August 19th, 2008 | By Sonnie Johnson
Once upon a time, there was a girl named Hope. Hope was having a very bad day. She got an A on her Math Test, but the teacher pulled her to the side and accused her of cheating. She got an A on her Oral Exam, but the class made jokes while she was speaking. She was allowed to spend her free period helping in the office, but the kids that were in trouble threatened her for helping the teachers process paper work. She was just having a bad day.
Then Hope goes home. She runs in the house to tell her mother about her day. The first thing her Mother says to her is, “Why didn’t you do something to your hair. You look Horrible.”
Hope tried to explain. “I had two tests to take today and I spent this morning studying. If I had spent time on my hair, I would’ve been late for school.”
Her mother replied, “You think you gon get something out a book? You better make sure you keep yourself up so you can find a Man to take care of you. You don’t want to end up like me.”
Hope was so confused, she to her best friends house. “Why weren’t you in school today? You know you missed two exams.” Hope questioned.
Her Friend answered, “I don’t know why you spend your time in school. I dance three nights a week and make over $5,000. You need to come and work with me.”
Hope couldn’t take anymore. She ran to the local playground. A post up boy saw her crying and approached. He put his arm around her and whispered ‘It’s alright, Ma. Don’t cry. You should be my girl and I’d make sure nobody makes you cry.’
Hope was tempted but she knew better so she continued on. Then she looked up at the Sky and asked Why?
Out of No Where, and Angel appeared. Hope was transfixed in disbelief. “Hello. I my name is Dream and you’re starting to piss me off.”
Hope thought to herself, ‘Oh No. Even the Angel wants to dog me.’
Dream came closer to Hope and began to speak. “Let’s start with your teacher. Did you cheat?” Hope shook her head No. “Then why are you letting her upset you. Does she ever smile? Do you ever see her in a good mood?” Hope shook her head No.
“Let’s move on. What was the topic of your Oral Report?” Dream asked. “How Black People Can Help Other Black People Succeed.”
“Did you believe the words you spoke?” Hope shook her head Yes. “Then you need to get some tougher skin. If you had the same opinion as them, they would probably still ridicule you. It’s not the message, usually it’s more about breaking the spirit of the messenger.”
“Your Mother. She is a lovely woman.” Dream uttered. “She has a job, owns a house, takes care of you, drives a BMW…”
“Yeah, I don’t get it. I study everyday, I teach myself new math, I do random science experiments, all in an effort to be like my Mom.”
“Your best friend is sliding down a pole.”
“Yes and I got Neighborhood boys trying to get in my pants. Do you want to hurt me more by making me repeat this day again in my mind.”
“Honey, Where are You?” Dream smiled.
“I’m in a dirty park, probably losing my mind, thinking I’m talking to a Ghost.”
“You are not in the house putting on make-up, you are not rubbing baby oil on yourself preparing to be groped by random Men; You are taking time to think about Me. Your dreams. You will not lower yourself for a Man because that’s Not what I’m about. You will continue to speak over criticism because My voice is Loud. You will start to SMILE when you face opposition because You’ve seen ME, and you know I’m Real. You will wait for a Good Man because You are Not willing to sacrifice Me.”
“Come with Me Hope, I want you to meet my best friend, His Name Is FAITH.”
Our dreams are never going to appear out of thin air. Our dreams are never going to fight for our attention. “All the world’s a stage, and all the Men and Women merely Players; they have they’re exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his act being 7 ages.” In other words, everyone will play their position. The question then becomes What’s your Position?
This does not just apply to School teachers. This applies to anyone who is supposed to supply knowledge, but takes offense when surpassed. Your Character’s focus should be on inspiration. When did it become more about your pride than their growth? Why try to bring them down a peg or two, when you helped them climb in the first place?
Once again, this does not just apply to ‘Mothers’. This applies to people that have made it, but encourage you to follow a different path. They entered the military as lost souls, found themselves, came back knowing exactly who they are and what they want to be; but will tell you, there is nothing to be gained in the Military. They sacrifice to get accepted to a Great College, then instead of telling that story, they fight for Affirmative Action. Character is built through struggle. They struggle and succeed, then expect you to succeed without the proper sacrifice. Question Motives.
I just have to throw this in. I asked my Cousin; How many people in the hood do think would be good repairing a Helicopter? She laughed and said NONE. I didn’t laugh. I said, “How do you know, when they’ve never seen Helicopter, except flying overhead.” Little Lessons.
These are the Name Callers. These are the ones’ who have nothing to say, but they want to be heard. They don’t want to listen but want your attention when they lay out their excuses. They know that things aren’t good, but they don’t know how to fix it; so They Do Nothing. Except criticize those who make an attempt.
Every man plays different parts during his lifetime, but I’m sure all of us play this part at some point in time. Like that neighborhood boy. He could’ve been waiting for the next basketball game, but because of his location and appearance, Hope could’ve judged him as a Dough Boy. Like the Best Friend. How do we know she was stripping? She could have a part in Musical. She could be skipping school to improve her dance. They hire dancers on talent, Not on Grade Point Average. But the money amount would cause you to assume.
For what ever reason, we all get overlooked. It might be the color of your skin but it also might be the tone in which you chose to speak. It might be the fact that you’re a woman but it might have something to do with the way you carry yourself. It might be because your broke but it might have more to do with your broken spirit showing through. It might be that nobody cares but it might be everyone who does care; you criticize, you ignore, or you just treat as a Forgotten.
I bet you taught this position wouldn’t exist, HUH? You thought it was the imaginary character. The disappointing fact, It IS. The plays that really need these characters find them none existent. The students who would have an excellent chance to excel in college but doesn’t have one person to help get them there. The boy or girl that gets beat up everyday in front of everyone because Gangs have more Respect than Police. The girl that sees a way out of abusive household by having a baby.
Where is their vision of a Dream? Will an Angel appear out the Thin Air and tell them which path to follow? Yes. We are out here, strong. We just haven’t found you YET. But don’t worry; The Calvary Is On The Way. We’ve been through your struggles and made it out. We’ve be judged, overlooked, kicked, then kicked again when we were down; We’ve been criticized, felt humiliated and lost, and scared to move forward. But we won’t stop because we know The Dream is Real. We see it in your need to question. We see it when you stand up when everyone else would have you on your knees. We hear you when you cry out for help. And we are Coming. If we’re not coming fast enough, then seek us out. I know I won’t turn you away, and I’ll assure you, I’m not the only one.
My Favorite Hope
We all have Hope in Us. Most of Us want Good Things for our lives. We hope to get a good job. We hope to find the right mate. We hope all our basic needs as humans are met. But some of Us don’t like the sacrifice it takes to get there. The price is so high, we focus on the negatives and forget about The Hope. When the Hope is gone, We fill the empty space with excuses.
But what if we stopped and looked at the people who were trying to take away our Hope. They say, those who can’t do, Teach. So if you’re surpassing your teacher, do not allow their words to stop you. You will be greater than them and they know it. If your “Mother” is Bitter and Angry because she can’t find a good man, don’t listen when she stakes your future on finding one. If you know some one has no hope, don’t waiver in yours because they insult you. But don’t Overlook them either. That may be the only way they know to ask for help. At least make an effort to be someones’ Dream. If they don’t accept it, Fine. God accepts your actions, not their response.
None of these things would be possible without FAITH. If you don’t have Faith, it’s a pretty safe bet your hopes and dreams are Lacking. Now I Love the Lord, with all my heart and soul, but that doesn’t have to be your source of Faith. It can be your refusal to make the same mistakes as your parents. It can be your acceptance that life isn’t perfect, but if I do right, I’m going to be Okay. But nothing feels better than dropping to your knees, telling God what pains you, and leaving that pain with him. Problems don’t seem that insurmountable. Haters don’t sound that Hateful; more envious. And Hopes and Dreams flood the spaces once filled with pain, then anger, then excuses.
I’m going to Quote Jay-Z. What More Can I Say?