Independence is a myth. It doesn’t exist. At least not in the realm of greatness. The idea that you can stand on your own two and achieve excellence in America is just an idea that sets people up for failure. It is inevitable. In sports, in business and in any area that matters it takes a team to win so. The purpose of this blog post is to once again propose a solution while defeating a detrimental cultural norm.
Starting with nothing is a set up for failure
For a while I have harped on the negative effect of making people start with nothing for the purpose of making them a man. You might succeed in making them a man but compared to their peers who were taught to be a man with a hand up, they will still be far behind. This is a pretty complex idea and there are a lot of things working to create the current state of poverty in black america. I say poverty by comparison. We are losing the wealth race, but we aren’t technically poor.
The solution is not as simple as the idea that you have to start with wealth. Unfortunately, part of the problem is that most don’t have anything to give so they use this as an excuse for why they don’t give. Another is that most of the times the father isn’t there and it’s not the mother’s responsibility to leave the inheritance or provide. Its not as simple problem so there wont be a simple solution.
Stop comparing your struggle to white people
I think that one problem with comparing ourselves to white folks in regard to the wealth race is that white folks aren’t number one. The number one winning group in America is immigrants. I make this point because immigrants come here with nothing but create their fortune often times in one generation. They do this because they see America differently than someone who has been force fed pictures of it’s greatness or its lows without context. This allows them to come here and thrive instead of wallowing in the difficulties. I make this point because if they can do it so can we. The thing is that we have to be willing to DO the things they are doing.
Living like an immigrant
There are two key concepts that I admire about immigrants. I admire these traits because they allow them to thrive in America despite its flaws. It is a fools game to expect everything to go right to succeed. True power comes from succeeding despite things not going right. The three traits immigrants have are 1) Grit and 2) Family. The rest of this post will exemplify why we fall short in these areas and why we need to adopt these traits to see success.
Its not enough to study someone at their high if you haven’t studied their low. We look at the Asian or Jewish business owner and their lifestyles in awe not realizing that they had to grind their way to it. If they did it, so can we. I remember reading a case about an Asian family that owned multiple liquor stores. If you read their story you see they came here with nothing, took whatever job they could take and then they saved all their money. This family worked in sweat shops in downtown la sewing clothes working multiple shifts until they had enough money to buy their first store. They then took their success from that store and built their empire.
The key is that you have to be willing to do whatever it takes. People are so entitled these days that they believe certain work is beneath them and they are blocking their blessings. The truth is that any work that pays is not beneath you. The only thing that should be beneath you is staying poor. We need to adopt the whatever it takes mentality so we can finally learn to thrive.
The key is that work is the best mentor. So while you are working, even at a menial task, you are taking on skills. You are practicing a trade but you are also learning to work and cooperate, how to communicate, how to show up on time and how to work toward advancement. The worst thing you can do is take no job because you can’t find the perfect job. I have done this personally multiple times. I have had great jobs and I have had terrible jobs but I keep a job and I keep pressing forward. I worked as a janitor one summer in college, I worked delivering jumpers when the economy was low and I worked at a restaurant through law school. The key is that I was always pressing forward. Sitting around waiting for your ship to come in will just keep you sitting around.
This point is key. We are falling behind in the wealth race because we lived through a generation of women who thought they could do it on their own. Years later, family wealth at an all time low, prison rates at an all time high and unwed births steady climbing and the survey says, that was a lie. The family is the foundation of wealth. It is imperative that we stop splitting the family and promote more two parent, loving house holds. In order for this to happen we have to stop chasing sex and start chasing compatibility. Sex is the bare minimum. You can have sex with someone and not care about their mentality their attitude their goals or their dreams because the only qualification for sex is that you have the equipment. You didn’t have to do anything to get the equipment. So you get stuck with bare minimum people now being left to raise the next generation in separate homes. That is a recipe for failure.
Next is that we don’t leave inheritances. We spend everything we get on items that just collect dust. People have multiple cars but not multiple homes. People have huge TVs that are outdated as soon as you buy them and there is an advance in tech. That money could and should be set aside and growing not being wasted on an emotional high or IG like.
Lastly, we have to learn how to stick together in the house. We could go so far if we were willing to live together under the same roof for the greater good. This alone would solve a lot of problems. Rent and mortgage are most peoples greatest expense and int he case of rent it is the greatest robber of wealth. We struggle in business, in school, in investing because we lack the resources but if we bunked up and lived together for years and put that money in the right places we would be able to rival other cultures. Secret, they are already doing this. In Los Angeles you see families bunked up and hustling. All the money is just stacked aside. There is always a way to win in America its just a matter of whether you are willing to grind to do it. Little known fact, Barack and Michelle, both Harvard lawyers, lived with her parents after they got married and even though they both had high income careers. Living at home with a high income is a power move. Moving out and taking on mad high expenses too soon is just a ticking time bomb ready to explode. As soon as you get fired you will be back at home with your parents. Build a cushion and then once it makes financial sense you can move on. Be smart about what you are doing. There is so much more to be said about this but I will save that for the book.
The flaws of independence thinking
Back to the topic, instead of leaving your child with nothing you should be doing double time to be successful and make the way easier for your children. We all agree that making it in America while black isn’t a cake walk. Why would you make it even more difficult for them especially when statistics show that your strategy doesn’t work. Teamwork is the only way to make it in America. Start with your family then continue to link up with your peers. I promise you that that solo stuff will leave you dead. Even if you think you are solo you really aren’t. you are learning on someone to help you succeed. Why not make that person someone who looks like you? Everyone else in America is doing it and they are winning. Even the people who pretend to be doing it on their own are getting help from somewhere. Join the club. If you keep doing what you have always done you will always get what you have always gotten. Its time to shift the thinking and the culture.
I have a lot more to say about this but hopefully you pulled something out of it. None of us wins if we all don’t win.