As a kid, I hardly left my neighborhood of East Boston. Besides bringing groceries to my grandmother in the neighboring city of Everett with my mother or visiting my father in Walpole or Concord prison, I didn’t leave Boston. Like, at all. As a family we did like two long weekends in Lake George, New York. Then my mother saved enough money to take the two of us to Disney World when I was 12. That was my first time on an airplane. Then I did a spring break trip to Montreal in college and finally got on a plane again to visit a friend in Los Angeles when I was 22. I finally started to travel all over this great country and all over the world once I graduated from college and entered and excelled in corporate America; wrote & pitched scripts to Hollywood and started to make real “grown up” money and started tatting up my passport and the passports of random women and those of family members.
Reread that first paragraph again and try telling me I’m not one of a kind. Or an underdog that made it. Or someone who broke the stereotypes others placed on him. Try telling me I’m not someone who made the environment my own product instead of being a product of my own environment. I know what WIC is. I know exactly what food stamps can buy. I know how embarrassing it feels to use a “free lunch” card at school to eat. I have worn winter coats that my mother got off layaway. I know all too well what it’s like for families to live off of “unemployment checks” and “worker’s compensation” payments. I know what it’s like not having health insurance and having to go to the local clinic for reduced or free healthcare. See…my life has given me one hell of a FUCKING perspective. From growing up in a tiny bubble to circling this giant globe today…I get it. I fucking get it. My life at times has been both a lesson and a blessing but I know it makes me different. It makes me understand how everything works. It makes me want to make things better. A lot of people today don’t have that perspective. And most certainly a lot of politicians don’t either. Too many people just don’t get it. How do we perceive ourselves in the United States? How do we perceive each other? How does the rest of the world perceive us? Inner city neighborhoods need help. The poor will always need help. We need police. We need good police. We need jobs. We need good jobs. We need strong relationships with the rest of the world. We need trust. We need religion. We need churches. We need to be healthy. We need good healthcare. We need peace. We need perspective.
Do we have the right people in the White House and in our government offices that actually have this kind of perspective? Do they get it? Do YOU get it? You didn’t have to grow up in a fucked up neighborhood and then nurture this unstoppable want to succeed from within like I did to have perspective. But it’s time for us to have these discussions. It’s time for the people who do get it to share their perspectives with others. It’s time for some real fucking leaders in this country. And next week I close this all out with just that!
Until next time. Always take it there.