How we all have a Choice, The story of my Uncle LG.
A country boy meets his Worldly Uncle
I think everyone has members of their family they like more than others. Also, if you are really lucky you may have someone you can look up to as well. Growing up, the person whom I looked up to and I really liked was my Uncle LG. When I met my uncle I thought he was one of the coolest guys in the world. Its funny, even though its been 20 years since we first met, I still have no idea what “LG’’ actually stands for but you know what, I don’t want to. He is my uncle LG and that’s all I need to know. Upon meeting him I was still pretty young and being born and raised in south Florida I had a very limited world view. In Florida we can say we had our own style and mannerisms, but my Uncle LG had his own thing going on. He was raised in Philadelphia, and I was for the most part unfamiliar with the culture of that area. He walked differently, talked differently and although he was black, he had this curly hair like I never seen in person before. He was one of the smoothest guys I ever seen, and he had this subtle air of confidence about him. Most people say Florida isn’t really the south however being around him made me feel like a country boy. If my generation has “swagger” then I would Say Uncle LG has Style. I see style as swagger’s big brother. Swagger wishes it can keep up, but Style knows there is no competition. Swagger is doomed to be in Style’s shadow for all time.
My uncle was a few years younger than my dad and apparently they used to hang out when they were younger. My dad apparently got some of the girls back then but my uncle got all of the girls. And yes, the way they described it he really did get ALL of them. Believe me if you ever are lucky enough to meet him it will be no surprise. These days when I go out with an intention to impress, I might put on my sport coat or vest. I may pair it with some dress shoes or nice boots and finish the outfit off with designer jeans or slacks and OF COURSE you have to have a nice belt to go with it. Uncle LG was the first person who taught me the importance of dressing well too. I remember him telling me once “Little Horus…”my dad shares my name so that was my nickname in those days, “… look at a suit as an investment. Get yourself a really nice one. Then as some time goes on buy another, then another. Soon enough you will have a whole wardrobe. Also remember to buy half the amount you think you may need but double the quality. That way you get the best stuff. If you take care of it, you will have that suit for a long time. Then add some dress shoes to the mix and perhaps a blazer. TRUST ME. The girly-girls Love it.” I remember my father and I laughing every time he said “Girly-Girls” it was his word for quality women. You can say I followed his advice, I am still doing it now.
Uncle LG was a momma’s boy and liked to come down from Philadelphia every few months to check on his mother who lived a few blocks from our house. I’m sure you can guess that whenever he was in town, I spent a great deal of more time hanging out with my great aunt. You can say it wasn’t just clothing he taught me methods of cooking, how to approach people and advice about how to truly live. The best way to describe it is that my father taught me the mechanics of life. What I mean is he taught me ways to study, the ins and outs of buying a home and what to do after high school. However, my uncle really taught me how to live. In truth, he was likely my first mentor.
My Uncle was probably one of the most relaxed people you would ever meet. However, if you were looking to get a rise out of him there was one simple way to do it. All you had to do was try to force him to do something. I have matured now, so I don’t really say this anymore but back in those days I had a habit of telling people how they “BETTER,” do something. It was one day when we were walking, and I told him something similar. Again, he was a really relaxed guy, but I still remember him turning to me, his eyes and face resembling cold steel, and him telling me “Listen here little Horus. The only thing I BETTER DO. Is to die a black man.”
I thought and thought and thought about this for years and it became really apparent to me why this was on my head. This stayed on my mind because he was right, the only thing I really have to do is die a black man. This stuck with me because subconsciously this was the truth behind all the white noise the world tries to press on me. I make it a point of never saying I need to do anything. The fact is I could care less about what is going on, I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do. I then found myself re-writing statements such as:
“I need to go to work.”
No, this is false, I only choose to. Granted there are possible repercussions not providing some type of service and having an income. One can look at the homeless population as an example. But the fact is, I do have a choice.
“I need to be married and have kids by the time I am 30.”
No, this is just the fantasy society has pressed on me. I know married people that are miserable and single people that seem happy. I know people that married again when they were over 50.
I find it more of the norm these days whereas people live a life not true to themselves or what they are actually looking for. Instead of listening to their inner feelings they go back to the echoes of the opinions of their parents or what their underpaid and overworked school teachers said. I’m realizing more and more these days that it isn’t their fault. They were just doing what they thought best. Sad thing is if you took those same words, they told you as children and put them into the mouth of someone you didn’t respect you wouldn’t even think of it twice. At the same time truth, real profound truth, no matter what source it comes from will always leave its mark.
Using the wisdom my uncle gave me I never allow myself to become a slave. I always remind myself that I take 100% responsibility for my life, and I’ll be damned if I let anyone decide what I will do for me. I always have a choice even if there isn’t one clearly presented to me.
People tend to mistake laws the society makes as ways you have to live your life. I say that is complete bullshit. An analogy I am going to use right now is of someone crossing a street. The laws of man say can say whatever it wants but when I’m crossing a street I could care less about a stop sign, crosswalk or anything like that. When I am crossing the street, my primary concern is the potential of a 1000lbs+ piece of machinery going 30–60+ mph that could hit me. The laws of man can say whatever they want about the car having to stop at the intersection but they aren’t going to keep me out of the hospital or dead if the driver isn’t paying attention. Fact is the laws of man are really just guidelines. If you think I am wrong, consider how many unsolved murders that occur each year.
My desire is for people to realize the power they have within them and in truth there are always choices even if it doesn’t seem that way. Recognize that the only rules we really have to follow are ones of nature and even then there are ways to even get by those. Just look at how every second of the day we use a higher law to supersede the law of gravity with airplanes and spaceships. Also keep in mind that no entity has complete control over you and they are never as powerful as they seem. Keep in mind that all a big corporation, government or movement is just a mass of people behind a concept or idea. Corporations go bankrupt, civilizations collapse. For some context let’s look at the USA right now. USA has been around for about 250 years and according to many it’s the powerhouse of the world right now. Rome lasted for 1000 years and Egypt had 3000. I am quite certain that people in those times were sure their civilizations were all powerful too.
Remember that you always have a choice and if you are like me or my Uncle the only thing you really have to do is die a black man.