“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle.” ― Frederick Douglass
I met hope the other day….her given name was Marie.
Everyone should listen to the song Mr. Wendal with their head and heart at least once a year. (Mr. Wendal) Arrested Development shares the experience of humanizing someone that has become invisible to the world. The wisdom that Mr. Wendal shares comes from the life that he has lived. I’m know they learned how he got there and why he stays. The other day, my “Mr. Wendal” was a beautiful soul named Marie.
She asked for a dollar, but what she needed was hope. She immediately followed her request with information that explained her whole life. She was only two years my senior but looked like she could have been my grandmother. Life and beaten her up badly. Both her choices and the actions of others since her childhood. Marie had been a foster child. She learned from those experiences that she was not loved or needed. She learned that she was ugly and that she should be happy that anyone wanted her around at all. So because she was nothing or no one – she should accept any and everything handed to her. She had sought a new opinion from family, lovers, friends and CHURCH. They had all told her the same thing. So she decided to believe them.
Her fifth grade education didn’t give her the tools to know better. She had reached out to support groups and empowerment seminars, but she was never accepted or couldn’t afford them. No one, anywhere was willing to help her. Somehow, though, fate had pushed her to help herself. Fate’s path for her lead her by me that day.
Marie had JUST realized that TRUTH. Not because she knew different but because she decided that her soul was tired of the version of the truth that she had lived. The day I met her, she was surviving through the first three months of moving herself out of a long-term abusive relationship. She didn’t know how things were going to work out, but she felt better. She wasn’t really happy yet, but she was drinking less and was thinking about what to do with her life. What she was experiencing was HOPE!
We talked about celebrating daily that she was Amazing. That everyday that she didn’t go back was a day that she was a winner. That God made her beautiful as she was, skinny, dark-skinned, and beautiful, and that she didn’t need to look like anyone else for that to be true. We talked about her learning to read and even learning small words were good. We talked about her being an inspiration to other people because she can tell them how to be strong. She talked about her blessings…she said she hadn’t thought about them in so long. She called me an angel that she needed to see – and shared that she is looking forward to a good life. I told her that she blessed my soul and I was so glad that God brought her by my way.
She left and I went on my way.
I met hope the other day…. Her given name was Marie.
Here have a dollar
In fact now brotherman, here have two
Two dollars means a snack for me
But it means a big deal to you
Be strong, serve God only
Know that if you do, beautiful Heaven awaits
That’s the poem I wrote for the first time
I saw a man with no clothes, no money, no plate
Mr. Wendal, that’s his name
No one ever knew his name ‘cuz he’s a no one
Never thought twice about spending on an old bum
Until I had the chance to really get to know one
Now that I know ‘em, to give him money isn’t charity
He gives me some knowledge, I buy him some shoes
And to think blacks spend all their money on big colleges
Still most of you come out confused
Go ahead Mr. Wendal
Go ahead Mr. Wendal
Mr. Wendal has freedom
A free that you and I think he’s dumb
Free to be without the worries of a quick to diss society
For Mr. Wendal’s a bum
His only worries are sickness and occasional harassment
By the police and their chase
Uncivilized we call him but I just saw him
Eat off the food we waste
Civilization, are we really civilized?
Yes or no, who are we to judge
When thousands of innocent man could be brutally enslaved
And killed over a racist grudge
Mr. Wendal has tried to warn us about our ways
But we don’t hear him talk
It’s not his fault when we’re goin’ too far and we got too far
‘Cuz on him we walk
Mr. Wendal, a man, a human in flesh but not by law
I feed you dignity to stand with pride
Realize now that all in all we stand tall
Go ahead Mr. Wendal