America is a hard place to live. The specter of slavery haunts every facet of life here, solidified by the lies we all tell ourselves about bootstraps and hard work and making it against all odds. Everything is measured by money–how much stuff you can buy and still be solvent and how much of your blackness you can wash away with stacks of racks.
And it is more than just physically exhausting and mentally draining; it is soul crushing. The way things are set up you keep hustling for a goal line that keeps moving and moving, competing against everyone and losing everything that matters in the process. You keep trying to get money to get stuff–to be up on whatever the up is for the day. You fight losing battle after losing battle, your success only counted by how much stuff you leave on your resume and in other people’s pockets when you die. You fail or succeed, and some nefarious somebody somewhere determines that by weighing your weight against the gold you’ve accumlated.
I call bullshit.
Failure and success are not dichotomies. They are not opposite sides of the same coin. Failure is a part of the process of success. And success isn’t demonstrated by what you own. Success is so much more than dollar bills and Marc Jacobs bags and Rolexes and Michelin stars.
Success–real success–is inner peace and love and community. Success is waking up rested and healthy and grateful. Success is accepting yourself fully and extending that grace to others. Success is waking up safe, walking in your purpose, having the needs of the day met sufficiently, and going to bed at might satisfied that you have done your best.
And nah, you can’t take that to the bank, but that’s because this system is set up to live a life serving mammon and calling it Christianity.
So I have quit this idea that I’m failing because I don’t live like the Rockefellers or Trumps or whomever. Because every last one of those families stepped on and killed and stole from and destroyed soooo many people to get what they got. And I don’t want to hurt anybody else trying to prove to an empty god that I’ve succeeded. Nah. I wanna be able to look out onto the world when I die in satisfaction knowing that I left it and the people in it better than when I got here.