Never Forsake Yourself for Others
I decided to make this post because oftentimes I hear people--mostly women that go to school with me--that want to do something nonprofit related once they finish with all of their schooling. Now, this would not be an issue, except for the fact that I am a business major, so nonprofit is the exact opposite of business since
business is all about making money. (By the way, I am aware of philanthropy, but for the sake of this post I am not talking in regards to philanthropy.) Now, whenever I hear these women tell me that they want to start a nonprofit organization, I lose a little respect for them. I lose respect for them because it does not make any sense to go through the rigors of secondary schooling and spend the money necessary for secondary schooling just to go and make an impoverished living. I know that their reasoning is that they want to help the community and children at-risk, but what I do not understand is why do they not try to help the children and families in need while also helping themselves. Whenever I hear women state this--because it’s only really women that I hear state this--I think to myself that they are trying to create a more positive image for themselves and adhere to the old adage of striving for the greater good. So, to this old adage, I counter with my own new adage; the greatest good of all is the good that serves those in need while also benefiting you as well.
Now, black folks are taught to go to school to get a good job. However, I am going to take this a step further and talk to my people within the game, in case you happen to think like what I just described. Those of us within the game are leaders and the future leaders of society, so we absolutely cannot forsake ourselves for the greater good, and instead need to strive for the greatest good. I know some of my readers are not religious in any way, shape, or form, so I will relate this next statement to you as well as my religious readers. We all have a duty to leave this planet in a better state than when we arrived before we depart. To my religious readers, we also have a duty to the divine one to leave this world in a better state before we depart. All of this means that we have an obligation to help those in need while also helping ourselves. I’m going to recount a few stories to you within the next paragraph.
I recall once, while in grad school, where I helped a teammate with an assignment and she thanked me for helping her. I told her that she was welcome, but I also let her know that I did not just help her simply for her benefit. I told her that I also helped her for my own benefit because her grade affects mine as well. When I told her this she asked me would I’ve driven out to a library to assist her had I not been in her group; I told her “no.” I told her that I would have helped her but not to this extent because me driving out to this library inconveniences me because it costs me gas money. When I said this, she tried to give me a morality spiel to make me feel bad about what I had just said, but it did not work. Personally, I viewed her weak counter-argument as an ulterior motive. I’ve often noticed that those that forsake themselves on behalf of others usually end up getting used. To go further, the people that they help come up usually use, abuse, and forget about them; this is why I am all for selfishness. I know that we are taught that it is wrong to be selfish, but we live in a very selfish world, and in order not to be used, we must develop a “me-first mentality.” We have to hold our needs and wants above those of others. We have to ensure always to fulfill our needs and wants, even at the behest of others.
I’m going to give another example of what I mean. In wars you have troops, and you have supreme commanders. The troops are the ones that are on the battlefield doing all of the fighting, while the supreme commanders remain at camp and oversee and direct the movement of the troops. The reasoning of this dynamic is simple; the troops are more expendable than the supreme commander is. This is why the supreme
commander has to be more protected. Although, no militia wants to lose its people, in wars there will be casualties. The casualties are the ones that forsook themselves on behalf of the greater good. Those of us in the game are the supreme commanders. The people in secondary schooling are the troop commanders. We have a duty to press on because if we fall, then all is over. Now, everyone is expendable to a certain extent; the supreme commanders within a war are even expendable to a certain extent, but if you lose too many of them, then all is over. This is why we cannot forsake ourselves. This world is chaotic enough; imagine if the noble world leaders decided to start forsaking themselves, the world would be even more chaotic.
The reason why Black women be forsaking themselves is that they allow themselves to be manipulated by society into forsaking themselves. Once you go to graduate school you automatically set yourself up to be viewed as a potential leader in society--especially if you’re Black--and a lot of Black folks will begin subtly suggesting that you give back to the community once you finish your schooling; forsake yourself. These Black women fall for that ruse and end up worse than the people that they're helping. –Derrick Mills (June 6, 2015)