I want you to HEAR my voice as well as take the time to get to know my presence while I speak with you on the last day of Kwanzaa which happens to be on the first day to the Christian New Year 2008. Often when you open up to people, you not only get a sense of a person's strengths but deeply, you sense their weaknesses and insecurities. That might be our way of helping, the nurturing part of our being. Equally, it is our strength to measure our position for dominance and control over people as well. Regardless of the reasons, we use our connection with people to bring them into our fold to build upon our comforts and associations in our communities.
In my past I was brought up to be a strong and self-reliant man. Brought into the world by parents of the 60's where weakness and ignorance of the world was not a prerequisite for survival. I was to be part of a new generation of Black Men to lead a nation in and out of our Civil unrest within America. So with all of my academic achievements, athletic accomplishments, oratory and written skill, creativity and political acquaintances I did not, at one time consider that I would have a flaw in my character. It would be years later that that flaw would be something that would be at the core of my reality. Like the kryptonite to a Superman's weakness my weakness of character would be my Faith.
I found that it wasn't the lack of devotion that I possessed which would be my weaknesses; it would be the blindness within it that would house the possibility to do the most harm to myself and others. I use to covet religion like holy texts locked within the Vatican Libraries for only private eyes to see. You couldn't even speculate about my faith without my cutting you off at the past or to block you from even challenging my beliefs. As I matured, and wisdom blanketed me, I found comfort in the fact that it was this blind faith that caused my energy to block the world from seeing how weak I was. Through my blind faith, I existed as if I was better than all others who did not believe as I did. And that “greater than thou” energy was perceived as supreme strength and not a bullish stubbornness for understanding and or expanding my knowledge of other religions. I also realized that in doing that, I was putting out an energy that was alienating me from the rest of humankind. A world that exist because it’s suppose to.
Where it came from, the knowledge of Self, did not come from a book, Church pew, Rabbi or in deep prayer facing East, It came from a simple act of kindness. I had a stranger who simply bought me a gift and said, "I got you this because you were kind to me." To this day I recall that moment for whatever I said, did or did not do, I realized that my actions for being a Black Man, has the spiritual stuff to heal those I walk in the presence of.
Whenever I talk about this, I find that the Religious All-Rights (The Muslims, The Christians, The Jews, The Buddhist etc.) are quick to claim that it’s though their faith/vision or religious doctrine that you have experienced this “come help us preach the message of (FILL IN THE BLANK)” so that everyone can come over to "our" side of the team. To be honest, it was through my love of Peace; physical, mental and spiritual peace, that I came to this place I am in. It was in heart that I live as I live without a pre-describe blueprint for life and living. In my direct line to a Higher Power I have now come to realize that I live my personal philosophy as a guide for "me", giving me sight beyond common peoples' sight. It’s my personal connection with that Higher Power that I am connected to me, not a “team” or religious tenets. It is when I found out I had open invitations and across the table one-on-one conversation with GOD.
Now don't get me wrong, I don't reject the notion of religion and a Higher Power; the Creator, GOD, I just reject the notion that it is founded here in America and for what matters, in most of the World and reserved through individuals. When your spiritual energy is misdirected here in America, be it mentally, socially, personal or sexually, it would seem that your mind expands to a place of self-seeking and self-serving gratification. How I am today, allows me enough clarity to hear and see manipulation from the top of mountains, seeing from many venues including within my own communities where I finally realized that the energy, my energy, wards off all those looking to possess my weaknesses and turn them into fears, insecurities and possibly hate.
I now see the religious arrogant as nothing more than background static, White Noise that quickly fades into silence. This is my Peace of Mind, in a quiet where I can hear my faith speaking clear and loud and as so, my mind is open for more possibilities and growth.
"Imani (Faith) - To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and the righteousness and victory of our struggle."