CSDs out there, it’s that time again for the one month blitz of daily Game, life lessons and news on fathering.
My boy Steve dropped a phrase to describe a condition that I’ve always known, but never could put my finger on. As our elders get older, they get angry over what seems to be the slightest of issues.
“What’s wrong with people these days?”
“Why are folks so stupid out here?”
“I’d never have kids all over again or get married looking at this world.”
“You know God always brings a good plague to wipe millions out every generation. It’s like hitting the reset button for this evil place.”
“Black folks just need to start ____, and they will stop killing us and wouldn’t be scared of us!”
I could go on and on (feel free to add what you’ve said or heard as well below), but you get the point.
But I’m studying Ecclesiastes and something Solomon said in chapter 1 really jumped out at me:
“I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind. For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow. (Ecclesiastes 1:16-18 ESV)”
It made me reflect on my father, my grandfather, my uncles, older guys I’ve just kicked it with, even Uncle Ruckus, and I think that Angry Black Man Syndrome is really “Solomon Syndrome”. These men have experienced so much life, whether Christian or non-Christian, they have been given common grace and wisdom from so many years on this planet.
At one time, they were 5 years old and thought they could be anything they wanted, but were being taught social codes. They believed that when they got older, things would change.
At one time, they were 15 and saw Martin Luther King on TV, and believed he’d free black folks like Moses and the Hebrews in Egypt.
At one time, they were 25 and got that “good job” with a uniform. They escaped prison, got married and had families, but watched their brothers get locked away or beat down for getting “out of line”.
At one time, they were 35 and thought they would get the big promotion or that new job, that would set them up for retirement and pay for their kids to get a college education, something they may not have had a chance to get.
By 45, they may now start reflecting and asking, “what is a good job?” That promotion, well, they might have been told they didn’t qualify, have enough experience, or just wouldn’t be the “right fit”.
The subsequent years bring more questions, than answers. Just like when they were 5, they still can’t drive and/or live in certain areas. Just like when they were 15, they still see people marching after black folks get killed. Just like when they were 25, they still get treated like they better stay in-line, or they will get locked up. What makes matters worst, they are now having “The Talk” with their 15-year-old as well. But unlike 35, but just like Solomon, they see this life as vanity.
When older brothers start to realize they have more years behind them, than before them, I think they start to get plagued with sorrow, and like men of any color, this gets released through anger.
How do I know? Because I’m beginning to suffer symptoms.
What’s the solution?
We’ll find out as the month goes on!