“No one can ever tell me that a woman cannot raise a man,” my only brother stated at my mother’s 80th Birthday Celebration. “Because my mother raised me,” he added. On that day I don’t remember anything any of my sisters said nor can I remember anything I said, but my brother’s words continue to resonate loudly in my ears.
My brother communicated so eloquently all that my mother had taught him. Over the years in one conversation after another he has shared even more. I remember when he said that he told my mother that he wanted to be a “pimp.” According to my brother, my mother sat him down and explained in detail that was not a vocation he wanted to pursue. She told him the importance of loving and treating women with respect. After that conversation his mind was changed as well as the vocation he would pursue. He went on to attend Center for Creative Studies and became a Graphic Designer.
In a family where he was the only son of ten children—and a twin at that, he could have easily accepted the dismal statistic associated with a male growing up in a single parent home headed up by a woman. It would have been easy to use this as an excuse to treat women badly and not to excel in life.
Sometimes you just can’t believe in the “hype” of statistics; because if you do, they will be the governing force of your life. Yes, statistics have their place. You have to determine within yourself that their place is not to direct you down a pathological path of destruction, but one that catapults you to supersede the limitations inherent in the numbers.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe in research and I understand its importance. However, far too often it is used as an excuse not to excel. Behavioral issues are always qualified by statistics. When in actuality it is taking responsibility for your actions. Unfortunately, our society has provided a scapegoat for many of the ills that plague our communities. Repeatedly, via the media, our community, and yes our families, these limiting statistics are talked about even more than the liberating Words of God.
What if we transformed our words to quote God’s promises of an abundant life rather than statistics? What if, rather than presenting the glass half empty, we illustrate that it is three-quarters half filled? What if, we drowned out the negative statistical numbers and focused on those that defied the odds?
You know what would happen? I do! Those statistics would not determine the outcome of children, but the positive words we speak. You know what, all those jails that have been built to house young men, most notably young African-American men, would have to be torn down and money poured into colleges and universities because they would have chosen another path. Why? Because the transforming words spoken would propel them to choose a better alternative.
When we no longer glorify negative lifestyles depicted in the media and ultimately emerge into our society, we will begin to see transformation happen. Don’t believe the hype! Our words have power! Our lifestyles have power! Believe me they are more powerful than statistics.
My mother didn’t believe in them. Thank God, neither did my brother!
Are you allowing statistics to determine your destiny? Are you overcoming statistics?