The Trap

Coming from an urban community you know any and every neighborhood shares a common issue. The issue is something we know exists but rarely spoken upon for whatever reason. The subject at hand is what we know as “The Trap”. It’s no coincidence many of the men we encounter on a daily basis are dressed in the best linen, push the dopest european whips and have crazy addictions with saving big faced dollars are doing something illegal. These are the men we have to look up to in the hood and also the men who have fallen victim to the trap. As a young teen or an early adult who wouldn’t want to be well-known for having money, fame and the confidence to pull any female at will. It all sounds good until later in life.

A lot of people might tell you the solution to this is having parents who care. However, I’m a firm believer that this is extremely difficult for any low to middle class family. One of two things are happening majority of the time. Either the teen or young adult has come from a single parent household where they have little to no supervision or they come from a household where both parents have to work hard to provide and can’t spend the necessary time with the males. Nonetheless this will lead you to raise yourself. Which sometimes can be a better situation than others. The only problem is who do you have to look up to. When Biggie said, “Either you’re slangin crack rock or you got a wicked jump shot” he wasn’t lying. The hood will protect you and keep you away from the BS if you have promising talent and look like you can make it out. Realistically though most people don’t have a talent to make it out. Jobs are few but who really wants to work a job bringing in every two weeks what you can make in a few days? I know I don’t.

If you’re a young man from the hood who has made it out..have you ever realized that once you leave and come back everyone is doing the same thing? Stuck in the same place? It’s a trip to know you can find certain people at certain places even if you haven’t been home in years. This is because majority of the time your boys are surrounded by local bars, drugs and arguments at the barbershop over who was the best in High School at ball. They get stuck in that cycle and the lifestyle becomes a routine. Don’t get me wrong this is something fun to come home to every now and then but do you really want to live the rest of your life throwing back Henny, smoking sour out of a finger sized leaf telling old tales of dropping twenty plus against your rival? This is where we get lost and let life pass us by. Before you know it you think it’s too late to be something or someone you always dreamed of. If you can relate I know you understand. I myself am far from perfect and still need a lot of work to be halfway near where I would like to…let’s just say I’ve been through some things that some of you can learn from. Stay posted for more…

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Invest

Automatically I know what you’re thinking. Set money aside from your everyday 9 to 5 with the hopes of it making you mucho dinero in the long run…am I right? Well that’s awesome if you can do that and I wish you the best. However, for the sake of this I am referencing the community where you reside. This is key and can mean more than any green bill or bitcoin (you like that?) you ever put in a investment account. How many of us had a love for something our entire life and have become completely disconnected since life has started to run its course? I know I am guilty of it. Rather than letting this trend continue why not invest in a athletic organization and volunteer to coach? Or even possibly help out at a local elementary, middle or even a high school.

With the world becoming such a different place we have to find a way to stay connected with the next generation. Have you ever looked at the news and saw someone who you thought you once knew on a breaking news update? By this I mean not for the good…you know the ones who just entered the lottery to become the next felon with no hope of tomorrow? I’ve been this guy multiple times and quite honestly I’m tired of it. Some kids are put into extremely unlucky situations but because they are so young they think they have no hope for tomorrow. This mindset is instilled in them because all they see around them are the local trash and lifeless people walking around either drunken or drugged out.

So many programs exist that might require an hour a week to touch a kids life. Personally,  any opportunity I have to give back to the youth I do. Sometimes all it takes is a smile and a simple conversation to let a kid know you believe in them. It may seem like much with a busy schedule but I know it can be done.

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Network

Network…Network…Network. I can’t stress this word enough. Too often we tend to only speak to people who share the same interests or tend to look similar. This is good but only to a certain extent. Your network is truly your net worth and expanding it anyway possible is key.

We all interact with people on a daily basis but have you ever asked yourself why you met a certain someone? I could be paranoid…who knows..
But this is something I personally do on a daily basis. I talk to everyone and I analyze every situation I am in extremely carefully. I can interact with anyone and I truly believe this is one of the best traits to have. Have you ever sat in a interview and it be completely awkward because you think you can’t relate to someone? Well you can…we are all alike…the key is finding the common subject.

I know I’m guilty of seeing someone who didn’t look “normal” and brushing them off like they didn’t exist…but who are we to judge the norm? I’m not saying let every Tom, Dick and Harry be your best friend. Just take the time to get to know someone who isn’t like your normal group of people you hang around. Not only is it a good thing to meet people unlike yourself but being a jack of all trades and having a huge network can make you almost an instant weapon in today’s society. You never know who knows who or better yet who knows what.

Personally I’ve been pretty lucky. Once I reached the 3rd grade I was taking an hour bus ride everyday from New Bedford, MA. To Providence, RI. In order to get a better education but more importantly network with kids who I wouldn’t be able to on a every day basis. I did that for about 5 years. Even though I was so young I really didn’t understand what my parents were doing. I do remember my father telling me on a weekly basis, “I’m sacrificing so you can network for a lifetime.” Those words never left. Even though the only thing I understood was network and I’m not sure if I fully grasped the meaning at that age.

The moral of the story here is just be someone who is open to every aspect in life. This is how you can truly find the person you are destined to be. If your network only consists of hood niggaz and the dude from the burbs who supplies you just expand your network and learn different avenues of life. Don’t be the guy who can only relate to Future… throw some John Mayer in the mix… catch my drift?

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The purpose

My name is Mo Barnes and I was born and raised in New Bedford, Massachusetts but reside in the beautiful state of Washington. Enough of the small talk though let’s get straight to business. I’ve seen and been through a lot! In all honesty, the reason I am turning to blogging is to reach out to those who have experienced similar situations and share my insight with them. Too often people with promising futures are left behind from a not so wise decision they made as a young adult. Not being able to bounce back or rewinding the play clock of life are topics that are too commonly discussed. By no means can I tell you how to become a millionaire overnight. However, I can guide you in the right direction and show you how to avoid becoming another statistic. As well as hopefully save you from making some commonly made mistakes by many.

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