Nipsey Hussle and MWS


Before I start, let me just say; I am not a fan of hip-hop or rap music! It is not that I am opposed to that music genre; I’m just not a fan. But I write this article in response to the recent murder of rap-artist; Nipsey Hussle. Now, since I am not a fan of that type of music, I did not even know who Nipsey Hussle was until Nipsey Hussle was not! But from what I have read since his untimely and tragic death, it would seem he represented a positive force in his community and our world, which is why I felt compelled to write this post.

Nipsey Hussle, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom, was shot multiple times outside his South Los Angeles apparel store, The Marathon Clothing, around 3:20 p.m. PDT Sunday; March 31, 2019 and was pronounced dead at the hospital. As I am writing this post, the police have named a suspect who has yet to be apprehended. Hussle, a former gang member, was involved in community building and investment in local businesses, public schools, and in young adults learning coding and other tech skills. He provided shoes for children in schools and heavily invested in his local community by owning a clothing store and other business ventures.

It is the classic story of a young Black man who, because of his environment and the cards he was dealt, made choices that caused him to turn to gangs, drugs and violence. However, he survived, got out and thrived! In acts of redemption, he gave back to his community and used his influence and money in an effort to pull others out and up. But his efforts were violently cut short by the bullets of an assassin, ironically, just a day before a meeting he had requested with the Los Angeles Police Commission on how to stop gang violence!

Now by now, you are wondering about MWS. MWS is an acronym for: Mad World Syndrome. We are suffering from extreme cases of madness (craziness; insanity) in our world today! It’s crazy for a person to be murdered who was doing all the positive things Hussle was doing to help people and stop murders! It’s crazy for people to be so insensitive, cold, and heartless toward other people. We are living in a time and culture now, wherein people cannot disagree and be civil in their disagreements. There once was a time, when people disagreed, they still maintained a level of mutual respect. But today, disagreeing parties feel compelled to dishonor, disrespect and dehumanize by name-calling and inflicting violence. We have even redefined the idea of tolerance. There once was a time when tolerance meant; I don’t agree with you, but I respect your viewpoint, therefore, I respect your right to be wrong! But today, tolerance has been redefined to suggest that if a person disagrees with another person, that person is hateful and mean! Such an idea is ludicrous and crazy! That’s a symptom of MWS (Mad World Syndrome)!

MWS is further illustrated in our country’s (USA) political world. The Congress and the President seemingly have forgotten about what is best for the country and are more focused on what is best for their particular political party and the special interest groups that financially support their campaigns. They propagate obvious lies with the belief that if they speak their lies often enough, loud enough, and forcefully enough, people will eventually accept their lies as truth! The crazy thing about it is; it works; that’s MWS!

I could go on and on, but the only way to contain MWS is by reaching one person at a time! There is no cure for the madness except a radical transformation within the human spirit and soul! We all must come to the realization that whether we like it or not, we’re all in this together! The killing of Nipsey Hussle reminds me of the craziness of a person shooting at another person on an airplane traveling at 30,000 feet in the air! Such an act could possibly hit the intended target, but the consequences do not justify the risk! For one thing, if the other person is indeed killed, the aggressors passion is satisfied, but his freedom is jeopardized because, in such a confined space, there is nowhere to run and hide! Secondly, the intended target might be missed and innocent lives (people who have nothing to do with the situation) could be lost! Thirdly, as my Daddy used to say; “A bullet don’t have no steering wheel!” Therefore a stray bullet could strike the hull of the plane, causing the cabin to depressurize and cause the plane to crash, killing all on board! Any way you look at it; such an attempt would be madness!

Now you might say that I just gave an extreme example, but similar scenarios are playing out everyday in our culture! The Nipsy Hussle incident is a prime example! Whether it was a gang-killing, or the result of a personal dispute; the results are the same. A young man, who had redeemed himself and was lifting up his fellowman is dead! The person who shot him will, be killed or lose their freedom in prison. Hussle lost his life! The assailant will lose his freedom or life! The families of both the victim and the assailant suffer loss! The community loses! The world loses! We all lose! That’s MWS!

Premature Death and Social Suicide

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As I am writing this post, I am grieved and saddened over the senseless violence that is strangling too many communities in our nation. Recently, in our own locale, we have been reeling from the tragedy of a young business entrepreneur murdered by a 17 year old for an iPhone in a Craigslist transaction! Another young father was killed trying to purchase an iPad for Christmas from a private seller! Then, there is the case of a young lady killed in a shoot-out over a hair weave sale! It breaks my heart when any one dies seemingly before their time, but it is even more heartbreaking when the death is caused by senseless violence! With all of these senseless killings happening all across our country on a daily basis, our society is, in a sense, committing social suicide! Let me show you what I’m talking about.

I believe that the God who created this world is a God of purpose. Therefore, whatever God did, does, and will do, was, is and will be for a reason and a purpose. Every individual’s birth and life means that they have a purpose ordained by God. All of us are here for a season for a reason. The primary objective for each and every individual’s life is the discovery and fulfillment of the purpose for which they were created and born. I also believe that the lengths of our lives are also tied to our purpose for life and that we are given the gift of time specifically for the fulfillment of that purpose. Therefore, there really is no time to waste or kill!

Therefore, when an individual’s life is cut short by a violent premature death, not only is it tragic that the individual will never fulfill their life’s purpose, it is also tragic because all of us will suffer loss because of that premature death! The reason we all will suffer loss is because whatever that person’s purpose was, it really wasn’t for them; it was for the rest of us! Whatever a person’s purpose; it is primarily for the benefit of others and not for themselves. In other words, my purpose is for you and your purpose is for me!

Premature death is the ultimate tragedy because it forever negates a person’s chance to fulfill their purpose! They will never make the contribution they were born to make! And because they will never make that contribution; we all suffer! But a premature death is not the only culprit that kills purpose. Many times a person’s destiny and purpose remains unfulfilled even in life because of a lack of discipline, a lack of favorable opportunities, a lack of strength and resolve or simply ignorance and selfishness. So, a person does not have to die for their purpose to die! I am convinced that many of the answers to many of societies’ ills are, even now locked up in the minds of some persons who are strung out on drugs or alcohol. The answers may be in the minds of individuals who are convinced that their lives don’t matter and therefore, they have no hope of rising up from their dire situation and making the contribution they were born to make.

But whatever the case, I beg you to make a conscientious effort to make a positive impact upon the lives of the people around you however, whenever and wherever you can! You may not be able to reach everybody; but you can reach somebody! Talk to that kid down the street! Encourage that single Mom who is about to give up on life! Be a mentor for that young man who is searching for meaning! The life you save may not be just theirs; it could very well be your own! You never know, that person’s purpose may be directly tied to your very survival! And even if there is no direct connection, there is an indirect connection because we all were put here for the benefit and well-being of one another!

Shock and Awe!

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According to Wikipedia, Shock and awe (technically known as rapid dominance) is a military doctrine based on the use of overwhelming power, dominant battlefield awareness, dominant maneuvers, and spectacular displays of force to paralyze an adversary’s perception of the battlefield and destroy its will to fight.

Well on the social front, many times it seems like we are reeling from the effects of social, psychological and spiritual shock and awe! Every time we turn on the news, it’s one tragedy after another! One natural disaster after another! One senseless murder after another! One mass shooting after another! It seems as though the only news reported or perhaps the only news that captures our attention is bad news!

But, the truth of the matter is that it is not all bad! There are still some good things happening in our world and there are still some good people in our world; you are one of them! Many times it takes the bad and the evil to bring out and accentuate the good! The stars are always shining, but they can’t really be seen until the darkness of night! The most brilliant diamonds look their best when displayed against a dark velvet background.

Jesus, speaking in reference to how it would be prior to his second coming said: “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” (Mat 24:12-13 KJV) My friend, don’t allow yourself to be neutralized and don’t allow your love to grow cold because of the social, spiritual, and psychological shock and awe of the age. In spite of the prevailing headlines, life is still very much worth living! Don’t allow your will to do good and your will to do the right thing to be destroyed! If you need to, periodically turn off the television and limit your in-take of media news and avoid, as much as possible, the company of negative people. Read a positive book and enjoy the company of positive-minded and inspiring people. Remember! Even when it storming and raining; the sun is still shining beyond the storm-clouds and the rain! Keep smiling! Keep the faith! Keep hope alive! Don’t become a victim of shock and awe!