I open up with those words of gratitude dedicated to those who have consistently taken this voyage with me. I know that I can be difficult to work with, and that my transitions can be jarring and disorienting. I’m completing another cycle through the book “The Better You” as I have accomplished the principles once, but now that I am vibrating on a higher plane, or area of the spiral, I must recycle old methods, and disintegrate chaotic patterns. As I renew my Self, anew, I have been spending time thinking about a book I read not too long ago. The name of the book is “The Pursuit of Happyness”.
Now, for those that haven’t read the book, and possibly have only seen the movie, you have robbed your Self, and need to be placed in an empty room alone with Chris Gardner’s story. One of the major principles I am coming to learn is that a movie based on a book is only an expensive commercial for the book. Chris Gardner relates how he was apart of an abusive home growing up with a mother who depended financially on an alcoholic. Now, I don’t want to give a full blown book analysis here, because it is a narrative, and thus contains spoilers, but I’ll say the brother experienced more than his share of troubles.
What I will say is that Chris Gardner, for all intents and purposes, lived a normal life with the consequences and vicissitudes that any number of black males and possibly black women reading this post would encounter. He didn’t gamble on a machine that failed to sale, he lost his job. A job in which he, an informally trained black man was instructing privileged medical students to perform. He didn’t describe himself as the humble husband left to fend for him Self with a young son. And although I’m pleased that Will Smith took it upon him Self to provide his son with a means to enter into the business of pretending for money, the story presented is a work of fiction.
The story Chris Gardner tells, although extremely heart wrenching, intensely involved and lacking of fantasy, it is his story. The story of Black man who grew up without his father, a Black man, and decided to be rekindled with him. It is the story of a Black man that against every rule on writer Randolph’s list of what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur still created a venture that allowed him to be hosted by Madiba Nelson Mandela. It is the story that lacks a certain patriotic slant implied throughout the movie. There are no quotes of Thomas Jefferson. There is no highlighting of preambles filled with lofty words. There is sex, violence, drugs, prostitution, and even Black Family Reunions.
Beyond the regular rags to riches story that pervades hip hop(in 2005 all but one of the top eleven songs of Billboard’s weekly top ten where songs discussing class mobility and “making it”), it was the story of tenacity. Beyond the ideas that are casually embedded into our minds though cultural resonance the story speaks to the idea of Black entrepreneurship and the ability to succeed even when one’s judgments and disciplines have been less than fortified.
I’m not writing a book report, I’m reminding my Self and all those that need the reminding that although things can be extremely difficult financially, those that have seen worse conditions have achieved what they set out to. Without the fanciful proper upbringings, without the classical ideal character, but as a person much like our Selves. What might not be palatable to mainstream United States theater goers, has become an inspiration to me simply because of its raw shedding goal iof what many would conclude to be too much to expose.
Although my personal capitalistic dreams are slightly short of the average, my ambitions are as noble as the ones that cause people to die with nothing more than pieces of their master works. Whatever one’s goals might be, see them through. If for nobody but your Self. There is someone sitting in front of their reality in need of your story.