Op/Ed By Gloria Winston Al-Sarag
Facebook never ceases to amaze me. The number of people who post, and use it as a personal diary, astounds me. The feelings, thoughts, emotions, truths and inner-most feelings some engage in is sometimes a very sad commentary, and speaks volumes to those who allow the wrong people to rent space in their heads.
If I am experiencing “writers block,” I can always count on someone’s expressions to give me the motivation upon which I may need to expand. In one such case, this morning, I was directed toward comments someone who is not one of my friends on Facebook made. Their comments, and the feeling that they needed to make them, were very sad in nature. I have no clue how those who I have not accepted as Facebook friends show up with their thoughts in my newsfeed, but it does happen periodically. I thought “privacy setting” meant something, but apparently it no longer matters.
Anyway, I digress.
The person whose post caught my attention was feeling the need to run their resume publicly, almost in what seemed to be an effort to remind others they had been entitled to this community’s respect, based upon their accomplishments, which were listed, one by one. It was sad to me that they even felt the need to do that. As a community servant, and one who has spent a lifetime in the trenches, I want to assure that person, and anyone else listening, that the support you may seek comes from ON HIGH.
I want to assure you that, nothing you do goes unnoticed, and your reward will come ONLY in God’s time, not yours. Rochester, especially, has a breed of people who would spend more time resenting what you do, and slicing and dicing you, than giving you a heads up, a hand or a compliment. Rochester, N.Y. is UNIQUE. Those who have managed to find themselves traveling to communities beyond here can attest to that. The politics here suck, and it is because of some of the people we allow to call certain shots, in certain arenas. Personally, I have visited over 192 cities in the U.S., and have lived in three states, and a federal territory (Washington, D.C.), in my lifetime. I am here to tell you that, if you, young person, are looking for HUMANS to give you credit for anything, you are looking in the wrong place. My advice to you is to keep your head to the sky, and know that your thanks, your blessing, and your acceptance will come from on HIGH, not BELOW. I will be 70 this year, and I know these things.
Based on my observations, and experiences, I would like to offer the following to this person, who seemed to have been in so much pain this morning. First, keep your circle small. Know that everyone who grins in your face is not doing so for legitimate reasons. Rochester, in its uniqueness, seems to foster a culture of closet HATERS, who, if they find a way, will get in your way. My advice to you is to keep doing what you are doing. There is something cruel about the way some people in Rochester treat each other. And, before many of them will give you the opportunity you may think you are entitled to, they will go outside of the community, and ignore the dues you may already have paid. Many rise to the top because they have been considered LOYAL, but not necessarily COMPETENT. They think they have become the cream of the crop; forgetting that scum rises too. This community also harbors secrets. It will employ, and promote, the flawed, and those with serious credibility issues, before it recognizes, or will thank you, for your services. Just be thankful for your health, and strength, because the minute you lose either, you will get kicked to the curb like you never existed.
And, God forbid you acquire health issues or get OLD. There are those who will then attempt to accuse you of resting on your laurels, those who will suggest that, regardless of the battles you have fought, you have never done anything. However, don’t let that deter you, or affect you. Keep soldiering. The seeds you plant will grow and blossom. And, if you are truly blessed, there will be those who come back to tell you what a blessing you have been in their lives. If you are looking for compliments, hope it is a child who says, “When I grow up, I want to be like you!”
Don’t waste your time appealing to those on Facebook, or any other social network, to validate who you are, or what you have done. God knows for sure. You can embrace the motto I have used, and stood on for years, “Let the work I have done speak for me.” It is not original, but it works. Young person, I really felt your pain this morning, and I hope these words can help give you strength, because what is obvious to me, is that someone seriously hurt your feelings. Someone you assumed had your back, and someone you thought truly respected you. Welcome to REALITY. It is only the ones you allow to become close to you who have the ability to do that. Weed your garden often. IF they are not flowers, then pull the weeds up by the root, and discard them. Don’t let them linger, they will choke off, and kill, your beautiful flowers. Know that the people who truly love and support you are not going anywhere.
Trust me, young person. I have seen it happen to too many good people, whom I know personally. There are elements in THIS community that will use you up, and kick you to the curb when you are no longer considered valuable. The only way you can stop that from affecting you, is to trust God always has your back, and that HE recognizes all you have done. I have friends who have given their ALL, and been left with no job, no opportunities coming forth, and no one seemingly remembering how they fought like soldiers, in the very trenches others claiming to be so community-minded dwell in. The fakes, the phonies, the pretenders have sought to destroy too many GOOD people of whom I know. Some have had the good sense to leave this place, others have suffered, and some still suffer beyond belief.
But, to the young person who felt the need to post their “resume,” their stats, and their reminder of the sacrifices they have made, I offer the aforementioned to you, because it was not hard to recognize the pain you seemed to have been experiencing, which made you feel the need to do so. Lift yourself spiritually, and know that God is God, and no one can stop, or get in the way of what he directs you to do. Continue to do what you know is RIGHT. These clowns in this town are here doing what they do for a reason. Many of them don’t want a thing, and are not going to support you because you DO. Always remember, people who don’t know how to build anything, are always tearing something down. Look to GOD for support, humans will fail you.