At one time, or other we have been suggested in ways that are unorthodox, to put it kindly if not mildly, and to decipher then decide if the unorthodoxy was complimentary or a dagger twisting wound. The ambiguity where none should be might be considered ignorance with respect to the use of language, cultural affirmation and figure of speech. However, it might be considered enlightenment and embraced as forward-looking and culturally liberating to be so suggested and affirmed.
One of the defining aspects of being human is that we can be suggested. Indeed, to be human is to be suggested. This sounds simple and innocuous, but on the contrary, it is profound. You become who you are by, at first others’ suggestions and affirmations being your goals, models, and reinforcements, then through your own curiosity, interests, passion, and determination with the encouragement of those who love and care for you, and over the disparaging or disempowering suggestions of others.
There should be no ambiguity in recognizing that we can be negatively suggested such that men who should be focused with certainty on their pathway of life, are detoured by the suggestions others gave them. Consequently, instead of becoming masters and architects of soaring skyscrapers they are less than they could have been. Those skyscrapers cannot be built because the architect was undermined by the disempowering suggestions that found a place of acceptance in him.
You can tell me who I am and who I will become, and I will thank you profusely for helping me to grow into my potentials. You can tell me that I am more than likely to fail, and I will use those very words to reorient and dedicate myself to proving you wrong, but I will not agree with any negative suggestions. That is my promise to me, and it is non-negotiable. God expects and approves of that affirmation.
So if you tell me anything about me to belittle or wound me, you can say it is a cultural affirmation or that it is the truth as you see it, and I am going to push back forcefully against it. Your limitations are not mine. Nobody should accept any, “big up uno b***d c***t self as a compliment”.
I don’t play like that. I don’t do life by hanging by the hairs of my chinny chin, chin. I am intentioned and purposed to make roads where my divinity leads me even if there are no roads.
Words matter. The discouraging words of another have power over you unless you put them to flight. And if someone comes with encouragement but the words are disempowering reject the words and let the person know that your sense of who you are and what you are about has no patience with sabotage. For, in effect, that is what you are being asked to do.
Blasphemy has an element to it of speaking against God. You would think God doesn’t care what you say about Him, but another way to understand blasphemy is to speak against or to agree with others against your own self. That is not murder, it is suicide. Your psyche can be abused. Don’t cheer or participate in your own destruction.
It has become commonplace for, “hey big p***y gal, yuh nuh hear mi a call yuh?” And “hey b***y b*y come yah!”, and the people who are so callous of their own worth and psyche are on a trot to participate in their cultural affirmation and identity.
There should be no ambiguity in your sense of who you are and what is empowering.
Peter Peterkin, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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