Why should we give back to our communities?

"No one has ever become poor by giving."  -Anne Frank

The answer to the question that I present in the title for this post might seem to be relatively easy, considering the fact it is obvious that giving back to our communities helps to aid our own who might be struggling and can benefit from your help.  That is the blatant implied answer which always tends to typically sound like the naturally pleasant thing to say; however, I believe that many young people who are being told to give back once they have the privileged opportunity to do so, are not taught why it is important. Yes, "making the world a better place" is the quintessential line that is used in the overall summary on how to spark a transformation in our communities, yet there is a deeper meaning behind it that most do not typically see.

Lebron James attending his Lebron James Family Foundation Event
When a person has become successful in a particular occupation or area of their life that requires them to maximize their skills, they are typically rewarded with monetary compensation for their hard-working efforts.  As seen with many actors, musicians, athletes, doctors, lawyers, etc their ability to impact the masses of people around them due to their influence can enable them to actually make a difference in their communities.  Unfortunately, based upon my own observations it can appear that many of those who make up the general populace of these communities, tend to want these celebrities to fix their economic disparity issues for them.  Instead of desiring to learn how to support each other through business and other strategies, the laziness for some people tends to overshadow their own desire to learn how to work for themselves.  This inherent lack of impotence to carry on the concepts that are being taught by some of these celebrities such as the late Nipsey Hussle can ultimately make the efforts of these famous individuals go to waste.  No matter the amount of effort and teaching that is provided to these communities, some of the sedentary history of oppression and socioeconomic stagnation continues to ail these populaces.  Due to such atrocities such as racial discrimination, mass incarceration, and other issues; there has been an intense history of class and the economic juxtaposition between the majority and the minority.  These horrors have continued onward into my generation of apparent "post-racial America", a term I find to be a complete lie because of the blatant current racial matters that are always at hand on our news and media networks.

Jennifer Lopez working with the Children's Miracle Network
It is because of these unsettling but true facts, that the importance of celebrities; particularly ones of color are so crucial to our communities that are plagued by out of control in coincidental misfortunes.  Being born into a system of injustice and racial/social bias is something that cannot be helped. That is why a famously talented person that is born under those same circumstances and grew up with the same pressures/misfortunes, is held in even more high esteem by their past communities because of their being able to defy the odds and become successful in a world that is against them.  Their rise to stardom creates a level of admiration and inspiration amongst young children who originate from the same backgrounds, that is is only completely emotionally understood through similar communal experiences.

Ok, that's all good to know, but how does that answer your titled question Stoy...is what you might be thinking right now.

Well, the truth be told, I believe that many young people are taught about the acquisition of wealth and not the distribution of it.  The boatloads of kids who are constantly told that they must use their natural talents as their ticket to fame and fortune, to flee the daily negative circumstances they might face in their environment, are innumerable.  Once they reach this pedestal of "success", their understanding that giving back is not just a ploy by their publicist to gain positive attention from the press has usually evaporated over that duration of time.  Already having captured the hearts and minds of their fans because of their inspiring stories of climbing this ladder to the "successful" mountaintop of stardom, these artists' ability to impact and make a difference in people's lives is that much more potent.  The "grind" and intense energy that these young people distribute as a result of trying their best to sit at the table of the rich and famous takes years of hard work and effort regardless of whatever skill or talent they possess.  Once they finally attain this lifelong goal that has salvaged them from a past life plagued by poverty, violence, etc; there is an unquestionable desire to refrain from re-engaging with those types of environments.  I completely understand how someone who spent their whole life using their talents to get away from that type of negativity would not want to go back.  However, casting aside this mentality of abandoning one's bitter past which did not offer much positivity can be difficult, considering just how much effort and time it took to escape such a place.

Nipsey Hussle greets kids at the Nipsey Hussle x PUMA Hoops Basketball Court Refurbishment Reveal Event on October 22, 2018, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for PUMA)
This is where the application of loving one's neighbor as yourself comes into being. By swallowing the bitter pill of coming back to an environment that produced numerous bad memories for you, intending to help others and pass on beneficial information helps to make the world a better place.  I know that sounds ridiculously cliche', but when people put others before themselves there is a unifying theme and communal strength that occurs as a result. When a well-known individual comes back to help his/her own in need, there is hope and inspiration that exudes throughout the community which speaks volumes. For them to know that they are legitimately cared for by someone instead of usually being neglected by an oppressive society, allows there to be a reinforcement of hope for a better tomorrow despite their circumstances. Some might say that this hope is an illusion or a figment of a dreamers' imagination. I would beg to differ. I would say that this hope and inspiration are significantly needed for all generations within a lower socioeconomic community because a positive change can occur within it. We should give back to our communities especially if we are in successful positions in life and have the ability to do so because it is not only right to put others before ourselves, but we are teaching the next generation that love for your neighbor is at the forefront and not just the striving to become rich and famous. Valuing human life is something that is crucial and severely needed in our communities especially in today's time period which preaches self-centeredness instead of looking out for one another. I have the utmost respect and admiration for those who continue to give back and teach their communities how to thrive in a biased world.

I hope this post has been a positive inspirational message to whoever is reading it. Have a great rest of your day or night depending on what region you live in in this vast world!

"Doing nothing for others is the undoing of ourselves."  -Horace Mann


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