I’ve been ashamed to tell people where I live for the past few years. It’s funny how we let things define us. We all fall prey to letting our fears, follies and shortcomings speak for us. Unfortunately as of right now, the area where I live and am trying to raise a family is not the greatest place. So many nights I spent hating, and questioning what divine purpose was being fulfilled by my occupancy there? The scriptures read that “hope deferred makes the heart sick…” and once again that is a truth that resonates deep through the passages of my life. It’s the hope, not the struggle that floods my heart with grief when it seems good never comes to pass. I am a fan of good, and things that are right. I admire fabled stories of good triumphing over bad which I believe is justice in its own sense, so not only have I found myself in a place I’d rather not be I cannot reason why I’m there. I believe that a great injustice had taken place in my life, I think that the same can be said about some of the other residents of the community I live in as well. Most of us are all living with a sense of why, and our hearts are all sick. Some of us have not known hope for quite sometime.
It’s amazing how often times some of the most inspirational stories originate from the most devastating circumstances. Almost like how soldiers find purpose in the trenches during war, purpose that gives them the will to persevere. It’s how mothers find the strength to raise sons and daughters in the absence of their fathers often times raising them to be productive members of society. You know how the truth of equality rises from the ashes of oppression? They found truths to their given situations, after they came to view the problem not as only a problem but an opportunity to change what has went wrong and make it right. The struggle is only as large as the heart of the person will allow it to be. So I’m no longer ashamed of where I live, if anything my living here was necessary. Maybe to gain true definition of hope you must be surrounded by people who feel hopeless. I am learning to love people who don’t love me. To have vision for young black men who society writes off as menacing. How these babies clothe their insecurities in violence so that your too afraid to ask them how they are doing, or what they want to do with their lives. I’ve seen first hand the adverse affect of drugs and how it plagues the lives of residence in a community, and claims the lives of those who can’t break free. I’ve seen widows and fatherless children, I have also seen men and women who are hopeful for the future and work hard to provide for their families. They have not lost sight and are ever faithful in their belief that trouble won’t last always. I’ve found purpose on those beaten sidewalks under the street light on those muggy Georgia nights. I learned the struggle is only part of the story it does not define it.