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?