The Dumbing Down Process, Goes Something Like…

photo above courtesy of vigilantcitizen

Different - drums

You see those drums above? Yeah, me too – those drums have played a significant part in my life – all my life actually; As I watched year after year after year of those drums just sitting, waiting on someone to give them a good “BANG!” I couldn’t play them because I never learned how. Can you believe, I just learned how to play them in my very late thirties and oh, how I love the sound – why hadn’t I learned how to play them all along?

Let me explain…

While those drums are very real, they aren’t ones that I actually own. You see, I believe in life we all have our very own set of drums that sit in front of us each day, waiting on us to give it a good “BOOM!” Those drums represent our voice, our personality, our characteristics in which makes us totally different from others; those drums represent our life and determine if that life is ran by our own motivation or lessened by the un-motivation of others.

When I was a little girl, my stepdad hated the way I talked….he would tell my mom “Make her quit talking like that!” this confused my mom as she was trying to figure out “Talking like what?” According to my step-dad I talked too proper, in which he later referenced as “White-folk talk” and felt like this little black girl, shouldn’t talk like them.  I mean, I didn’t know their was a differential “this is the way you talk” language for whites or blacks, or any other race for that matter. I didn’t understand what he meant, all I understood was that it made me feel bad and for a long time….at that point I dumbed down and wouldn’t hardly speak to anyone….if I got criticized for using my voice, then why use it at all.

As I got older, I began to realize that I was different from other family members – I loved to read and found it very comforting, a hobby that not everyone found fond. But reading took me away from the abusive world in which I had come to know, like when my step-dad would get drunk; he would come home and let’s just say “All hades would break loose” it was a very difficult time; so getting lost in a book and being taken away by someone else’s “perfect” world was my escape. I loved to spell and could spell anything…one day, my uncle got the dictionary and began to call out words to me and I would spell those…I was curious about the reproductive system and found reading, writing and poetry fascinating…but when people got jealous because they felt as if, I knew more than they….I dumbed down, soon those A’s and B’s became C’s and D’s.

different4“Are You Serious?” was the question my aunt asked me one day when I volunteered to go to the grocery store with her. She had just gotten her food stamps and told me that I could get anything I wanted out of the store for coming with her – well, after browsing the store I decided that I wanted some cereal, but not just any kind of cereal – I wanted a box of “Frosted Shredded Wheat” which are still my favorite cereal today. When I took the box off the shelf and brought it over to my aunt to put in the basket, she looked at me with this puzzled look on her face. “Nikki, are you serious?, this isn’t’ what you want – go and pick out what you want, I said you could get anything! she said laughing, but I didn’t budge – because those were what I wanted – after going back and forward with trying to convince her of my choice, she abruptly stated  “Those are white people cereal, you ain’t white!” – Really? because I didn’t know certain cereal were made for certain races/cultures. After we got home and hearing her mock me, laugh and basically call me weird…..I dumbed down, maybe it was best to just be like someone else – after-all, there was obviously something wrong with me.

Different1Because of those incidents and many more similar or like them, I have to be honest…being “me” was not on the good list of things that I wanted to work on or through. I always desired to be someone else, someone new, someone popular, someone cute, someone special, someone…….other than Roshonda and I dumbed down to that for many, many years. When I turned 30, it was like a light bulb went off and I had did this 360 over night; call it what you will but for me it was liberating, I suddenly didn’t care what anyone thought – I wore what I wanted to wear, no matter how unmatched or weird it was and did my own thing – those drums were getting a good dusting off and I was geared up to give them their first concert. My “let’s do this” personality and award winning smile (so I’ve been told…lol) were getting me noticed and I liked it, but just like it was when I was a kid/teen/young adult – not everyone did. Soon, I found myself going back into the dumb down hole of mediocrity like everyone else, ever heard the term “When you’re in Rome, You do as the Romans” yesss…while that may be true, it’s not always good to be like everyone else just because EVERY-ONE else is or chooses to be….sometimes it’s good to veer off course and just – do – you.

So, what are you saying Roshonda you may ask – well, I’m saying you were given one life and in this life you sometimes have one shot to make a difference or live your life the way you want too. Don’t let someone make you feel bad about your bubbly persona or your sunshine smile or even your positive personality. My mama used to always say this about cliques/friends and/or people  “Either they are going to pull you towards them or you’re going to pull them towards you” but mama left out the part…..you can just leave the group =)

You my friend were born to STAND OUT! you were never meant to FIT IN! or Dumb Down to someone’s level – you were created to make them rise to YOUR level. Don’t ever be afraid to be you because those drums are waiting on a player, will you be the one to book it’s next gig?

This is for you finger pointing

u are lovely

Because if you’re not being YOU, you’re not being TRUE! And who wants to leave this earth being a copy! 

 

Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager

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Serving the Same God, But Walking a Different Path.

About 5 years ago, the Lord put it in my spirit to read the whole book of Proverbs; At that time, I had determined in my mind that I was going to read a chapter a day until I finished the whole book. But I felt this was sort of odd; why would God want me to read the whole book of Proverbs?

I mean, I like the book as it was written by King Solomon, the son of David. I was familiar with quite a few scriptures in the book such as Proverbs 3:5-6 (Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths.) This happens to be one of my favorites and/or Proverbs 15:1 (A soft answer turns away wrath but grievous words stir up anger) another favorite. And who can forget the Virtuous Woman in Proverbs 31.

proverbs-wisdom-to-invest

But why would God be leading me to read this whole book?, I mean outside of the scriptures I just named, I really hadn’t thought about dwelling on the book less known the verses. When I was given this instruction, I followed through for a couple of nights – in between dozing off and on, I quickly put it aside. During that week, I remember telling a couple of associates how I felt like God was leading me to read this whole book “Well, you have to be convinced of that yourself.” One of them said, but then I began to look at their lives and while they were in the church and followed God as I did, they didn’t have any instructions or orders from God telling them to do anything, that is when I began to feel really odd; like maybe God really didn’t tell me to do it – Maybe it was just me trying to convince my own self that God was setting me aside for whatever reason.

So, because God had not “called” my associates out to do something unordinary – I felt as if he really wasn’t calling me out to do anything either…I was totally wrong!!

When I didn’t obey the word of God, it seemed like everything but the kitchen sink was coming my way; every time I turned around some life crisis was happening or taking shape in my life – There were many things that came before me in which I surely needed council and wisdom to know how to handle, but because I disobeyed God and took the path of my associates – I was made to suffer the consequences for my “epic” fail.

Once I did a little research on what the book of Proverbs was all about, I found out that the book of Proverbs was a book of instruction, guidance and wisdom in which we all need in order to make major life decisions, it’s also a book in which I believe God wants us to read in order to live a life of purpose, structure and success. Although the verses may seem very ancient – their meanings and life lessons will help us navigate our own life into the ordered life in which God would like for us to have.directions

You see? God doesn’t allow you to take the same path as others. Each of us have something different that we need to work on and only God knows what that truly is. He may need you to read the book of Proverbs to build your wisdom skills while your friend or someone else may be going through a totally different process, God may have them in the book of Galatians – studying the Fruits of the Spirit because he knows that is what they need. When it comes to our lives, God is the only one whom truly knows what each of us will face and come in counter with, when he puts things in our spirits to do or to say, trust that it’s for a particular reason – After all, Father knows Best.

I have the bible app on my phone and within it contains reading plans – I usually do these because they keep me motivated and in tune with God and his word. As a matter of fact, I’m just about to finish a plan called Wait and See by Wendy Pope in which you can see here. It’s a 7 day plan in which I’m about finished with; so as I scrolled around to check on other plans I could indulge in – You wouldn’t guess what bible plan I just happened to stumble upon, Yes! “The Book Of Proverbs” – Okay, so five years later and God is still trying to get my attention with this book! So, my next plan is to read the book of Proverbs in which I’ve just recently started. So as you can see, if you fail the first time God has a way of bringing it right back around for you to complete the make-up test.

Just remember, your process is not going to be like someone else’s, Yes; we all may have the same experiences but we all follow different paths in how we go through those circumstances. Don’t become side-tracked if God didn’t tell your friend to volunteer at the local shelter but put it in your spirit to do so or God may be calling you to do something extraordinary that no one else is currently doing, The bible says “Today when you hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts.(Hebrews 4:7 NLT) don’t sit on what he has called you to do because it seems weird or unusual. God chose you and picked you out to carry through on a task that he knows your friends and/or your family is not equipped to do. He trusts you and he’s counting on you to make a difference. Not THEM, but YOU!

trust-the-lord