Tuesday, October 12, 2010
The Small Things Go A Long Way
Big Cliff thought me how to tie my own tie when I was 11 years old right before my sixth grade graduation. I remember that because it was the first time I did it myself and it took about five tries to get it lined up properly. Those are the kind of things that come back to you when you get older and read stories like this one. It’s also the kind of thing that gave me a blueprint on how to behave and carry myself. I know a lot of young black men in our city don’t have that at home or even another man close to them that give it to them. When my daughter Gabby graduated from Kindergarten there was a bunch of little boys when ties around their necks that weren’t tied. A few of them were with their daddies and that made me depressed. The two little boys whose ties I fixed still speak to me when they see me around the school. I take a little pride in passing that down even though they probably can’t remember how I did it. That’s okay. I would go back every time they needed to dress up to show them again.
It’s necessary to admit that as a community we are really starting from a basic level of just showing some of these young men things like how to tie a tie but we are. There’s two ways we can handle it. We can sit around and shake our heads while we wait for the super hero to fly in and instantly change the social issues that leads these kids down the wrong road. That option is not going to work. The other thing we can do is take one or as many as your life can handle and try to show them things that may make them look at life differently. That’s why I finally joined the mentoring program. I learned too many things from great men in my life to let it go to waste. You can’t change where they live or what circumstances they were born into but sometimes simple things like being able to stand in the mirror and fix your clothes like a man can give you just enough self worth to look into other options besides the street life.
I want to give a shout out to the mayor for participating and being a mayor of the people no matter what color or background. Stuff like this helps bring the city together. I want to give props to Andre Perry who puts actions behind his words. The next time something like this is going on I want to be in on it. I would love to show a young man the Harris method for tying a tie and why I believe in the proper use of a good pair of suspenders.
Sometimes you need a morale booster.