Change the Pain, Make It Your Gain: Defy the Anger and Become a Game Changer
Neglected, mistreated and eventually in a state of disrepair — who dares to care? The fire that rages in side, the faces distraught with grimaces they cannot hide, the stories that cannot be told, and the memories of negativity that constantly unfold. As domestic violence comes into play, and without regard or pause has its way, and the world continues to churn out its misery and peculiar forms of social decay for all of the angry young men who have gone astray.
I however, found myself in Hollywood taking the time to meet a man who had a wonderful mind. Who changed his way and now spoke of family, but it was not always harmony and melody. African American men don’t talk enough each day. We don’t share our pain in any particular way. Unfortunately, it leads to our own dismay, as we don’t pause to think before we act and pull the trigger. Before we move our minds and dare somebody with an N-word and then hope to be bigger, by firing guns in fury, unleashing the rage of bullets that finds a target and pierces a heart and lands you in an orange jumpsuit because you took part.
Anger, anger the friend that we identify with each day, it hits them and then it speaks, “how are you going to let them treat you this way? Did you hear exactly what they said? If it was me I’d go upside their head. If it was me I would let them know who I am and what I choose to be. I would inflict that pain. She is leaving you for him, don’t you feel that misery? How disrespected you are, can’t you hear what that anger has to say? Then you pull the trigger and slap her real hard.” And you’re on your way. Clink, clink, clink. They close the door. Down on your knees, you now are hitting the floor. And your romance is with a man you never thought you’d see, and it’s the complete and total destruction of your dignity. All because you listened to the anger in your head, and you never stopped to think instead.
Anger rages from inside, but Denzel Washington spoke of and to black men so they no longer had to hide the feelings of misery, the abandonment and the discontent. He addressed spiritual disregard, and how we really try very hard to understand how the world and life guards our secrets and disguises our pain, and shields us from our own scorn and disdain. And I had the beautiful experience to meet, this wonderful young man who brought us to our feet. He wore the uniform with honor and pride, smiling as he stood by Denzel’s side. So I sat still, and thought about him as I remembered the man and the movie, the role and the real-life story of Antwone Fisher and how poignantly he expressed what he had been through.
Would he tell the truth, would he be new, or would he be Hollywood chic, since we were in L.A. on sunset strip no less, where everything and anything can be bought and sold. Would he be forthcoming and would he share this story honestly if allowed. He talked about being a father, a husband and being very proud, having seen the world and his demons too, Denzel brought the tale to the screen and actors told the story so that we could see through. Who was this man and why don’t we understand exactly what he was saying about anger and his clan? His clan of characters who brought misery too, and his band of brothers who taunted him about what to do. “How are you going to let them say that to you.” These are the things that anger puts out and then sews and sprouts that nagging doubt.
The fire did not rage now in the Antwone Fisher I see. For Antwone is a very gentle man and he expressed how proud he was to live in his neighborhood and how over time, the life that he began to live was actually good. He explained that life changes and you don’t understand exactly where it might go. Enjoy the journey and share the pain, for there are people who want to help you navigate along those treacherous plains. Instead of dwelling on the uncertainties and delving into the demons talking inside, find those people who are willing to be gentle guides. Coaches and life’s leaders who have things to say. People who don’t want something from you per se, but want more for you each and every day. They prompt you to be the great light, like the beacons that shine and guide you safely to shore. Those who help you believe there is more, and help you to push open any slammed door. He said I began to see those people with my own eyes. I no longer choose to listen to those lies.
That was my meeting with Antwone Fisher, you see. We shared quite a few things and then we moved on, so he could tell me about his wonderful book, A Boy Should Know How to Tie a Tie: And Other Lessons for Succeeding in Life, and his new movie that was coming out. And we didn’t have to worry about each other, we could trust each other in a meaningful way. So I left that day knowing more about me, you see. I saw a brother and we were akin. We had both felt anger within, but we knew that with anger leading the way, that it could only show us down a very troubled way. We choose not to stay where they sentence you by the year. We choose not to be broken and afraid and give in to fear.
I am very proud of you Antwone, and I encourage parents to sit with their children watch Antwone Fisher once more, so that each brother or sister chooses not to succumb to the anger that a band of friends can lead him or her to. And for anyone else in that dungeon of pain, break free from the misery and lies you’ve been told. Watch Antwone Fisher’s story again, and rebuke the anger and what it has to say.