So … now that the media hype about Penn State is over, I feel comfortable talking about this.
I know many of you have seen the pictures and videos of the results of the haircut party a few weeks ago.
I attended the gathering with Shelli even though I knew that it would be a long day.
While the hair party was ensuing, I was looking forward to making some inroads on a book and doing some paperwork. In fact, the reading was going well … but then, it happened. I heard a mother have to raise her voice at a kid. Uh-oh!
I instantly transformed from mild-mannered Weusi, into my alter ego … SUPERDUDE!
Now, SUPERDUDE’s super strength (and weakness) is that he always responds to the needs of his community. SUPERDUDE also thinks that there is nothing that he can’t do. Even transforming into Mr Mom! So …
Before she had to repeat the name, Weusi had closed his book and SUPERDUDE had swooped into action! He stood there in the doorway giving the, “YOU SHOULD CALM DOWN STRONG-ARM TESTOSTERONE STARE” (not to be confused with the, “YOU BETTER CHILL MOMMY STARE” or the “SIT YA ASS DOWN-DADDY STARE”).
Another one of SUPERDUDE’s strengths is the ability to transform the energy of a situation. SO …
When Mimi and Chloe show up on the deck with bored faces, again … SUPERDUDE swung in, closed his book, introduced them to his mild-mannered alias, Weusi, and started playing games. Then, when a 2-year-old instigates a slight skirmish in his pursuit to overcome a new friend on a scooter, a simple bass-toned request for them to, “STOP IT,” quickly diffused the situation. As the day went on, I became the “go to” guy for … everything. The kids even tried to ask me if they could do things that they had just told me they weren’t going to ask their mothers because they would say no!
This link with youth is a sensitive gift. The respectful innocence of youth is something to be handled responsibly. In this context, I’ve presented it in a way that paints it in a helpful light. But then, there are those that engage youth with ill-intent. The Jerry Sandusky thing is heart-wrenching. A man taking advantage of a child is not acceptable … no matter if they are a coach, a painter, a cashier or anyone! It just makes no sense … BUT “WU-TANG IS FOR THE CHILDREN!”
I know some of you are like, “What the hell is he talking about!?!” … just stay with me …
I know that some of you may remember back in 1988 when O.D.B. of the Wu-Tang Clan crept on stage during the Grammy’s and stated “Wu-Tang is for the children.”
What you may not know is a little bit of the story behind the statement and what happened a week or two prior to the Grammy’s.
Over this past weekend ODB was in the studio with the Wu group Twelve O’Clock, in Brooklyn, when they rushed to the aid of a four-year-old girl who had been hit by a car outside of the studio.
The child was trapped underneath the vehicle when Dirty and some of his friends lifted the car off of her. She was taken to the hospital and treated for first and second degree burns from the car’s engine.
Dirty visited the hospital to check on the girl’s condition, but the normally anything-but-low key ODB never identified himself to her family. However, they recognized him and alerted the media.
This moment in time is important and not just because it inspired Kanye West to bum rush the stage years later and share his outburst at the MTV awards …
More importantly, it created a dynamic that allowed people to see everyone, even rappers such as O.D.B., as people who are truly invested in helping the youth of our community.
So, if you meet someone and they are good with kids, don’t let negative thoughts take over and jump to Jerry Sandusky comparisons. Far too often our society works from a place of fear instead of acknowledging that more people are using the gifts they’ve been given in positive manners than negative. Think about it.
Some of us are a different class of beings. Yes … SUPERDUDES are real (this is a unisex term). We are just better with kids than others. We have the IT factor. But far too often we have to play the role of the enforcer and not the fun guy. If the dude is real … he can do both without compromising himself.
And … a male that isn’t afraid to interact with youth in front of women is a man who not only has enough courage to shrug off the often emasculating perception of doing such, but he is also a man who has fearlessly embraced his God-given gifts. For real … this is not about being good with youth. It’s about not being restricted by preconceived expectations. It’s about releasing our personal expectations and accepting what comes our way. It’s about re-evaluating those trait that have been traditionally used to identify what makes a man a man and those things that we see as valuable assets in our community.
So … as the air is cleared and all of the madness around Penn State and the Jerry Sandusky trial finally comes to an end, I just want people to remember not to judge a book by its cover. Nor should you judge a man or predict his moral compass by his profession. Good people are good all the time. We don’t just model positive behavior when people are watching us. We don’t just do positive things when people are looking. You can see it in our eyes. Trust the truth in a man or woman. The world has 1,000 times more positive people than negative.
And remember, STAY POSITIVE … “WU-TANG IS FOR THE CHILDREN!”