Thursday, 26 March 2015

It's like that. . .

This blog post is a song request from +Ngatai Walker 

My older brother was a huge fan of Run DMC growing up.  I remember he had all of the gear - the chains, the outfits, the crown, the kicks - he had everything on lock.  My favourite track from them is Walk this way that they collaborated with Aerosmith on.  The sentiments of It's like that resonate for me in another song that is similar in theme - Just the way it is as performed by Bruce Hornsby successfully sampled by 2Pac in his single Changes.  The music video highlights breakdancing, one of the elements of hip hop alongside DJing and MCing.  

Unemployment at a record high
People coming, people going, people born to die
Don't ask me, because I don't know why
But it's like that, and that's the way it is

Do you often get asked some big questions about the way society is heading?  Why things are the way that they are?  Would you have the power to change some of those things in society?  How would you go about making those changes?  The cycle of life is a strange thing in that we are constantly thinking about where we fit in, where we belong and how do we know we've reached where we need to be - I mean who needs us to be there?  Ourselves?  Those around us who need us the most?  Other people that may rely on us but just don't even know it yet?

Bills rise higher every day
We receive much lower pay
I'd rather stay young, go out and play
It's like that, and that's the way it is

The cost of being alive is becoming increasingly expensive.
But in saying this - it doesn't mean that it cheapens our existence because the price of material things that can be associated with our survival are expensive. The basic needs to being able to stay alive should be simple enough to manage - but because of the lack of equity in the world, the lack of access to the basic necessities of life such as shelter, food, clothing and medicine can be fatal.  I never cease to be amazed by the struggle of the human condition - what it means to be human in today's world and how we need to be able to function as people, as a community - whether local or global.  We go about our days focused on our own needs and desires, with little regard for fellow man.  And it's not because we don't care.  A friend of mine said it's because of the "busyness" that we associate ourselves with, that make us lose sight of our priorities, what's important and building our general happiness and well being that we can share with others.  I guess that's the reason why the line I'd rather stay young, go out and play strikes me in this verse.  If life gets too hard, too serious - why not play?  

You should have gone to school
You could've learned a trade
But you laid in the bed
Where the burns have laid
Now all the time you're crying
That you're underpaid
It's like that, and that's the way it is

We have heard often growing up that education is the key to securing a brighter and more successful future.  I'm a total believer of that mantra.  Paying attention in school was easy because my parents expected it of me and those high expectations to be successful and think about raising the profile of the family name was an obligation as well.  It never struck me as being anything weird or out of character, until I met other people who were never ambitious or didn't have the same expectations from family to be successful and be the next leader of the new generation.  I'm not saying that you would always chase a career or job prospects with the higher dollar value - together with that must be the opportunity to do right by your family and do work that would make them proud as well as engaging in work that would benefit other families and not just my own.  So many factors to consider when you take on work.  The underpaid scenario will not be a factor for those who went to school or learned a trade.  

One thing I know is that life is short
So listen up homeboy, give this a thought
The next time someone's teaching why don't you get taught?
It's like that (what?) and that's the way it is

I'm always super conscious of learning and the ongoing journey of life long learning.
I always delight in opportunities for further learning - whether formal or informal as there is so much to learn about the world that informs how well you learn about yourself.

I hope that when someone is teaching me that I always feel taught.
I hope that when I'm teaching someone, that they always feel like they are being taught.
But most of all I hope, that where you happen to be in your life, adopt the disposition for learning.
Then tell me if it doesn't totally change your outlook on life.
Even those difficult roads that you need to travel on right now, they are leading you to other, far greater opportunities.

So I hope because for me it's like that, and that's the way it is. . .