Guilty of Wanting to be Great 8/24/2020
Muhammad Ali used his ability to speak for as long as he had it to say what needed to be said gracefully and powerfully and in his life he did what needed to be done — — and more — - gracefully and powerful.
“Rumble Young Man Rumble”
“Service is the rent you pay for your room here on earth”
Ali never even could swim but I had the photograph that he took in the pool doing the shadow boxing underwater in my bathroom.
But who said Ali couldn’t swim?
It was some writer from somewhere.
I can’t envision “The Greatest” not being able to swim. He learned how to ride horseback and so did Rubin “The Hurricane” Carter whose legend and life actually first inspired me to box.
I learned how to swim early in life and recently I’ve added the pool back to my list of exercises.
This morning I read my daily devotional which is one of my spiritual exercises.
It came from God by way of a woman from Oregon who took an eye-opening and perspective shifting trip to Vienna…
“On vacation in Vienna, Austria, my husband and I took time to watch the famous Lipizzaner stallions. These beautiful horses performed elegant maneuvers, precise and controlled steps, and amazing leaps. I was enthralled by their magnificence.
Later, as we strolled through the old town of Vienna, I saw pairs of horses pulling carriages, giving tourists a relaxed view of the city. Their hooves clip-clopped on the pavement as they plodded along — no fancy maneuvers or leaps for them. However, while these horses lacked the majesty of the Lipizzaner stallions, they still served a valuable purpose.
Sometimes I wish I could be like the Lipizzaners, elegant and applauded for my accomplishments. But maybe God wants me to humbly pull a carriage, serving others without reward or recognition. I think of the neighbors who gave us a ride to the airport, the other neighbor caring for our cat while we were gone, the people at church who encourage us and make us feel welcome. I am grateful for these ordinary people serving God in quiet ways. They may gain little attention, but they receive great honor in God’s eyes.”
I gave worlds of things up but even more was taken from me because I put it before God.
I have come to terms with that fact.
There were many cars.
There was the Eldorado.
And the Camry
I crashed those along with the ’88 Brougham in 2008- the same year it became a classic — It was my nice new white ride… but I wasn’t even behind the wheel and my boy claimed the breaks went. This was in Wilmington Delaware in the hood.
It was dirty.
It was icy… the road was wet. it was like slush.
There were many girls
There was Paulina who killed our baby in her stomach at Planned Parenthood.
She was white.
There was Shanel who cheating on me.
She was Black Israelite and we were supposed to be in a “Covenant Relationship”.
We were to be married.
There was Domonique who I was cruel too…
But she still loved me…
She had a baby before me…
When I met her she was pushing a stroller and I was in my work truck that I owned. This is after the Brougham and some time in the slammer.
She was hopeful that I would be better to her than her baby dad but I wasn’t.
Her family was Jehovah’s Witness.
Maybe she was simple. She is still the same color as peanut butter and still beautiful but she’s moved on. She deserves better.
I was cruel to Paulina at times as well…
Maybe Shanel could feel the cruelty too…
Shanel lost both her parents in a car accident.
I’ve lost loved ones.
My mom and my dad…
I don’t know if I ever really loved
because I don’t know if I was ever really loved.
My mom and dad are still alive but not in my heart.
I’ve loved animals…
I lost my turtle Michelangelo.
He was an orange Painter turtle.
I lost my dog “Splashy” to parvovirus. He was really just a puppy.
I brushed that dog’s coat until his short dark brindle fur laid down in a wave pattern just like the hairs on my head that I would wrap in a white or black doo-rag to press down for the look. Splashy was Black and white too. My ancestors who came from Mali, Nigeria, Cameroon and Congo had waves too…
They were enslaved by the Arabs who were Muslim.
My uncle became a Muslim in jail.
He took his Shahada there- I believe…
I lost him too.
… to the violence in the streets…
I loved him.
Back then I was wearing Jordan One sneakers that were grey and black. When I first got Splashy the girl I got him from told me he had his shots…
When I first saw her standing with him she had him tied to a leash on the corner. I noticed that he was dehydrated and “Tootie” allowed me to give him my water. It was so hot that day.
My pit bull puppy was black and white brindle and muscle, full of energy after that but that energy started to decline days later. He didn’t make it to the park anymore. He didn’t want to play and bark anymore. He didn’t make it to the end of summer.
I had to bury him too…
Michaelangelo didn’t die…
I released him back in the wild when I had been evicted.
I’ve lost plenty…
Of apartments and other housing situations.
I’ve lost some friends and family who I’ve lived with.
I’ve lost some jobs.
When I worked down at the docks I would sneeze and blow my nose into a white napkin and that napkin would be black because of all of the exhaust fumes I was breathing in at work on the car-ships — — — — latching the cars to the multiple floors of the huge Autoliner ships that are like floating parking garages so they wouldn’t move…. on my knees…
I’ll never go back there…
Not because the work was hard.
The union is a family I will miss…
But I’ll never go back because a year ago a couple of us lost our tempers.
Dealing with family and business can be hard.
I was involved in a physical altercation and believe it or not, I was not the one on the attack but I was the one reprimanded by the union, so the righteous thing is to not go back because they were wrong for punishing me. They got the wrong guy.
I was invited back but I won’t go. I don’t see it as any different from the streets.
The streets lost me when my uncle got killed.
I vowed never to go back to that life.
The prison lost me when Obama got elected and I was in that hole.
I elected to never return to that pit.
I felt like a piece of shit. My head was by the toilet every night as I slept when we were 3 to a cell and I was sleeping on the floor.
I’ve lost plenty of battles.
— — but not in jail. I had to fight for the toop bunk.
Now I try not to curse but I wrote that part about, “the shit” for emphasis. I know that my words are powerful. I have been attacked many times for just my words…
I asked why the police removed me from the union hall.
I lost $400 on a consultation with a lawyer I lost after I told her my story.
Michelle Allen has no heart, I swear.
Maybe my story made no sense to her.
Maybe she couldn’t relate.
She is super rich and super white.
She never stood in a line in front of a Union hall waiting to get picked to work at 6 in the morning with her kids like many of the women who are now called, “Longshore-workers” down at the docks do. They want the Bosses doing the hiring to feel for them.
When you first start out as a dock worker- mostly driving cars onto ships and latching the cars down to the floors of the floating parking garages for the rides across seas they don’t allow you inside the hall. You have to earn that privilege.
The Bosses come outside and pick up workers as needed for the jobs available but the guys inside get first dibs on the jobs because they’ve paid their dues.
Outside mothers stand waiting to get picked alongside men and often have their children with them waiting in a car. If the mom gets picked she tells the sister, aunt or grandmother who she drove to the hall with to take the children home.
I’ve lived some life.
I believe I’ve lived a couple lives.
I’ve stood in lines to take produce… fresh food from churches and not so fresh food from the same churches.
I’ve been hungry.
I’ve also stood behind the soup line as a volunteer handing out Thanksgiving platters at the gymnasium in the center where I first started boxing.
That same facility threw me out of the boxing gym…
The police officer on site was used and I was never given a reason. I didn’t attack anyone. I didn’t resist. I complied with orders but I wasn’t given a reason. I wasn’t Disorderly but that’s what he threatened to charge me with.
I protested discrimination and exclusion and was arrested for a righteous cause before…
That was the last time I was arrested.
I just wanted answers…
The person giving the answers could’ve been polka-dotted for Christ’s sake.
I sold cars at Cadillac
I lost that job
They moved me to what they called “The Budget Lot” and I lost that job.
But at least they gave me a shot.
I actually sold cars after I got out of jail.
Alot of places wouldnt hire me and still wont.
That’s why I stood in the union line…
And the soup line…
And the unemployment line
And the welfare line
And the line to get clothes
And the line to get my credit fixed
And the line at the alter
The line to repent and ask God for forgiveness for my selfishness and transgressions…
I never stood in line crying in public but I was messed up.
As I write this, I realize just how “messed up” I was.
A long time ago I decided to stop putting money first.
I’ve lost greed and selfishness.
I’ve lost materialism.
I’ve lost complexes.
As a Longshoreman down at the docks- because I did become a Union-man I was a contributor to the military industrial complex because I drove tanks and hummers for the United States to send to Saudi Arabia mainly.
I lost that… gave that up. I won’t go back.
I don’t care how much money they pay me.
As a hustler I contributed to the Opioid epidemic crisis. I forged prescriptions for Oxycodone and sold the pills to my own people. I always called the pills, “Dope with training wheels”. Here in Wilmington Delaware is one of the places where the pills are made- at Noramco- where the workers can and do pass-out from breathing in the fumes at the plant. Longshoremen or “Longshore-workers” cross over the bridge and go by the plant on the way to work. It’s right on the left, if you look before you make the left to the Union Hall.
Noramco is a Billion dollar enterprise and they should be shut down. The healthcare industry must stop prescribing dope which equals death! CBD, acupuncture, massage, exercise and prayer should be used as a first line a defense against pain.
What about healthy foods?
What about health in general?
We have a history and a herstory of poor health and it’s resulting from economic inequality, poverty, unresolved conflict, abuse and trauma.
How do we give that up?
The generational trauma which is physiological.
How do we rise above without God? We don’t rise divided. Together we rise united. With God we can do all things and all things are lost without this knowledge which is greater than anything.
Any dollar, any cent, any bank, any token, any item, dividend, stock or contract with the devil.
The reason I lost all the things- and there are more I didn’t write about- is because I put those things before God.
The private parts of my life that most people keep secret I welcome people to- to provide strength, encouragement and enlightenment.
I see my entire life as a body still forming and growing and a body goes through phases and changes.
I’ve been so many different weights and body types. I’ve been a champion and a chump. I’ve been flabby and strong.
The private parts of our body that aren’t presentable are the ones that are given the most dignity. 24 The parts of our body that are presentable don’t need this. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the part with less honor 25 so that there won’t be division in the body and so the parts might have mutual concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part gets the glory, all the parts celebrate with it. 27 You are the body of Christ and parts of each other.
These words are from the Common English bible. We have all been through different experiences. And these experiences make us all unique and great in the eyes of God and maybe each other too.
I’ve never rode on a horse but one day I will. Mike Tyson was talking about buying a specific breed of horse that he exclaimed was the most beautiful in the world AND the most expensive but I forget what he said it was called on his new Pod-cast.
The forgetfulness has nothing to do with me suffering a concussion in the Olympic Qualifiers last year. Or in 2015… for the 2016 games that I lost the opportunity to make it out to…
Dear Lord, help us to use the talents you have given us without looking for reward or recognition. Amen.
Together with the rest of the planet due to this pandemic and before I’ve lost boxing coaches, elders, mentors, ministers, teachers, preachers, bosses and promoters that you may call visionaries.