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Working Hard
Published:
12/24/2013 3:00:01 PM


By Hakim Abdul-Ali



Life is full of lessons that are taught to the wise in “hue-manity,” if, in many varied scenarios, they’d only tune into the majesty of its signs.

That fact was brought home to me on last Saturday as I was reminded of the significance of what a mighty teacher life’s experiences are in one form or the other. Life is truly one “helluva” instructor, and I ask you to please forgive my usage of the hellish reference.

You see, I was talking to a very enterprising young man, who was recently released from prison, and he out of the systematic work flow, but he wasn’t unemployed. He was what you would call “hustling” in order to survive.

I know that the general norm when you mention the term “hustler,” referring to a “hue-man” hustling to earn a dollar, usually infers participating in some sort of illegal activity. Well, in this circumstance, that’s far from the state of affairs that I’m talking about.

The young man was legal selling goods that he had purchased at wholesale, and he was selling them honestly, trying to earn a little profit by the sweat of his efforts. He was simply doing what he had to do to take care of himself and his loved ones.

I admired this young brother, who has a couple of kids to support, and he was trying to legally make the best of his testing survival mode the only way he honestly could. When we met, he said that he was glad to see me since we hadn’t seen each other in years.

He said he’d met me years before when he was much younger, and he asked me upon our meeting this time to offer a few words of encouragement to him, because he felt he could stand to hear some of my “As I See It” wisdom.

I was taken aback somewhat by his request, but I attempted to engage in some continued banter with this young brother because he appeared to down in spirits.

Since he was doing what he was doing, selling his assorted wares and various holiday trinkets on the street, I mentioned to him that he was doing the right legal thing by honestly “hustling” while he waited for a permanent system job to materialize.

He spoke of his long months of unsuccessful employment attempts and how hard it was for a brother of color to gain employment.

Let’s be real. I told him that job market is hard for everyone, no matter the color of one’s skin, but it’s especially hard for any “hue-man” who’s been incarcerated.

My first thoughts to the brother was that with God Alone’s help, he’d make it through this valley of personal examinations with a greater insight into what he’s made “really” made of.

I told this struggling brother that he’s bigger than anything that he has to face if he puts the Most High Alone where He Alone needs to be. To that I added that, “If the Creator Alone is with you in difficult moments, then who in the world can defeat you.”

That’s what I firmly believe in all circumstances of life’s testing, so it was easy for me to articulate that to this young brother. I told him directly that life is a wise and merciful instructor for the serious student seeker of universal knowledge.

I wholeheartedly believe that there are signs everywhere, and they appear in every form. That’s something I’ve come to realize without much effort as I get older by each advancing second and every fading moment in time.

During our discussion, the young brother and I were interrupted by a gracious sister of color, who purchased a number of items from his portable stand. He said that I must have brought him good luck. Upon hearing that, I told him that God Alone sent the lady to buy his goods, and he must recognize that her appearance was a sign from God Alone.

The young man said “Amen!” to that sentiment. I soon recognized that he was the unwritten face of so many male and female, young and old, “colored” souls from all over the bald eagle’s hit and miss faltering employment landscape, who need to know that they have to “Work Hard” in every way in order to get what they want out of life.

For some unknown “As I See It” flashback moment, I told the young brother about one of the many lessons that Marian Wright Edelman wrote in her book, “The Measure of Success.”

That lesson, one of twenty-five in this 1992 magnificent book, was that “There is no free lunch. Don’t feel entitled to anything you don’t sweat and struggle for.”

Mrs. Edelman’s lesson is one that revived in me what my late mother and father always taught me. If you want anything in life, you must first seek it and then go out and acquire same. That’s what I said to the young brother, who was feeling the impact of what Mrs. Edelman’s evolutionary insight is to a wise thinker of destiny.

I told the young brother said that he has to stay focused on what he wanted out of life and not dwell on present and past negativities. We all need to make that credo a reality in our lives and maybe, just maybe, we’ll be better in the long run of our positive and wishful goals.

As you read what I’m saying, please remember that we’re all in the jailhouse of ignorance if we refuse to recognize that God Alone can, will and does help those who help themselves by “Working Hard” in life for their ambitions.

I believe that the bottom line of what Mrs. Edelman was indicating and what my parents were saying is that, in order to make it in life, you have to take charge of this God Alone given moment by “taking care of business.”

That’s what I said to my young friend as a smile beamed on his face. He said he felt better after our brief rap, and it was what he needed.

I also told him that if read the true scriptures of God Alone, he’d see and understand a lot more about the authentic reason(s) why the Creator Alone put us here and why we must all continue to “Work Hard” in all aspects of our life’s endeavors.

Somehow, I sense that message is sadly missing from the mind-sets of many “colored” folk today, who think they should be given something for free in life. “Nothing from nothing leaves nothing.” Remember what Mrs. Edelman said about there’s no free lunch in life.

So, get busy! Life is a passage of up and down mysteries. Never forget that as you “Work Hard” toward your dreams, goals, wishes and aspirations. If you “Work Hard,” you’ll achieve your objectives and, for today, that’s, “As I See It.”

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