Saturday, February 14, 2015

Usta be the norm

An incredible story. Everywhere I ever lived were men like this. Never thought about the possibility of reward. I just had to get to and from the job. It was a drive and the examples were plenteous and the expectation, at least from Black men and poor white men, was the same: 'better get there. You a man ain't ya'?' - Gregory E. Woods

Just incredible! #Detroit man who walked 21 miles to work, every single day for 10 years, was surprised with a brand new car! Watch his inspiring story RIGHT HERE >> []

a Black man, James Robertson was given a car out of respect for walking 21 miles everyday for 10 years to work

I find the story warm and measurable. It is memorable. I was deeply moved by the honoring James Robertson, a man, received. It moves in my soul this experience. His work ethic is familiar because it has long been part of what is hardy about the nature of men with families the world over. What is most remarkable is how this story jumped up and out of the times we live in as an oddity. Nostalgia is clouding the media frenzy around this story by a generation of people who act and express a feeling that such a work ethic is a thing of a past they aren't related to.

The painful thing about this story is the ridicule many men get and have gotten in the past from women and men around them for having to walk everywhere. This type of praise is unusual. The work ethic and the ability to walk many miles to work, work and return home is fraught with danger in some towns, adventure because there is so much to see and discern on long walks and because how people regard you is fully comprehensible to a walker. Not much of humanity's contradictions are hidden from walkers of this caliber.

Walking today is mostly a fad, a trend with a goal in mind to lose weight. Hikers, don't walk. They pace themselves and at fast clips streak through forests and mountains with scarcely a glimpse of life around them and no sense of how they are related to all around them. They can't see.

James Robertson was honored in part because he is from a bygone era. He is a man and he is a Black man. From the comments I've read and heard the privileged and entitlement millions of young people's phones and gadgets give them has astounded them because it seems there is little, or nothing in their lives worth fighting for, struggling for, walking for, or dying for. To those many without notable convictions, without surety of self and knowledge of where one's place is in the world a Black man walking 42 miles a day for $10 an hour leaves many of this generation and these times dumbfounded. As an older man, that sense of the world is difficult to respect from a societal worldview of convenience, and wealth, and comforts.

What will these children become if their work ethic isn't high or noble? What will their children become? How will they function in the world-at-large as a world citizen? Who will respect them as global citizens?

These are thoughts of an Elder. These are my words.

Gregory E. Woods, Keeper of Stories

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