One of the reasons writing will always have a place in our society is because it allows you to explain yourself. Unlike Twitter which gives you a character limit and you can easily be misquoted or Instagram which gives you one minute and someone can take a fifteen second soundbite and ruin your life, articles allow you to give your entire side.

I have a lot of thoughts on my grandparents generation. I do believe in a sense they were the best of us, they were brave and professional and they built homes, communities and families. But they also had their flaws, they spoiled their children and made a lot of them lazy which led to being bad parents. They cheated in a way in which they would have entire families across town.

They are just such a confusing yet interesting generation. I won’t  get too deep into it but I’m sure a lot of it has to do with being raised by parents that were heavy in Jim Crow and segregation. They saw their parents and grandparents struggle and not know how to read in a lot of cases so they wanted more. More often included sin.

The one thing they did that I did respect, is they always knew to take care of home first. There’s a part on Fences that goes unnoticed. He gives his check to his wife faithfully to pay the bills before he buys his liquor, hangs with his friends, cheats. He knew to take care of home before anything else and when he stopped taking care of home, his life fell apart.

Women were the same way. A woman may have had all the chores to do in the world or may have worked her ass off but she knew when her man walked through the door there would be dinner. She knew that no matter what he was taking care of home so she took care of him.

Our generation has lost that. We live in this constant state of taking care of everything and everyone but home. It’s a bunch of things, it’s technology, it’s circumstance, it’s social media. But they all lead to the same conclusion. We are a generation of selfish people.

In the 90’s a man or woman would work all day and when they got home from work they would call their friend and have a conversation about what went on. Maybe if they have an office phone, they’ll call during lunch. Now we’re in an era where people have 24/7 access to you. If you aren’t talking in a group chat, you’re on the phone, if you aren’t on the phone, you’re on Facebook. Everything feels urgent when the truth is, it isn’t. We carry our phones around like slaves. We neglect those closes to us in hopes a stranger likes a picture.

We don’t take care of home. Getting online and pretending to be in love means more than coming home and making sure someone ate. Going to hang out with friend’s matters more than coming home and surprising your significant other. Everything becomes an argument about who did what or who does more because the truth is our generation just doesn’t care about home.

So we end up with blended families and regret. We end up with people not appreciating what they had until it’s gone when the truth of the matter is, the same people you neglect your family for. The same strangers you crave attention from, once you lose the person that was there for you when the camera phone was off, none of that attention will feel as important.

Life has been and will always be about priorities. Every decision we make leads to the next decision. You can try and justify them but in your heart you know, we all know.

Our grandparents didn’t always do things the right way but they knew to take care of home first.

Losing Provides Necessary Lessons

20131119-220624.jpgTransparency is a word I don’t often use but it’s a word that describes my writing perfectly. I try my best to be as honest with my words as I can while still trying to keep some things sacred. I learned a valuable lesson this weekend, one that will haunt me and keep me up at nights but it will also make me a better man.

Intentions matter just as much as our actions do. It’s easy to use “I’m single” as an excuse to be selfish but our actions and intentions have to match. If I tell a woman I’m single and I should be allowed to date or do what I want those are intentions. If my actions are courting her and talking to her and making her care about me then those are my actions. No matter what I’ve said I’ve done enough that she’s invested now. So it’s up to me to either go all in or fall back, there can’t be a middle ground.

I’m always writing about respect and accountability. Men need to step up and be men. I don’t want my words to be hollow and in a way they have been. Being honest is easy, people respect honest but just because you’re honest doesn’t mean you’re right. Part of being a man, part of growing up is realizing that options are overrated. There will always be available women, there will always be opportunities to meet a woman that has something the woman you’re with or dating doesn’t. We have to decide is losing someone that matters worth options? On Friday I would have wrote some bullshit answer. On today that answer is no. It’s not worth it.

Lessons aren’t meant to be kind to us. If they were most of us wouldn’t get the full impact. Lessons need to hurt, they need to make us cry and curse and fear. When we’re children our parents popped us on the hand for touching the oven or outlet because they knew it was better to get popped on the hand then to get burned or electrocuted. We’d remember that sting and stay away. Dating, relationships, they work the same way. You screw up, you lose someone special, you get burned. That lesson will stick with you so much longer and teach you so much more because it hurts.

My writing sets a standard so in turn I have to live up to that standard. In 2013 I got better at it but I still fell short, as I write this there will be times where I let people down that care about me. There will be times I hurt people I had no intentions on hurting but what do intentions matter if my actions are what matters.