Do you know what it’s like?

I listen to the song WHAT IT’S LIKE by Everlast as a reminder to engage empathy and that doing that is acting with mindfulness.

We’ve all seen the man at the liquor store beggin’ for your change
The hair on his face is dirty, dreadlocked and full of mange
He asked a man for what he could spare with shame in his eyes
“Get a job, you fuckin’ slob”‘s all he replied
[CHORUS]
God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in his shoes
‘Cause then you really might know what it’s like to sing the blues
Then you really might know what it’s like [4x]

Ever been that guy or gal to tell a homeless person to get a job and that it’s all their fault they are homeless?

Ever been so foolish to think that people are responsible for their own lives and you have no responsibility to anyone but you?

Ever been turned down for assistance because you are not a minority?

Ever been vilified for being you?

Mary got pregnant from a kid named Tom who said he was in love
He said, “Don’t worry about a thing, baby doll, I’m the man you’ve been dreamin’ of.”
But three months later he said he won’t date her or return her call
And she sweared, “God damn if I find that man I’m cuttin’ off his balls.”
And then she heads for the clinic and she gets some static walkin’ through the door.
They call her a killer, and they call her a sinner, and they call her a whore
[CHORUS]
God forbid you ever had to walk a mile in her shoes
‘Cause then you really might know what it’s like to have to choose
Then you really might know what it’s like [4x]

Ever stepped up to the plate to be a man?

Ever claimed to a spiritual person and then judge a young woman who decides to get an abortion?

Ever been that young woman who needed more than anything to have someone exercise some empathy?

I’ve seen a rich man beg
I’ve seen a good man sin
I’ve seen a tough man cry
I’ve seen a loser win
And a sad man grin
I heard an honest man lie

I’ve been that guy.

I’ve seen the good side of bad
And the down side of up
And everything between
I licked the silver spoon
Drank from the golden cup
Smoked the finest green

Been that guy too.

I stroked the baddest dimes
At least a couple of times
Before I broke their heart

I am not happy I was that guy once.

You know where it ends
Yo, it usually depends
On where you start

For every success story of someone making it out of poverty there are countless more horror stories of those who don’t even if they work their asses off and do all the same things those success stories did.

Typically speaking, born poor, die poor.

I knew this kid named Max
He used to get fat stacks
Out on the corner with drugs
He liked to hang out late
He liked to get shit faced
And keep pace with thugs
Until late one night
There was a big gun fight
Max lost his head
He pulled out his Chrome .45
Talked some shit
And wound up dead
And now his wife and his kids
Are caught in the midst
Of all of his pain
You know it comes that way
At least that’s what they say
When you play the game
[CHORUS]
God forbid you ever had to wake up to hear the news
‘Cause then you really might know what it’s like to have to lose
Then you really might know what it’s like [3x]
To have to lose…

Let me tell you a story about the dumbest guy I ever met. Not me this time though the song uses my name.
I knew this guy in high school and then didn’t see him for over twenty years. A couple of years ago we reconnected through Facebook one day. I found out the day we started hanging out again that he had been a drug dealer since high school. I had no clue in high school.

I smoked weed twice in high school and one of those times I was pretty sure I smoked oregano.

As we were hanging out and bringing our friendship current, he told me a story about how he got on the radar of the F.B.I. He started dating one of their informants. A woman testifying against a crystal meth ring.

Here’s why he’s the dumbest guy I ever met.

Over the next year I spent most of our time together trying to talk him out of remaining in the drug game.

During that year I spent a lot of time in his garage with thugs and stone cold killers. He was still dating her and his felonious friends had no idea.

I tried to get through to him that she was telling the F.B.I. everything to build organized crimes cases against the organized crime parties he was doing business with and that was the mob, the Bloods and the Crypts, biker gangs and the Mexican Mafia. He was connected to all of them and was doing business with all of them.

She often had access to his phone and he even had told me more than he caught her copying stuff of his phone.

He had it in his head he was too good to ever get caught.

I haven’t spoken to him in over a year because I didn’t want to go to jail or get shot in the cross fire should his business associates ever find out about his F.B.I. informant girlfriend.

He refused to understand the F.B.I. was letting him do business to rack up evidence. He thought he was really getting away with outsmarting the F.B.I.

Willful stupidity and willful ignorance is the worst kind of both.

I hope he wised up and decided to fly straight. If not…

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