My father taught me many years ago how to win but, more importantly, how winner’s lose. I had to have this conversation with my 9 year old daughter years during a math competition. Though she placed high in during math competition, there was a child that was steadily crying because she did not place well in order to get an invitation. Because she was crying and everyone was so consoling of her pain, the judge arbitrarily gave her an invitation as well. As I was speaking with my daughter, she said to me, “Daddy, what is the point of having a competition if they are going to give away invitations.” In total agreement with her, I clearly stated that crying is not a problem( we all cry) but it should not be a catalyst for expectations either.
As I ended our conversation, I said,
“We win like champions and lose like champions. “
Therefore, if you do not earn a spot because of the work, then you will not get a spot because of tears. Because children that do not learn how to handle defeat grow into self-entitled adults with no firm idea of discipline.
Currently, I am reading Don’t Cry For Me by Daniel Black. This is novel about a father who is currently on his death bed journaling or writing letters to his queer/gay son in the form of an apology. It is written with the complexity of the father coming to “grips” with his son’s sexuality. Intentionally, I use that word “grips” in a sense of formation that has reshaped the father’s love. This book is firmly about fatherhood in a radical form. Radical in the root form of going back the basics of the father retrieving or at least trying to retrieve lost time.
It is not the typical how to book, but it is the narration of a father cultivating his love for his son through his cultural awareness of his own failures and success. His intentions from the beginning were well intended but in retrospect they were harmful to the growth of his son. Rather, he approved or disapproved, of his son’s sexuality, it was eventually outmaneuvered by his capacity to love his son’s enfleshment—his sexuality. Ultimately, this is what Dr. Black is getting at through this novel: that fatherhood has the potential to love with no boundaries.
Honestly, the novel is an imaginative critique of masculinity in the shape of fatherhood. What does fatherhood resemble in the lives of men who are broken? What does fatherhood mean in a man who has no concept of tenderness? What is love in a world where sacrifice is considered love? Dr. Black is performing these great “improvisational linguistics” as he tells this beautiful story of Black life transforming Black masculinity.
There is more but I will let you figure it out as you read…
A riot is the [voice] language of the unheard. Why would King make such a flaming statement? It is a statement laced with truth yet sacrificing itself on the alter of critique. Often truth can be so enlightening that awakes the very darkness that lies dormant within us. We all have had moments when our voices have been silenced for one reason or another. Sometimes causing us to restructure our very essence in order to live peaceably within our everyday space.
SILENCE IS SLOW.
Being unheard moves one to silence in a way that “feels un-natural.” I am not speaking of natural in a sense of nature but in a sense of undoing. When you have been silenced because you feel like you are unheard it starts an explosion that is going to erupt or irrupt.
SILENCE IS slow.
It feels like stress but it is an un-doing. What is being produced is the skill to hear and see more because now you are forced into the posture as the watcher. Speech is secondary within this skillset but seeing and hearing becomes the optimum resources. When you are not use to being silent it appears to manifest as stress. Yet it is not stress, it is just an unfamiliar space. Being unheard, or, in similar fashion, being ignored, makes one feel as if they have been silenced. This silence or un-doing awakens the body because other senses are forced to sharpen their appeal.
SILENCE is slow.
A riot is the [voice] language of the unheard and a riot happens with excessive speed. If you do not control the outcome of the silence it will lead to a riot. Once that riot jumps off the outcome may have catastrophic outcomes. It is too late to try to tame the riot after it has started.
silence is slow