Sunday, October 19, 2014

Plato Negro and the Woman at the Well

By Marvin X
A woman asked Plato why are the youth out of control ? He replied that youth are out of control because adults are out of control and youth observe then emulate their behavior. Even during the revolutionary 60s, the militants, who are the fathers and mothers of today’s youth(some are grandparents) were guilty of contradictions, or saying one thing but doing another. They talked black power but went home to beat their wives and women. They preached discipline but were guilty of drug abuse and abuse of power. Much of our behavior was patriarchal white supremacy actions that debased women, considering them less than human. Of course we learned this behavior from our white supremacy socialization. True enough, there were many good things we learned and achieved during that time, and many sincere and honest people gave their lives for the cause of freedom. But if we had been more sober minded, we would have been able to detect agent provocateurs and snitches. We would have been able to see through the US Government’s counter intelligence program or Cointelpro. With sobriety and discipline, we might have been able to show our children better examples of male/female relations, and perhaps today’s youth would be more respectful of women, elders and peers.
The woman asked Plato what can be done today to reconnect with our children? Plato said we must embrace them with unconditional love and do not abuse them, physically, sexually or emotionally. Do not show them contradictory behavior, saying one thing but doing the opposite. We must not say we are about freedom, yet make their mothers slaves in the home, treating them with abuse that the children observe and then act out in their relations with their mates and friends.
Many children have been abandoned and left to fend for themselves. They are without mother or father. Many are living in foster homes, the result of parental drug and sexual abuse. Adults must stop being predators and instead be mentors and guides. The youth want and seek our wisdom, but we must reach out to them because many are terrified of us just as we are terrified of them.
It is communal insanity when we allow children to rule our community, making us afraid to go outside at night, afraid to go to the store. But we can only take back control of our community by reconnecting and embracing our children, no matter how painful it is for us and them. We must make amends to them for our wickedness and then demand of them the same. Yes, they must apologize to the elders they have harmed and disrespected. What we are talking about is the urgent need for a healing session between youth and adults, a time and space where we can gather to admit our mistakes and promise to do better now and in the future.
We must, youth and adults, swallow our pride and reconnect. We cannot allow the chaos to continue because we know things go from bad to worse, if we do not address the issues. Nothing is going to change until we change our thinking and actions. We must rise up from animal to divine. The tide is turning because you are turning the tide!
Mothers and fathers who are separated must come together for the sake of their children, if only for a moment. When children see parents reconciling, they will do likewise. No matter the pain of the past, adults must show the way to community unity. Why shouldn’t youth resort to violence, after all, they see adults resolving their conflicts with violence.
Adults cannot get out of our responsibility to show the way, to guide and mentor. Every youth is our child, thus our responsibility to show the right way.
Give youth a chance, support them when they are selling items other than dope, such as DVDs, CDs, gear and other items to get their hustle on in a legal way. At least they are not killing to make a dollar, so reach out to them. Hug a thug before the thug hugs you!
The woman at the well seemed to understand the wisdom of Plato. Although she was without husband and frustrated to the max, she said she would try to reach out to youth, rather than simply complain about their behavior and shortcomings. She promised to cast away her fears and take authority over her children.
This parable appeared in the Oakland Post News Group. It is in The Wisdom of Plato Negro, Parables/fables, Black Bird Press, Berkeley.

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