Archive for the ‘Spirituality’ Category

A month ago I was like most young Americans who finish their education, seeking entry into the competitive and strained job market. You face some hurdles and obstacles as it is, but when focusing in on a geographical location such as Chicago, it can be strenuous. More so, depending on your circumstances, it can be mentally harmful to face the application process. You can become discouraged with looming and immediate debts such as credit cards, student loans, cell phones, bills, rent, supporting your kid(s), etc. It works at your identity (as a man or woman); Will I be a failure in society? College makes people have a “Magical Realism” mentality. Magical Realism refers to when people believe things come to them easily, and without much effort or result. People feel a sense of entitlement after they graduate, they feel they are owed a job. Many people lack preparation. I thank God that he put tools and people in my life to humble and prepare me early in my collegiate career.

 

Throughout college, you must network (faculty & professional mentors, professional memberships, conferences, internships, externships, research) and improve your skill set (communication, writing abilities, multi-taking, business etiquette, etc). Waiting to do this at the end of college will leave you on the short end of the stick. I did so early on by being active in RSO’s, became a McNair Scholar, went to conferences, constantly networked, seeked out mentors, had multiple internships, etc. These are attributes many people look over, people’s egos and their inner pride has led them inevitable, jobless and emotionally distraught. We cannot just dismiss the economy, but we have to do our best in terms of being a marketable employee. I tried to offer advice to a friend of mine once, but he insisted to not heed my words because he refused to listen to a peer. Several months later, he wanted my help to seek employment. The simple resistance to not listen to someone who is trying to help you is why many emperors of ancient civilizations perished before their time, pride kills. Humility is not experienced based, rather, it should be lifestyle based (an everyday occurrence). There is no need to boast about your opportunities or advancements, rather you should be helping those who want to be helped without an audience knowing so.  You are no one in the real world…no homecoming queen, not the “man” on campus, you are just like everyone else. Some folks don’t want to make that connection, even if it is in front of them.

 

This post was not intended to be negative, just if you show those bad characteristics I spoke of, please stop. I began to realize that my spiritual and physical health was suffering as a consequence of my rejections, and no-calls. I even questioned my masculinity, Am I man? I found myself lost by basing my masculinity on my human capital, and if it weren’t for God and my support systems, I would have had a breakdown of epic proportions. You must never let what happened to me, happen to you. I stopped praying for myself to get a job, instead, I prayed for my friends and family to receive opportunities. I kept applying, and driving from Carbondale to Chicago for interviews when I barely had any money.  I began humbling myself from social networks, parties, etc. and read more books.  You still need an emotional release, but just not indulge in it. Never be too comfortable being comfortable, and never be too comfortable being stressed. I mentored in the Carbondale community, and helped my mentees in any way I could.  I figured, I’m loved, blessed, and highly favored. I let the pressure go, I became at “peace” with not having immediate success. My summer employment included a low hour student job, and giving art lessons to my professor’s children. I don’t mind talking about it, because I hope to help you and have no shame, and ego will not get in the way of me doing that. You have to remember how blessed and privileged you are. You have to have the determination to not quit the grind, and build yourself up. When you humble yourself, stay determined, and help yourself and others, the journey will be just as enjoyable as the destination.

 

Springfield, Mass.