05 Jul Health, Wealth, and Knowledge of Self are all WE need to excel
PADs (People of African Descent) have collectively experienced a pretty rough journey over the last few centuries. Our unique sojourn has led many of us to first world nexuses like the United States and the United Kingdom where we usually make up the bottom of their respective social structures. My belief is that individual and collective focus on health, wealth, and knowledge of self will drive the mode of thought and action that is required to escape these deadly, yet somewhat seductive systems.
Despite many of the heinous acts committed against us, we have largely elected to live peacefully and assimilate into said systems. Every so often the dominant parties of said systems commit an atrocity that is so blatant and despicable that even the most docile of PADs feel compelled to speak or act out the sentiment that “We have had enough.”
In such instances, acting impulsively will not result in desired outcomes. Acting without a plan and objective is equally foolhardy and ill advised. So what should PADs do in a time like the present? A time when most people share the expectation that our oppressors should be held accountable?
Human beings must meet basic needs in order to survive and persevere. Systemic racism/white supremacy have stripped many of us of ours. Have a look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs; These are the foundation for prosperity; without adequate food, water, warmth, and rest, what kind of socio-political revolution could we possibly stage? Without shelter and security, aren’t we dangerously vulnerable to the same parties that have oppressed us for years? Subpar food, water, and shelter threatens our immediate and long term existence. We cannot allow another Flint Michigan water situation. We simply cannot afford any loss of life on that scale.
It is up to PADs to learn about optimal health practices that propel us to our best selves. This requires an African world view/perspective that yields positive results for African people. Black people can no longer rely solely on exercise, wellness, or nutritional advice from those that haven’t even taken the time to consider our unique genetic attributes. We must not adopt habits that are counterproductive to our progress.
Our leaders and educators should research what our ancestors have done to maintain societies for thousands of years with healthy populations and relatively high life expectancies. They incorporated the natural environment, societal needs, and other functional factors into health and wellness decisions.
Without excellent overall health and a holistic approach to mental/physical/spiritual wellness, other ambitions will falter. Health also determines life expectancy and our ability to procreate. Our agricultural self sufficiency and nutrition determines our health as well. Check out Watch Thirty Three’s video on the state of Black health amidst the COVID-19 pandemic for a general understanding/expectation of health from a pro-black perspective.
PADs need not limit wealth to the almighty dollar. Collective accumulation of key assets and commodities such as land/real estate, cash/currencies, stocks/bonds, businesses, precious metals, are all necessary to build self sufficient systems and institutions that uphold Black communities and nations. We can build Black wealth through discipline and established principles such as budgeting, investing, establishing businesses that cover entire supply chains, and of course supporting black businesses and business ventures.
Remember also that health is wealth. The pillars of health, wealth, and knowledge of self overlap and support each other; much like a pyramid or a three-legged stool. PADs should consider that time is wealth as well. We should value our time just as much (if not more) as money. Lastly, individual or groups should define wealth based on their own values. This is an example of practicing self-determination!
KNOWLEDGE OF SELF
Perhaps this pillar is the proverbial cornerstone of the three. Knowledge of self encompasses a strong sense of identity fueled by a standard knowledge of true African history. This allows us to understand our strengths, weaknesses, and (unlimited) growth potential. It also facilitates one of the most common African centered ideals of Sankofa – to be able to look at the past and use that wisdom to shape the future. This amazing ideology reminds us that the blueprint to our collective success is already there, and that a wonderful future is ours to claim! I recently published a guide called The Keys to Consciousness that provides a great place to start one’s journey to knowledge of self. Today is as good a time as any to start your own journey.