If your new to the chapters of my life you have to understand that it was not all given to me from the beginning. It's not about poverty in the financial sense but more in the area of opportunity. I also am not one to cry about my circumstance or blame my environment for what happens in my life. The concrete jungle has it's lions prowling. In order to know how to handle life there you must enroll into the school of survival. The world will tell you it's own system through education. A systematic, full proof way of life, right? And then there is the Kingdom of God.
Everything I will say is my opinion and not fact for all. I could never fully explain the difficulty of a childhood in any ghetto, but one thing is sure, that the hood will educate you. In a broken home there is a large portion of your childhood in which you are encouraged to work it out your selves. A right of passage into what your parents had to do them selves, to live in the ghetto. No one taught them, so why would they feel they have to teach you. I am not talking just about driving a car. I am talking about all the aspects of life and with the added difficulty of living in an environment where people are mostly mad and feel like everyone owes them something. You become your own professor. The streets are your classroom. The "code of the streets", and people are the text books. Someone hits you, you hit them back. Easy. What if I don't want to hit them back. But you want everyone to think your a punk? You can't do that. Once you allow one person to dominate you the others around will see. When the world you know is all about seeming or being HARD, you can not survive by becoming soft. So soon your language follows. The way you walk and carry your self. This is not judgement, it's understanding. We work for what we get. But trust me it would take me until my young adult years to finally realize the many advantages and blessings that there are to growing up in such an environment.
I also enjoyed learning in school. I was a really good student. Being good in school, is not cool in the hood. I excelled in Science and Math like most boys. But I had a love for History as well. I loved learning where things came from and where they began. I was an honor roll student right through to high school. Not normal for all kids in my neighborhood. Was I smarter? No. I realized the importance of an education and it was free. I had a knack for obtaining information and being able to apply it to life, even at a young age. I really believe the grace and gifting God gave me where the most important thing to my success in education, but it was also the attitude I carried with me from growing up in the hood. No one was going to do it for me. I didn't realized how blessed we are in America for having a decent education for free, until I visited poorly educated countries. And they have to pay for it to.
My life had a grace. As I grew up learning from the school of hardknocks, and the school system, I also began to believe in the Kingdom school of teaching. Three ways of learning. As I walked in Christ shoes, I saw the contradictions in the way I was raised, to the way the school taught, and finally to what God teaches. The hood taught that I had to look out for me and I am due certain things because I am master of my life. But no one owes me a thing, but it's I that owe my life to God out of love. So I became a servant. The schools taught me that man created everything and we evolved from chance. That we are limited by rules and theories. God showed me that He wonderfully and purposefully made me. God made the laws of the earth and even spoke it into existence. I became a student of God.
Now as I am again blessed, this time with the opportunity to gain a college education, I realize the importance of learning. But there are important attitudes to carry, like perseverance, gratefulness, toughness and I would thank the hood for that. It takes hard work, discipline, and integrity to learn anything. I would thank my Education for that. I am taking Bible at Liberty University starting next week. To be able to use my hood smarts, in an education setting to learn about God is incredible. I am thankful again to God for giving me a heart to learn, live and love. But how many people can say they learned from growing up in the ghetto? There is no money that can buy that education.