Living in your own world, in the world

Here’s a question that compelled me to share my thoughts.

Question:

How have you seen individualism influence families you know?

I did a word search for, Individualism.

One definition reads:The pursuit of individual rather than common or collective interest”.

Here’s a verse which coincides with my thoughts.

Judges 21:25

“In those days there was no King in Israel: every man did which was right in his own eyes.” KJV

From conducting research, it seems individualism can be concerned a controversial philosophy.

From my standpoint, yes we all have to take care and look out for ourselves and our families as best as we can. If you don’t no one else will. BUT, at the same time it shouldn’t be practiced or manipulated in any way where it can cause harm to others in some form or fashion.

Morals  and values are being surpressed.Or just simply doing what’s right isn’t being practiced.A blind eye and deaf ear is pretty popular now a days. Just to add, there are a few situations where minding your business would be best and safer, but in one of my experiences I expressed, minding your business didn’t apply. It was practiced, every man for himself.

Within, “Neighbors can’t live with them or without them, Parts 1 and 2″, I shared situations and circumstances involving a relationship filled with verbal abuse, and humiliation. Also, neighbors whom weren’t so neighborly.

Before proceeding on, expressing my experiences and thoughts.The mission is not to spread malice, judgement or even ridicule towards the people I am referencing in my expressions.

I’ve witnessed how people are the ONLY standards of their own lives. Referring back to my post mentioned above, one neighbor found it entertaining, being publicly humiliated. It seemed her philosophy was, this isn’t my problem or my man, I don’t want to get involved, but I will watch.

The gentleman neighbor with the legal situation, it seemed his philosophy was, this is my problem that I don’t want to be involved with, I need a scapegoat.

Here’s my points:

What’s happened to Mark 12:31

” The second is this, Love your neighbor as yourself”. There is no commandment greater than these.” NIV.

Not saying the lady neighbor had to run out in the street with me throwing jabs and upper cuts to beat the guy down. Nor I am saying the gentleman neighbor had to turn himself in once he was aware of his legal situation that he sent my way. What I would like to say is this form of individualism is something I will not pursue or encourage.

These examples have made  me realize the importance of being apart of a mission geared towards building up our communities because outreach is needed in every area of all our lives. Teamwork makes the dream work.

One of the reasons I am proud to be a Circles Leader of Circles Metro Atlanta East Chapter is simple, I’ve been introduced to an extended family. A family where we all come together from different income levels, backgrounds, walks of life with an understanding of each other’s struggles and aspirations.

I would like to encourage everyone, if you are compelled as I was to answer this question, please do and share. RESPECTFUL discussions and comments are welcomed.

 

Ask the right questions

Back home in Philly, in my early 20’s, can’t remember exactly how but was reintroduced to an old flame. This man was incarcerated at the time.

To go back when we first met, this man was like my knight in shining armor. He came to my defense when my sons father set a car I brought on fire and he wanted to pretty much beat me up, since he saw me with another man. Not to mention, he was in a relationship with another woman and brought her to fight me. That day, as a matter of fact that whole week was crazy. I was only 18 at this time and still in High School.

Getting back to me and this man. We wrote letters, talked on the phone, and I went to visit him in prison, for about a year or so. He seemed to be “The One”. We even share the same birthday.

We made plans to get married and everything. I introduced him to my children. A little while after he was released he moved in with us. This was AFTER his other plan was already in motion.

He convinced me I was the only woman in his life, BUT, from my understanding, this man was seeing another woman. The two were robbing local stores and banks. And to make matters worse, people in the neighborhood thought I was the woman alongside of him.

I had no clue. It wasn’t until I got a phone call, saying he’d been arrested and to turn on the news. There was video footage of a man and woman robbing a bank. I can’t say  it was him in the footage, but from what I last heard he is serving 80 plus years in prison.

The point of sharing this is not to belittle this man. He was a very good dude, had a good heart but sometimes people can become a product of their environment, so people only do what they know.I don’t blame him for anything.

This is to express, how I realized I was looking at love in the wrong way and reasons.

I felt indebted to this man for having my back the first time we met. Went along with pursuing the relationship out of obligation, plus I was lonely.

But I had to go through these things to understand the importance of knowing what I am looking for in a relationship. I needed to ask myself the right questions. Like self, What are your expectations when trying to build a relationship?Can you both be friends after he’s been in jail 8 years already? Can he be institutionalized?(Just to name a few)

After going through a rough time with being humiliated, angry, tired of people asking me about money I didn’t know about or have, God gave me the strength to pick myself back up again and move on.

Proverbs 2:7

” He stores up sound wisdom for the upright: He is a shield to those who walk in integrity”

 

 

Neighbors, can’t live with them or without them

In my post,”Going along with the flow”, I talked about being with a man with hidden agendas. Referring back to the disagreement, he made a big performance that allowed neighbors to see and hear.

At that time I live in an apartment complex. Had two neighbors below and two above me. One of the neighbors below me, was a “Church going woman”. She quoted scripture and spoke very highly of the church she was a member of. How she goes with her church to help feed the hungry etc.

This lady seemed neighborly. On that of the disagreement, the front door was wide open. Was so frustrated behind having a senseless argument, so I found something to do. Walked to the dumpster to take out the trash.

Returning back from the dumpster, I saw the “Church going woman” coming up the steps leading to the parking lot(She didn’t see me though). This lady looked up the steps leading to my apartment and said, “Oh look, her door open let’s stand here and see what happens” and laughing while talking with her friend.

As I’m walking and looking, she’s standing there (arms folded), looking, waiting to hear and see all of the madness. The only things she was missing were a bag of popcorn and recliner.Then, she noticed me. Her whole face expression changed. She became quite as a “Church mouse”.

At that point, my frustration had surpassed the maximum. As I’m walking towards her, all I could think was, Dang this lady finds this as a source of entertainment. How I know she did, I walked right by this lady, and not once did she ask me if I was okay, or do I need her to call the police or anything.Or say I will help you kick his you know what. No form of empathy at all. This lady had a “Deceiving character”.

From her face expression and body language it showed me, she was worried that I would fight her. To be honest, I wanted to show her how Philly women rumble, and that’s Real talk.

But, I just walked by and gave her a look of disappointment.

I have a couple of points here. Let me start with this one.

Proverbs 21:13

Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered.

I’ve come to understand in this life, we will all need a helping hand during any chapter(s) of our lives for many different reasons. To downright ignore or have no form of empathy knowing there may be some way you could assist, is Not pleasing to God. Nor is having a double spirit. Cause you can’t be of the flesh and of the spirit at the same time. Using God to your own advantage(Flesh) to deceive people won’t get you to far. Because there will be a time you may cry out for whatever reason(s) and you will be ignored.(I’m just saying).

Every time I saw that lady after that, I wanted to knock her head off. We as woman can be our worse enemies at times. But you know what helped me get past the emotion and that action.

Mark 12:31

The second commandment is this, “Love your neighbor as yourself”. There is no commandment greater than these.” NIV

I didn’t hate that lady, hated her reaction to my situation, but people only do what they know. I still spoke to that lady, just keep my distance. Yes, I was in a verbally abusive relationship, this lady was a witness to that. Because she decided to use it as a source of entertainment, me going toe to toe with her, or even trash talking her would have been useless, a waste of time and energy.Instead, releasing my frustration, and being neighborly was the best solution. I knew it was because, this lady felt bad each time she saw me afterwards and tried her best to be my best friend.