Lessons from Jovan Belcher.
(ThyBlackMan.com) An argument followed by deadly gunshots. The victim – 22 year old Kasandra Perkins – murdered by her 25 year-old boyfriend Jovan Belcher. Approximately 15 minutes following the 7:50 a.m. shooting came yet another round of gunfire from Jovan; that single shot resulted in Jovan succumbing to the same fate as Perkins – death.
While we have no idea what drove Jovan to such a drastic act, as men there are several life lessons to learn from his tragic decisions.
Neither fame, fortune nor fortuitous career will bring about authentic happiness!
Belcher was one of the few Americans who could boast about being employed in career of his choice. He earned $1.97 million or $123,125 per game this season. Jovan pushed a Bentley Coupe, valued at approximately $200,000. Dude was makin’ paper and livin’ the life of the “Rich & Famous,” but apparently he was searching for more. Despite being an NFL football player; notwithstanding earning millions thereby providing him with the ability to own expensive “big boy” toys – it is obvious that neither his career nor his cheese where enough.
I facilitate more than 50 workshops per year for men, and if I were given a dollar for every brother who tried to impress upon me that gettin’ paper would solve their issues I would have a lovely bank account. Understand this; if Jovan knew the meaning of true happiness he never would have rendered a permanent solution for a temporary problem. Tight whips, stacks of paper and all that other stuff men rely on to feel like a man neither makes you a man nor delivers happiness. Authentic happiness is comprised of the invisible: joy, love, hope and peace – things that cannot be purchased with all the money in the world.
Big boys do cry!
Little boys are conditioned from a time of innocents that crying is somehow a weakness. “Man up,” or “Stop actin’ like a bitch” is watch we are told. Jovan proved boys – whether they be big or little – do cry. Unfortunately his cry materialized into death. Compressed emotion – the process of neither knowing how nor being allowed the opportunity to properly unshackle those frustrations – only results in some dangerous explosion. Yeah – I hear y’all talking about you wouldn’t go out like Jovan. Sho you right! However you choose instead the protracted death – high blood pressure which leads to stroke and or heart attacks; being consistently pissed off (not necessarily because someone is pissing you off, but because you are constipated with emotions) and living with no peace. Dude you better learn to cry.
You ain’t a’ight!
Because big boys don’t cry, big boys also won’t admit when they hurt. You see – for me as a man to reveal to you that ‘I hurt,’ ‘that I’m scared,’ ‘that I’m unsure’ exposes a, perceived, weakness and I can’t expose my vulnerabilities because then you’ll either think of me as a bitch or you will attempt to exploit me. What a sad testimony that we men buy, embrace and wear this B.S. mindset and do so with a bold and blind pride. Jovan wasn’t a’ight – dude was hurting. Why was Jovan scared? What was it about his relationship with Perkins that made him unsure? And his hurt, was that a product of his relationship with Perkins or was it a hurt that he brought into the relationship.
I ain’t a betting man, but I will bet that like Jovan – many of the brothers who will read this piece are walking around frontin’ like they are a’ight when in truth they are hurting. Being a’ight means you have the strength to be transparent about your struggles and not be concerned about who might think different.
I’m doin’ me!
“l’m doin’ me” is another sham brothers often hit me with. Anthony Robbins, the motivational speaker, says that: “The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships.” Jovan, in the midst of being one of 69 players (53 active players and 16 practice squad players) and 18 coaches was alone. Published reports state that he and Perkins were being counseled, but my question is did he embrace the counseling or was he “doin’ him?” I have personally dealt with brothers who are reluctant to be in my office (only there to shut their girl’s mouth up) posting the position that “I’m a’ight” and “I’m gonna do me.” Dude you ain’t that tough – so stop frontin’ like you are. If Jovan would have found one dude among the 87 players and coaches and said, “Man – I got some issues that I need help with” I submit to you that he and Perkins would be alive today. Before he shot himself it was also reported that he told his head coach and general manager: “Thanks for all your help.” Unfortunately he failed to embrace the help opting to instead “do him,” and damn if he didn’t.
It’s B.S., you didn’t purchase your gun for protection!
I am above fed up with brothers trying to explain to me that they are strapped for reasons of safety. Truth be told dudes carry because they are scared. Guns, for most folks who purchase them, provide a false sense of security. There was no physical threat breaking down Javon’s front door. Nevertheless he found reason to retrieve his gun to settle an argument. No doubt it was probably the same gun he claimed he brought for protection. In more cases than not those guns purchased for protection are used to settle arguments. In most occasions when dudes are in the heat of an argument, the dude who is strapped exposes his piece in a play of strength. The gun, he believes, makes him the man. I know of an occasion when two Fire Marshalls, in the heat of an argument, in the County building drew on each other. “Let me go get my gun” is the mindset that too many males carry. If you were truly strong you don’t need your gun to settle an argument. For those who do – I call that a definite bitch move.
I don’t know nor will I speak to Jovan Belchars’ situation. I will however share with you that I am tired of brothers whom refer to themselves as men – who don’t know how to properly negotiate their emotions and then victimize women as a result of it. If the sista you are hooked up with is crazy – well that’s on you because you picked her. I’m also tired of males perpetrating as men who allow everyone else to define what a man is and then “live down to” those improvised definitions.
It’s time that males “Man Up.”
Staff Writer; Reginald Williams