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Views on Views
4/23/2014 3:58:05 PM

By Hakim Abdul-Ali

There are many “hue-mans” who have mixed opinions or varied thoughts about so many issues today until the count list is endless. From blazing current events to fanatical sporting issues to escalating fiscal concerns, everyone seems to have an opinionated outlook about some topic.

I assume that as you read this you’ll probably agree to that because you know that you probably have strong sentiments about many different topics also. Being “hue-man,” you, hopefully, also more than likely feel that your views share validity with anyone who’ll care to listen to your views. That’s life, and such is the case with most people, including columnists and other writers like me, who do this professionally. I respect all readership fans, no matter what their opinion(s) may be of me or my points of view. That’s special territory for me and other journalists because whether you realize it or not, we value all of them.

On that realm, I’m “vibing” on that theme in this positive moment, and I’d like to “rap” today about the topic of “Views on Views.” It’s an intriguing subject matter to deal with, because I believe that interpersonal communication and outward expression are keys to developing respect and understanding between one’s self and other fellow “hue-man” beings. Opinions matter. I’m starting off today’s inquiry with the words of the great “his-storical” philosopher, Plato, who once said “the lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise saves and preserves it.” Now that’s some truly profound “rap” for even the uninitiated thinker to decipher.

Those were some of Plato’s views about his general views on life in general. Did you understand his views? If not, it’s interesting to interpret his hidden message, because you have to put yourself in a cerebral mind-set to be able to understand the bottom line in what this great thinker of European culture meant by uttering that statement. Think about it slowly. Don’t get lost.

While you ponder that reality, let me say emphatically to you that I think that your understanding of Plato’s remarks should help you equate to and to think about he meant by what he said. It also should transplant your thinking sphere to another level and to look at what his views were intended to be understood as he voiced them. Your perspective of Plato’s feelings would correctly be interpreted as no more than your “Views on Plato’s Views” in a rather private understanding of the meaning. That’s how life is as we all view whatever is that confronts our ears and minds from our own interpretive perspectives.

In many ways, effective communicating through interpreting or viewing life’s happenings is probably no different than those folks faced in Plato’s lifetime. Trying to understand each other’s verbal intents without judging in advance what the intent is or was is a daunting task just as it must have been to Plato’s listeners and followers during his life. And most modern junior Plato-like columnist pundits, or professional wordsmiths, share that same reality today, because they want to be entrancing thinkers, who write to shake up the masses’ latent thoughts. This is done to make the listeners (and readers) of modernity think about existing or contemporary concerns that affect their inner lives, communities, nation and the world-at-large.

Do you follow my views thus far?

I hope so because writing for “The Charleston Chronicle” for as long as I humbly have over the last two decades has made me aware that my job, like other the columnists and commentators, is to make you think about life’s compounding concerns and pressing issues. That especially applies to all ethnic groups, but especially to the oftentimes beleaguered thinking Afro-American masses, many of whom don’t read with finite comprehension or discuss with clarity the things that influence their ethnic survival, livelihoods and overall communal spiritual and moral demeanors.

That’s what I think Plato was doing to his constituency during his lifetime. He obviously thought about the condition of his community and electorate, and I’m sure that’s what made some of those folks back then think with profundity about possibly bringing about a better change for his and their nation.

That’s what we should do in the Black community and, in many ways, sadly, we don’t. When challenging writers of today do what they do to remind us of this alarming ailment, I believe that their overall intents are, as they share their “Views on Views” about whatever they feel, to necessarily inform and discuss with the masses things that will make them better in the long run.

Today’s individual and collective conscious body of writers and journalists may do this via fictional and non-fictional books, newspaper articles, poignant essays, penetrating plays or stimulating movies, etc., all of which loans to us an invaluable opportunity to think about life’s realities in some informative format or another.

Being of the African-American Diaspora, and lingering in the colonial wilds of political “his-storical”subdivisions, has always made me think that the only thing that holds “The African-American People” back from fulfilling their utopian concept of freedom and self-determination is themselves. And by this stark assessment, I mean that many of us do not learn from the errors of some of our forefathers’ and foremothers’ past unsuccessful negative thinking patterns.

That wasn’t always the case. The words and deeds of Harriet Tubman, Dr. W. E. B. DuBois, Malcolm X, Frederick Douglas and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., for example, rings out loud in my mind as I view their profound and timely past opinions, analysis and actions with careful reflection and internalized scrutiny. Their views still resonates in my thinking nodule with lucidity long after they’ve left the earth.

Even though those immortal ebony giants thought, spoke and performed legendary acts, their contributions to “hue-manity,” like Plato’s, all began with sensitive thoughts inside their minds, hearts and souls that helped shaped their overall views of freedom, justice and equality for our folk. Never forget that as you view today’s dismal state of most “colored” folks’ mind-sets. Respect is a virtue that many “hue-mans” forget to interpret with clarity.

Think about that for another distressing moment without losing a beat about what “Views on Views” implies as you see another “brotha” or “sista” bite the dust in ignorance and stupidity, destroying any semblance of unity taking place among the suffering Black masses. Remember that some of us in hue-manity are own worst enemies, and we (may) think in self-imposed defeated terms.

Life is a revealing spiritual university where widespread ethical views are taught every second of every day in so many bewildering and exigent ways for the thoughtful and mindful thinker. Living in the 21st Century and learning from each moment in life is another lesson in understanding the Creator Alone’s awe-inspiring spiritual astuteness and meditative signs of revelations.

Keep your view and focus on the Oneness of God Alone and continue to learn from life’s many mundane tutorials. Check out the signs of life that are unfolding right before your very eyes. I leave you with that challenge, and also with a view that’s not from Plato.

It’s simply that, “Each one; teach one.” Enough said. That’s my “Views on Views” and, for today, and always, that’s, “As I See It.”

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