Stepping to the stage is: Moses Miller
The other day a young man in his mid-twenties asked me what he could do to help the youth in our community. I'll be the first to admit that I am not a qualified expert in that area. There are plenty of people with platforms, PHDs and other qualifications that make them more suitable to offer a solution. There are thousands of people in the trenches, sacrificing their time and energy to make a difference daily, doing a lot more than I could ever claim. I did respond to his inquiry, and I'll share what I said momentarily, but first let me provide a little detail regarding my dilemma. The problem is, sometimes I think I'm crazy. Not in a tight straight jacket, prescription medicine diet sort of way, but I'm different. My lens is obscured. My moral compass still provides accurate readings. So there are certain things I don't get, can't grasp and probably never will.
For instance, I've never sold drugs, so I don't understand the honor that comes along with wearing a badge that signifies that you played a role in destroying lives, generations and communities. I don't go to strip clubs, so I don't get why someone would brag about paying to see somebody strip. To me, that's sort of embarrassing. I have a beautiful and supportive wife and four children (three of which are girls), so I can't understand the gratitude that someone would get from treating females like whores or sexual objects. Money doesn't move me, so I can't get any gratification from bragging about how much cash or material items I possess. I appreciate what I have, and treat it as such. So I definitely can't relate to why someone would think it's cool to say they Blow Money Fast or make it rain. I'm crazy. Some might say certifiable.
So, when people ask me my opinion, I feel like it holds little value. I see things differently than most. However, I offered the brother who asked that question about the youth in our community a few nuggets of my own to use as food for thought. I told him to imagine if as men, we actually lived our lives like the men we pretended to be when we were trying to lie up with the female we impregnated. Imagine if we were actually the fathers we promised to be when that female agreed to have our child. Imagine if we were actually the fathers we pretend to be when we talk to other people about our children. Imagine if we all made an oath to be better fathers than the ones we had (even if we were raised by a good father), and agreed to spend more time nurturing, mentoring and educating our children. Imagine how our communities would actually change if as men we just did those simple things. And so he looked at me like I was crazy, as he should have, because I am. I do think that it's just that simple. I believe that the conditions in our worst communities can change drastically if we did those basic things.
So, I write suspenseful page turners to entertain people like “The Trifling Times of Nathan Jones,” “The Game of Trife or “The Trifecta.” And then I write books like “The Barack in Me” and “Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Young Like You,” to further enlighten my readers and their children, because I recognize a need. And then while readers are eagerly anticipating that next novel from me, I decide to go back to college to get another Masters degree, so I can motivate and educate our children living in a low income community. I saw more value in saving some lives, than selling some books. Yes, I'm crazy, but at least I know it.
See, when the people who mentored me through life told me to pay it forward, I actually listened. When Jackie Robinson said, "A life is not important, except in the impact it has on other lives," I believed him. So, the crazier I believe I am, the more I'm reminded of Albert Einstein who defined insanity as doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results. Then I think, is it me who is really the crazy one? I wonder how many people are crazy by Albert Einstein's standards, doing the same things over and over again as if something will change.
Imagine if we all just did one thing differently in a positive way each day, the difference we could all make...how our communities would be impacted...how the outlook for our youth would change. I know, that sounds crazy, right?
Moses Miller is an author, journalist and co-founder of Mind Candy, LLC, a company focused on book publishing and the development of creative and thought provoking screenplays. A native New Yorker, Moses exhibits the uncanny ability to capture the pulse of the streets with intelligence, strong character development and well thought out storylines. He holds a Bachelors degree in Business Management and a Masters of Science degree in Technology Management obtained from Polytechnic University.