Observations of life by author and poet Charles L. Chatmon
There is a feeling among African-Americans like myself, that we should work together as one and unified as a race. However, the idea is perfect but the reality is flawed. For years we've been caught up in what criteria there should be in 'keeping it real' instead of coming together despite our basic differences of politics, philsophies, etc. Instead of coming together, we always find ourselves pushing each other further and further from each other. No greater example of this can compare to the East/West coast feud rappers and their companies involved themselves in the mid 1990âs. What was even more tragic than Tupac's or Biggie's unfortunate deaths was the hype we bought into of the myths of what was said about the two coasts. I don't want to waste valuable time identifying them here, but let's just say they were like any other myths; shadows of falsehood.
We've now entered the 21st Century. This case of 'your plantation is worse than my plantation' mentality has to stop. It's too bad we spend more time and useless energy being the ultimate hypocrites when it comes to our own race. Like Christ Himself said, it's hard to tell someone to take the beam out of their own eyes when you have one stuck in yours. We can talk about ending racism all we want, we can boast about our proud world history -and no doubt we should - we can say again and again we should be true to ourselves, but until we end the Coastism within our race, peace or unity is just another five letter word uttered without any true meaning to it. There are issues affecting us everywhere from Black on Black crime to health and home, whether we maintain both or not.
What solution can we find to come closer together? We have to start knowing each other, really know each other. I don't mind if a brother or sister from a different perspective approaches me. I want to know why they've taken the perspective they've chosen, no matter if it's political, moral, financial, etc. Spending less time listening and even healthy debating won't bring us together in an instant, but it helps us understand and perhaps find a common ground for the greater good without compromising who we are or believe. This may sound simplistic, but it's just a thought, and a good way to seek the unity we want rather than the alternative we feed ourselves.
How are you? I hope youâre all doing well as we're all dealing with the global impact of the Coronavirus or as it's called in its medical term, COVID-19. This virus has affected us in different ways, but it has stifled our ability to socialize. Hopefully as the weeks pass and the weather gets warmer (along with 'flattening the curve' of the virus), we will all resume close to the regular life we used to enjoy before it became the story of 2020.
This moment when we're all staying at home is also a recovery period for me from the stroke I had last July. It has been a much needed time off although I am glad I was able to go back to work in between my first recovery period and the impact of the virus. It's led me to have a moment or two of introspection. In other words, what have my decisions led up to the past twenty years? 2021 will mark the twentieth year since The Depths of My Soul was published. I am proud that goal was achieved back then with a lot of hard work. I just wonder about my life after that. Did I make the right decisions? Did I promote my book the right way? What could I have done better in life and as an author? My time off has helped me see there were things I could have done better as a person and as the author I finally became. I should have made better choices with people and events. I should have created a website immediately when I published my first book. I should have done this and done that, stayed away from this situation or that person. I should have published more books. All of these things I have thought about for the past few months.
My conclusion is this; there's no way I could have known how my life was going to turn out. The places I've visited, the people I met were meant for something I believe. I don't regret the experiences I had, just that I could have handled myself better and realized as a published author, my first priority is the book. Promote it, sell it, write some more. Instead, I didn't realize it at the time, but The Depths and The Voices of South Central two years later should have been the projects that could have gained the most focus in my life. I let a lot of 'clutter' and personal insecurities take over instead of taking time to promote and push what I worked so hard to accomplish; a published book. I just didn't know that at the time, so I accept my experiences past 2001 as experiences learned, experiences gained. In this year of 2020, I can now look back at taking over a Black Book Expo, interviewing authors on camera, other projects I created and built on, as learning experiences. The people I met along the way for good or for ill, just a part of life.
There's a lot of planning leading up to publishing a book, it's the after that first time authors have to consider once the work is done. At times you might find yourself distracted by life, love or anything else. If your book is important to you, you'll do anything possible to make it work for you, even open doors you never thought of. There's no regret of what I've done leading up to this point. It's all a learning experience. For you first time authors, make sure you plan past the publication of your book and don't let life distract you from establishing your name out in the public. Live your life, but make sure you make time to make your project known.
We live in troublesome times, eh?
Coronavirus, instability in the markets, it looks like we won't make it out alive right? Almost as if we're all going to die? Whatever you're feeling right now, I'm here to cheer you up, keep your head up with all this stress going on. If there's one thing I learned from my own personal ordeal, it's to keep your faith that everythingâs going to be just fine. As human beings, we are the cause of our own demise but we can also pull ourselves out of it. We don't have to wait or live in misery. That's not the focus of our existence. Now I know there are a lot of 'Doom and Gloom' artists who give you the lowdown on the next big conspiracy and yes, you will have people who will agree with the person(s) who has the 'inside stuff' but reader, it's up to YOU to determine not to let Man or a group of men steal what The Creator intended for you to enjoy; life, and all that goes with it.
With that being said, submitted for your approval is a song I hope will help you get over whatever rut you may feel in your daily lives. Just remember, have faith and you will make it through! Take care.
God has never failed us yet. Man always will.
Hey folks, followers and friends: here's an update.
It's been a few months since the stroke. So far, I'm doing well and improving. I hope within the next few months I'll return to my usual self. For right now, I'm fine.
Who hasn't heard about the Coronavirus and the madness it's created? You have pundits talking Doomsday scenarios when seriously, all it takes is to take personal care of yourself and if you cough, cover your mouth. It makes no sense to believe not taking the simple steps you need to ensure good health. If I didn't listen to the doctors last summer, I would have expected a longer stay in the hospital than I would have liked. Instead, I listened to every recommendation they offered and now I'm much better than before. If we all realized we have the power to control our health, the Coronavirus while formidable, won't be the end of us yet.
I didn't get a chance to speak on this because I needed time to recover and get my brain back to normal, but much has been said or debated on the new reparations issue. Those of you who are my new followers may not know in my first book, The Depths of My Soul, I wrote about it. Keep in mind I wrote Pay Me Mr. President a poem back in 1998, the book was published in late 2001. While I have a policy to stick by the points I make in my past works, this one I must tell you....well, wait until I post the poem online and in this blog. Then I'll discuss it more at that time.
This brings me to another random thought: Think for Self. Right now you are reading this on my blog which means you are exposed to my words, my opinions, my viewpoints of life. I allow you the opportunity to debate whatever points I bring up. What I do ask, is that you be civil and respectful when you do. This 'Superinformation' Highway has created a legion of conspiracy theorist artists who believe it is their job to share 'the inside stuff' on what goes on in higher levels of government to the point it affects all of us. Does learning what a political figure plans have any significant meaning in my life? I may learn of a certain law they back to limit my vote or determine my fate, but seriously, we can hear and read what these same conspiracy theorist artists may post for years and yet life goes on. What they espouse may entice your curious minds, but time ticks on and your life continues to pass by every day you hear a conspiracy theory but with the knowledge, there's nothing you or I can do about it. Rather than give up hope, I prefer that we focus on the basics: caring for your loved ones, speaking up for yourself when the time requires and while voting is discounted due to these folks, try anyway. We're all going to die. We all don't have long for this world nor can we take anything with us so what does this all matter?
Think for self. Don't let anyone sway you into a feeling of despair. When you do that, that's when you have lost my friends. Recently, I have visions of the last time I saw my father. He laid in a hospital bed, but his soul was gone. The first thing I thought about when I saw him isn't that he was gone but that's the fate in store for all of us. Every single one of us. Your parents, your husband or wife, me. What should matter is to log off the internet and not be swayed by the influence of another. Life is too short for that. Think for self.
So these are some of the thoughts I would have shared with you last year. Due to my stroke I had no time to focus on these topics. Maybe I'll return to them and give you the rundown on how I really feel. Until then, take care.
I know you're out there.
Reading, watching, recording everything I wrote on this blog, past and present.
You may find something you like, or you don't. It's cool.
What I will say, these are my thoughts. They are written on a string.
In order words, what I will say on this blog will offend you. It may cause you not to be a follower or a friend. Even the possibility of one in real life.
That's cool too. Saves me the trouble.
For fifteen years, I have and will continue to share my thoughts. Why? They are mine and you are here so obviously there are things you wish to know about me. Perhaps you would like more insight into my different views of life, sports, and other topics. All that which is very cool. I don't mind.
What I do mind is outside of this forum is that if we debate on a subject or a person (even a president), don't act as if you're an ally, then leave because I don't agree with your stance. If you happen to do so, I won't mind.
But if you stay be reminded; these are my thoughts on a string.
And nothing will ever take that away unless The Good Lord decides to do just that.
Charles L. Chatmon, author and creator of Thoughts On A String