I Never Mentioned…. A conversation with my Dad Part 1

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It took a while for me to even get to this point, to where I can have an open conversation with you. And because you’re not able to hear my voice or see my face or witness yourself in me, it feels a bit…. false.

But at the same time its freeing and its easy to say what’s on my heart without fear or condemnation. Without your expectations defining what I want you to hear. For the longest that’s how I felt. I didnt grow into the man I needed to be because I wanted so badly to live up to what you thought I should be, or what you thought I should do. I wanted so badly to hear “I’m proud that you’re my son,” and that I “made it” in your eyes.

I understand now that some of the things I did as a kid and growing into a man disappointed you. I understand now that your fear for wanting me to be a man in this chaos we call our world led you to do things that you probably regreted later. I understand now that your pride in our heritage created a gap between us and made it more difficult for you to understand my mentality, my struggles, my standpoint or even strengths. I understand that your childhood and your difficulties growing into your own as a man molded how you thought I should be. And in understanding these things it helps me understand what I always wanted to know about you, but never took the chance to ask. Even when you opened the door.

I was scared….. scared to find out who I really was then by asking you, the man of my origin, who you were. What you were about. What you believed. I was scared to peer into my own self because I wasn’t ready to see you. Because my perception of you was one sided and I didn’t want to be identified with you… or who I thought you were. So I denied you. And in denying you I didn’t realize it then, but I denied myself.

And I lived with this void, for a long while to try to find my origin. It wasn’t a spiritual void. It wasn’t a void of love. It was more so a void of belonging to something. Or more so belonging to someone who holds the story of my origin. Its hard to build with no foundation. Its harder to start your own legacy, like you did here, than to build off of one already started.

I know these things now and I respect you in a different way now then I did before. Instead of looking for your approval, I just live. Instead of fearing your condemnation, I remember your lessons.

http://m.legacy.com/obituaries/pilotonline/obituary.aspx?n=&pid=145564487&referrer=0&preview=True

Holy Ghost Praise

So I saw this video…. and I’m not going to lie I fell out laughing. Its funny. You can’t deny that at all. But for me it raises a deeper, bigger question that I think we all should be asking about this…. situation….

What is this “Holy Ghost” and how is it that this man caught it with Beyonce when its only supposed to be felt from Jesus?

Now some may view that as an ignorant question, but let me give you a little background on myself before I get attacked. I was raised in the church. Read the Bible back and forth and can quote scriptures like some preachers. Went to church damn near 4 days out of the week at one point. I was told numerous times that I would be a preacher one day….Out of my 28 years of life I’ve spent maybe 25 of them, in the church. 16 of those 25 years my father was a Presbyterian pastor. I’ve been in Catholic churches, Baptist churches, Pentecostal churches, Methodists, A.M.E., you name a denomination of Christianity I’ve probably sat in at least one service…. besides Mormon or Jehovah Witness which I came close to but decided not to at the last minute. My wife attended that service….. I say that to say even though I don’t see things in a Christian mentality, I know what the Holy Ghost is. Despite that I have an alternative view and I practice my belief in God in a different way than Christianity, I’ve seen what the belief in the Holy Ghost does to people and the effect it has on people’s lives. So I’m not mocking anyone’s belief by any means…. But even though I have an idea, I still do wonder… and question….. what it is…. really. And so here we are.

I’ve had people come up to me and say that I don’t “act like” I have the Holy Ghost… in the church. I’ve heard people say that they’ve had a church member ask them why they aren’t “happy” to be in the house of the Lord because they haven’t “caught the Ghost”… in the church. And then we have this gentleman here who, is not in the church, and in fact not even listening to a gospel song and he appears to be”catching the Ghost.” How can that be? Or is that not considered “catching the Ghost” because he isn’t in church? And that it’s a celebrity he’s “worshiping?” Or is it not the Ghost because the song she’s singing is telling her man to pack his bags and get to steppin? Is this emotional outburst, this physically overwhelming sensation he felt, this… out of body, orgasmic pulsating of his whole physical being ….  any different than someone… in the church, “catching the Ghost”?

I don’t think it is.

I think that “catching the Ghost” or being “Holy Ghost filled” is just another term for the church to explain something they don’t really know how to explain, but to did it in a way to solidify their belief in the minds and hearts of people. A devine experience usually cant be put into words for those who have been through it. And to say that its a Ghost, something you cant really see but know its there, will make sense to someone who practices Christianity. You have God, our father, the creator watching over you, you have Jesus who died for your sins and is the physical manifestation of God himself for you to set your eyes to as an example to follow, and you have the Holy Ghost here on Earth with you, who moves through you and conjures up only the good emotions that you should feel if you’re a real Christian….

In my opinion, the Holy Ghost is just a way to explain an emotional, joyous, and sometimes out of body experience, or the peace you feel when you stop and look at Mother Nature and take in it’s true beauty. The Holy Ghost could be just a Christian way to explain the feeling you feel when your favorite track comes on Pandora and you turn the music up just a little louder. Its that feeling you feel when you see your kids smile or laugh or show some kind of glimpse of happiness you remember having at that age. The Holy Ghost could be that emotional cry you have when you remember a simple moment you had with someone who has long been gone. Or the triumphant outburst you have when you get all the notes right to a song on “Guitar Hero.” Or on a real instrument for that matter. And yes, the Holy Ghost could very well be that feeling that this man felt, when Beyonce Knowles touched his hand in a concert that he’d probably been dying to go to….

That was the Ghost. An emotional outburst that overtook this man to the point where Beyonce probably healed that man from sickness. Gave him hope to fight another day. Gave him an outlet to let his cares go and release them on to her stage. In his mind, he was touched by an angel and who are any of us to tell him different? Who are we to ecplain what is unexplainable to him? Who are we to explain a divine experience for someone who felt that experience?

I “caught the Ghost” twice in my lifetime and both times weren’t in the church….

Thanks for listening. If you’re upset post a comment. Let me know how you really feel.

Inside Nianda Speaks

Brain Freeze and Emotions

So I’ve been wanting to write. But when I come to a place when I can,  a thought I want to write about,  a message I want to get out, it never really formulates the way I want it to. It never comes out correctly, or at least the way I thought it through. I don’t want to put up BS. But i also don’t want to fit an orthodox message to tailor other people’s needs. “Thought Provoking Thinking” is a forum meant for me to get my thoughts out and create an atmosphere for questions to get answered, but too often I feel that I been seeking the approval of readers. Dont get me wrong, I love the feedback, the followers, and the comments.  But is that what this is for? Because the majority of people don’t comment,  the majority of people don’t like, the majority of people don’t share.  Shit the majority of people don’t even read….. so I, should be able to speak my mind right? Just lay my thoughts out for the world to see how I think or feel? How deep I can go or break things down?

I’m not mad or frustrated with anyone, but maybe a little at myself. Because I allowed myself to be conformed to what I thought would feed the people.What I thought the people needed to hear, when the reality is this isn’t an education session for you, this is a release for me. You just happened to stop by and read what I had to say. Peer into my mind and walk around in my heart a little while. Until my words really become nothing more than…… just thoughts.

Really all I need to do is just write. And if you so happen to read, thank you. If not thank you still. My goal isn’t to be famous but for my people to wake up and realize who you really are. And that’s something done unforced. My words can’t do that. My insight may help, but it won’t change you. Thats something only you can accomplish on your own.

I think the emotional expectation of a desired outcome nrimgs disappointment. But thinking rationally, my words my flow in a way that you may think is “nice” or “thoughtful”, but i have to write for me, and expect nothing I’m return. Thanks for listening

The Price Of An Alternative Message

So I was listening to a show called “This American Life” on  NPR (Great station by the way!!) and there was a man telling a story on the show that sparked this next article you are about to read. I’ll try to tell the story as best I can so please, don’t qoute me on this.

Its the story of a man and his daughter. His 4 year old daughter was learning about Christmas in school so she asked her father what it meant. He said he told her it was about the birth of Jesus and explained the Nativity Story to her and bought her a children’s Bible and went over stories with her about Jesus’ teachings, more importantly the message of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

After that on another day he said they passed a church with a big crucifix and his daughter saw it and asked who and what that is. (I remember him saying specifically that because she was 4 this would be her first time hearing what he was about to say so he tried to explain it in a delicate but thorough way) He explained to her that he didnt tell her the end of Jesus’ life but that the statue is of Jesus and that because the Roman authorities at that time thought his message was radical and that it was doing more harm then good, they killed Jesus. He said his daughter thought about it a while, asked a few more questions and then left it alone.

So a bit after that on Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday his daughter was out of school and he was off of work so he took her out to breakfast. He said at the resturant’s table someone left a newspaper and on the front page was a big picture of Martin Luther King Jr. So his daughter asked “Who is that?” He told her “He’s Martin Luther King Jr., a very important man and the reason you’re out of school today.” She said “Well what did he do?” He said “He was a great preacher.” His daughter asked, “About Jesus?” In which he replied, “Yes about Jesus. But he also had a message that people shouldn’t be treated differently because of what they look like. That everyone should be treated the same.” He said she thought a few seconds then asked “Isn’t that the same message Jesus said?” He said he never thought of it that way but replied, “Well yes, it is sort of the same.” He said his daughter sat quietly and thought for a few more minutes and then asked, “Did they kill him too?”

Don’t be naive, thinking that no one is reading your message. Dont think for a second that your message doesn’t mean anything. Dont think that your words dont have enough impact to chsnge somone’s life. Especially when your message goes against the norm.

Your life may depend on it.

Inside Nianda Speaks

Are You Really That Surprised?

I mean really?

A lot of us (black people) were looking at this case and thinking that it would give us some sort of justice for the tribulation we endure in America. The racial profiling, how black men are mishandled in the justice system, how white people seem to have the upperhand in the justice system, gun laws that we all deal with, the controversial “Stand Your Ground” Law, etc…. did we actually think that the George Zimmerman murder trial would solve some of these issues?

Honestly I am upset that he was aquitted. A young man’s life was ended due to miscommunication that could’ve been solved with words. Its not fair to the Martin family, and the Zimmerman family is also put in a dangerous situation based on the actions of this man. I said it before and I’ll say it again…. no one should’ve wound up dead in this altercation, and George Zimmerman being the adult in the situation should’ve handle it very differently.

But for us to think that a jury trial is a way of vindication for the problems we face as a people in this country is a bit naive. A jury looks narrowly at a situation and and makes a judgement based off what they think happened in the specicific moments that they are given. Social, racial, political issies aren’t resolved in this way. It needs to be discussed in a broad, open forum where different factions can weigh in and speak on it. Like this….

WordPress is a way for us to get our views out in a constructive way, take critism, make opinions known, rally a people, inform, progress, and overcome these issues that are plagueing our nations. I urge all of us to use it, don’t abuse it, and make your mind’s voice be heard by millions of people around the world. This forum brings like and opposing minds together at the same table to speak on whatever it is that moves us. We shoildnt take that lightly.

My heart goes out to the families of the 2 gentlemen involved in this shooting and I hope that both can find strength to go on. Most likely the NAACP or other black organizations will rally something up and say they did something, but really its local communities and family units that need should rally around ways to educate our children especially our boys so that they know whats happening around them. So that they know how to handle themselves rationally in situations like that which Trevon Martin was faced with. Because if they don’t know, your child could be the next one lying with a bullet in his chest, tagged as a thug who had drugs in his system who jumped on a man who claiming self defense because his skull was being bashed into cement but miraculously doesn’t have the physical damage of someone that has happened to. Educate yourself. Know yourself. And please yall be safe.

The Moment Before I Cry

And it comes….. that feeling that my chest went straight to hell. That feeling like my lungs are forcing air through my throat. The wieght of my tongue is unbearable. My mind is telling me to “Stop!! Suck it up!! Men don’t cry.” A feeling of embarrassment fuels my emotional state. I think about my situation. Why I even have the audacity to let my emotions get the best of me. I’ve been here before. I’ve been in worse than this. There’s someone out there existing right now this second in a situation i couldn’t hold a candle to. So why am I about to cry? These questions flow through my thoughts, even with the heavy heart,  even with the sweat on my brow and water rushing to escape my tear ducts. I ask myself why? How did I get here. In this bathroom? On this stall? In this situation? Alone. Helpless. Defenseless. Emotional to the point where I am about to let go and cry. Why?

……… Because I hurt. And when I dont want to complain to someone who’s going to tell me what i dont want to hear, and I don’t feel like guzzling a liter of Svedka, or watching my problem escaping through the lit end of my blunt or watching a film that will take my mind to a place far away from where i am…. this feeling of, “Im about to cry.” hits me. I don’t want a hug. I don’t want to talk. I don’t want to escape. I just want to…. cry. And maybe my delimma will miraculously be over when I’m done.

It sucks so bad. It hurts so much. But as a man, we “can’t” express that emotion. Its taboo. I’ll be a “bitch” or a “punk” or whatever term  that can imasculate me to the point where i will always feel ashamed to show emotional pain without aggression. So I let society get the best of me. And I mentally wipe the tears that never appeared away and tell myself whatever was bothering me isn’t that serious. And I will live another day.

Inside Nianda Speaks

I’m Not Racist…. Just Biased

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I’ve been asked from time to time if I’m a racist. Even to the point of it being a running joke in the shop I worked in previously. Was it my authentic Kongolese name? My deep dark chocolate skin? My baritone voice with the slight southern slur?

I should start by answering the question the flatly by saying no, i’m not racist. I love all people of all colors, all choices, all struggles. I love all of humanity in they’re own context. I can pass no judgments on anyone based on the color of thier skin. But even in knowing this I must admit, there is a certain affinity I have for the Black peoples around the world. I’m not ashamed of that, and its offensive to me when I hear comments hinting that because I speak of black unity, or black love, black fathers, or black women, that I should include all races when I speak, etc., that I don’t care about humanity on a global scale. That’s so far from the truth.

I love black people with a passion. All shades and ethnicities. And I’m proud to say that. I wasn’t before. When I was young, just by my name alone I was harshly teased. On top of being coal black and skinny, nappy hair and sometimes ashy, I was called “African booty scratcher” or “Kunta Kente.” I was made to feel ashamed of who I am. I was mockingly called a “real African American” because I was born in the US and with 2 Congolese parents. It wasn’t until my teen years that I embraced my Congolese lineage . It wasn’t until adulthood that I realized I in fact, I had a leg up on the black people who mocked me because I actually knew where I came from. I know my place of origin. I am not a “nigger.” I’m Congolese. A nigger’s place of origin is his oppressors mouth, not a land. And a certain part of “us” allowed our history to originate from an oppressor. When I realized this, I felt empowered, but also saddened at the state my people are in. Saddened by the lack of history, of knowledge, of self and origin. Thus spawned my search and mental quest to help as many of my people as I can reach a destination or that place of origin. Not in the sense of a land, but in a mental state. That even though a piece of our history was somewhat erased and reetold in a way that tried to negate what we were before we got to America in chains, our children will know our truth. A mental state where we don’t have to ask for what we want anymore, we have the ambition to start our own. A mental state where the excuse of slavery isn’t an option anymore, but a catalyst to propel us to finish the work that was started in the 60s and early 70s.

I’m not a racist. I’m just biased. I’m comfortable in my blackness. I grew up surrounded by blackness and so its what I know. So I think, speak feel, and see things in a black perspective. I can only give what I know. I explain my topics or discuss discussions or carry on convrersations through my own black perspective. So am I racist because of that? No, just biased. How can one really say they are giving an objective opinion on anything when their answer has to be based off a perspective? One must filter the question through their own mind and give an answer based off what they perceive to be true. But truth varies by person. There are commonly accepted truths, yes like the sky is blue. But what color is the sky to someone who is colorblind or blind altogether? Of course he/she will most likely say blue, but what is blue to them if they have no concept of color? They have no idea….. and neither do you. But I just let my thoughts run…..

Being black has nothing to do with what the media says black is. Its not about being a thug or video vixen, or speaking slang, knowing how to dance, sing, or rap. Its about knowing what you are and being true to it. The rest is history.

Inside Nianda Speaks

Dependent Independence

African-Independence-Map

 

Colonized African countries fought hard for their independence from colonization. Why then are there a population of Africans in different countries angry at western governments for not providing aid to them? Why are they begging the same people who they asked  for independence from, for assistance that they are capable of generating themselves.  Why? Dependent Independence. In my opinion….
The colonizing governments said, you can be free, but I will always have a hand in your economic growth. Control the money and debt, control the country itself. Even though the people are under the false mentality of “freedom.”

Inside Nianda Speaks

Its Obvious For A Thinking Man

Thank you Joffrey for the title of this thought process. We were talking about the state of American thinking and he hit me with a quote that rattle my bones, “Its obvious for a thinking man.” What he was referring to was the obvious hand of American government,  corperations, elitism, our banking systems, of how all these powers combine to keep the everyday average American bogged down into a mental state where legislation that can affect our lives is passed under our noses, a blindness to how the 10% to even 25% percent is taken out of our income for government expenses while the elite see little to damn near nothing taken from theirs, or how there us a complete empathy to the problems in our own communities we live in.

How is it that few people know our water source is depleting by the second and corporations are buying “ownership rights” to water that should be free? How is it that people have no clue that the “business of prison” has become publicly traded in the stock market? How is it that no one knows the US government has been supplying lethal arms to Al-Quida fighters in Syria? The same Al-Quida who we went after for the World Trade Center bombings. Supposedly they’re monitoring who the weapons go to…. Why is it we didnt know beforehand what the National Security Agency, the CIA, or the FBI was doing with our personal information. Why arent the American people informed?

I remember watching an interview with President Assad, president of Syria, and he was asked by Barbara Walters something to the effect of why he doesnt have the support of the Syrian people and I remember President Assad responding by saying “What leader has 100% support of his people? I do not have all, but i still have the majority” ……I thought about his answer for a long while.

I thought about the audacity of Barbara Walters to even ask a question like that. But in my thought process I see that its the same audacity that enables Americans to think we are still the world’s greatest country in the world. Its the same audacity that caused the lackadaisical attitude that we cannot be attacked on our mainland. Its the same audacity that enabled our president to tell a leader of another country that he needs to step down. More than once. Its the same audacity that causes us to intervene in other countries affairs with military force or lethal arms. Its the same audacity that keeps Guantanamo Bay Prison Camp open. The same audacity that our government uses to control its sheeple’s mentality through media propaganda, the capitalist mentality, debt, and our dependence on the government to take care of us. Its that audacity of…. hope. Because the longer we hope that things will change, the longer it will take for them to actually change. It was President Obama who ran on “hope” and “change” and the “audacity of hope”. But if you look at his major policy decisions they are no different than the Bush years, so what has changed? If you look at his minor policy decisions, they are tokens to pacify certain groups of people, but nothing he has done has brought actual change. I’m in no way putting the state of the American people now on the shoulders of Barack Obama, and i understand the inheretance he received from the Bush era, but as president, you should have a stance on something other than “bipartisan agreements” and healthcare reform. One major thing I learned about being a man is that you have to be capable of making tough decisions, even when they’re uncomfortable for some or even yourself. As president, in my humble assumption, you should be able to do that on a wide scale. Millions may be angry, but he should have a stance. Like in his healthcare bill, he took a stance and said this is what we’re going to do as a nation. This is a whole seperate issue, but “Obamacare” doesn’t fix all that much that’s wrong with our healthcare system in my opinion. It still makes insurance companies boat loads of money and the phrase “your premiums should see a decrease”…… should make your skin crawl, but it doesn’t because our minds are so jaded by our own lack that we don’t notice issues that affect us as a whole. Our jobs are more are priority because of the bills we have on our plate. The amount of debt we’re under. When in actuality what are we paying for? Electricity should be free. A water bill, that should be free flowing. Housing, communication, gas prices, over priced food…. what are we doing? Student loans of the average American bis taking them almost 20 years to pay when education should be free. What are doing? Why are we paying this?

I need people to wiegh in on this issue. If you agree or disagree. If you have comments post them. If there’s something you think we should know add them. This will affect all of us. Share, like, comment, enjoy. I have a feeling this only part 1.

And So I Thank You

I just wanted to take the time to thank all of you who follow this blog, have commented, or even took the time out of your busy schedules to read what I have to say. My hope is that the topics I brought up and will continue to write about will cause major discussion and debate in households, street corners, bars, or even in the political arena to cause legislation reforms. My hope is that my comments will change the way people think about the status quo. How going with the flow and being “sheeple”, or the mentality that ignorance is bliss, will not create for ourselves what is called happiness. Happiness is a state of mind, its not dependant on your situation. And with our state of mind at a stale stagnate place, as my wife said, “ask yourself why” this is perceived as happiness. And after you’ve found your why, if you’re unhappy then seek ways to change it and apply them to your life.
Im not disillusioned to think that the whole world will change because of a post I put on this blog, but if I can begin to help a few prople see an alternative point of view in certain subjects, that’s alright with me.

Again thank you for being a game changer. A truth seeker. A truth sharer. And someone who sees the value in what I’m saying. Even with the spelling mistakes my wife keeps pointing out, as long as you all are hungry for my point of view I’ll keep writing. All I ask is that you all keep reading, keep commenting, keep sharing, and keep liking (unless you really don’t) the posts. I think one major barrier I’m seeing is that people don’t read anymore. Its too time consuming of a way to get information. But the more we read, the more our imagination runs. We need to keep reading alive. And this site is one way to do it. Find posts that are relevant to you, take 5 or 10 mins and just read. I promise you it won’t hurt you.

Inside Nianda Speaks