This started as a simple letter, a few lines to support you, and try to get you on your feet. Momentum got a hold of the process and I found myself saying more than I wanted to say. I do not have the heart to censor it or edit it in any way. Here are my thoughts unfiltered. This is forged out of the truest love I could ever channel, the purest part of my being that I am distilling into digital form and displaying for you.
You are whatever you want to be. If you think of yourself as a Felon, then you are. Societal labels only apply insomuch as you give them credence.
You made the decision to accept the plea. You have to live with that decision. If you did it so you can call yourself a felon, then okay. but it was YOUR decision.
You choose your fate, You choose your label, You choose your future
I know you didn’t rob a bank. To me you are not a felon. Your Family knows you are not a Felon
You are my brother.
You are a person in charge of his own life who is capable of doing whatever you set your mind to. You can get hung up on the Felon thing, this infinitesimally small fraction of your existence, or you can accept it and think long and hard about what you want to do with the rest of your life.
What are your goals for tomorrow, and the week after that, and the year after that?
How are you going to navigate the world in light of the decisions you have made
You are 26 years old, of sound mind and body, and capable of anything.
Now decide what you are going to do with all that health and wisdom, and god given talent
And quit calling yourself names
David was a philanderer,
Moses was a murder
Jesus was a cult leader,
Malcolm X was a two bit hustler and a theif named Detroit Red
These are people who altered the paradigm of human society at one point because they did not accept the labels that the world chose to give them and they stayed true to their convictions and their beliefs. People who chose to live grand lives that outshined their mistakes and labels.
There is a power in you capable of far exceeding even those men, (not to say that you are better than Jesus) my point is that you are capable of anything
Your strengths as I know them:
You are extremely intelligent
People gravitate to you,
You hold sway over the lives of men
In case you haven’t noticed there are people in your circle who look to you for advice and direction. People who don’t seem to move without your say so.
They do this because of some innate gift you have to be a leader
You are a leader of men, a conqueror,
Now pick yourself up, shed the labels and nomenclature that the world would limit you with and actually use what you have
Now is the season of Produce. For too long we have toiled in the valley. God isn’t going to pull us out of the valley. He has equipped us with the tools to climb out on our own, and the unwavering strength to stand once we are there. If this family is going to become the shining paragons that I know we are capable of then we will do it by taking command of our destiny and bending it to our will.
God didn’t give us these resources, this talent, these gifts, this fortune and wisdom so that we could call ourselves names, and live under the weight of our depression
We are here to be a light to people.
To be the strong, gifted leaders that help people weather the storms
To guide the afflicted, to shore up the damaged, and build the foundations.
I have said it before and I shall say it again, I am an Idea man, I am going places. I will reach goals that few ever dreamed this little boy from Dunbar West Virginia ever could, and I am going to do that because I long ago decided that I was in charge of my life and if I maintained my faith and adherence to the almighty then I would reach beyond the limits of even my grand imagination.
A while ago I could have accepted a title or I could have done what I did and fought my ass off to prove what I knew in my heart to be a possibility: that whatever happened was going to happen on my terms, and regardless I was going to MAN UP and take whatever design God had in store for me.
Now is the season of produce!
You can spin in circles with self doubt, pulling your self down and holding yourself down with self criticism, and depression, Or you can pull yourself up, take charge of your life and fight.
The brother I know is a rebel
The brother I know could wrestle the Devil himself on sheer will alone.
The brother I know is wondrous marvel whose story has yet to be told
I say all this out of love and reverence
I would say this to anyone I know and love, because I love you:
GET OFF YOUR ASS AND PRODUCE!
Be A MAN and show the world WHO YOU ARE
Show the world that the lion of Dunbar is too massive to be tied down
Show the world that tenacious spirit that bars can not hold
Show the world that you are serious about yourself, your goals, your dreams and that nothing is stronger than you
No man can hold you
No mortal can contend with you
No living thing on this earth can ever bind that which is within you
I started this as a simple letter
Tears are welling in my eyes as I write this because this is so serious to me that I want to hold you to the ground and yell this in your face until you fucking get it.
You could rule the world if you wanted to
You could pull the stars from the sky if that was your desire
You could command the ocean to cease its waves and the sun to go dark in the sky if you just realized for one small second how truly powerful you are
And we are all sitting on out hands, Me, your sister, mom & Dad.
Sitting on our hearts as we wait for you to see the beauty that is in you, to see the wonder that you control, to see the GOD DAMN TRUTH about yourself. Because we can say it a million times. We can know it for a lifetime. But until you see it for yourself then we are a tree in the forest that doesn’t matter because who cares if no one is around to hear it.
YOU are an African American Male, A West Virginian, a Cincinnatian, A Charlestonite, a man of Kappa Alpha PSI, A college graduate, a High School Graduate, a POET a Writer, a Hip Hop Artist, A Spiderman Fanatic. You are a child of God, and whatever else YOU want to be.
BUT YOU ARE NO FELON
Unless you want to give it all up, Walk to the court house right now and tell them to lock you the Hell up
That will be YOUR decision
That will be YOUR choice
That will be YOU deciding YOUR fate for the rest of your life
And you will be there because that is the choice you made
You can be all those other things I mentioned, or you can be this one thing. But remember it is about “Choices.”
WE can give you the resources, WE can show point out the way, We can tell you how we see it. We can hold you down and scream in your face but until YOU SEE IT, it doesn’t matter,
Until you take the reigns of your life
UNTIL YOU TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ALL THAT YOU ARE AND ALL THAT IS IN YOUR COMMAND
We are dust in the fricking wind
We are but a leaf on the breeze
We are your cheerleaders in an empty stadium.
We are 200 people who all have your back
Do you realize?
Do you hear a word I am saying?
I am talking about you actually LIVING
And knowing that it is for a purpose
And knowing that it is UP TO YOU.
And knowing that no man can EVER decide the life that you are going to live
NO MAN has ever had that power unless you gave it to them,
So now go and be yourself
And take control of reality
And show the world who the hell you are
And know that you are doing it with the love and support of over 200 people whose prayers have been with you since you emerged onto this earth. You are stepping out with the strength of a powerful bloodline of kings, conquerors and leaders of men who have walked this earth for generations so that you can be here, so that you can take charge of yourself.
So that you can truly be the man YOU WANT TO BE!
The man that no one can tell you to be,
The man that has never been controlled
The man that has been sitting inside you all this time waiting for his time to truly shine. The man we all know and love and are waiting to arrive. The man YOU have to actually believe you can be before he will ever surface.
It all comes down to you
It has always come down to YOU
It will never come down to anything but you and your choices, and your life.
Everyone else is just a prop in your movie, an aside to your novel. Wind in your sails, but we can only lift you if you are willing to rise anchor and cast off into your life.
GET UP AND PRODUCE