Earning Wings

The other day, i posted Cee-Lo’s “Getting Grown.”  It is, without a doubt, one of my favorite songs of all time and certainly on my life’s soundtrack.  As i was listening to it, i was reminded of the line that always struck me most:

Gotta walk before you learn to fly.
We all got to earn to die.

It stands strong on its own, but there is something particularly captivating about his delivery: the emphasis of the first part, followed by the somber matter of factness of the second.

We all gotta earn to die.

i’m delving further and further into my dissertation, reading about people and organizations who committed themselves to the development of a strong Black nation, using their allotted time on this Earth to do their part: in a phrase, earning to die.

In this society, we are taught to see death as a punishment; as one final hurdle before it’s all over.  But that’s so incorrect.  Man, death is a reward.  It is an honor bestowed upon those who have lived a full and productive life!  Cause if you’ve truly been doing your best, you will have accomplished what you were supposed to accomplish.

My grandfather transitioned two years ago this Saturday.  The tears i’ve cried and continue to cry are tears of sadness, yes.  But sadness ain’t the first emotion that produces those tears.  It’s joy.  And i miss him most certainly, but above all else i am so very proud of him!  Yo, Howard Johnson did his thing!  Ain’t nobody ever did this life thing like he did, because he did with his life what we are all to do with ours: he lived with love.

And when that bright morning came and he had to fly on home, he flew with wings hand crafted by God.  First class, sun!

We all gotta earn to die.

i use my grandfather’s life as a guide.  Not as a play-by-play manual, but as a model of a life lived with purpose, with intention, and with originality.  Howard Johnson lived Howard Johnson’s life.  Only i can live mine.  Only you can live yours.

So let’s get to living.  And if we do it right, we might just earn to die.

-amari

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I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Meeee

Last night, i went to my weekly, Friday night backyard get down.  It’s a nice, family environment with good food, good music, and good people.  As i was approaching, i saw a large group of folks walking towards the gate, so i hurried to get in line cuz don’t nobody wanna order they food after a group that big.

It turns out it was a group of students from Texas A&M in town for a tour of local culture.  As i’m waiting to place my order, i hear a sister hesitantly call my name.

“It is you!  Wow!  Remember me from COBRA?!”

COBRA was a high school leadership program my partner in crime, Samori Camara, and i ran back when we were living in Texas.  It was for boys, but two ambitious sisters wanted in on the goodness, so we helped them form their own group.

This was one of those two sisters. Continue reading

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::Knock, Knock:: Is anybody out there?

i understand.  i know.  The cyber attention span is shorter than Ricky Martin’s career.  And if i don’t keep updating, folks will not follow me.

i will be posting something soon about some revelations i’ve had lately.  i believe it will be insightful, if not award winning.

In the meantime, however, you can check my latest blog at Spring Chicken’s Revenge.  It will not go the way of this blog.  That is, i will be posting several times a week with stories and anecdotes about the Pains and Pleasures of Gettin Grown.  Be sure to subscribe and comment and be part of the general goodness!  It’s a party!

It’s a wonderful thang!  Ya’ll are wonderful thangs.

-amari

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A Hunnit Grand Approach

i’ve been goin over my arithmetic.

Did you know if a million people gave me a dollar, i’d have a million dollars?  A MILLION dollars!  Just like that!

Wait, huh?  It’s not just like that?

i’m not sure i can agree. 

Check this: there are 750 million users on facebook, and over half of them sign in each day.  And that’s just facebook.  How many people are accessing the internet at any given time, day or night, from any and everywhere in the world?

The point is that we now have more access to a million people than ever before.  Right now.  On the spot.

But a $1,000,000?  That’s a whole lotta zeros.  Let me be more modest.  i might could eek out a decent living on…let’s say a hunnit thousand.

Of course, the work would be coming up with something for these 100,000 people.  But that’s the easy part.  And if i came up with something worth two dollars, that 100,000 is cut in half.

See how fun numbers can be? Continue reading

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Not here, but definitely not gone

Am i trifling or what?  i mean, really.  Over a month without posting?  At this point, it’s really gotten to be a “why bother?”

Well, to respond, i bother because i’m still on a mission.  And my cyber absence is not a reflection of my physical absence.

i’ve been working on realizing that mission, and as i approach a nex burfday, i’m more confident than ever in its realization.  Here is what has served as evidence for me:

That is what some might accurately describe as my book!  Have you gotten your copy yet?  Because the streets are certainly talking.  And you don’t want to be left out, huh?  You can order you copy here.

i won’t mind that you excuse yourself now to make that happen.  Just come back and check me soon.  i’ll be here for ya.

-amari

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The Live EP

Man, this music thing been poppin like 7k gold chains around back-in-the-day Oprhah’s ankles!  In August, we’ll be finishing up our first tour with two shows in NY and two shows in Philly. ::can’tstopwon’tstoptakethattakethattakethat::

But this is what i got for you: in early June, we rocked the world-famous Tipitina’s with my man Suave.  Here is the result, for your listening and purchasing pleasure (click the image):

-amari

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Do the Work! Steve Pressfield and What Ey’body Be Sayin

I recently read a book. It’s called Do the Work by Steven Pressfield. It’s slightly less than 100 pages dedicated to convincing you to…how do you say…do the work!

Seth Godin seems to be leading the new revolution in marketing and creative productivity in business and life, so of course he is the reference in this book. Pressfield borrows (steals?) two of Godin’s concepts to build this book: shipping and resistance.

i’ve already discussed these concepts on here, but suffice it to say shipping is completing a venture, while resistance is all the internal obstacles that stand in your way (insecurity, self-doubt, bronchitis) and keep you from doing the actual work.

One particularly useful concept in the books is breaking down any task into three parts: a beginning, middle, and end. The trick, of course, is to start at the end and work your way backwards.

Ingenuity at its finest!

Now, if you didn’t catch the not-so-sly reference above, i been on this, kiiiid. What Pressfield has managed to do is present an easy-to-read manual on everything you already know in a package that makes you feel good about yourself. For real. The book is 7.5 x 5.5 with a font size of “big ass.” You see a book like this and feel a rumble in your loins like, “yo, i’ll merk that thing in a day.” Continue reading

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