The Home Team
Strangers will often support your successes prior to those closest to you. Assuming you will attain a certain amount of success in your endeavors based off of “likes” or “good luck” wishes from friends and family will leave in you an existential crisis. One may wonder if their support system is as solid as they had previously imagined.
Many entrepreneurs, authors, artists, etc. tend to face this same conundrum. Where did all of the support go? Since it is such a common phenomenon, it cannot be indicative of your particular relationship with your family and friends. It must go much deeper than that. This leads me to believe that people choose to only fully support those causes which they fully comprehend. This brings us to the concept of “The Home Team”; or the idea that people only support concepts or ideals that represent their “home base” of values and beliefs. But why?
It seems difficult to understand how your family could not understand your desire to start your own business. Yet, many will not. How many times have you heard negative feedback, concern for how you will support yourself, or a general fear of not having a steady paycheck? Hundreds, I am sure. It is very common in fact for people to prefer that you find a good job with benefits over creating a company or pursuing some artistic endeavor.
They simply cannot understand your desire to take such a risk. And that lack of understanding leads to a lack of support. This translates to every area of our lives. Consider the division between races, genders, sexuality and even professionalism. Blue lives matter was developed out of a fear that focusing on another group would lead to harm to their interest group. This inherent fear substantiates the concept that other groups have valid fears for their well-being on a daily basis.
Yet, their lack of understanding for that viewpoint leaves them blind to a desire to support what could be considered a true concern for all lives. Consider how difficult it has been for some men to support the movement against rape culture and women’s equality. While many issues concerning gender are easily debatable, a general acknowledgment that some issues exist is clear.
Yet, it is difficult to find men openly concerned about how rape and sexual assault are handled in this country. The loss of support for Planned Parenthood is a major issue facing women today. Many of us know too well how helpful they have been to young women who are afraid, possibly alone and making many potentially life altering decisions. It is that understanding that allows women to fully support the movement.
Generally, not understanding why a person has chosen a specific sexual identity is the primary reason for prejudice against this group. We have all heard countless people say, “I just don’t get it”. The fact is that we don’t have to get it. No one cares if we understand why someone chooses to live their life a certain way. No one questions why I chose the hairstyle or outfit that I have today and likewise we should not be concerned with another person's life choices. It even happens with our career goals.
There are some people who attain a “good” job and remain there throughout their adult life. It baffles them why someone would spend years in college earning numerous degrees. When you express a desire to pursue another accolade or credential, many will wonder why. They lack the ability to fully support your goals, because they do not understand the motivation behind the decision.
This brings me back to the Home Team. Everyone supports the principles and values they hold high. The “Home Team” is always a representation of those values. Our society has trained us to fight hard for those values as if they are constantly under attack. This mentality has resulted in unnecessary division between so many groups of people. It’s almost as if we only know how to show allegiance to one school of thought by criticizing another.
When a person becomes “conscious” (or assumes an elevated state of consciousness that purports a primary concern for issues facing individuals of the African Diaspora), many typically show their newfound status by immediately disassociating themselves from all things they perceive to be a threat to those values. They no longer support other races personal agendas (they have to focus on their own people); they no longer support interracial dating (it harms their people); they have to criticize anyone who is not “woke” enough (it is their duty to wake up their people).
All of this is simply an avoidance of determining what this state of mind actually means to the individual. They do not fully understand what being “conscious means” as it is an individual concept and means different things to different people. They only know what values it does not hold. Therefore, to show the world their stance on this issue, they must attack the perceived threats to this value. This holds true for the conscious/sleep; light skin/dark skin; gay/straight; women/men; etc. debates. What each group fails to realize is that this division was instilled in them for a purpose.
This purpose has been exceedingly successful. The capitalistic agenda has designed and fostered this school of thought for centuries. As long as we continue to fight these miniature battles against each other, we fail to come together to address the real problems in society. The one percent has convinced us to fight our neighbor for scraps instead of addressing the disproportionate wealth distribution system in this country.
We perpetuate the concept that there is not enough peace, happiness, success or money for us all on this planet, so we must ensure that we attain success prior to helping or supporting anyone we know. We exhibit that success by buying luxury items, which only ensures the viability of the current system. Meanwhile, our cousin has an amazing clothing line we refuse to support.
The point is that the lack of support you feel each day from your community is a symptom of the larger ideology of scarcity. This ideology stems from a lack of understanding. When someone does not comprehend the values or decisions of another person, they sometimes criticize and attack those groups causing them to lose focus of the bigger picture. We are all attempting to earn a living and provide for our families. Everyone is seeking happiness.
We can create a world where everyone is supported. If we can find a way to look past the petty differences and see that the similarities between us all are so much more important, we could discover powerful allies in each other. This could be the key to creating the catalyst and cooperation from the masses that effects real lasting change in this country and maybe the world.