Goons get stuck on the first part, Thugs stuck on the next, dope boys get fixated on the next, and gangsters can only dream of the next, Mobsters finish here, Mob Bosses are content here. The boy who realizes that life is more than money is here, and the man that teaches him how to be a real man sits above them all. –by Patrick Irvine
This quote was made after a having a talk with a relative that had been hit with some tough times throughout his life. He had never been in any what he would call serious trouble, but with a record that made him a multiple felon combined with multiple misdemeanors and more run-ins with the law then with his sperm donor, the average citizen might disagree. After talking with him for months on end about life and how your destination and your arrival time at that destination are controlled by you, we were finally starting to see some progress and he was having breakthroughs daily that actually culminated in a mind shattering epiphany on this day. It was the day he realized that it was actually his fault, and he realized why he had done what he had done and why he was associating with who he was associating with.
It’s fairly simple to just sit back and point at someone else and tell yourself and the rest of the world that it’s not your fault, but that is a child’s perspective on life. Adults understand that everything that happens in their world can be and has been affected in some way by their behaviors, attitudes, and thoughts. This is the meaning of responsibility; the update that was placed up on this day was an attempt to get people to understand a multitude of things on several different levels. However the main purpose of it was to fold: first, to show those traveling down these roads the limitations they have placed on themselves, and two, to show them how far they can expect to go. The bad guy context of the lines is to make a point to those that I hoped to affect but make no mistake; these lines apply to the entirety of the world.
Your goal should always be to leave your mark on the entire human community. More people need what you have to offer then just the people on your street; this is how we start off as children with our streets being our whole world. We know nothing about the world and in our minds the world outside of our view stops completely. We don’t know nor do we care what happens on any road but the one we claim as ours, like a baby stuck in a crib all we care about is what’s in the crib with us. If you never get out of that crib mentality, if you never elevate your thinking to the world beyond your street, then you relegate yourself to accept only the things your street has to offer.
So what can you hope to be if you decide that your only concern is your street and that’s the only place you care to leave any sort of legacy. Well I would call you a goon, and in your ignorance you would probably laugh and agree as did my relative in the first part of our conversations. Then I told him what a goon was, of course he didn’t believe me so we went to the dictionary to look it up and the definition was simple, but worse than he had thought it would be. The definition of a goon is simply a stupid person. Nothing more, nothing less, and you can’t argue with it, someone that would be content to say this is my street, to terrorize the inhabitants of that street, and to call himself king goon for that matter sounds pretty stupid to me.
As he elevated his thinking I soon found that he had stopped calling himself a goon and had replaced that word thug. He had indeed elevated his thinking but we were going the wrong way as far as the positive negative shift. You see, he had moved up to wanting to control the block which is a good bit bigger then a single street, but he had decided that in order to do that, he would need to be a little more ruthless. He had other goons on his team now and they had the individual streets on lock, he only concerned himself with overhead and multi-street issues. I remember seeing him one day walking up to me thanking me for talking to him, he had began to create his empire and he would leave his mark on the whole block, the streets were beneath him. I can recall thinking to myself that some growth is better than no growth, but he is still going in the wrong direction.
Again I pulled him to the dictionary and we looked up thug, he read it brimming with pride, a brutal ruffian or assassin. “I like that shit fam” I can recall him saying right after reading it. We talked for a bit and I explained to him that I was happy for his mental growth and elevation but the direction was off, he pulled out a wad of money and said “the direction seems fine to me.” I told him about karma, and how if you want to get better things you must give better things, I spoke to him about things like not bringing negativity into your life and doing good for others. He didn’t hear me as long as the money was coming in, but he did here the message when that jail cell was slamming shut on his freedom and he found himself a caged animal for the first time in his adult life.
Six months he was gone for and I can remember him saying that it felt harsher going in with the adults then it felt as a kid in juvie. He said he didn’t want to go back, he said he was willing to listen, but he also said it was partly my fault. If I would have left him in the streets he wouldn’t have gotten into anything. I told him that he was still thinking to small, the block is still not big enough.
Here I say the same thing to you; the block is not big enough for what you have to offer. If you have gotten to this level I applaud your growth but this is not the end, there is still a lot more room to go for growth. In the case of this relative though, I also began to share with him the beauty of responsibility at this point as well.
My relative went to prison one more time, this time when he got out he was done. He had learned his lessons, I remember him saying to me when he got out this last time, “A Cuz, I really appreciate you trying to help me all these years, I wasn’t understanding what you were saying to me at the time, but I understand now. I wanna do what you tried to do for me for the next group of upcoming knuckleheads.” With his new found clarity his life took a tremendous upward spiral. He is helping kids and has found a new source of happiness unparalleled by any he has known before. The man he talks about to the kids is the man that he is slowly becoming, and he is finding abundance in all areas of his life. The story of my relative is the inspiration for this phrase.