Tag Archives: Maturity

Break away from the pack (Blog 1 of 2)

I was visiting my local Chic Fil A restaurant and there was a young black employee who ended the transaction with the phrase,  “My Pleasure”. His friends were in the lobby of the restaurant and they were laughing hysterically at him. The “My Pleasure” comment is kinda corny but it’s the company policy, everyone said it. I could see the laughing kinda bothered him. I said to the young brother, “Don’t worry about them laughing bro, at the end of the day you’ll have money in your pocket and they’ll be still trying to find a job, trust me.”

I was thinking back to my days in college when I worked at the Hechingers during my days at Morgan State. The same thing happened to me…I was working as a cashier and my classmates walked pass laughing and pointing at me while I was ringing up customers in my blue uniform. It didn’t bother me much…I thought it was funny. It was a vindication the next week when one of those friends laughing asked me if Hechingers was hiring.

The first job is significant to creating your identity. It’s that first step away from the allowance or asking relatives for money to becoming independent. There’s a fear of stepping out on your own, beginning your own journey. It’s the fear of leaving the safety of your friends to possibly being different than your friends. There’s that point where you go your own way and sometimes, most times, the path is a solo path. Leaving the comfort of friends is sometimes “uncool”, but you have to do it. It’s necessary to understand your unique talents and strengths as an individual. Your real friends will adjust to the change, whether you’re seen as uncool or not, your real friends won’t treat you any different. They will support your courage to try something new. Those other people or “friends” might try to talk you out of it or  hate on you or treat you different, leave them alone, they were never your real friends in the first place. Those people don’t matter and they never will. Once you weed those people out, it will become easier to weed out any possible obstruction to your goal.

For example, some entertainers or celebrities start out in a group or duo. Some started out as rappers and became business owners or actors. Phil Collins started out with Genesis, Beyonce started with Destiny’s Child, Busta Rhymes, Q-Tip, Justin Timberlake, Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Ice Cube, George Michael and Lil Wayne all started out in a band or group. Most them faced deep opposition and criticism to them leaving the group. Two people that stick out to me are Ice Cube and Will Smith, I remember these two because Cube was called a sell out because he left NWA and Will’s rap wasn’t “hard” enough. Will’s big hit was “Parents just don’t understand” it was the first rap to ever win a grammy. Will and Cube were both pioneers with going from rapping to acting. Will commands well over 20 million dollars a movie now, do you think it was a smart decision? Now all rappers try to get into acting. Some rappers are now titans in business. Shawn Carter(Jay-Z) net worth 500 million, Curtis Jackson(50-cent) net worth 125 million, Christopher Bridges (Ludacris) net worth 70 million are iconic in their successes. All of these rappers didn’t necessarily leave a group but the set out on an endeavor that was their own.

In the movie, “After Earth”, there’s a pivotal point where Jaden Smith’s character, Katai Raige, has to either come back to the ship and hope to be rescued and die with his father or go alone past the point of no return to get a access to emergency supplies and a beacon. Katai had to face environmental, physical and emotional challenges but he faces them alone and survives to rescue his father.

This symbolic point where manhood is taken in a great leap is very real and it’s very necessary.  You alone have to embark on this journey. This leap into masculinity is a obligation of all young men, prepare for it. There’s this break away point, where the eagle leaves the nest, where the young lion leaves the pride. To get those riches and successes and possibly become your own iconic symbol you have to break away from the pack.


“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Next Blog: Learning how to lead (Blog 2 of 2)


Filed under Career

Growing up: The responsibility of maturity.

I received slight criticism for my post on “Navigating YOUR success“.  The feedback was simply that my blog was a little firm, in the manner of over using the capitalization of YOU & YOUR. I started to change some of the wording and then I considered something. The feedback was from a female and I explained to her that my audience is young males. The way a father talks to his son is different than a mother talks to her son. The capitalization is necessary in the context of my previous blog. I want to impart responsibility to my audience. Their success or dare I say survival, is based on them accepting responsibility. The YOU & YOUR was me assigning responsibility to him for his success.

That discussion motivated this weeks blog.

Growing up is a transition. It’s not an; age, tattoo, badge, muscle, or a certain height. It’s not passive or aggressive but you have to accept it. Being a man, growing up is the accumulation of responsibility. Your behavior, actions, and thought process starts to become less dependent and more independent. It could start out with; shoveling the snow, holding your younger siblings hand when crossing the street, washing your own clothes, pumping the gas, learning how to cook your own meals, doing your homework without being told, etc. The list goes on but these are subtle things that contribute to your growth.

Your parent(s) will take pride in not having to do those things for you. It’s not that they don’t want to take care or you, but the would appreciate witnessing you taking on your role in the household. You don’t have to wait for them to stop doing things for you, you can eventually do them on your own. Their son is growing up, it’s a common rite of passage. In a marriage ceremony, the tradition is that the bride is given away by the father. That father wants to give his daughter away to a man. The father is holding you responsible for his daughter’s care, safety, and well being. Before he gives his daughter away, you have to demonstrate your level of responsibility to him. Before you receive a “reward” of a wife, you have to exhibit your financial stability and your individual accomplishments as a human being. He’s balancing his judgement on your demonstration or example of responsibility. At some point and time, you will have to take out the trash, cook, clean, and be financially responsible for your own children, his grand babies. Your acts of responsibility start now with you taking out the dang trash. 🙂

Maturity means standing on your own. It means financially, emotionally, spiritually, intellectually standing on your own. Financial responsibility means you pay your own bills, maintain your residence, earn and spend your money responsibly without the constant help from someone else. You can control your emotions. Your emotions don’t negatively affect someone else. You can navigate in society without emotional outburst that endanger others. You are spiritually balanced. You can grow to pursue your belief system and manage your own realistic expectations without manipulative influence from others. Lastly, your intellectual base is sound. You can make cognitive decisions for you and your family. You are a human being with the individual capacity to contribute to the society.


Probably the most significant and my first blog bible quote:

1 Corinthian 13:11 “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” NIV

-Shoot out to Rashed & Joseph, two young brothers I was teaching how to shake hands today. Etiquette blog subject for next week!

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Filed under Relationships