A Conversation That Never Happened

A conversation that never happened

I wanted to share this spoken word “Action” by Guante because for me, it hit home.

While listening to this piece, there were many lines that stuck out to me in a way that I could really relate to. “Action” brought to mind the teachings we were exposed to while growing up in this society, in this culture, with this media, television, music, surrounded by messages that degrade us and by “us” I mean “us” as in human beings all together.
How, might you ask? Well, for example:

“The conversation I just couldn’t start for fear of…embarrasment”

was a very strong statement in my mind. Why must we be embarrassed to stand up for another human being? Now when I say “human being” I mean whether you are a woman, a man, transgender, gay, straight, a male that is girly, a girl who is male like, whatever it is, my point is that We are all human. We are all creatures. Why do we automatically feel like we are in the wrong for truthfully stating something that is ultimately inhumane? Well, if your asking me (which I am asking myself, but I am also curious to hear feedback and thoughts from others), then I would say that society has engraved these ways into our heads since birth. I’ll admit, I used to LOVE degrading music because the beats were fun to dance to. Was I really hearing what they were saying? The messages they were letting out? The lessons my subconscious was taking in? NOPE! It took years of actually seeing these messages playing out in my own life to realize, I had to make a change for myself if society wasn’t going to do it for me.

Changes I have worked on in these past few years after these acknowledgements:
In Music-I am a listener/supporter as well as a musician/Hip Hop artist who not only lost myself in listening to horrible, degrading, violent, and drug/sexual abuse music, but I too, had been making music with bad messages. While all this was going on, I felt nasty, I felt gross, I felt guilt, and most of all, I didn’t feel like myself. After realizing I was following the crowd and fitting in to what was on the radio or what was popular, I decided to stop listening to the radio. I began to listen to music that was positive and uplifting. Soooooo, of course there was lots of Bob Marley.
In this culture-I began to realize how hard confrontation was for me. I mean simple confrontation, as little as taking a customers order at Pizza Hut and having to tell them we were out of something. Or, telling some older lady I was gay after she asked me if I had a boyfriend. Things like that. So then I came up with a saying, more like a way of living. It was “Love more Fear less”. Confrontation was scary, but I knew it was necessary if I ever wanted to treat myself like I was just as human as the people I came across. So, little by little, if I realized I was scared of something or scared to do something or say something, I would make myself do it anyway. Now, I can truly say I have come to feel more confidence and security then I have ever felt in life, although I still have a ways to go.
With SELF TALK-Self talk is the stuff you say to yourself. I never used to notice how much negative self talk consumed my mind until I began to make the above changes in my life. I started actually hearing what I was saying to myself in my mind. So, to change that I began saying self empowering affirmations daily. Some good ones are:I am love, I am in perfect health, I am my authentic self, I am surrounded by love, I am confident, I invite more loving, supportive, and caring people into my life…things like that.
People I surrounded myself with-After I began doing all these other things, I swear to you, positive changes in my whole mental state of being were going on and I was more than ok with it. After that, I began realizing what I deserved. So i began to surround myself with the people who helped me grow the most, that supported me, that truly loved and cared for me in a healthy way, I was actively showing the world that I deserved better than what I had been putting myself out to deserve all these years.
AND WAAAHHHLAAAAA! “ACTION” BEGAN TO HAPPEN. AND FROM THIS DAY ON, I ONLY HOPE TO KEEP GROWING AND ACTING ON THINGS I BELIEVE IN, BECAUSE I BELIEVE IN MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

Alright, it’s been real. I’ll leave you with a few more favorite quotes I found in the piece by Guante…AFTER I ask you one last question…
What ACTIONS will you take?

-Mystic Roots

“you tell me, she never said no, that your sorry, that you’re not a bad guy. rape culture is silence….is being able to see the future and not doing anything about it, it is believing the fairy tale platitude that there are good people and bad people, and as long as you’re not one of the bad people your job is done..” -Guante

“stand up comedians making rape jokes to sound edgy. Music portraying women as disposable sex objects. It is language, encouraging us to think of sex as violence- FUCK HIT BANG SMASH” -Guante

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4 thoughts on “A Conversation That Never Happened

  1. lexismanzara says:

    I love this post! I have been struggling with a lot of the same things, and this is really motivating. I wish I could say that I don’t listen to degrading music anymore, but I have yet to actually take action and remove it from my ipod.
    I think the small steps is so important for getting anywhere, especially when it comes to getting over fear and building self-confidence.
    get’um Amy!

    Like

  2. Jessica Ulrich says:

    It’s hard for me to keep up with all the posts on here, but I’m glad that this one didn’t slip through the cracks. I really liked this piece. It touches upon some really important concepts, whose relevance emerges in my life on a daily basis. This scenario sounds all too familiar.People we grow up with, that we are so close with, yet we struggle to confront them and/or make excuses for them. Resulting in countless “conversations that never happened”. One line in particular resonated with me: “I am the least important person in this story-“.By adopting this mentality and surrendering to the belief that whatever we could have done or said wouldn’t have made a difference, we give up without even trying.Why would I discount and dismiss my own voice like that? There are enough forces out there trying to do this already, I certainly am not trying to do it for them. Furthermore, although we may not be the direct victims of our inaction, we will suffer nonetheless. The timeless quote, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” (Martin Luther King, Jr.) will always ring true for me. Social justice is an interconnected web of different struggles against different forms of oppression, but they all affect one another. Oh goodness, this is already waaay longer than I intended it to be , so let me just stop that tangent right there. But I guess to sum up, we need to take care of each other. Simple as that. And my commitment to ACTION will continue to be to not be silent out of fear of making others or myself uncomfortable. Ok. That’s that. Thanks for the post, Amy:)

    Like

  3. jennavagts says:

    I really appreciate this post, Amy. I especially liked when you talked about the practical and active steps you are taking towards living a more positive life. It’s easier for me to talk about things that are disturbing me in our culture, but actually changing myself to be a better person and contribute to society in a more positive way is the real battle to me (and the most important part too!).

    Like

  4. meganleys says:

    Amy, I really enjoyed reading this post and watching the Guante’s Spoken-Word piece. After your post I spent a lot of time (when I should have been reading for school) on youtube watching inspiring spoken-word pieces.. .I just couldn’t stop). However, what I really admire most about this post is how open and self-reflective you are with yourself. Because of this, I couldn’t agree more with your comment, “AND FROM THIS DAY ON, I ONLY HOPE TO KEEP GROWING AND ACTING ON THINGS I BELIEVE IN, BECAUSE I BELIEVE IN MAKING A DIFFERENCE!” Because I know you will be makin that difference!

    Like

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