Is it okay if I touch on an uncomfortable topic today? I wanted to have a little Truthful Thursday Moment.
As I am brainstorming reasons for setbacks in the healing journey, I came across a post from someone poking fun at a so-called “crackhead.” And if you’re unfamiliar with this term, it is basically a person who is addicted to crack cocaine.
This is an occurrence that is not uncommon in the African-American community. As a matter of fact, I remember being a child watching a skit from Dave Chappelle and laughing at his rendition of a crackhead.
The thing is, we often find humor in things that don’t personally affect us. If you never experienced a parent or loved one being addicted to crack, then it’s easy to laugh at this skit.
However, if you were negatively impacted by the crack/cocaine era, lost a loved one to drug overdose, have personal addiction recovery experience, or know how hurtful it was to watch someone you love grow through substance abuse, this skit wouldn’t be funny at all.
Although laughter is healing for the soul, and some DO have these experiences that they can laugh at once they overcome those battles, I think it should be up to each individual how and WHEN they choose to laugh at their own problems. As outsiders and onlookers of those experiences, it shouldn’t be our decision to choose.
Instead of protecting one another, we have become bullies; mocking others’ mistakes, downfalls, or shortcomings. Hurtful experiences have caused us to lose empathy and compassion. Because we’re hurt, we don’t mind laughing at another person’s pain. It’s like a sinister remedy to our own wounds.
We will sit in circles loudly discussing others at their worst, but will be silent about the steps they took to heal. We’re even skeptical of the more polished version people become after they rise from the ashes of their ugly experiences.
We EXPECT people to stay in defeated places. We secretly LOVE seeing people hurting, especially if it’s one of those “socially unforgiveable trangressions.” We want people to SUFFER. Like….we don’t want them to even THINK about coming up for air! While they’re suffering, we want to kick them while they’re down, just to make sure they’re feeling every ounce of the suffering.
As a matter of fact, let’s put our pain on them as well while they’re already hurting and ashamed. They have nothing else to lose, right?! Let’s project our insecurities onto them. That hurt from a failed relationship 20 years ago, let’s put that onto them. That childhood pain from mother/father abandonment, let’s put that on them too. Yeah….that will make us feel so much better! It feels amazing to have someone else hurt from our unhealed pain, because it’s too much for us to carry!
We do all of this while hiding or DOWNPLAYING our own mistakes or shortcomings. Oh nooooo….our mistakes don’t amount to that other person’s failures. Our mistakes are more forgivable. Our lies, deceit, backstabbing, and other dealings don’t measure up to their F’ ups.
That secret abortion no one knows about, that’s not as bad as that person choosing to be a crackhead. That married man or woman we had a secret rendezvous with, that’s nothing. That one time we experimented with drugs…that’s nothing. That money we stole from the cash register at our job…that’s not as bad as being addicted to drugs.
We as humans have a way of minimizing our shortcomings and MINIMIZING OUR ACCOUNTABILITY by magnifying others’ WORST.
Want to know how I know this? Because, people still discuss R. Kelly and his mistakes, but are quiet about the therapy that he’s receiving. R. Kelly would have to come out of confinement as a Priest or some sort of revolutionary in order for him to be accepted by society again. But even if he does, even if he is sincere with his new outlook on life and has completely transformed his journey, there will still be a large percentage discussing his PAST and skeptical that he actually made a turnaround.
Why? Because once a human embarrasses themself and falls to the point of a perceived “no-return,” they’re supposed to be eternally damned. They’re not suppose to be able to enjoy life after that.
So, what I have taken from witnessing all of this lack of compassion and empathy is this..
From now on, I’m taking my losses in private and seeking counseling from a therapist before putting all of my trust in people who aren’t trained to help with stress management or coping with traumatic experiences.
It’s unfortunate, but the saying “misery loves company” is true. We have become so hurt to the point where ‘we’ as African-Americans only glorify hurt and dysfunction. We live by the motto “Your pain, my entertainment.”
We treat others’ addictions, shortcomings, or mistakes as entertainment. We hate seeing people successful or living well, because to ‘us,’ it’s a gimmick. We have so much jealousy and envy in our heart, because we’re still mad something didn’t turn out in our favor, others aren’t supposed to be genuinely happy with their life or even attempt to be happy. So we glorify toxic behaviors.
We’re not allowed to make mistakes EVER, because we should have known better. We’re not allowed to fall into depression or some other mental health disparity. And that mentality causes more dis-ease. It’s unfortunate, but some won’t ever experience the beauty of unconditional love…the true meaning of LOVE HEALS ALL.
Healing is too great of a challenge, because healing involves self-reflection. Some of us are only accustomed to projection of self onto others or inflicting more pain onto others because “hurt people hurt people.”
Wishing people wellness, abundance, and prosperity is too much for those with scars on their heart. Asking someone who is struggling with life if they need assistance is too much of a burden, because “they brought that on themselves.” We are quick to turn a blind eye to others’ suffering, because our perfect little selves would have NEVER put ourselves in the position to arrive at THAT destination. Shame on them for choosing to deal with their issues in that way.
But you know what, I want to leave a small message to those who behave in a manner of perpetual mockery of others’ mistakes.
Be careful whose skeletons you expose for entertainment or whose failures you get a kick out of witnessing. We all have a past. Some of our past is still our present.
Oh, but just in case you’re one of the few that has NEVER made a mistake in your entire life….trust me….your day will come. And that humbling experience you will have to face….I promise it will rock you into having some compassion for others. 🙂