We all know someone who is a fighter, revolutionary, down for the people, (hella hella fine), conscious, poet, word smith, progressive, anti-establishment, some-kind-of-vegetarian extract.
I know someone who is all of the above and simultaneously the polar opposite. I used to get angry at the mention of his name, but find it more worth my while to speak a quiet prayer. I am also learning to separate the messenger from the message. However, in attempting to do so, I am pitted against myself. Part of me wants to utilize the principle of love, while my other half wants to utilize the principle of accountability. How much longer will we continue to celebrate the message whilst overlooking, for lack of a better word, the shystie-ness of the messenger?
See, I know a messenger. He hands out telegrams of beauty to young girls struggling with self esteem. He mails shooting stars to young boys who no longer believe in the goodness of life. He sprinkles love letters on tombstones and strings stanzas of waist beads around the hips of puberty. His messages are collectibles. Vintage notes that you already know because you’ve written them in a previous existence. I know a messenger who scribes verses on the backs of the enslaved so that they can inspire the people who come after them. I know a messenger whose uniform is impeccably flawless.
On the other hand, I know a messenger who does not take time to heal himself. Who does not utilize the same ointment he prescribes to others. Who celebrates his individual, yet chastises the community. I know a messenger who doesn’t mind a woman being everything for him until she’s nothing for herself. Who soaks up admiration, yet is dry as a rock when it’s time to become vulnerable. I know a messenger whose words replace the whip. I know a messenger who knows himself well enough to affect others but has yet to produce a change within himself.
I know this messenger. You do too. The messenger has been me and is sometimes you.
(…Okay that last line was kinda cheesy. But the cadence was quite lovely if I don’t say so myself.)
Nonetheless, I pose this question:
Is the message real if the messenger isn’t?