When I was in high school, I went the first three years without a girlfriend. It wasn’t until my Senior Year that a green-eyed blonde made it known that she was attracted to me. She was my first official girlfriend. Age 18.
This was in a place called Augusta, Georgia in 2004…aka the Dirty South, circa Outkast’s “Hey Ya” and Usher’s “Yeah.”. My point in mentioning this, is that I’m black. My first official girlfriend was white. No, no one gave me grief about this (not to my face). But I do remember something interesting happening.
While I was “going out” with said Green-Eyed Beauty, she and I were walking back to classes from the cafeteria, and a black girl tapped me. I looked over my shoulder to see her gesturing towards her friend, a gorgeous black girl who had to be a junior. I didn’t know her, but we had locked eyes before in passing. She was tall, in-shape, had a gentle smile…the type I would’ve undoubtedly said yes to. But I was already with someone. So I smiled and declined apologetically. Remember this incident for later…
I know…I know. These days, the term “Red-Pill” is tossed around so much that it’s beginning to sound cringy.
Fundamentally, the Red Pill is a simply a process of enlightenment by which an individual’s eyes are opened to a worldview they didn’t know existed, or they were conditioned into thinking the worldview was wrong. Like the Matrix, once you take this “red pill,” you can’t go back to the matrix. Meaning, you can’t go back to being ignorant and unaware.
What prompted me to write this essay, was a recent video the popular Youtubers Aba and Preach uploaded, titled “Why We Think the Red-Pill is Necessary”...it was coincidental, because not even the week before, I wrote a similar essay called “Men Aren’t Allowed to Cry,” which explains how and why Men need some form of community where they can openly reveal their thoughts and emotions no matter how taboo or offensive the mainstream deems it to be…like that of Men’s Rights Activists.
If any of this is new to you, you’re likely to cringe at the concept of a Men’s Rights Activist. Disbelief and cynicism will probably be your first emotional response and it’s understandable. Like so many, we’re taught from birth that this is a “Man’s World,” and “Men have it Better than Women” and its mainly women who are oppressed and held back. So why in the world, would there need to be a Men’s Rights Activist? What could they possibly have to complain about?
When it comes to the Old Testament…sometimes I really do take the stories of God’s servants to heart. As if I’m reading the memoirs of my own blood brothers who died long ago, who passed down what happened, what they did wrong, and how we can avoid making the same mistakes. I have to honor that.
As I mentioned in previous essays, the first time I read about Solomon praying for wisdom…it really had a life-changing effect on me. I felt so much shame because, until then, all I did was constantly pray for success as an author or success in finding a beautiful woman who I could call my wife. It was all for me, whereas Solomon prayed for the ability to help others.
To give you a recap in case you haven’t read Part 1, Solomon is the new king of the powerful nation of Israel. The third king, in fact, following the succession of King Saul, then his father King David, an extraordinary man who was said to have a heart after God himself.
Solomon had a very turbulent upbringing. His mother was seduced while still married to another man. His eldest half-brother raped his half-sister. Another half-brother, the popular Absalom, tried to take the throne from his father King David. And while David swore to make Solomon the next king, another half-brother tried to usurp the throne through nefarious schemes.
Almost in Godfather-like fashion, Solomon finally had enough of all the games and treachery and cleaned his house. He had his older brother killed, the commander of his father’s army killed, another man who cursed his father was killed, and he exiled a priest to end the line of Eli.
Now…we pick it up in 1st Kings Chapter 3. Here, we read that Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father. It’s here that we learn about God appearing to Solomon in a dream and saying “Ask what I shall give you.”
In this essay, I’m going to talk about why it may not be a good idea for a Man to be so open and honest about his feelings…especially when it comes to Men’s Issues.
When it Comes to the Stereotype About How Men Aren’t Supposed to Cry, how we’re not suppose to expose our feelings and keep everything bottled up…the mindset was, as men, we have to suck it up and power through. You have to work for everything you get. There are no handouts. No one cares about your tears and your feelings. Now get back out there!
I know it sounds nice and empowering for people to encourage men to fight against that stigma…to embrace their feelings, to allow themselves to be emotional and let out their pain and sorrows…
But is that really working for men in general? Meaning, I know all that sounds nice in the spirit of equality and breaking down gender tropes. But when it comes to reality…how are Men really perceived and treated when they open up about how they honestly feel? How are they treated when they show themselves to be emotional? How do people respond when Men honestly open up about their life problems?
Are people sympathetic? When men receive feedback and constructive criticism, is it with the same care and general softness given to a woman? Or do people just don’t give a shit?
Sounds silly to lament being invited to parties…but here goes. First and foremost, I want to say that it’s not lost on me, the honor it is that people want to be around me, that people want me to attend these functions and social events, that they enjoy my company. *bows humbly *
Recently, there was a party for my Boss’s Radio network where fans and personalities came out and had fun. As a co-host, I was invited but declined. When a Woman asked, “Rock, you don’t like to socialize?”
I answered, “No. Not really.”
That’s the truth. But as always, there’s more to it than that. And when I try to explain to people how I’m different, they tend to struggle with comprehension or, flat out just don’t want to believe me. So…for the love of all I hold dear, here’s the Top 4 Reasons Why Social Events are Not for Me. It comes replete with funny memes, followed by the remedy, conditions that would actually make me want to attend.
REASON 1. SOCIALIZING BECOMES A PERFORMANCE:
When I answered the question of “socializing” and said “no, not really…” this is true. But here’s the thing. I can and do socialize all the time. I’m actually pretty good at it. And one of the coolest compliments I get is that I’m fun and easy to talk to. The question was, “do I like it?”
In the context of a party or large gathering, the answer is a resounding “no.” Why? Because I have to watch what I say. Because you’re likely to deal with an audience. It’s not just a conversation between you and a few individuals, but between you and whoever’s within earshot, which could be ten to twenty.
Not to mention the countless curious eyes staring from afar at the big black dude who seems to be center of attention. Being the center of attention is another thing I don’t like. I’m 6’3, 225lbs. In high school, they called it stage presence. I was told I should just get used to it, but when you get to my “Reason Number 3,” you’ll understand why I hate it in a party setting.
“Hang on, Rock? What exactly do you talk about at parties? It’s supposed to be fun. Why are you talking about these deep controversial things?”
So…let’s back it up, for a sec. What’s the point of a party or get together? To socialize, right? To network. To have fun. To catch up. To lay back, drink a beer, dance, and be entertained. Right? Why go to a party if you’re not planning on having a good time?
What if I told you that none of those things are fun to me?
In reading the Bible cover to cover, the biggest change of my life is that it freed me from this world. Life is so much more fulfilling now…now that I know my purpose and the blessings that’ll come from simply enduring until the end.
My relationship with human beings…it’s a love/hate relationship. I have so much compassion for them as my brethren and God’s created children. But I also feel the same indignation any brother would feel when you see them walking down a path of destruction, especially when you know what our parents told us. And just like any brother when everyone’s all grown up, you have to accept that your siblings are free to make their own decisions, they’re own choices.
Imagine this…Everyone’s on the Titanic and we’re told the ship is going to sink at some point. You look around and everyone’s having a good time but because you heard the captain, you know the Titanic is going to get hit by an iceberg. You don’t know when. So you’re told to remain awake. If you accept the captain’s orders and do what you’re told, your place is reserved on the lifeboats. But everyone else…they’re going down with the ship.
It hasn’t happened yet. And because it hasn’t happened, despite being told to stay awake for so long…the people lack faith. They stop believing. They say the captain’s orders don’t make sense. They begin to think they know better than the captain. They criticize and make fun of you for following the captain’s orders instead of indulging in the fun inebriation they lose themselves in. Even the ones who believed in the beginning start to fall away. They see everyone else having a good ole’ time, sleeping and partying, so they think to themselves that maybe the ship won’t sink after all. They stop following orders. They ignore the captain.
Then the inevitable happens. The ship hits an iceberg. The massive Titanic that everyone had so much faith in, that they believed was unsinkable…it begins to list. Chaos and panic ensues. Just as the captain warned, the only ones who will be saved on the lifeboats are the ones who obeyed his commands until the end.
Jesus Christ teaches us to love our brothers and sisters, to love our fellow neighbors as we would ourselves. If I was in one of those lifeboats watching as the ship went down…I imagine I’d be clenching my teeth in grief and frustration. I’d wish I didn’t care…but God knows I do. Those are my brothers and sisters on that ship.
“If you feel like you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room.”…If you agree with this statement, step one is recognizing that there are people who are smarter than you. Can you do that?
It’s funny…because I’ve been called arrogant. I’ve been called egotistical and too full of myself. But unlike the people who called me those things, I actively seek out people who I perceive to be better than me, smarter than me. I’m not offended or discouraged by them. They inspire me. Instead of belittling and diminishing them so they can feel like they’re down at my level and we’re equals, I’m inspired to better myself so I can rise up to theirs.
If you’re a high school basketball player and you want to improve, you don’t go scrimmage with a bunch of novice 5th graders. No! You seek out the best players on the block who are all college material. Being on the court with “superior” athletes, forces you to up your game if you want to compete.
That’s what reading the Bible and talking to other Bible scholars has done for me.
If you Google “Smartest Person in the World,” you’ll see pictures with the likes of Marie Curie, Voltaire, da Vinci, and Einstein. It’s interesting…on this list of “Top 40 Smartest People of All Time”…you won’t find names like Solomon, Hezekiah, Samuel, or Isaiah.
In 1st Kings 3:12, God himself said, “Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you.”
…none like you has been before you and non like you shall arise after you…God said that about King Solomon. Therefore, it is my opinion, that Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived. But still…what is wisdom? There’s a school of thought that “wisdom is the best application of knowledge to attain one’s goal.”
Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Most Holy One is understanding.”
This one is for those who are afraid of ending up alone…so much so that they’d stay in situations where they’re abused and taken advantage of just to avoid that loneliness. This is for those who feel like they have no place in this world.
Some of us are blessed to have a tight-knit circle of friends. Some of us have one or two buddies they can always depend on. Some of us have boyfriends, girlfriends, wives or husbands we can talk to. Those who uplift us and encourage us when we’re down, who celebrate us in our triumphs.
What about the rest of us?
I took an Enneagram Personality test last year in which I was labeled a Type 3, work-oriented, driven, and thrived on results. Another trait associated with “3” is that WE NEED validation. Sounds bad, doesn’t it? I’ve heard it said many times that anyone who’s constantly seeking validation is “sad, pathetic and weak.”
Truth is, I really do seek validation. And yet, I wouldn’t describe myself as sad, pathetic, and weak. I used to…back when I sought validation from “everyone.” Back then, I was seeking to impress not just family members, but also my peers, my colleagues, co-workers, friends, millions of potential fans as an author, and of course potential love interests.
And I confess…when I didn’t get that validation, it would depress me deeply…
Psychology is the study of mind and behavior. I could go to school and spend years studying the greats like Freud, Pavlov, and Carl Jung…or I could just pick up and read the Bible. I’m not knocking those men or their work. But who better to find out the truth about ourselves, than from the One who created us?
God made humans in his image. That alone should give you some indication that we are more than just mere “creatures”. The Book of Genesis teaches us that God gave us dominion over all other creatures on the planet. I’m pointing this out not to rile up animal lovers…but to emphasize how much God favors us.
And what if I told you that not only did he create us in his image, he also embedded in us the feelings, instincts, and a sense of right and wrong? How many times have you heard this?: “I’m not a Christian. I’m not a believer, but I’m still a good person. You can be a moral person without being a Christian!”
I had to start with this one because I know it contradicts the current mainstream thought when it comes to religion. But that’s because I believe people often misconstrue tolerance…with condoning. Hate the sin…not the sinner.
The Top 10 Ways the Bible Changed My Life: 1. The Bible Actually Made Me More Tolerant
In reading the Bible in its entirety, not just pieces, you’re able to see the big picture. You see what happened, what’s happening, why it’s happening, and what’s going to happen. And because I believe with conviction, I’m able to tolerate different points of view with the lens of a spectator, the lens of a Witness…Part of the world, yet taking no part in the world.
In reading the Bible you come to understand that nothing happens by accident. God creates the good days and the bad days. There’s logic and reason, cause and effect. If you believe and trust in God, an almighty entity that created human existence and could wipe us all out in an instant, do you really think he needs you fight his battles for him?
Or are you just using his name to fight your own personal battle? Allow me to illustrate.