Welcome to Day 2 of the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour! @JanSikes3 @RRBC_Org #RRBC #RWISA #RWISAWRW

WALK TO YOUR OWN BEAT

JAN SIKES

2020 has been a year.

And that is a gross understatement. No one could have predicted the diverse levels of craziness we’d experience as the year unfolded.

Not only are we dealing with a worldwide pandemic that has us wearing masks and hiding in our homes, but here in the United States, we’ve witnessed hatred and divisiveness to a degree I could never have imagined. While we watched and perhaps joined people taking to the streets to protest injustices, we also saw organized groups invade our beautiful cities and set them ablaze. Everyone is in a hypersensitive mode. History is being erased with the dismantling and destruction of national monuments, while sports teams are changing their names because someone is offended. 

The culmination of it all has left us reeling.

I do not watch the news, and that is a personal choice. I can name lots of reasons why I stopped, but the main one is, I do not believe even half of what they report. The media uses its power to incite and ignite more hatred and division amongst us.

Folks take to social media to try and coerce others to bend to their ideals and beliefs. And they do it in the most aggressive ways imaginable. It seems no one wants to allow their fellow man to have his or her own opinions. People are not willing to tolerate differences. Families are split by these differences, leaving children confused. We are allowing those in power to turn us into a society focused on isolation and fear.

So, what can we do?

I heard a song the other day that says it better than I ever could. The music artist is Brent Cobb, and he gave me permission to quote some of his lyrics.

He sings about how people want to tell each other how to live and how to die. You don’t get too low, don’t get too high, which is precisely what the pharmaceutical companies exhort.

The best thing you can do is don’t listen too close. Walk on to your own beat. Keep ‘em on their toes.

What does that even mean? To me, it means staying true to your authentic self. Don’t be a part of the herd that follows blindly. Make decisions for your life based on your truth, not someone else’s. Go where your heart tells you to go. I genuinely believe your heart will never lead you wrong.

Then, rather than to try and convince others to follow your truth, tuck it deep inside where you can nurture it and make it grow. You will never persuade another person to change their way of thinking because of the words you speak, but you can lead by example. And you can keep them on their toes. Keep them guessing about you. In other words, don’t be so utterly transparent.

Maybe this says it better. Keep ‘em on their toes, your business outta sight. Make ‘em look left, if you’re gonna hang a right. If the pot’s hot, don’t let ‘em see your hand. Make ‘em gotta know what they wouldn’t understand. The best thing you can do when the ignorance shows, is walk on to your own beat, keep ‘em on their toes.

I love that! We live in an electronic age where privacy is a thing of the past. The only way to have real privacy is to be completely disconnected, including no cellphone.

I have had many experiences that prove to me we are always under observation. It’s easy to understand how an ad will randomly pop up after browsing for an Amazon item. But I have had things pop up about something relating to a simple conversation with a friend. Big Brother is listening. No, I’m not paranoid. Just honest and see reality.

I do not know where we are headed as a society. The rose-colored glasses part of me wants to believe this hatred, division, hypersensitivity, and deadly pandemic we are experiencing will all come to an end, and we will go back to living our lives peacefully. But reality tells me we will never go back to the way we were before all of this chaos hit.

We are forever changed by it all.

So, the big question remains, “Where do we go from here?”

I can only answer that question from my point of view, from my truth. I will continue to be kind. I will continue to share and celebrate others’ accomplishments. And I will continue to love my family and do my best to impart any hard-earned wisdom to my grandchildren.

I can’t visualize what this world will be like ten years from now. I can’t even picture it a year from now. So, I must live for today in the best and most honest way I know.

I will walk on to my own beat―do my best to keep ‘em on their toes, and my business out of sight. That does not mean I can stop caring or go numb. In fact, just the opposite. I will celebrate every positive moment life brings, and I hope you will join me. Together we are stronger. Together we can make a difference.

Together, we can keep ‘em on their toes!


Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, please visit their Author Profile on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.

We ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA catalog.  Thanks, again, for your support and we hope that you will follow along each day of this amazing tour of talent by visiting the tour home page!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about today’s profiled author:

Jan Sike‘s RWISA Author Profile

About Shirley Harris-Slaughter

I love old buildings and history. That's why I ended up writing about the history that surrounded me all of my life - "Our Lady of Victory, the Saga of an African-American Catholic Community." Plus our church had closed and the school is torn down, so I felt it was imperative that we preserve the history or it would be lost forever.
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17 Responses to Welcome to Day 2 of the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour! @JanSikes3 @RRBC_Org #RRBC #RWISA #RWISAWRW

  1. Shirley Harris-Slaughter says:

    Jan, please don’t feel the need to apologize to me. My beef was not so much with you as it was in knowing that somehow we all have been so duped in this country, and it was done on purpose. Those sneaky people in the 19th century deliberately created their own reality in order to deceive us in the future. Those statues are tributes to the men who endorsed slavery, made freed slaves’ lives a living hell, terrorized,destroyed and stole property and decimated whole communities like what happened in Tulsa OK (Black Wall Street). It’s called homegrown terrorism which we like to call the Ku Klux Klan, Proud Boys and other hate groups that keep on growing in this country. All of it aimed at keeping white people in power and in charge. Statues were created to honor these despicable people. Some of the schools we attended were named for these people.

    Those who reacted to those statues were re-living the nightmare that stared at them every single day. So distorting history was done in an effective way with precision. Years of pent up anger is what you saw or heard. They were not destroying history because it was all a lie. So I only ask that you educate yourself and then you might have a different feeling about what happened to those statues in the 21st century. If you had stayed tuned to the station that aired those statues being decimated, you might have learned the reason for what happened. Yes, its wrong, but completely understandable.

    I thank you for airing your feelings. Its the only way we can all learn from one another.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Shirley Harris-Slaughter says:

    Hi John. I just got a history lesson from your response on Canada’s past.

    Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Like

  3. Shirley Harris-Slaughter says:

    Nonnie, I appreciate your thoughts on this topic. I just felt that this matter of erasing history needed to be addressed because clearly a lot of people feel this way. It is way past time to set the record straight. We all have been mislead in our education.

    Like

  4. Jan Sikes says:

    Hi, Shirley! Thank you SO much for sharing my Watch “RWISA” Write showcase piece on your blog! I appreciate your support!

    Like

    • Shirley Harris-Slaughter says:

      Hi Jan. I am happy to host you today.

      I agree that monuments have been torn down but I have to disagree that history was/is being erased with the dismantling of those monuments. The only statues I know that were taken down were the ones representing a distortion of the civil war. Monuments were erected to the racists white supremacists of the times who lost the war over slavery. And when people learned the truth, decided it was time to stop honoring a distortion of history. You had young people holding their heads up with pride of their heritage, not knowing what those monuments truly represented. Now if monuments were taken down for reasons I am unaware of, then I stand corrected. Enlighten me. Otherwise, remove those monuments off of federal property paid for by taxpayers and put them in a museum where they belong and present the real history.

      I don’t think someone feeling offended because their national heritage had been disrespected for so long is as bad as seeing black males and females being killed and the perpetrators getting away with it in plain sight. I can’t describe how offensive and disturbing and sad that is.

      I would imagine the Native Americans, who are the true Americans, relegated to a reservation while forced to watch their history being mocked, would have a legitimate beef about their race being used as some sort of mascot on the football field. A certain lack of sensitivity was on display for too many years. I get what they are disturbed about.

      I know that the news media gets twisted and hyped up trying to be the first to break the story, but for the most part they used to be as truthful and accurate as possible without bending the facts. They didn’t spew propaganda and lies. It was just a free press and with that comes all its imperfections. Now, they have been reduced to disrespect and contempt by the present administration and that doesn’t bode well for democracy. It is the media’s job to hold the administration accountable. And that has been compromised through these last four years. So nobody wins. But can we really do without them in a democracy? I think not.

      I get that we all see our truths through a different set of eyes based on our culture and upbringing. That’s all the more reason why we should accept the things we cannot change; change the things we can and have the courage and wisdom to know the difference.

      Am I repeating a quote from somewhere? LOL!

      Have a wonderful day everybody.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Shirley, first let me say that your very detailed comment was so well-written … I’m blown away by it! I’m sorry – I had to say that publicly. The most amazing comment ever!

        Let me begin with the media. The media is a necessity for us all. If not for them, how would we know about the fires burning in California or the hurricanes that constantly ravage Texas shores? Or even, the climbing rate of innocent lives taken around the country? How would we know about the serial rapist in our neighborhood if not for the media? Yes, there are some media outlets who do nothing but report “fake news,” but then there are the others who I trust implicitly. I’m not into lies/non-truths. I live and stand by the truth, and it is for that reason that I allow truthful and reputable media outlets to keep me abreast of what’s going on in our world. I’m an intelligent lady – no one can brainwash me into anything. I believe what my own two eyes can see and I also believe what my own two ears hear, especially when it’s coming from the horse’s mouth. You can’t make me believe someone is decent when I can see with my own eyes how indecent they are. The news outlets that I tune into are of the same mindset.

        Monuments – I agree with you 100%. These monuments that are being taken down (torn down if you wish to call it that) clearly represent something that is offensive to some, and if others know the history behind these statues, they should be just as offended.

        The name changes that are taking place with the athletic teams, namely with the Washington Redskins – again, something that should have taken place long ago. Native Americans demanded changes long before now, but, yet, here we are in 2020, with the death of George Floyd, and only now are they being listened to. The dictionary defines the term “redskins” as disparaging and offensive – a contemptuous term used to refer to a North American Indian. So why wouldn’t the team name be changed? I’m not Native American and I’m highly offended by it, and I have been for quite some time.

        It’s been said many times that if we don’t know our history, we are destined to repeat it. So, let’s all take the time to research and learn, not just the history of our own race, but the history of all the races we are living among in this great big gumbo pot of races. It is then and only then that we will be able to appreciate and celebrate that which is uplifting to us all, and stand up against those horrible ills that divide us.

        I think folks are hypersensitive these days, but unless you are one who has been and still is being oppressed, then I don’t think it’s our place to comment as to how things might be making others feel. If you haven’t walked in someone else’s shoes, then you don’t know just how uncomfortable there journey might be.

        Take care, guys and gals!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi, Shirley. You wrote an excellent response. I am so tired of people claiming that tearing down a statue or a monument is tantamount to erasing history. That’s pure balderdash as you so correctly pointed out. Here in Canada, our first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald has been revered with his name adorning many buildings across the country, schools, libraries, and his face adorned our $10.00 bill until recently. Now he’s being called to account for his racist policies against our Indigenous peoples. Statues have been defaced, torn down, etc. Schools are being re-named not to change history, but to remove the smear on history by honouring such a person.

        Like

      • Jan Sikes says:

        Thank you for your heartfelt comment, Shirley.

        Like

      • Jan Sikes says:

        Hi, Shirley. First of all, let me apologize if my post upset or offended you, which apparently it did. That was not my intention. I do not disagree that the statues needed to be removed from public places. What I do strongly disagree with is the way it was carried out, beheading, breaking, and tossing them into rivers. Two wrongs never made a right. The artists who created the statues must have had their hearts broken to see all the hard work destroyed. A museum where people could choose to visit would have been a more adult and civil solution. I cried and I prayed about what to do about the post, and considered pulling it completely, but my heart told me that I just needed to clarify. So, I will be modifying the piece. I do not stand by nor support anything to do with slavery. It was wrong on every level. Again, I’m so sorry I upset you and I should have made myself more clear. Sending love and light to you.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t watch the news either, Jan. I wish they would all just focus on telling us events and allowing people to determine how they feel about it. There is one news station, VICE, that tends to do just that. Still, I tend to catch news headings from social media and try to leave it at that. More and more, the news just adds to my anxiety, so I stay away from it. I’d rather stay in my happy bubble for as long as I can. Lol! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Guy Worthey says:

    Nice piece, Jan! Chunks of lyrics are always popping into my head, often for no discernable reason. It’s excellent advice to shun all things political on social media – something about that chemistry is pure poison to the soul. I think reporters are just doing their job, though, telling it like it is as best they can, kinda like we all are, and like you have done in this article. Cheers, Shirley! Thanks for hosting.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Well said, Jan. I find comfort in song lyrics as well. Sometimes songs bring me to tears, others I’ve me comfort or strength. Some take me back to a time before I had responsibilities and was carefree–no kids, no house to take care of, no bills to pay, for example. Others remind me of people I lost years ago, or places I’d been to with those people. If things get tough, I listen to “Shenandoah,” the version by my friend John Kirk, whose captivating tenor voice soothes my soul and brings me back to when my late father first introduced me to that song via a black-and-white movie in the 1950s. Song lyrics speak truth to me when there’s confusion and chaos around me. I’m so glad to see music touches you in a similar way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jan Sikes says:

      Hi, Wanda. I absolutely love what you said about song lyrics speaking truth. A Texas songwriter, Hayes Carll, has a song in which he sings this line, “Doesn’t anyone care about truth anymore? Maybe that’s what songs are for…” Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment today! Have a wonderful day!

      Like

    • Shirley Harris-Slaughter says:

      Wanda, music touches me as well. That is what it is meant to do.

      Like

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