I am a firm believer that society speaks to us–all the time. Collectively and subliminally we give off clues as to issues, concerns, and problems. Some clues are more apparent than others and one cannot debate that issues and problems are a part of life. From my chair, it’s not that problems exist that is the rub; instead, it is that we see signs or symptoms and we ignore them hoping that either they either fix themselves or that they somehow disappear.
Here’s the point, when we are given data or a point of view that is trying to tell us something, we better listen–to everyone. No one party, race, culture, or community has it 100% right. We all can point to something in our own society that we have seen erode over time. Some of that can be blamed on people changing their priorities and beliefs. However, conversely, some of that is also attributable to us turning our backs on calls for help or attention.
I feel that the youth of each generation can often give us clues as to where we are headed next as a society. Think about it; in due time the youth will probably outlive their elders so it seems natural that the youth of today will guide the society of tomorrow. However, I sometimes think that we ignore this sect (i.e., the youth) for whatever reason. Maybe, we rethink that. Maybe, we hear what they are thinking and again, that crosses all walks of life, all races, all nationalities, and, all genders. Not one person or group has monopolized having problems or solutions to them.
Along these lines, I just had to point out a terrific and fascinating piece that our colleagues at Vice just put out (authored by Brian Josephs) on depression and rappers and their experiences and thoughts on the subject. You can read the piece here.
The article is intriguing and it speaks for itself. What I took from it is that there is a message being sent there; both positive and negative. It is the clashing of viewpoints on some pretty important issues and regardless of what your beliefs are on the subject we again need to listen. We need to pay attention; all of us. Mental health issues and depression are no joke and if the youth (or in this case rappers) want to talk about it, we should listen and learn from it. There is no place for being judgmental here or determining who is right or wrong; instead, we need to address the problem as best we can. Winning and losing, if you will, will take care of itself in due time. Let’s just start with education and awareness and go from there.
In the end, I firmly feel we can right this ship however, how can one navigate rough waters without understanding what the ocean is telling you? Indeed, slighting important clues at sea is a dangerous proposition as we found out 104 years ago tomorrow when the world’s largest ship ignored important ice warnings. What happened next was tragedy. We do not want to make that same mistake again and wholesale changes are not needed; we just need to start with understanding and awareness. From there, things often fall into place. Did you hear what I said? I was hoping you were listening.