Monday, April 27, 2009

How To Kill The Culture Part 1 : Talking to the Younger Cats

I saw a news story today that Tony Dungy is going to visit Michael Vick in prison. That’s a good thing because even though I think Mike Vick made one of the dumbest choices in history, ruined his chance at making millions and set black quarterbacks back about ten years just to keep it real with his homeboys, he is still in a position to make things right in his life with a second chance. Not many people get a second chance like the one he is going to have so I hope it goes well to set a good example.

Coach Dungy is doing the right thing for Mike Vick by going to talk to him and offer some guidance. That should work out for him provided his ears are opened. Personally speaking I have been blessed to have older men around me that were willing to offer guidance and advice. I’m not just talking about my dad and the men in my family either. I’m talking about men like Mr. C at Clark High School or my first work supervisor Marlon. I’m talking about the older cats like Mr. Henry, Mr. Baptiste, and Mr. St.Cyr or guys like Freddie Blue, Tim, Joe and my by Ron. You can’t put a price on having someone who has been there before willing to pull to the side and give you some heads up on what life is all about. I don’t want to sound like everything went perfectly because of people willing to talk to me. Men are always going to test the waters and try things regardless of what people told them. I tried a few ideas and some didn’t work out. Guidance won’t stop you from making a few mistakes. It will help you bounce back from the ones you do make and keep you from destroying yourself. It’s the support factor. As I get older and things sort themselves out, I realize now that as much as it was their responsibility to reach out to me, I still had to make the choice to listen and try to apply what they told me to my own decisions. It has to be a two way street. There is no choice of words that can circumvent what a person is going to choose to do for themselves.

You don’t have to be a coach or have a ministry like Tony Dungy. You don't have to join any organization to be effective. Not everyone is up to that kind of structure. There are enough kids in your family, around your neighborhood, at your job, or someone you know has a son or a nephew who needs that kind of thing. Real life is a daily grind and you have to be equipped with tools to deal with it. One of those tools is the truth about how things are really supposed to be as opposed to the fake thug hero crap that leads to the cemetery or the penitentiary. If Mike Vick would have had someone to talk to him before he got in this situation he might be still be quarterback of the Falcons right now.

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