07 November 2006

The Active Participant

"Engage yourself fully in the details of living, and with each day you add value to your life that cannot be taken away. Be an active, enthusiastic participant in this day, and you'll come away from it with real, lasting treasure." -- Ralph Marston

Ever have days when you wonder where the hell time went and/or what you've done with your life? Of course you have; we all have. I have gaps in my life which I can't and don't recall and there have been moments where I wonder who was at the wheel. I realize now that I relinquished control to the wrong things and sometimes the wrong people. That revelation is startling because it shows that we're all so easily misled, misguided, and misunderstood when we aren't clear about what our intentions are for ourselves or for/with others. So, often when we realize we've been back seat drivers in our cars of life, and those we let at the wheel were in some ways drunk drivers. Granted, there are times when we need to relinquish control and allow others to lead while we're trying to figure things out, but there does come a time when we have to stop and take control. We can't and shouldn't allow ourselves to squander our lives away.

In speaking with lil sis on Sunday, she told me of her soon to be 26 year old friend who is currently pregnant with her 4th child. Said girl has only a high school education, a part time job, an unemployed husband, and her 3rd child has cerebal palsy; a bit much for a girl I'd say. Lil sis and I discussed how this girl has no prospects of a better life, probably will not be able to provide a better life for her children, and basically will only have children to show for her existence. Though I partly wanted to feel bad for the girl, I found that I couldn't. She has chosen the life she currently has and her complains are pretty warrantless as she's made the proverbial bed she's laying in. We predict that years from now, she'll look back and wonder where it all went and what does she have to show for herself. As they say, "with age comes wisdom", so this we're hoping that she'll stop having kids and try to do what she can with what she has for herself and her family. We also hope that her husband will step up to the plate and get a job.

Back to my initial and basic point though...We all need to be active participants in our lives. We can't and shouldn't sit around complacent and placing blame on why we're in the predicaments we're in. It's all so easy to say it's society's fault for this or that; blame our parents; blame our education (sometimes lack thereof); we simply need to start being active. Get off our asses and do something; anything is better than nothing. Look beyond material things to define you. Look beyond whether you're the perfect height, size, or weight. Find wealth in knowledge, integrity, and excelling at whatever it is you're good out. Lead; however, follow when necessary. There are so many ways to be active...what's yours?

11 comments:

nikki said...

this entry was so timely for me, blu...

i'm pulling myself out of the shell i've been dwelling in for the last few months and am finally starting to feel more like my old self. i'm not sure what it's attributed to, but i'm glad.

i'm determined to become more active in my life. i'm setting goals to be out of atlanta, in new york, and finally exposing myself to the beauty of the poetic spirits there.

i'm gonna get out and enjoy more of atlanta too. just cuz i don't want to live here anymore doesn't mean it doesn't have great things to offer. i'm gonna make the effort to put myself out there more.

Anonymous said...

This is an excellent post today, BluJ. Your posts are always excellent. Today, I am taking an active part in my own life by now committing myself to "looking the other way". Why do I say that? Because I see that when a person speaks up for injustice, the person gets met with resistance from others all the way. It has always been my way to speak up for the underdog, but probably not anymore because I think the late Dr. King, Jr. has a quote about conscious ignorance being the downfall of any race. I was trying to locate it, but can't. If you can locate it anywhere, let me know, okay? I'm being more active in my life by being more aware of my own personal health and happiness, and that of the young people I have contact with on a daily basis.

I like your last post, too. Spot on, sister, spot on!

I listened to John Legend that you recom'ded, but I don't see how that pertains to me. Let me know what you mean...

Have a good, blessed day BluJ.

Terry said...

Okay, this is scary. The planets must be aligned or something. I was just about to write a blog something along these lines.

I won't have to now; Blu did a much better job.

But I will say this, (with all modesty) that often people say that I have had done or are doing a lot of "stuff" in my life. And yes it's true that I am into a lot of things. But here's the deal, why am I not the norm? Why is the couch potato or the person who just sits by and watches things happen the norm?

I'm fortunate, I have had a lot of opportunities to do "stuff" in my life. But then again, I bet you have too. A lot of folks simply decide not to do them because of lack of interest or their comfort zone doesn't allow then to do something new. Well to that I say, step outside the box every once in a while! It's actually pretty cool out here!

There's and old saying that goes, "Life is not a spectator sport." For years Nike used the quote in one of their campaign ads. But how true that statement is.

I figure there are two types of people in the world, those who do things, and those who wished they had. Be in the first group, there's less competition.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you whole-heartedly about taking control. We should all do it. [Deep breath] I'm not going to get political... but today being Election Day I certainly could. I’m not going to talk about the so-called leaders that pimp our vote to crooked politicians while we get to “entertain” *them* in the BACK SEAT of this country’s economy, but I could. Personally, I choose to enter a booth and jerk the lever RIGHT. These Uppity whores aren’t giving it up to the likes of me anyway so I’ve had to learn how to entertain my own damn self. Just don’t rush me; I’ve waited all year to come.

The Mistress said...

I'm with you on note feeling sorry for the pregnant chick. NOT getting pregnant isn't fucking rocket science...I've manage to stay childfree and I'm no Rhodes Scholar so give me a break please. I am so over people not taking responsibilty for their reproductive health.

Susan Abraham said...

"...I have gaps in my life which I can't and don't recall and there have been moments where I wonder who was at the wheel...."

I thought this ti ve a highly-oberservant remark, Blu.

I wonder that we don't choose our own problems, and that we have the wisdom to recognise when we do. Perhaps then, life is made good when we choose to get out quickly.

love

BluJewel said...

i usually respond individually, but seeing as you all share the same sentiment, i'd rather make a global address.

i kind of thought i might be on my own with this one, but as Terry said, "The planets must be aligned or something."

i'm happy that you all are feeling this one and that the shared sentiment is to take and be responsible for yourself and your life. hopefully the positive affects we want for our own lives will be emitted into the universe and others will act in kind.

and to further quote Terry, "I figure there are two types of people in the world, those who do things, and those who wished they had. Be in the first group, there's less competition." The former is where i plan to be...competition is overrated.

So...Wise...Sista said...

SO on point!

jc said...

I've always tried to be accountable for what I've done good or bad, but when certain things or situations got the best of me, I did sometimes fall off the cart. My Big Mama was good in keeping me in check, but now that she's gone, I have to really step up especially for my lil man. I don't want him falling victim to the bullshit that's out there and getting himself caught up.

jus.b.fli said...

after reading this:

Look beyond material things to define you. Look beyond whether you're the perfect height, size, or weight. Find wealth in knowledge, integrity, and excelling at whatever it is you're good out. Lead; however, follow when necessary.

ain't a damn thing else that needs to be said!! that was a BRILLIANT summation and one that we should all internalize AND pass around to the "whoa is me" mofos in our damn lives! loved it!!

Peace!

p.s. sorry i'm late! :D

blaqrayne said...

I've become more determined to live my life for me. For so long I've done things or refrained from things based on how others would feel, but now it's a different world. A few sudden deaths and close misses of my own have reminded me of how short life can be. And I refuse to live it for others. At one point, I actually believed that my purpose in life was to sacrifice myself and my sanity for the sake of the ones that I care about. While I still care about their feelings, I am no longer defined by them.