I’M NOT QUIET OR LONELY, JUST IN THOUGHT: WHY DO WE ASSUME INTROVERTED IS UNHAPPY

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“Being to yourself gives you time to reflect.”


A lot of people throughout my life have told me that I am an introverted person. They have asked me why am I so stand off-ish or why do I like being so lonely. But there is a reason why I have become the person that I am today. For starters, I am an introverted person, but I am not stand off-ish nor am I lonely. Because stand off-ish people are unaware of self so they have a hard time in conversations with substance. And there is also a vast difference between someone who is alone and lonely. I am a person who spends time alone, but I am far from lonely. But how does a person be alone and not lonely? Aren’t they one of the same? Yes, they are, but to an extent. So why do we perceive people to be lonely and stand off-ish, or even disconnected when they don’t converse as much?

Well the reason we give people these types of labels has a lot to do with being human. When you are a human, we all want and yearn for some level of companionship in our lives. It can come in many different forms: doesn’t matter if it is a pet or a friend, or even a monogamous relationship. We all want to be close to someone or something that makes us feel like we exist on Earth. But you can also have people around you and still feel alone and shut out. Well, how is that the case? It’s because not everyone is meant to be in your life. And you should really assess who you allow into your space before you make the leap to bring them close to you. These people not meant to be in your life are the leaches who will suck you for everything you got, and then they’re gone once they have what they have come for.

Another reason why we look at people who are to themselves as lonely is because it’s what is associated with depression and anxiety. People who suffer from these illness typically exemplify the characteristics of a person who is lonely. They feel uncomfortable when put in social settings because of their own insecurities. So they typically shy away from people and keep to themselves. And there is a great deal of truth to this claim. Because I am a person who has been kept back because I have dealt with these internal issues in my life. Throughout life, I have been self conscious, depressed, lacked confidence, and anxious. So a lot of times I strayed from so many social situations because I felt this way. But it wasn’t until I became an adult I realized who I really was: which goes back to what I said earlier about self awareness. And that is the key to understanding yourself and others to understands themselves as well.

In the end, I have learned a few things by being alone. I have learned to have a great deal of patience because the solitude forces you to be still. You’re in a space alone with your own thoughts. So you have to do a lot of reflecting on your life. You have to look up until this point in life and be happy with where you are and where you are going. This is the moment you become self-aware. I also learned to have an objective opinion because I am not dealing with only the intricacies of my own peer group. So being around different people than myself in society allows me to be more practical. I am not a loner, I am reflecting; I am not lonely, I have plenty of people who love and care about me; I am introverted, but only because I have looked deep within self to find my purpose driven life; and I am not stand off-ish, I just usually stray away from conversations when I have nothing of substance to add. But what I have learned, is that the more time progress, the more people learn about me, the more they understand and respect who I am.


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LIFE ON HOLD: HAVE YOU HAD TO HOLD OFF ON YOUR DREAMS TO CARE FOR OTHERS

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“They had to come first.”


As a child to a single mother, I would always hear how she wanted to do so much in her life. But having children at such a young age, mixed with not having the support system she needed, she was unable to do so. Now in her 50’s, and no children to care for, she is embarking on more things she was never able to do when she was young. And that’s what brings me to the topic today. Have you ever had to put your dreams on hold for something or someone else. For my mother it was her three children, but for someone else it could be something different. We as people sacrifice so much of ourselves in the name of helping other people. A move which I do not plan on doing in my life because it derailed so much of what my own mother wanted to accomplish in life.

But it is really that easy to say? What if I became a parent, and now so much of what I wanted to do I couldn’t? Does that mean I have to completely give up everything? Well, yes and no at the same time. Because yes, you do have to give up a lot when you start having children. But I also think that is your obligation to make sure your children have someone that they can look up to as well. Meaning, your outlook on life will ultimately effect the way your children see the world. I have always been curious about the world that we live in because my mother has had such an open worldly viewpoint. We didn’t just watch a bunch of nonsense as children growing up in her household. We would go to the library, watch the History channel, Discovery Channel, and National Geographic. She would open us up to new things and people different than ourselves.

So for me, every time I start a new project I think about my mother. She was not able to do so much, I do things for that reason. Not that reason alone, but it always sits in the back of my mind. See, it’s easy for me to look at life in the scope of not having to care for anybody but me. I am single with no children, so the sky is the limit. But at one point in time, those people with others they have to look out for, such as their children, were in my current position. But, is it always about children? You have adults taking care of other adults as well. Which is something I am not doing as well. I receive aid from home because I am making strides in my life. But caring for an able-bodied adult who does not want anything out of life, not my problem.

See, in the end, at times we give up our lives to aid people who might be sick, to a child, or because we think it makes us admirable to do so. I understand the children aspect because they didn’t ask to be brought into the world. But you going to work caring for adults who are just as capable of working is not your problem. They have to go out into the world and earn as well. To many people are putting lives of others over themselves when they shouldn’t. You have your immediate obligations which are your children, and parents; everyone else is not an immediate obligation. And it is on them to figure their own life out.


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I’M NOT YOUR MOMMY AND DADDY: WHY THE WORLD OWES YOU NOTHING

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“Always got your hand out.”


In the household where I come from, I was under the impression that no one in this world owed you anything. As a child, my mother let us know that I am doing for you while you’re in this house. But the moment you become an adult, you’re on your own, unless you’re in school or making an effort to be something in life. Yet there was something my mother never wanted to do. She never wanted to start this whole road of something for nothing mindset. Because like I said, the world owes you nothing. Anything in this world you want, you had better be ready to go out and stake your own claim. But where does this entitlement come from in our society?

It hasn’t always been here like it is today. You had prior generations that went out and worked at a young age. As a matter of fact, you had kids in the early 1900’s working in coal minds side by side with their parents. Now days are spent playing video games on televisions or computers. Letting time pass you by while engaging in wasteful activities on cell phones. Which brings us to the first reason why people feel entitled. The technology in America has sped so much up, people think that there should be something allotted to them quick and instant. They don’t realize that the technology itself that speeds so much up took a lot of time to build. And when I say time, I mean some stuff as long as decades to build.

With the click of a mouse or the touch of the screen, we are instantly taken to our destination. That can make people think something should be given to them pretty fast. But it’s not just the technology that makes people think they are owed something. This same mind frame exist in the employment field as well. This whole my 75% is your 100%, and we all should be given something when we are clearly not putting in the same amount of work. A trend that has started from schools in children and has followed all the way into their adulthood. Now that you’re in the real world, you don’t realize that you’re not special. No one is going to hold you close and tell you everything is going to be alright. And that’s when you learn you’re not this beautiful and talented person, but more so that you are mundane because you have not put real time and energy into being great at what you do.

And you would think with what has been said so far, the owing stops there; no it doesn’t. People feel that you have made money, so it is your job to give them something. In their minds, “You have it, why not give me something.” Then they try to use the excuse of God blesses you to help other people. When in reality, that’s true, but there is something they are leaving out. God blesses people to help those who have made an initiative to put themselves in a better place. Giving people things without making them earn it causes you to be a crutch and it cripples them. It also creates a lack of respect that the person has for something you do give to them.

See, in the end, you want something in life, you have to be willing to go into the world and stake your own claim. Because the only person who has a stake in interest in you doing anything is you. I used to ask questions of the elders about back in their young days. I remember how my late grandmother would say growing up in the South, everybody had some plot of land. Didn’t matter how big or small, it still fed your family. And it was important you tended to your land since it depended on how you and your family ate. Because if your crop didn’t come through, your family didn’t eat. You were not owed anything and no one cared. Life was tough, but it was fair because we all have the capability to get out the bed and work. What’s that saying, we all have 24 hours in a day, what you choose to do with yours is your business.


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SELF IMPORTANCE: WHY WE USE THE WORD INTELLECTUAL SO LOOSELY TODAY

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“I think therefore I am.”


We live in a society today where there is so much self-importance. Everyone feels Image result for galileo galileithat they are unique enough for everyone to get to know. It’s the main reason why social media is such a big medium. You’re taking pictures of yourself, to posting comments, and even sitting around waiting for likes. But too often we hear people refer to themselves as geniuses. The self-importance has gotten so high, we are coining ourselves terms that normally we give to people; not people giving to themselves. A person does something or says something, and we say, “Wow, that persons’ a genius. ” Now we have so many people, especially public figures who consider themselves geniuses. And I am very skeptical of people calling themselves intelligent geniuses.

See, in my opinion, intellectualism is a broad spectrum of knowledge covering Related imagemany topics in which aptitude is higher than most or the majority. Now, on the other hand, being smart to means having a degree of knowledge on a given topic. So yes, you can be smart, yet lack intelligence. For example, we have some smart celebrities, but Stephen Hawking is intelligent. And as the topic pertains to myself, I pride myself on being smart. Even though I have an IQ that is much higher than the average. For those that don’t know, the average IQ is 110, and mine falls between 160-170. But if you ask me, I still feel more smart than intelligent. But what is it about people today that make them think they’re intellectuals? And to me, it has a lot to do with hype.

We give people kudos for so much that we inadvertently contribute to the flatting up of people’s egos. They start to think that they are geniuses instead of contributing their work to luck, talent, and hard work. Now don’t get me wrong, we have had some pretty smart people to have done a lot before their time. But note Related imagethat they did not call themselves intelligent. Then again, intellect is a broad term which can take on so many meanings. Musicians, painters, sculptures, scientist, and writers have all fallen under this umbrella of intellectual. And for the more monumental artist, the term genius applies. And who would I be referring to when speaking of their cognitive abilities?

I am talking about men like Beethoven, Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, and Galileo Galilei. I am referencing these men because the level at which they were able to perform their craft. The amount of knowledge they possessed at the time in which they worked was astounding. Today, we might look at what have done in context of what we know about science today as insightful. But for the time period, they were a whole other level above just insightful. So in the end, we must not confuse the words smart and intellectual; bright and genius. One is knowing and understanding a certain subject matter, and the other is an all encompassing understanding of multiple genres of study.


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NEWBO: IS THERE TIME FOR A CULTURE SHIFT

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“We carved one out before, why not again?”


In the 1610’s, the African American population was forced to the United States as indentured servants. Later becoming slaves, losing names, religions, birth place of origin, and overall identification. Once freed in 1865, we went from slave labor to still no so full citizens. And with limited citizenship, and no real ethnic identity, we began to carve out a face for our community. And a lot of the culture that has made up the African American community is in the music and food. But what if we decided to take it a little further. Let’s say we made a full conversion from where we are now. I named the title NEWBO, which in today’s society stands for the New Black Overclass.

When you hear the words New Black Overclass, you think of wealth and abundant resources. And how did that manage to take hold? There are many different factors that have influenced that over the years. From young Black children growing up watching the Cosby Show to the electing of America’s first Black president. We have taken what was a bad situation in the past and made the most of it today. Yet there are still so many of us that are still below the poverty level. And not only the poverty level, we make up a disproportionately higher percentage of crime in our community relative to anyone else. So with that said, we are doing better than the past in the area of success, yet lagging behind in other major areas.

And as much as I love Black culture, there is an aspect of our culture that have taken hold in recent history that has cast a dark shadow over the community. And that has to do with the crime in the community. Because of the introduction of Heroine, Cocaine, and Crack Cocaine, from the 1970’s in the 1990’s, the face of the community has changed to much. And it has become so impactful, it is rapidly becoming our culture. Yet when you look at the overall history of Black people in America, this recent violent culture is new to us. So, how about we begin to design a cultural identifier that is us. And when I say identifier I mean clothes we wear, food we eat, music, and behavioral traits.

Having an identifier shows not only togetherness, but it creates a sense of identity outside another group. Our problem as Black people is that we are too concerned and defined by another group. And for the longest, it has been the predominantly White community. So our vision for what success looks like has always been someone in position who is White. Yet when met with resistance by anyone White it boils over quicker than anyone else. Which never happens to any other group because they create their own identity. So what another really has to say becomes irrelevant because they have defined themselves for so long feelings are trivial. But if you have no name, to language, no religion, and you adopt ones culture that’s not yours, yet someone else’s, it could become a problem if not accepted into the culture.

And in the end, that’s a real problem with why there need to be a cultural identifier. Number one, you eliminate the care for what any other group thinks about you; their views are not relevant to who you are in scoiety. Number two, you begin to take pride in something that not only you created, but you’re accepted within. Which brings me to number three, the need to fit into a group. And I think this is why we as Black people cling to Hip Hop music so much. When you create something versus forced to adopt something the sentiment is different. Christianity was never a choice, names given weren’t a choice, and language wasn’t a choice. But the music we create was a pure choice. Though not liked by many, it goes on deaf ears when pushed against because the one major thing we created that we are fully included within. And if we created something impactful and global as Hip Hop, we can create a new identity of acceptance and not tolerance.


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AGE OF DEPRESSION: HOW THE MORE WE UNDERSTAND SELF THE MORE UNHAPPY WE BECOME

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“In an era of technology, we are more connected, yet very much detached.”


In a world where we are more connected than anytime before, you would think it would make us happier. Yet it has not only made us happier, but the more we learn and understand ourselves the more depressed we become. And I don’t mean know ourselves like knowing me as an adult. I mean knowing us is it pertains to our existence on Earth. You would think with the advent of technological innovation and scientific breakthroughs, we would have a much higher level of enlightenment that would make us happy. But what that heightened awareness has done is give us the complete opposite effect. But should we digress because of this unintended effect?

View of Tourist Resort Well, let’s first look at what makes us depressed in today’s society. There are many different reasons why people tend to be unhappy. For starters, you are able to see up close your reality. And what I mean by your reality, you can see where you stand financially, socially, academically in the world. For example, you can Google image luxury, and see a world that is beyond your world just by typing it into a search engine. When my mother was young, an opulent life existed, yet you didn’t quite know about it. Clear Wine Glasses in a RowPeople were either born into wealth, or it was something you stumbled upon. Not today, today, you can actually see how little you have relative to someone else. And what’s crazy, you might have a socioeconomic position that is supporting you and your family. Yet you can’t enjoy because you are comparing yourself to someone way above you.

Why do we do it? Why do we look to someone that is far beyond us? Well, at times, that person is our age. No matter your age today, there is someone that age doing something on a more monumental scale than yourself. When I was in college, I was broke coming out, yet guys my age were signing multi-million dollar contracts to play sports. Comparing yourself to them and not appreciating what you have, even when what you have is adequate to live, robs you of gratification Image result for comparison peopleand the ability to live a fulfilling life. Meaning, you might want to make $50,000 in a year, but someone tells you, you should want better. Now you can’t enjoy what life you could have had with what you wanted because you’re chasing something you may not even want just to satisfy other people’s perspective. And with our lives being inundated with so much imagery, we still have another aspect of our lives that make us unhappy: our own existence.

Coping with our existence is tough for so many. And I don’t mean existence in the context of waking and going to work everyday, coming home, and sleeping. I mean the fact that we are here, on Earth, living and breathing. The fact that I was not born a lion, tiger, bird, or a house cat, but a human is hard for many to cope with in life. The simple existence that is me, a carbon based life form that has Related imagetaken forever to evolve into what I am, is hard to accept. And a lot of it comes from increased scientific understanding of ourselves. Here is where religion may have aided us in living on this planet. With the idea that there is something greater once we die, it gives us hope. As time progress in society, more and more people are becoming awoken to our existence. So awake, we are unmotivated to do anything. So now we become depressed with the idea that this is all that is here for us.

You would think that feeling this way would give people a sense of urgency, yet it’s having the inverse effects. The closer we come to figuring out why we are on Earth, the more we become detached from living. Maybe not knowing, is what’s best at times. Because in the end, unlike any other species where nature dictates how they behave, we are given conscious. We are given the ability to say yes or say no. We are endowed with the ability to make sound decisions. And that very conscious that gives us that ability also makes us aware of our situations in life. Some people make the best out of it, and others can never cope. And for those that can’t cope, it leads to further depression; leading to substance abuse or even suicide.

“He who increases knowledge, increases sorrow on the land.”

                          -Ecclesiastes 1:18


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CELEBRATED NOT TOLERATED: WHY BE SOMEWHERE YOU’RE NOT WANTED

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“I wouldn’t want to belong, unless I belong.”


I was recently reading a story regarding Hollywood actress Gabrielle Sidibe’s visit to the high-end Chanel retail store. While in the store, Sidibe said that she experienced racial discrimination while seeking to purchase a few items. And it wasn’t until the other Black employees in the store saw who she was, that the tone of the store clerk changed. She then began to act in a much nicer manner. But my question is why didn’t she leave the store? Why would you want to shop at a store if you feel they are discriminating against you based on race? Well, I have a few theories on some of those reasons.

One of the views I have on people who patronize places where they are not celebrated, but tolerated is because a self-respect issue. Your self-respect comes into question when you are willing to belong to a place or spend your money in a location where you are not accepted. Purchasing items in this business actually reinforces a feeling of your lack of self. But more so, the individuals treating you in this manner know that you are willing and able to deal with it. A way to show people is to not patronize, not to add to their growing business. Your actions speak louder than what is being said out of your mouth. So you can’t demand respect and go to people where you are disrespected.

But to me, this is a bigger problem than just racial concerns in America. We as a collective love being apart of something that is perceived to be this great thing. And would love to put emphasis on the word, perceived. Perception is a big reason why we seek to be a member of a group that doesn’t accept us. You see it in school where the kid is ostracized from the group. But instead of hanging around kids who want to be your friend, we want to hang with the kids who don’t like us. It’s because the ostracized at times tend to be the people who ostracize others themselves. Now we want the respect that we are not willing to extend to other people. Yet there is still another theory I have on wanting to belong to something that rejects you.

And that reason is lack of self-actualization; not realizing your true wealth. You have very financially wealthy people who command more money than the businesses they frequent. Yet they act like the business is doing them a favor. It comes from not knowing your true value and what your money can do for you. If you really did know what your money does for you, you don’t go back to the business. You think if Bill Gates walked into a store and they mistreated him, he would make a fuss. He most likely wouldn’t return because he knows the true value of his dollar. He has shown this through the various initiatives he has been apart of globally. My money growing a civilization is more important than buying trinkets. So when he does walk into a store, it’s festive because he doesn’t need you. You’re not doing him a favor, he’ knows he’s helping you.

In the end, you will always have people who want to belong to something. And like I said before, it has to do a lot with perception. We perceive something to be great and yet it really is not. But we hold things up in society to be special that are not. Food, water, air, shelter are important, not tote bags and cars. But that is the power of perception in our society.


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