Saturday, February 07, 2009
Will Mediocrity Always Exist?
I enjoy having my accomplishments recognized, but I despise being labeled a "brainiac" or an "overachiever." Sure, I have an advanced degree, but many people do (in much more rigorous disciplines, might I add). I consider myself a man who is driven to know EVERYTHING about ANYTHING that interests me. Dr. Benjamin S. Carson, author of Gifted Hands and Think Big, calls excessive inquisitiveness "in-depth learning." For instance, when I studied biochemistry in undergrad -back when I dreamed of becoming a physician- I LOVED studying the structures of amino acids (the building blocks of proteins). I became excited when we were taught that genetic substitution of one amino acid for another can lead to the manifestation of diseases, such as sickle cell anemia. Even though I HATED physics, I applied myself diligently, reading the textbook and even working with a tutor. Yes, there are subjects that even I couldn't master. But that wasn't the goal. The goal was the diligent pursuit of knowledge.
So why am I blogging about this topic? Well, I have a lot of family members who, for whatever reason, have not reached their full potential. Consequently, they make excuses for why they work low-paying jobs or never pursued any vocation after completing high school or earning a GED (high school equivalent). Then they look at me and say "Oh, you're just a part of the 'talented tenth.' Things come easy to you." In the words of Della Reese, "Kiss my entire ass!" I truly resent being characterized as such. By the grace of God and my own sheer will, many of the endeavors I have undertaken have been successful, and it remains to be seen what I'll do next (stay tuned, it could be monumental). Maybe I'm driven because poverty left a rancid taste in my mouth. Maybe it's because I viewed education as a means of geographic liberation. Perhaps my sexuality also played a part, as I wasn't out chasing pussy (or dick for that matter). Now, before some anonymous person accuses me of generalizing, I will acknowledge that MANY PEOPLE WHO CHASE PUSSY OR DICK SUCCESSFULLY ACHIEVE THEIR GOALS.
I hate the "savior role" I've inherited. There, I said it. As long as I'm around, people know things will get done the right way. When I set limits or say "no," I'm "mean, selfish, or pompous." Because these words are often uttered by family members, I bite my tongue just a little bit. Ultimately, I believe it is time for people to step their respective games way the fuck up. Go to school! Quit complaiing about how difficult your life was! Stop blaming your parents for the slacker you've become! Take responsibility for the foolish choices you're made! Get off the damn worry wheel! Refrain from accusing foreigners of taking jobs you have not expressed any interest in! Ask for HELP when the load becomes too heavy! Stop GORGING yourself spoonfulls of "I can'ts, "they won't let me's," "I'm too old's" and the notorious "should'a, could'a, would'as." And please, STOP BLAMING THE WHITE MAN!!!! Whew! That was cathartic. I'd probably lose my license if I said half of this stuff to my clients.
Ok, my soapbox has been returned to the closet for today. Gotta get some groceries in this house before I hit the gym. Oh, since today is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, I must get to Decatur and see the AIDS quilt. Thanks for listening.
Y'all know I had to put a little positivity in this blog. Enjoy.
Sounds of Blackness, "Optimistic"