Are You Better Off Now Than You Were 8 Years Ago?

August 25th, 2008 | By

That seems to be the theme of the Barack Obama campaign. So I’m going to do the assessment of myself. Then I hope you can do the same.

On the Inside

Eight years Ago, I got to vote for the first time.

I woke up election morning excited. I was going to vote for Al Gore. He was the Vice President to the 1st black President, Bill Clinton. He was the Democrat. That’s all I needed to know.

I voted for Al Gore, without knowing anything about the Politics that came with him. I’m so ashamed to admit that but it’s nothing but truth here. I’m better off now because I NOW Pay attention to the speeches, the nuances, and judge on my belief.

Eight Years Ago, I lived in Richmond Va.

Now I love my hometown. It raised me; How could I not? But they weren’t Good lessons. Many of my friends were killed, arrested, or drug abusers. Many of my girl friends lived in Public Housing, had multiple kids, and no hope for a future.

I moved away right after I realized I voted for Al Gore. It wasn’t the fact that I voted for him. It came with the knowledge I wasn’t educating myself anymore. When I got out of High School, I let my learning come to a halt. I am better now. I keep my distance from friends and family and I really miss them sometimes; But there comes a time when you have to make a choice to move on. To take the Lessons of the Past and leave the heartache and pain behind.

Eight Years Ago, I thought I would never have a child

Not going to get into the medical stuff but my body wasn’t supposed to be able to handle carrying a child. This really didn’t bother me. I didn’t want any Babies? I planned on getting my money right then adopting big kids. 11, 12, and up.

I’m not going to tell you patience comes with child birth. It doesn’t. It takes time. But I am Better Off. I have that patience Now. But more than that, It was a total renewal of my faith in God. Everyone has heard the sermon; the doctor’s said No, but Jesus said Yes. Amen.

Eight Years Ago, I awoke everyday Uncertain

I was a mess. I got hit on all the time but with a fresh Scar on my once pretty stomach, my self esteem took a blow. My heart still burned for someone I couldn’t have, even though I knew he was poison. I had gotten the disease out of my body but it had taken my soul.

I still awake everyday uncertain. But I am Better Off. Now I awake Uncertain of what I’m going to write, but it comes out none the less. I’m uncertain if I’m being the best Mom I can be, but “I Love You Mommy” are the first words out of my daughters lips every morning. I am uncertain if I will ever get my message out, but I let that roll off my back and keep pushing forward.

The Outside

Eight Years Ago, I cared about Brand Names

No different than a typical American Youth. I wanted somebody’s name on my butt. Some cool logo on my Shoes. Some pretty design on my nails. Somebody’s hair style on my head. Some form of Gold on my neck, ears, and wrists.

Full Disclosure; I Love Shoes. Having said that. I am Better Off. I still get my hair done, but not the $150 and up styles. If I buy name brand, you better believe it’s on sale. I stopped wearing jewelry the more I saw people getting robbed. The major difference; when I started looking inside myself, I didn’t care as much about the outside.

Eight Years Ago, I had NO Credit Card Debt

At a very young age, I realized the truth about Credit Cards. My step mother had skipped a Payment and watched her interest rate double. I knew I was no good managing money, so I never applied for a credit card.

Now, I have Credit Card Debt. But I am Better Off. I invested in Myself. I wanted my own business, so I made the moves to make it happen. I don’t know everything and sometimes learning comes with a price. But I believe in myself, so I know I made a wise investment.

Eight Years Ago, I drove a 89 Nissan Sentra

It was red. It was my first Car. I hated it. My dad said if I kept my grades up, when I graduated he would buy me a car. Instead, I got a Car Payment on a Car I didn’t want. But to be fair, I graduated a year early and he didn’t have the proper time to save.

I’ve never had a brand New Car straight off the Lot. I could have, but I never really cared about a car. As long as I can get from Point A to Point B, I’m cool. Am I Better Off? I don’t have a car note.

Eight Years Ago, I lived with my Grandmother

If you ever want to feel like you have no privacy, you should live with my Grandmother. She didn’t believe in Snaking, everyone should eat together. She didn’t believe in Girls riding alone in a Car with a Boy. I Love Her To Death, but I would never want to live with her again.

Now you can tie all the above together. If I had a car note, I probably couldn’t afford Gas. If I only brought brand name clothes, I probably couldn’t pay the Mortgage. If I didn’t invest in Myself, I probably wouldn’t have Hope For My Future.

Are You Better Off?

I had a couple conversations to try to gauge the response. Nobody is better off. Oh, except all the white people that rob Blacks of their Money. The Oil Companies, The Government, and the People that Make Food. All on a mission to kill off the rest of Us Black Folk.

You are no better off. You are still complaining about what someone else is doing. Look inside and tell me have you grown? Any? Or are you on a continuous loop of the same mistakes?

Do you want to keep up with the Jones’ so much, that you don’t plan for the future?

Will you buy a house you know you can’t afford, with a flexible rate, so you can show off for a couple months?

Will you Go buy an SUV because you saw it in a Video, even though you know the price of Gas?

Will you continue to Rent and help someone else grow their portfolio?

Or in Eight Years from Now, will you look back and say I am Better Off. Not because John McCain was President. Not because Barack Obama was President. But because I took the steps to change my habits to make a better life for Myself.

If you have two Hi Def T.V.’s, an XBox 360, a Playstation 3, every pair of Jordans’ from the last 10 years; you could have brought stock with what you spent. You could have invested in starting your own business. You could have had a down payment for a house. You could have paid for your child’s first 2 years in college.

When you look at those White People that hold you back, where is their Escalade sitting on 22’s? Why aren’t they dripped from Head to Toe in Gold and Diamonds? Why do they all wear the same Khaki Pants and Polo?

It’s because they are paying the Mortgage on their Million Dollar Home. It’s because the Own A BMW, Great on Gas. It’s because the Gold they own is in the form of Notes. They don’t have to tell you they have money, but they can LAUGH ALL THE WAY TO THE BANK.


Leave a reply