.” 

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