“Yo! D’Money!”

“What’s up Uncle James?”

“I need your help, I’m trying to write something for you and your peers.”

“Uncle James, don’t waste your time. They don’t listen to nobody unless you have something they want.”

“What so you mean, D?”

“Uncle James, look, they don’t care. They don’t value anything at all. We live life fast, Uncle James.”

“Damn, I remember those feelings; lost, misunderstood, incomplete, not knowing why I’m even alive. Feeling like the whole world was against me, nothing I could do was right, like my every move was wrong. I can only imagine now how bad it is for you all at this time. All the actual role models are found on T.V. or the computer screen. Living in a place where everyone is more concerned with Selfies than with people around them. Momma’s so busy working, it’s easy to feel like she doesn’t care, and you father’s … most likely locked up with me.”

“Am I close, D?”

“Yeah, Uncle James you close, but it’s the extra that you’re missing.”

“The extra? What’s that?”

“It’s like everything’s so negative in our lives: the schools, the teachers, sometimes your own family don’t understand how negative situations be getting. It’s easy not to care, Unc. We don’t have real men to talk with, who care what we have to say.”

Shaking his head D-Money continues, “We ain’t grown but we expected to make grown man decisions, and when we mess up, all hell breaks loose.”

“So how do we fix it, D?”

“Give us something to value, Uncle James. Let us know you understand. That’s all I can think of right now.”

“I’ll attempt to D’Money, just give me a second to gather myself.“

This is the hard part, getting and holding the attention of those who believe no one cares for them or understands them. How can I grasp your attention if you’ve grown cold, if you don’t care? Yet, in many ways it’s easy for me to understand you… because in a lot a ways, I am you. I now care for you because at one point in my life I didn’t care about anything including myself.

Do you care more about your phone, your clothes and shoes or money than you care about your own life? Remember, this is about you right now. If I asked you, “Who are you?” Most of you would say, “I don’t know”. If you don’t know who you are, how can you explain doing what you do, the good or the bad? If you don’t have any money, no cell phone, no computer, no girlfriend, no sports, who would you be? How many f pictures have you posted, hoping to get likes (thumbs up) for your outfit, the money you showing, or the girl on your side? Who are you trying to impress with these things? Why are they so important in the way you feel about yourself? These are just objects.  Once you understand that these things don’t make you, they are just things that you have, they are not you, then you can begin answering important questions, like who am I and what do I want out of life? Sounds as if I am suggesting that you be selfish, huh?

Well, it all begins with you, how can you love somebody or something if you don’t know yourself to love yourself? How can you care about you if you do not know how to define the person you are or will be?

I say, value yourself son, define the man you want to become and build on that. Look up to those who care for others, who believe in family and community. Understand it is alright to make mistakes as long as you learn from them and don’t repeat the same mistakes. Ask questions about anything you don’t understand. Because if you live like you have all the answers, the world will treat you like you already know what’s going on.

I understand how you might feel at times that life ain’t worth all the drama.  But, D’Money, you are not alone in this struggle. We want you to find a reason to care, to define yourself in a positive light. It is alright to love yourself. You value yourself, son, and watch how the world treats you.