I'm baaaack! And to be very honest, I wasn't planning on returning. I felt like my thoughts weren't worth writing anymore. My ideas? No longer valuable. My blog had no direction in my eyes - then I realized my life has no direction, therefore, my work will obviously reflect my sporadic and quirky lifestyle choices.
One choice that has been haunting me all summer, is my willingness to give. I'm always willing to listen when another needs to talk, refrain judgement when one wants to be themselves, provide feedback when asked, etc.
Furthermore, I was giving pieces of myself to pure strangers - giving directions around a city I was still unfamiliar to to tourists underground, allowing people to have one of my metro card swipes in order to reach their destination, giving the rest of my latte to someone thirstier than myself.
Giving, giving, giving... and eventually I had no more to give. Not even to myself.
Wherever I turned people were looking for my time, or my money, or whatever I had that they didn't. But there was no reciprocity.
None. Nada. No Ma'am.
Now, it's not like I do things because I'm expecting people to return there favor, but something has got to give, no?
It's like, I want to be a good human, but people make it so hard. I believe that we all keep putting out nasty, hateful vibes so why not at least try and be a good person?
Here is where we need to understand that reciprocity is not required.
RECIPROCITY IS NOT REQUIRED
Do good, be good. But do so with no expectations and really make sure you're in a position to give. It's okay to be selfish sometimes.
Once, I was walking around 14th St. on free Slurpee day with literally no money in my pocket waiting to catch the L train to go to work when this homeless man asked me for money. To which I replied, "I'm sorry, I can't".
First of all, why am I sorry? Why are we apologetic for circumstances outside of our control? And quite frankly, don't concern us?
But I digress.
This man then screamed at me, "How you BLACK and can't help a BLACK man out, You a traitor. You a damn traitor"
At this point, I almost questioned my loyalty to my race, but to what do I owe this loyalty? Do I owe you my hard earned dollar because we are both black? Is this how reciprocity works? I don't know. Not to mention, you have all this pent up anger within that was used to insult me, so I'm not sure how to proceed with whatever inkling of remorse I may have had for you.
I say all of this to say that I can be very conflicted sometimes in this journey called life. I really want to turn cold sometimes, but we can't do that. The world is literally turning to shit. And people are, you guessed it, shitty. So, be a better person. It won't be easy AT ALL. But as long as you know that reciprocity is not guaranteed, you'll be able to act with no expectations from the jump.
It's okay. Be good on purpose.
producer / writer / artist