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…
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.”
Whenever something like this happens, I try to stay silent (as a black man myself) because more often than not, I don’t share the popular opinion. And by “popular” I’m talking about the ones that appear to have the moral high-ground. That being said…brace yourselves.
Is White Guilt Really Helpful to Blacks?
By Rock Tennie
Date – May 30th 2020
In the wake of the horrible murder of George Floyd…rioting and protests have broken out across major cities around the U.S. How much of it is really helping their underlining cause? What exactly is their cause and can it be helped? Here was my take:
“For all those who are so quick to post about the “injustices” done by police to black people…I confess, it does seem a bit disingenuous when they’re relatively silent on the black on black violence.
“You hear it on Facebook and Instagram how people are supposedly “heartbroken” and demand change. Which I agree with to some extent. But over this past Memorial Day Weekend, there was another 40+ people shot and 10 killed in Chicago. This isn’t new. Every Memorial Day weekend for years, it’s been this way. Don’t even get me started on the homicide rate of New Orleans and Baltimore.
“Does racism exist. Yes. Do police officers commit crimes. Yes. But please…miss me on all this outrage. Or is the argument that somehow the death of a black person has more significance based on the color of the murderer, or whether or not they have a badge. And if that’s the case, what do you say to all the mothers and fathers who lost their sons and daughters to drive-bys? What do you say to other minorities who have their own tragedies and injustices afflicting them? (MS-13).
“Murder is murder, whether you’re killed by a cop or a wanna be gangster.”
As you can imagine, those thoughts didn’t sit well with a lot of people, black and white. Continue Reading
I often wonder if some black people fantasize about the times of Slavery before and after the Civil War?
Heads up, I’m going to say a lot of things in this provocative essay that might be deemed insensitive or disrespectful. You don’t have to read this. I bow humbly when I say my intentions aren’t to offend. Picture this as me giving a dissertation in the center of some 18th Century university. I have the floor and I’m about speak theories. They may be stupid. They may be wrong. But if there’s one thing I’ve gotten use to in my old age…in saying stupid, wrong things, I’ve come out better enlightened by all those who are so eager (too eager) to correct me. Let’s begin.
Here, we have a man named Yung Joc. He’s a rapper, but now driving a ride share service to make legit money, an honest living. In the backseat, you have a couple of females making fun of him. They’re saying things like “what happened? You fall off?” Meaning, you failed in your rap career and you’re no longer popular.
Now, this might sound “funny” or a trivial thing…but this is a huge problem. Especially in the black community, these are things people don’t like to talk about because some are afraid it’ll make us look bad in the face of other races.
Two things. One, consider all of our black men who are in prison for things like selling drugs and committing crimes just to pay the bills. Secondly, consider the our young black boys (children) who are raised in single-mother households, struggling to get by and having to resort to selling drugs…just to keep the lights on. T.I, Jay-Z, even Outkast are some rappers who talked about doing this in their younger days and guess what…a lot of young black children look up to these figures.
Why do you think they go down this route? Is it really because they can’t get a job? Or is it because getting a job at McDonald’s might get them clowned by their peers? This needs to stop. Respect and reputation means everything to a man. It just does. Continue Reading
One of the worse causes of depression among my generation is this notion that we have to keep experiencing new things, that we should never be content, that we should always put ourselves outside of our comfort zones.
Is that the way it’s always been? Back before psychology was a thing. Before Freud and the practice of therapy, is that what the average human strove for?
Here’s what I think is happening. It’s just like in high school where the cool kids think they know best. Where the majority of the student body looks up to the popular kids and want to emulate them. We thought we left that culture behind upon graduation, but thanks to social media where the lifestyles and opinions of celebrities and public figures are instantly made available, we’re stuck. They’ve influenced normal people. Normal people emulate them. And then those normal people blast their lifestyles on social media to their friends and family, showing off how much fun they’re having in life through pictures and posts.
None of this should be a bad thing, if humans were content with life. There’s nothing wrong with having a friend going to Bora Bora and posting pictures from the most beautiful beaches, driving fast cars and lounging with hot women in bikinis. However, it becomes a problem when people like him and society start to pressure others to strive for something similar. Where, because you’ve traveled around the world and enjoyed it, you assume everyone should to really experience life. Where, because you’ve had sex with some of the most beautiful women in the world, you encourage others to do the same or else they’re missing out on life. Continue Reading
As a grown man, I really hate pointing the finger at others when it comes to my own pain and sorrow. That being said, I’m not so stubborn as to ignore the reason if it’s due to what someone else has done.
If You Take Away Traditions…Christmas Blues By Rock Kitaro Date – December 27th 2019
This usually happens every Christmas and Birthday, mainly because I’m blasted with reminders of how the rest of the world is celebrating their traditions, how everyone seems to have someone, how everyone is living their lives and how completely different they are from me. God knows I pray for the strength and faith to keep my head up despite that which I lack, but I confess, it’s tough.
The reason why I gave this the title of “if you take away traditions…” because I really do believe this is an aspect of my childhood where my parents have failed me. As noted, I am a grown man. I sincerely believe in the concept of “from here on out, you’re in control of your life…” but at this point I’m not so sure if it’s possible for me.
The traditions that were removed from me as a child were the joyous holidays and family traditions that were pretty much celebrated the whole world over. Christmas. Valentine’s Day. Halloween. Thanksgiving. Birthdays…all of it came to an end during my childhood because my parent’s religion was against it. But I don’t blame the Jehovah’s Witnesses. I’ve just come to the conclusion that if you’re going to strip these things from a child’s life, you need to replace it with something else. Otherwise you’re left with an abysmal void.