Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Justify My Thug (Re-Up from 2/07)

Another re-up of mine, when I was doing some serious self reflection. (For anyone interested, I like to think that at this point I'm fairly high up on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Almost to where I want to be: Self Actualization.) I decided to post this sooner than later, inspired by Quintin's recent post about himself. And without further ado:

So recently I've spent a lot of time marinating on myself, my life, etc etc, for a lot of reasons. Not the "where am I going, why am I here" ruminations, but more like "where have I been" and "who or what am I REALLY" ruminations. Anyway, here's the latest. For some reason I've been on the Jay-Z tip this week.

Nonetheless. No matter what anyone might say about him, let it be said by me, right here and now, that he has said some relevant shit. Maybe not to anyone else, but he has for me. I've been listening to The Black Album for the 50th time. I posted this some time ago in a note in Facebook but I never sat here and took the time to actually explain HOW it is that the lyrics are so relevant to me.

Before I continue, let's see these lyrics. It's really the first part that I like the best:

"I ain't never been to jail; I ain't never pay a nigga
To do no dirt for me I was scared to do myself
I will never tell even if it means sittin in a cell
I ain't never ran, never will
I ain't never been smacked; a nigga better keep his hands
To himself or get clapped for what's under that man's belt
I never asked for nothin I don't demand of myself
Honesty, loyalty, friends and then wealth
Death before dishonor and I tell you what else
I tighten my belt 'fore I beg for help
Foolish pride is what held me together through the years
I wasn't felt which is why I ain't never played myself
I just play the hand I'm dealt, I can't say I've never knelt
Before God and asked for better cards at times to no avail
But I never sat back feelin sorry for myself
If you don't give me heaven I'll raise hell
'Til it's heaven"

Now. I've lived in a lot of places in my life, and one place I am glad that I lived in...or rather two places, if you think about it...is the 'hood and the barrio. Yeah, I lived in the ghetto. Was born in Oakland (or a tiny city close to it that no one's ever heard of) and while living in LA, have spent a lot of time in and around the hood. It's not necessarily something I pride myself on, but I AM glad it happened. Why? Well, I saw a lot of shit and went through a lot of shit that I would never have seen or experienced. It put me in a much different state of mind, I think, than any of my "peers". Meaning, more specifically, any younger Asian females that were raised in a basically middle class environment. With this in mind, I continue.

I've never been to jail. Yeah I've committed crimes, (no I don't just mean dowloading shit illegally) I've done my share of petty theft, been an accessory to a few things I shouldn't have been, whatever. But I wouldn't ever pay anyone to do anything I was scared to do myself. If I want shit done, *I* will do it. Since after all it's been proven time and again, if you want something done right, do it yourself.

I've never ratted anyone out, I've never told anyone something solely for the sake of saving my own ass. Fuck that. I would never roll over on anyone, would never try and sell someone out. I've never run away from ANYTHING. My responsibilities or from the cops or anything like that, either.

I would never let myself be treated like a bitch. And when I say bitch, I don't mean the "bitch" I'm usually proud of being (read: a strong minded female) I mean like, a little cowardly pussy. No one would ever be able to lay hands on me and get away with it. If you lay a finger on me in a way I don't like, I'll kill you.

I like to believe that I'm not a hypocrite. I don't ask people for anything that I wouldn't give them in turn (although hence, I never ask anyone for anything, but there's as reason why and that's a whole long, other, different story). I also don't expect more from people than I myself am either willing or capable of doing. And there have been many, many times in my life, where I did tighten my belt rather than ask for help. I've been hungry more than a few times because I was too proud to ask someone for money or help in some way...and that's because I don't want ANYONE to ever say that I owed them anything. I would never want anyone to be able to claim that anything I have or am was because of them. EVER.

And yes, foolish pride has held me together and made me who I am, for better or for worse. And I can be proud of the fact that I've tried my damndest to never play myself. I would never do something if I didn't believe in what I was doing. I would never be something I didn't believe in or support anyone I didn't believe in. I would never sacrifice my strongest principles for trivial shit. Never. People have said I would sell out for money, but that is because I believe that they would do the same and cannot fathom the mind of someone who would not. I like to think I'm like Rorschach. I have lived a life relatively free of compromise and would like to keep it that way. When I die, I want to do so knowing I stayed true to myself. Nothing else matters.

Now this last part here? Sure I have sat back and felt sorry for myself, but I got over it soon enough and played the hand I was dealt. And I did ask God for better cards, most of the time to no avail. I've asked God for better cards quite a bit recently, what can I say? Has he dealt me a better hand than the ones I've been playing? I believe so. But of course, only time will tell. From what I've learned about poker I know I can say that I will do the most that I possibly can with the cards I do have. That's really the best anyone can do. In the meantime I like to believe that I'm a woman, no, a PERSON of honor and integrity, someone who still believes in honor and integrity for that matter. Someone who would die or kill for the things I truly, truly believed in. Someone who isn't afraid to be passionate and CARE about things. Someone who isn't afraid to die, fight, or kill for the things she wants and believes in.

The main two things I would die or kill for? Love. Honor.

So ask yourself. What would YOU die or kill for?


  1. Love. Honor. That pretty much wraps it up.

    Very nice insight, Diora.

  2. I'm kinda like The Comedian x Ozymandias + Rorschach personally. My brother would say I'm like Dr. Manhattan because I can be pretty oblivious about things around me cuz I'm focused so much on getting to the future.


  3. @shehateme: Why thank you, lil bro. *bows*

    @Dart: I wish I were as smart a Ozymandias, even a fraction. Or had his attention span or attention to detail, really.

  4. Glad you're on a Jay-Z tip, so was I. @shehateme commented on it, where were you? =) Okay, guilt trip over.

    You remind me, of me. You can be IN a place, but not be OF a place. Real rekkanize real, and I see that in your statements. My crew, no snitches. Now within my crew you had those who wouldn't start trouble, but would decisively finish it. My crew read The Tao Of Jeet Kun Do and the Art of War, and APPLIED it. I'm the World's Most Dangerous Nerd. You might be the 2nd Most. We lived by a phrase that I adopted later in life:

    Loyalty above all, except Honor.

    Honor is everything to a true warrior. And that's what I see you as, an honorable person. It's a pleasure to know you.

    -ere'bodee's favorite mega, blogninja

  5. @Tangomega: I'm predominantly a lurker. I usually read everyone's posts that I follow but I don't always comment for whatever reason. The main reason is this: I work a stressful job that's about 50 hours a week plus I'm on call, even when I'm sick, or supposed to be off. I'm planning a wedding. I'm going to graduate school 1 unit short of being a full time grad student. And on top of that, I've got some other ongoing personal/health issues. All that said, if I have a compelling reason or the time to comment I will, if I don't then I don't. So please don't take it personal.

    In other news. Bro, I'm Asian. On top of that, I trained in the martial arts since I was 4, and my dad is a Tang Soo Do/Tae Kwon Do world champion who trained with Bruce Lee himself. (No, I'm not fucking with you, moms has pictures of her and Linda, and my older sister and Brandon) So do I know honor and the concept of "face"? Dealt with it my whole life on a cultural level as well as on the martial arts level. Do I know and understand bushido? Yes. But in my concept of honor, I wouldn't consider myself "dangerous" because of that alone. I'm not sure "dangerous" is even the word for me just because of my code of conduct and my morals and values that I hold.

    Lastly. I've essentially been ronin my whole life. I have no master. I have never had any crew to speak of until very recently, so I can't say I understand how you and your crew roll.

    But thank you for honoring me.

  6. @Tangomega:

    Applying to tenants of The Art Of War to real life when it's not life & death and you're not trying to eradicate your enemies or have anything of real value to protect gets problematic.

    I'm ronin as well. Like Nas said "Born alone/Die alone/No crew to take my crown or throne"

    I've studied Jeet Kune Do for most of my 33 years of life. If you're truly the "World's Most Dangerous Nerd" then would you really ever type that out? Plus, Google & Yahoo! search me first.