Facing the Challenges of Life
Junious Ricardo Stanton
“The only people with no problems that we know of are in the cemetery.” Junious Ricardo Stanton
Life is such that we are faced with a myriad of situations, circumstances and challenges every day. Problems and adversity are part of the human condition. They are unavoidable; we all have them, have had them or will have them. The solution is not to avoid challenges, they are part of daily living and they serve as a means to strengthen us toughen us and make of wiser if we see them in that light and perspective.
Some of our problems are of our own making, they are the consequences of our thinking, our attitudes,, our emotions and our actions good or bad. Other situations are thrust upon us by life, by the powers that be and our social environment. Either way at one time or another we will be faced with obstacles, challenges, adversity and problems.
The great Avatars, teachers, philosophers and mystics wrestled and grappled with life’s vicissitudes and challenges. Many of today’s world religions are based upon the teachings of those wise ones. When we examine their teachings and the ancient folk wisdom of our ancestors we find a deep sense of optimism even in the midst of hellacious circumstances and situations. Some of these situations lasted days, months, years and even centuries. Nevertheless within these challenges, amidst despair, oppression, unspeakable tragedies people found ways to cope, thrive and transcend even the worse of times.
When troubles come and they will, our attitude about life is crucial to how we cope and deal with whatever we are facing. In today’s era of mass psychology and mass media manipulation we have been conditions to adopt a hopeless helpless mentality. We tend to exaggerate or awfulize the situation or think we are inadequate and ill equipped to thrive in the midst of adversity. The ruling class overlords want us to be in this mindset that is why they exert so much time, energy and resources to program us to be infantile in our responses to life! This allows them to exert more control over us, the more helpless and hopeless we feel the more in control they are. They can sell us their solutions even if the solution is more helplessness and hopelessness.
The late great Amos Wilson said that in order for this oppressive system to exist the vast majority of African-Americans must be kept out of our minds. “We have stated before, that in order for us as a people to be in the situation we are in and not be in concentration camps and not have guns pointed at our heads throughout the day, we must be maintained in a particular state of mind. In a sense then, we must be literally out of our minds- and we must be kept out of our minds.” The Falsification of Afrikan Consciousness Eurocentric History, Psychiatry and the Politics of White Supremacy page 66.
The socio-economic-political system we live under is designed to maximize profit for the ruling class; whether that means enslavement, low wages, selling tainted food and pharmaceuticals with lethal side effects, waging war all the time all over the world or stifling our innate genius and potential.
This type of environment: an outer driven consumer based, youth oriented hedonistic culture is not conducive to introspection, developing viable coping skills personal enlightenment and circumstantial transcendence. We have to take ownership of our lives and discover how to be our best self. We are not going to learn how to do it in the American educational system or in the mainstream corporate/digital media.
We can transcend our challenges, we can solve our personal and collective problems, we can move from maladaptive responses to life to enlightened self actualization and competence. We are not helpless or hopeless. Discard self-sabotaging thinking; replace it with self-assurance, critical thinking, meditation/introspection and an innate sense of success.
Life has its ups and downs and bad times don’t last always. We have proven we are resilient. We took on the most oppressive system in the world and won, we just allowed them to dictate the terms of their surrender, and they maintained the status quo for the most part.
We are greater than our problems, we have the internal wherewithal to deal with our circumstances and thrive. We have the capacity to endure horrific situations and our ancestors did so for hundreds of years! We have the same capacities. Problems are unavoidable they are part of life, so is the process of solving our problems and winning.