Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Don't go chasing waterfalls. . .

TLC were the girl group that you wanted to chill with and kick it with if you were a teenager into r'n'b and hip hop in the mid 90s.  They came to prominence in the House Party series as an emerging act.  T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli sing and rap about the follies of trying to live fast, die young and leave a good looking corpse (if the illustrious words of James Dean are anything to go by).

We get a sense in the opening verses of the Waterfalls about two clear scenarios that are obviously extreme examples of people who take no precautions in life (who actually throw caution to the wind, let's be honest) and think nothing of the consequences of their actions and how what they do, impacts on others around them.

The mother's futile attempt to try to save her son from the underworld of drugs, places him at the wrong place at the wrong time.  The young man who seeks to live out his days of sexual promiscuity, only for those days to be cut short by an untimely death.

I seen a rainbow yesterday
But too many storms have come and gone
Leavin' a trace of not one God-given ray
Is it because my life is ten shades of gray
I pray all ten fades away
Seldom praise Him for the sunny days

Left Eye's rap is the thing that stands out to me in the entire song.  Often in times of trial that's when we seek help and we are never grateful for what we have in life, because we're so caught up in wanting more, craving things that we think will satisfy us - but in the end these are bad decisions and pit stops along the way to our greater purpose in life.

And like His promise is true
Only my faith can undo
The many chances I blew
To bring my life to anew
Clear blue and unconditional skies
Have dried the tears from my eyes
No more lonely cries

That feeling of futility, emptiness and hopelessness in your situation will soon pass once we reintroduce faith in our ourselves and believe in what we do.  It is too easy to feel bogged down with the negative decisions that you have made in the past, especially you continue to let them define you and dictate your future actions.

My only bleedin' hope
Is for the folk who can't cope
With such an endurin' pain
That it keeps 'em in the pourin' rain
Who's to blame
For tootin' 'caine into your own vein
What a shame 

When we think about people who choose to keep themselves in a rut, stuck in that self-destructive pattern of self-abuse, it can be hard to get yourself out because you're in too deep and can't see the wood for the trees.  Society is very quick to point the finger and relinquish responsibility - after all they aren't the ones who are perpetuating this life of crime or causing others to commit crimes - it's all self-inflicted, it all boils down to the choices that we make - good or bad.

You shoot and aim for someone else's brain
You claim the insane
And name this day in time
For fallin' prey to crime
I say the system got you victim to your own mind
Dreams are hopeless aspirations
In hopes of comin' true
Believe in yourself
The rest is up to me and you

It is too easy to blame the system for your lot in life.  Granted there are circumstances beyond your control that can tip you over the edge and push you to make decisions that could potentially take you further off your course - but we must stop and think.  Chasing waterfalls means that we're continually going for what seems to be the more exciting, easy quick-fix solution, but it could potentially unravel the situation in more ways than one.  We must consider carefully what our options are before rushing in to make decisions that are made in the heat of the moment or haven't had the fullness of time to consider all possible avenues.

I hope that if you do go chasing waterfalls, that it's a passing phase.
Sometimes we need to go through waterfalls, to stand in them and let the water course over us to feel the full impact of the weight of our decisions.  We need to experience these waterfalls to fully appreciate the calm of the rivers and lakes.

Don't go chasing waterfalls
Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to
I know that you're gonna have it your way or nothing at all
But I think you're moving too fast. . .