‘If IF rode a horse, he’d be riding’.
That’s what my grandmother would say any time I used the word if. ‘You either do or you don’t. No ifs, ands, or buts about it’.
I never really understood how powerful words are until well into my adult life. As a child, I was always taught to say what I mean and mean what I say. And from that lesson, I developed a sense of awareness like none other. I always spoke my mind and said what I meant. My grandmother taught me this. But as a child, I never really understood it. I just interpreted it as a warning on how to speak correctly.’I say what I mean, and I mean what I say’. That’s what my nana would tell me. And my nana was the coolest, because she always had a way with words that was so intriguing to me. She could call you a name and tell you off in the most eloquent way. You could not get upset.
So, thanks to this little lesson from my grandmother, I was able to speak and communicate in various different circles of life. Reason being, I was ever so mindful of what I was saying to a person. I would make sure that what I meant for that person to hear was exactly what I was going to say. But, it didn’t really click until my twenties. Initially, I thought it was nothing more than a cool way to tell someone to pay attention to me. That’s when my nana would say it to me. So, I was lead to believe that this was the time and place to use the phrase.
Not until I was much older did I make the connection of what things my grandmother was saying with something in between the lines. I developed a knack for reading between the lines. And from this knack, I was able to read people, as well. I began studying people and their ways and actions. And from that study, I was able to understand people and their different habits, which allowed me to know and understand new acquaintances a lot faster than the average Joe.
I could meet a person once, have a quick conversation with them and almost instantly know the way they were going to act the next time we met. I developed this skill for reading people that helped me on interviews, with women and even withauthority. I realized early that even though they may be divided by jurisdiction, police were pretty much all the same and a ticket could be talked out of in New Jersey just the same as in Maryland. You see, it’s all in the way you deal with the type of person. Not so much the person, themselves.
Sometime, I feel like I should have been a psychologist. Sometime I feel like because of the way I study people, because of the way I investigate the ways and actions of a person, I think of myself as a modern day anthropologist. That’s right. I’m so good at what I do, there should letters behind my name. Instead of a computer science major, I should have majored in an -ology of some sort. Why waste all this good talent? I’ll tell you why. Because growing up in the ‘hood’, there was no promotion of doing any better than what I was given to see. And it’s not entirely society’s fault. It’s simply the make up of being humman. Jim Rohn says, “Every life form seems to strive to its max of potential. Except human beings.”
Because I wasn’t shown any images of people being greater than themselves, because I had no real positive role models to look up to. I had no desire to dream big. I had no desire to be other than who I was. Besides, every image I saw of people that I look up to, was shattered by by older people trying to keep me sheltered from the bull. The images I was given and allowed to see asaspireations and desireful were the hoodlums who were respected, the drug dealers who had money and cars. Every image I was given was quickly taken away. I never knew being anything else better than me, was possible.
Nobody told me that I could raise my standard of potential and be a success at something positive and uplifting. So, my growth was somewhat stunted by this shelteredness.This is when I began to search for the hidden meanings in things. Not so much as I do now, as an adult. Back then, I was just trying to see what was the way the dope man made his money and why did everyone who was an adult disapprove of this way. I was torn between a desire to be and a debacle that was. I was stuck between a rock and a hard spot.
Reading between these lines taught me that ‘everything that glitters ain’t gold’. Reading between lines became a hidden skill of mine. I never really knew I possessed it until my twenties. And I never really perfected it until my thirties. It’s funny how life’s lessons work like that. They say hindsight is twenty twenty. Now, read between that line.
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