I was sitting back on a random day and i had a random epiphany. My grandfather on my mom’s side was the baby out of all his brothers and sisters. He took care of them all. His mom died when he was young and his dad wasn’t around to show him how to be a man. My dad’s father(i don’t respect him enough or know him enough to call him grandfather) wasn’t there for my grandmother, my dad, or my uncle. They didn’t have a father figure themselves. I look at myself and realized that i was in the same position. My dad’s father never learned how to be a man. My dad never learned how to be a man. I didn’t have anybody show me how to properly be a man when i was a kid. The generational cycle is real. We often suffer because of the bad decisions our elders made. There are things i’m learning now that i feel like i should’ve learned earlier in my life or things i wished i would’ve learned earlier in life. All i knew was a man was supposed to provide and that’s it. That’s all i saw. I never saw my grandfather on my mom’s side spend quality time with my grandmother. I never saw them eat dinner together. They never went out on dates. Nothing. I never seen him do anything romantic for her when they both were living. I never saw her receive any flowers. Nothing. My grandfather on my mom’s side was a great man. I loved him to death. That was the only father figure i had. He provided and he provided well. He gave me everything i wanted and needed as a grandchild but as far as giving instructions and guidance on how to be a man, i never got that from him. But when i found out about his upbringing, it all made sense. I’ll never fault him for that ever. He did the best he could with what we given to him. And as far as my dad’s side, I’ve crossed paths with my dad’s father maybe 3 times in my entire life so our relationship never existed and it never will. He never reached out when my dad was locked up. He never called and asked my mom did we want or need anything. Never received a birthday card, a birthday call, nothing. But for all i know, he may not know how to be a good man himself. From what i hear, he didn’t treat my grandmother right. It left me feeling like i’m out here on an island by myself. I’ll forever be grateful to have my older cousins because without them, i know i’d be dead or in jail. They gave me SOOOO much game as a teenager and they are still giving me game as a man but being a father figure and being my cousins are 2 different things. All i saw growing up was provide, pay the bills, come home, do it all over again. That’s it. That’s from one perspective.
The other perspective i saw was provide, pay the bills, drop the money off, and be gone for days at a time. So, where was i supposed to learn how to treat a woman properly? Where was i supposed to learn how to be a good man? That’s something i just thought about recently. I’m honestly just winging it and watching how my older cousins move. I take what they teach me and apply it to my own life. I’m learning how to be a man on the fly just like a lot of black men in society. A lot of us men, especially the young generation didn’t always have the proper structure growing up. Sometimes, the structure helps. Sometimes, it doesn’t. It’s a lot of pressure on a person that’s trying to reverse that cycle. I had a choice growing up like most black men. You either follow in the footsteps of everything you saw growing up or you attempt to do the complete opposite.
It’s easy to be a no good nigga. That takes no effort at all. It takes a man of morals, principles, and integrity to reverse the cycle and do the right things. It’s not as easy as it looks. You feel more pressure when you’re doing right because it’s so easy to do wrong. In our culture, you get knocked for doing right and praised for doing wrong. That’s something that needs to change. As men, this is where we have to step up and be better role models for the younger ones that’s looking up to us right now. We need more uncles, more cousins, more OG’s to step up and show the youngins the game. We have to be better brothers, better sons, better grandsons, better boyfriends, better husbands, better nephews, better cousins, better everything. Everything is just bad right now. Agendas are being pushed out here. We aren’t safe at all. We’ve never been safe but it’s bad. It’s at a all time high. We have to do better as men because our youth is suffering. The youth needs us as strong black men. We have to be better men to make sure they don’t feel the same pain we’ve felt. We have to make better decisions and choices so our kids and the generation under us will do better than us. We still make mistakes as grownups. That comes with the cycle of life. We have to do what we have to do. That generational cycle is bad and it’s real. We have to give our kids the right tools so they can make it in society. We can’t let them live and see some of the toxic things we had to go through. A lot of why kids are so toxic is because of what they saw growing up. You can honestly become what you saw. It’s not about money. It’s not about gifts. It’s about quality time. It’s about understanding. Talk to the kids, listen to the kids. Kids need to see and feel the love. That’s when the kids look elsewhere. They may get that outside influence from the street, from the music, from social media, etc. If you’ve never seen your mom or dad love each other properly, how will you learn how to love your spouse?
Men have to take responsibility for the type of women they sleep with. Women have to take responsibility for the men they sleep with. Like i said earlier, kids suffer a lot of times because of some of the bad decisions that our elders made. Parents also have to take accountability for their actions as well because a lot of kids suffer because of what the parents did. That’s where the cycle starts. That’s how we inherit that cycle. We inherit that struggle and pain. And since our parents didn’t know what to do, we repeat the same cycle and we end up passing it down instead of fixing it. With that comes with the possibility of multiple kids, multiple baby mothers, multiple child support payments. That’s more stress from situations that you created. If you grew up watching your parents in a abusive relationship, it’s possible that you will be the same way one day. If a boy watches his father and his father is a womanizer, he very well may become one too one day. We have to be better men to our women as well because they need us now even more than ever. Both sides need each other. I don’t think that both sides sit back and logically think about how much we need each other. If we stuck together more, our culture would be in a better space. Just because you both have children together doesn’t mean that you all are meant to be. Learn how to co-parent. When i say co-parent, do it for the kids. It will not be easy at all. Don’t have any hidden agendas. Don’t have sex tied to it. Don’t have money tied to it. Don’t do it with the expectations of trying to get back into a relationship with each other. The kids should be the focus. It’s about the kids. It’s about family. It’s about being together and sticking together. Families overall aren’t the same anymore as well. That’s another lost cause in our culture. We have to do better. Talk things out, listen to each other. Don’t just brush things off. We’re the only culture that doesn’t take pain serious until something bad happens. We just learn to suppress the pain and keep going. We need to all stick together. Whether you realize it or not, we’re all in this war together. It’s up to us as a culture to be better examples to all these kids.