Tag Archives: reflecting

You Gotta Have Fun Sometimes! (A Manifesto)

“I know y’all gonna feel me on this one

You gotta feel me on this one”

-Rick Ross, “Sixteen” ft. Andre 3000

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always had the gift of analytical thinking. Well, it’s a gift and a curse. Because of my habit of over analyzing things, I always felt that I stood out among the people of my age group. I covered this in my debut article Setting Relationship Standards. It’s always been hard for me to find others in my age range that were even close to my maturity level. Basically, using the principles I discussed in my debut article, I set too high of standards for people around me.

Like I said, I’ve always been different. While my peers chronicled their many sexual adventures, I was determined to write my first full-length novel and get it published before I turned eighteen. While my peers were mesmerized by the street life, I was infatuated by modern-day societal infrastructures such as Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Black Wall Street and organizations that fought for change like Marcus Garvey’s U.N.I.A and the original Black Panther Party.   The people around me are apt in learning the new hit dance craze and following the ever-changing fashion trends. Meanwhile, I’m avid in learning about the makeup of cultural trends and how to use them to spread  the message of self-respect, class and intelligence to my generation. Do you see my problem now?

Or is it a problem?


Thinking about this issue takes me back to the days of my adolescence. I’ve always been a huge fan of the iconic cartoon SpongeBob Square pants. One episode that’s burned in my memory is called “Patrick Smartpants”. In this episode Patrick, after losing the top of his head, gains an infinite amount of intelligence. Because of this, he starts to become somewhat arrogant, destroying his friendship with SpongeBob and offending the many people that he was trying to help. He ended up depressed and lonely by the end of the episode.

Using my critical thinking skills, I liken “Patrick Smartpants” to me. Is this why it was always hard for me to build lasting friendships? Who am I to impose these insurmountable standards on the people I come in contact with on a daily basis? Relationships are fifty-fifty. You have to meet people where they are to have them return the favor.

This is a message I also saw echoed in Drumline, one of my favorite movies. In it, Dr. Lee is an old-school brother and a traditionalist when it comes to music. However, his set ways start to become a major problem. The alumni are starting to lose interest in Atlanta A & T’s band program, which means that it could possibly be shut down if something isn’t done to right the ship. But how is Dr. Lee to do that when Morris Brown continues to decimate them every year at the BET Southern Classic?


I tend to relate to Nick Cannon’s character Devin Miles. He was an exceptionally talented snare drum player that stood out amongst the other members of the drumline. His cocky swagger and immense skill draws a rival in the form of jealous drum section leader Sean Taylor, who is a traditionalist just like Dr. Lee.

Devon eventually ostracized himself from the rest of his teammates and gets kicked off the band after initiating a riot at A &T’s homecoming. Sean helped in jump starting his dismissal by revealing that he couldn’t read sheet music. However, after a snare drum showdown, Devon and Sean put their issues aside and team up to create a BET Southern Classic winning performance piece that also meets Dr. Lee’s high expectations.

Sometimes you have to put your ego to the side and undergo a change. How are you going to lead people to the promise land when you haven’t found yourself? I’m a sure witness of this! I’m officially starting my quest to become a more well-rounded person.  And I’m going to chronicle my physical, spiritual and mental journey in my writings. So watch out world! You’re looking at the rise of a legend!

P.S.: I’m not debunking what I discussed in my Setting Relationship Standards article. I’m just offering another viewpoint. Sometimes you just have to accept people for who they are. They’ll come around eventually. If not, they aren’t even worth wasting time on.

While you discern between the people that you need in your life, I ask you to support me in my endeavors. Introduce any teenagers you know to my various articles. Check out a preview of my novel The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson on Wattpad.com. Follow DC Bookdiva Publications and Young and Gifted Books on the various social media sites. Support Urban Intellectuals!

 Contribute to the conversation. Like my role model Michael Baisden said, “No one man is an island”. We can make a change in our communities together!



Do you have any questions, comments or concerns? Was I right or wrong on this issue? Do you want to join the focus group for my novel The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson? I would love to hear from you! Contact me directly at:

Email: thediaryofaaliyahanderson@gmail.com

Kik: @AuthorRandallB

Ask.Fm: @YoungandGiftedBooks

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/randall.barnes.501

Check out a preview of my novel The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson on Wattpad! It’s dropping soon!