What’s wrong? You decide

“What’s wrong?”

Truthfully it’s the kind of question that hardly deserves an answer because in our world, shouldn’t the question really be, “What’s right?”

When you view the world in black and white with very little gray in the middle is there really an effective way to answer the first question without bleeding into the latter?

What’s wrong?

Well, the world is wrong. There is too much violence and not enough love and if John Lennon had run for president than maybe we would be driving cars powered by cotton candy and psychedelic dream sauce and our national anthem would have been changed to “All We Need Is Love” because really that is the stuff that makes the world go round.

As history would have it Lennon died a martyr and though his songs live on in theory our reality is the enduring thump, thump, thump of drive-by shootings and campus killings. The relentless fists of bullies on the streets, in board rooms and court rooms where we become slaves to hoods with Tek-9’s and white collar crimes and where one could meet his death for being the wrong color or for not having enough of the right color in his or her wallet.

What’s wrong?

Mixed signals. Tomato – tomatoe. You appease if only to please and yet you give every outward appearance that you aim to displease me by smiling to my face before you sink the dagger in between my shoulder blades with a dull, rusty knife. I wish people would just say what they are thinking and let me make one of two decisions: 1) I like you or 2) you’re a waste of skin. Let’s play nice in the sandbox but make the line visible in the sand and let’s stay in our neutral corners.

What’s wrong?

Quid pro quo. We are so filled with our own self-righteous causes that really the only reason we do anything for anyone anymore is to make sure that everyone knows that we’ve done something good. I’ll scratch your back if you you’ll scratch mine was never a good motto but even more sad is the fact that many people these days are not content with just a little scratching. Some just want the ‘quid’ – forget about the ‘pro quo.

What’s wrong?

Disclaimers. When you preface everything you’re about to say with, “I’m not racist,” or “I don’t want to offend you but…” or “Don’t take this the wrong way but…” If the first words out of your mouth equal a disclaimer than chances are you are everything you say you are not because you took the time to formulate that thought before you uttered the words. Trying to be politically correct still does not give you license and it does not justify your rhetoric.

What’s wrong?

How about being ostracized or criticized for taking a stand? You preach to me about unity with your gospel of lexical ambiguity at a table labeled ‘Equality’ but you make my cheeks burn with your offhanded comments about my predispositions? Why do I shrink from your bitter drink of deceit and the cold main course of hostility you serve with a fresh side dish of incivility? Because you rationalize your ethics while I’m simply trying to live mine.

What’s right? Not a whole lot except the fact that when I wake up in the morning I woke up in a warm bed next to a woman who loves me despite my frailties, infirmities and cynicism and that script is replayed is a good day.

I’m breathing – which is a whole lot more than I can say for the large percentage of the world’s population who wake up with cancer, or with an abusive spouse, or in a cardboard box or knowing that today, like every other day they are sitting under the same sun that warms the face of a few while others half way across the world cower in the shadows of a dictators gun.

I’m blessed and I am loved which is part miracle, part dogged determination. I do the best that I possibly can with each day and if it seems to me like its not enough than I probably didn’t put in the maximum effort that I should and could have.

What’s right?

Knowing that I can be angry at the world at the same time that I realize that the world does not dictate the way my day will be lived, but rather it is determined by the way I live. What’s wrong should always be negated by what’s right.

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2 Responses to What’s wrong? You decide

  1. I’ve always admired your posts but especially this one! Mosdef got the juices flowing in my head about the world we live in. Much alofas!

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