Have you ever heard someone say that they can’t deal with someone who looks like them, or from their neighborhood, etc… simply because they didn’t get the outcome that they thought they should receive?
“They’re always late. This is why I don’t deal with _____”
“Their prices are too high. This is the last time I’ll buy from any ______ business.”
“Oh, they’re fighting over a parking spot? That’s why we’ll never get ahead.”
Does this sound like you? Do you know of someone who talks in that manner. It in itself is a huge problem. There is a constant comparison in the actions of oppressed people to those who are not oppressed. Oppressed people have limited options and unlimited stress which causes them to respond in different ways than others. Those ways are not always pretty or right, but it is CAUSED BY THEIR OPPRESSION, not because they look a certain way or from a certain area.
You need to have more compassion. Let’s look at these 3 scenarios. (Long Example):
You have monthly disposable income (after all of your financial obligations are met) of $1000.00. You meet a guy who has a great idea for new comic book series. The series will empower oppressed people while offering positive cultural representation. You don’t necessarily love the idea, but you think its cool. He’s looking for people to commit to $10/month to help him create his dream. You think… I have $1000.00/mo, what’s 1% to help this guy? You send him a $120.00 donation to cover the whole year, because you have it to give.
You have no disposable income. In fact, you’re robbing Peter to pay Paul. You get excited to find an extra $10 somewhere. With that $10 of course you buy a couple of beers, or hang out with friends because you need to relieve some stress. You meet that same guy from scenario 1 with the comic books. $10/mo? You don’t even have $10. “Good luck man.” That’s all you can tell him. You have to get to work.
You have a disposable income of $200/mo. It’s not much, but you can have fun when you want and have something for unexpected expenses. You meet that same guy from scenario 1 with the comic books. $10/mo is nice penny. That’s actually lunch, but it really is JUST lunch. You believe in the idea. In fact, you wanted to start the idea, but don’t have the time or extra money. “It’s a stretch man, but I’ll help your little project,” you tell him. He signs you up for the monthly subscription that comes out of your account each month like clockwork. A year goes by, no comic books. You reach out to him to find out that he never raised enough money to fund the entire project. You think, SMH, see that’s why I don’t help people. I could have spent my money somewhere else.
Each of these scenarios are not uncommon. People are a lot eager to help when they have it to give. The guy from Scenario 1 won’t even notice the $10 a month. He likely loses that anyway in his normal spending habits, but some may think he’s a saint. He funds the things that matter and is a much better person that scenario 2.
But scenario 2 doesn’t even have time to dream about spending money on anything that’t not food, shelter and transportation. Sure he musters out some cheap fun time and time again but that beer he’s drinking is really a stress reliever.
Scenario 3 is your regular, run of the mill guy. He does what he can to help, but curses everyone. Had he realized just like scenario 2 that he really didn’t have it to give, he wouldn’t be blaming the comic guy for his failed project. He would have realized that he needed to work on himself to have more disposable income like scenario 2, so that he can fund more projects without even crying over it. Every investor loses money at some point, but he can only understand that if he has money to lose.
When we attack our own people, it takes us that much further from reaching our collective goals. If the cabin pressure loses oxygen on a plane, what do they suggest you to do? Help yourself before helping others. They do not say DON’T help others. They don’t tell you to make fun of others who can’t help themselves. They simply tell you to make sure you’re strong enough so that you can be a valuable asset in helping those around you who may be weak for whatever reason.
Help yourself first. Because we need your strength to pick up what we lack.
What are your thoughts?