Sunday, May 12, 2013
"Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it's thinking of yourself less."--C. S. Lewis
"The first test of a truly great man is his humility. By humility I don't mean doubt of his powers or hesitation in speaking his opinion, but merely an understanding of the relationship of what he can say and what he can do." --John Ruskin
I chose that title because it was the first thing I thought of when I got the notion to write this. I'd thought of the proceeding incidents, and then of the catalyst of said incidents, and then realised the type of mindset I was actually dealing with...let's just say the type you take with a very tiny grain of salt.
That, and I thought of Sam Jackson's line in Pulp Fiction.
It was brought to my attention awhile back that because I am dead honest about my strengths and my weaknesses, certain people had some really stupid names to call me. I need to mention, I suppose, that these aforementioned people wouldn't know humility from the hole in their arse, so I imagine such a concept is lost on them if they think me pointing these things out about myself is stupid.
Anyway...I've also noticed that people also take this as me being "down on myself". Now while I will be first to admit I have a tendency to be a bit self-deprecating, in this life I am less about putting myself down and more about being brutally honest with myself, contrary to what some people would have you think. All I ever do is take inventory.
One thing I've noticed--and especially amongst people of colour--AND amongst those in my genre-- is if you're not constantly bragging about how badass you are, or what shxt you have, or how many bxtches/nxggas you pull, or how yer "living/lovinglife and doing you", you pretty much are negative, or worse, nothing. If you state the situation as real as it is, you are accused of being negative. It's always the realist that's negative. It's not even about putting it into the air, so much as putting it into the air so you know where you stand, and can begin to assess and change it.
I have never been a person to assert things about myself that weren't true. At all. I know what my strengths are. I just don't go round overtly beating the world over the head with it. I'm an emcee; of course at some point I'm gonna be like, "I can turn a phrase/leave yer ass amazed" or some shxt like that (see what I did there?). It's my job. But I'm not gonna flat-out lie, or "fake it till I make it". Just not my style. I've pushed down sadness to get through things, but not before I've gone off and had a bit of a vent about it somewhere someone couldn't see. Not everything is meant for the world's eyes.
I know what my weaknesses are. I don't let everyone know about all of them, but I don't hide them all, either. Some are glaringly obvious and I will alert people to them if I feel it's necessary, partly because it allows me to improve. I don't see how that makes me negative, or a "dunce" (Jesus, what an old-fashioned word). If anything, it makes me very aware of who I am, which is more than can be said for a lot of people. In that, I think there's positivity. What could be more positive than honesty? Yawl talk all this noise about "keeping it real" and get mad when someone actually does. Wow.
I was always taught to be humble. Sometimes I think it was drilled home a little too hard, in that the result is I don't run around tooting my own horn like an egomaniac. Sometimes you have to toot your own horn to the right people. Yet if you're a party horn trying to come off like a vuvuzela...that's a problem.
Cocky does not equal confident. There seem to be a lot of people deluding themselves on that. If you have to constantly yell at the world how great you are, then you must not really be that great. The world can see right through veneers like that. Why bother, when I could just be me? If I'm not good enough for you, then fxck you, basically. I'll find those I AM good enough for.
Behaving as if I have delusions of grandeur just isn't me. I told yawl "straight, no chaser" and I meant it.
So, when someone says I'm "acting big and bad", they couldn't BE more wrong. Sometimes people can project their own fail onto others; they assume that's how the person they are accusing of that is behaving because it's something THEY themselves would do, when the reality is they couldn't be further from the truth. Leave your ego in its case. Don't hang it on me like a petulant child.
And don't judge me if I should say something that you perceive as "negative" or me putting myself down. Look closer. You might see the rarest of truths.