Mental Monday: African Proverb

“The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth.”

Every family member has that one person that is the ‘oddball’ of the family. The ‘weird one’ or my personal favorite the ‘black sheep.’  We all have one in our families, whether you like it or not. Even if that one family member is you, yes, you. There’s nothing to be ashamed about, not one bit. I just see it as a label that is either deserves or not. In most cases those that have this label never deserve it.

My brother and I are considered somewhat black sheep of the family due to never getting calls from other family members, or when we need help if falls on deaf ears unless our parents get involved. It pretty much had gotten to a point where we threw our hands up in surrender and looked out for each other. Now, when we need help, we only rely on our parents or ourselves.

However, I have met people who are the black sheep and they have no one to rely on. Siblings or parents alike, at times they tell me it becomes depressing that they feel so alone in the world. Like no one isn’t coming to save them. It leads to dark thoughts like isolation and sometimes suicide. But soon, all those negative thoughts transform into anger or what I like to call the Killmonger effect.

Now, for those that don’t know who Killmonger is, he’s a villain in the Marvel comics known as ‘Black Panther’ just like most he was exiled from his village for a crime his father committed many years ago, and ever since he has planned his revenge against the country of Wakanda itself. His plan was simply to go after those he calls family and anyone else that has caused him much suffering. In the end, he would become the one thing he sought to destroy.  

If you’re a black sheep and you feel the same way as most of us do. My advice to you is simple. A family does not mean blood; it does not mean the ones you’re born with. It means the people who are there for you and push you past your limits. They have such a deep understanding of who you are that when they talk to you they know something is wrong. Your family is someone you spent your life journey looking for and removing and adding and repeating the process until you found the right people. Family isn’t always blood and it’s not always close by.

I know it sucks and it can hurt sometimes. That’s fine to embrace the pain let it go through your body because this too will pass. Once the pain is over, I want you to rise and think about everyone that you know, and start forming your family that way. I’ll be honest here, it’s a long journey and it will take time, especially with how everything is right now.

Don’t be like Killmonger, don’t burn the village that left you out in the cold for so long. Instead, find another that will embrace you and become better than the village that once punished you and punished with love instead of hatred. Before you go here’s one more African Proverb for you to follow.

“A small house will hold a hundred friends.”

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