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Lessons in the Ghetto

This is where I was born. This is where I live. This is suppose to be my home. And this is suppose to be where I die….

Well why not learn things while I’m here?

Its like to survive, you gotta be tough. But toughness  can get you killed. Yet, if you’re weak, you will be trampled. You’ve got to take what you can for yourself, or someone else will. You have to watch your back constantly, or it will be stabbed. You have to stand guard on all the things you love & care for, or it will be taken away. But to earn respect, you must have street credibility. Such being as ducking & dodging the law, hustling & grinding as you go, & being fearless to what you walk into. Yet, it all still comes with a price.

Though not being one with the streets by sitting on the sidelines watching everything as I live, it has indeed taught me a lot….

  1. TRUST NO ONE

A major key in surviving, if not the #1 over all. Not all souls are tainted, yet not all souls are clean. Some that you trust are worthy to be trusted, yet some that you trust are worthy of deceiving you when you least think of it, & some will flat out lie & backstab you after you turn your back. You could be told all the things you want to hear, & then be fooled unbeknownst of you being deceived from the very beginning. Only a few deserve trust, that is if that prove that they are. As my father told me constantly: “Everybody ain’t your friend”. And the sad part is, those you call “friend” may call you something else or not even consider you as one. Its survival of the fittest out here, & people would do anything to have their way. Litterally….

2. STAY OUT THE WAY

Probably why I’m still alive. And thats one of the easy things that some fail to do. You hear shooting? What kind of brain do you have that tells you to move closer to it? Now you’re about to get caught in the crossfire when you should’ve went the opposite direction. If someone throws a grenade at your feet, do you stand there to see what it looks like when it explodes, or do you hop the hell out the way?  Why would you go with your “friends” to a dangerous part of town? Why are you even outside anyway after dark? Don’t put yourself in harms way for the thrill, or to not feel like a coward because your “friends” will laugh at you. Will they be laughing when they’re at the wrong place at the wrong time?

3. USE COMMON SENSE

I wish everyone was able to tap into this effectively. It ties so well with staying out the way, but more in depth with the mind & thought process. You know whats right, & you know whats wrong. Yet, what drives you to commit to the wrongs? Do you not think before you act? Do you not think of the consequences & after effect of what you’ve done? If you commit a crime, you think you’ll never get caught? If you take something that doesn’t belong to you, you think you’ll get away with it? If you decide you want to shoot someone, don’t you know everyone is born with a family? You think people like going to funerals & wearing past relatives on a shirt over gun violence? You wonder why the police brings down the oppressive force on us? Look at what we do! Black on black crime happens when somebody or nobody uses their brain to prevent something from starting. Someone accidentally bumps you, so you pull out a gun & start shooting? Come on….

4. KNOW WHEN TO & NOT TO FIGHT

“You win some, you lose some. But you live…you live to fight another day…..”

If everyone fought honorably, & learned to accept their loses rather than be hellbent on revenge, a lot would have lived….

5. AVOID DRUGS

Drugs corrupt, drugs kill, but they keep coming no matter what. But just because they are there, don’t mean they must be used. Especially when you’ve witnessed what it has done & turned people into. One of the main causes why the ghetto is so dangerous. The effects of drug use destroys the community, & the lust for it is at a constant growth to where people will kill over it. Thats how it destroys us as a race, which it has long been doing. Once you’re in, there is almost no escape from it. They say they’re bad for a reason, & I’ve seen up close just how bad they are.

6. BE DIFFERENT

Pays to be the different one. Why be average & do what everyone else is doing? If they were all jumping off a bridge, you’d follow? If you see them all taking drugs when you know what will happen, you’d still do the same? You’d allow yourself to be as screwed up as the person right next to you? No not at all. Being different doesn’t make me better, for as nobody is better than another as we are all equal beings. Yet, I consider it as a unique trait. Simply because of the positive attention you can receive for being that person who can very well make a change.

7. Be Quiet

When you’re loud, you draw attention to yourself. And in a place like this, theres all kind of negative attention. Its pretty simple, “don’t start no stuff, won’t be no stuff”. And boy, have I never been one to start anything. Being out & about in the streets is a life threatening risk. Being silent & inside away from the streets is not.

Despite living in a hellhole like this all my life, there are indeed lessons that are learned. As every place has something to teach.

I could never say there’s nothing I have learned in a place like this. School can teach you the basic necessities to living a decent or successful life. I consider the ghetto to be a place that teaches you how to survive in the harsh realities of life.




This post first appeared on New Beginnings, please read the originial post: here

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Lessons in the Ghetto

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