The Man

I enjoy music. I enjoy music a whole lot. Music has the ability to completely change my mood and alter my thoughts.

Growing  up, I used to listen to the good stuff, you know, Nat King Cole, Frank  Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, you know, the sounds of the  sounds of the upper class who have enough taste and class to enjoy this  kind of sound…

Actually,  that’s a lie. I’ve always thought people who say they listen to this  kind of music are pretentious people who are trying to sound classy (I  know its a generalisation, and I know generalisations normally don’t  conform to the truth, and I know at this point I fit into some  generalisation that you have of me, so it’s cool – society has  conditioned us that way). I’ve always felt that young people who say  they listen to such music, and classic music need to get a life.

Truth  is, growing up, I acquired my music taste from the music my sister used  to listen to. This means for most of my formative years, I listened to  soppy love-sick RnB songs and boy bands… I mean, who didn’t feel all  warm and fuzzy inside when they heard Show Me The Meaning of Being Lonely by  the Backstreet Boys? (At this point, I am aware that my street-cred has  reached rock bottom, and as usual, I do not care). To be honest, I had  to go to Inner Healing seminars to get this traumatising music out of my  system.

But what seemed popular during my high school  years around the “cool circles” (of which I never received my membership  certificate) was hip hop. Not just any hip hop, but deep hip hop,  because commercial artists “just sell to make money” and the deep  artists make music “to educate the masses”. (I’m still trying to find  the logic in this, but it’s a law decreed by those in power, and if you  question it, you’ll be labelled a loser for the rest of your life…  consider it a warning).

I tried listening to one or  more of these tracks, and for some reason, constant references were made  to The Man. Apparently, The Man was trying to get them down and make  sure they don’t succeed. Apparently, The Man is the cause of all the  problems in the world like poverty, unequal education and a kid pop  sensation singing love songs of which he knows nothing about (this is no  allusion to Justin Bieber). I had so many questions, like how did  everyone know The Man, and what The Man’s real name was, and what colour  underwear The Man wears. If there was a role model any man could  choose, forget Nelson Mandela, or Barack Obama, or Eugene Tereblanche, I  would choose The Man. This guy seems to omnipotent and unstoppable.

But  on the real now, how many times do we blame everything on something  else. How often do we blame the decisions we make on “society”? How  often do we say we are where we are because our parents didn’t buy us  those bright coloured skinny jeans that all the other kids had at  school? How often do we blame someone else for a decision we made? How  often do we say things like “I’m a greedy glutton because of xyz” or “I  occasionally don’t wash my hands when I go to the toilet because of abc”  (this is actually an appeal to all those who don’t wash their hands in  toilets, especially public toilets: YOU ARE DISGUSTING!!). How often do  we make statements like the statement I made earlier in this post saying  “Society has conditioned us to be like this”. We become who we are  because of the decisions we make everyday. These decisions are  influenced by alot of factors, but they are still decisions we make,  therefore we should be accountable and responsible for who we are.

This  doesn’t mean that outside influences are completely innocent.  Sometimes, things are done to people for which they have no control. For  example, I was going to be an amazing athlete in high school, but some  random stole my shoes (I was actually never athletic, and that guy  stealing my shoes did me a favour because I’d rather be sitting at home  than running around aimlessly around a field). But in the end, we make  decisions, and we should be held accountable for those decisions we  make.  So for which character flaw, or situation are you blaming on  someone else?

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