‘All of you will support Kanye and Beyoncé but you won’t support your friends’.
There is something about this statement that really makes me cringe. I understand that you should support your friends but the comparison to established artists fails to address the issue that it aims to. Of course I am more likely to invest in Beyoncé over Jenny down the road because she has a track record of excellence, does that automatically make me a bad friend? It’s like when I go to a store I’m more likely to buy a product by a brand that I’m familiar with than something I am not sure about. Why? I know that I’m getting value for money.
Then there is the bitterness that comes when people are not supported with the whole ‘I’m building an Empire, while ya’ll are watching Empire *flicks Afro in Z formation*. That also makes me cringe. The idea that being on your grind makes you superior, creates an atmosphere where supporting you becomes less attractive. Why can’t I work on building my Empire and then watch Empire after? CAN YOU LET ME LIVE PLEASE???
Now I say all of this from a point of both reflecting on my experiences and what I have observed. I also say this from a point of analysis. A part of me thinks that no one is under any obligation to support another person friend or not, however I say this as someone who supports people regardless of whether I am their friend. Then another part of me thinks that we all should support people, especially when we know them, they have a lot of potential and they are our friend.
You know what I think the problem is? WE ALL THINK EVERYTHING IS AWKWARD. Let me explain. The internal narrative of many of us young people is a mess: If I am the first person to comment on her/his YouTube video, write-up, performance, Instagram post I will look like a beg. People will think I have a crush on him/her. They will think I’m weird. If I share it, then people will think I have the same views as him/her. This overthinking about everything to do with supporting others is really crushing what could be a supportive youth community. Supporting another person doesn’t take anything away from you and more times than none they are going to appreciate that cheeky like and share on social media.
Supporting the mandem especially amongst our generation is so important. I live in an area where you don’t really hear about young people doing amazing things. This has always annoyed me greatly because I know so many talented people but what they lack is support from the surrounding community. People will be quick to overlook a post about their business or a video of them singing but once they become successful they want to say ‘Oh yeah she went to my school. Oh yeah we’re besties. She’s my cousins boyfriends niece- talented girl she is’. FAAAAMMMMM. Don’t be that person. This is where the bitterness from many people comes from, the knowledge that if they succeed then and only then will people be interested in what they are doing. We all need to appreciate that there is a lot of background work that comes before public success.
I wrote tons of posts late at night, researched a lot about writing, did a lot of fan-girling over young writers before I got amazing opportunities like this one and writing for MTV. But without the few people who would support me even when my write-ups were a bit meh, I may have never had the confidence to keep going. However, I do what I do because of passion. I love writing it makes me really happy. If people read what I write or don’t my love remains. So if you’re out here sharing your talents make sure you actually love what you’re doing and the aim is not attention rather the aim is spreading love through your talent. Even if you’re making money from your grind, don’t let the desire for money override passion for what you’re doing.
If you can like a picture of your friend looking peng on Instagram or retweet a funny tweet then you can also like and share information about their business, vlog, blog or them singing or dancing. We live in a world where we are told to chase our passions and simultaneously urged to follow the past most travelled, so when you see someone stepping into their truth and sharing their talents the least you can do is support. If you can’t buy then promote, encourage, link your friends with people who can help them.
There is A LOT of beauty being overlooked because we are not here supporting each other. You don’t know what you could be contributing to the planet by just showing some love to someone else. Sure, I don’t think you’re any under obligation to be nice to people but if you’re not then what exactly are you doing?
Don’t be that person who harps on about ‘oh everyone is doing x right now’. So? So what. Loads of people were singing before Beyoncé came on the scene. What’s wrong with having a different sound, face and perspective. Isn’t that the beauty of the human experience, the fact that we are all so magically different.
Keep Smiling and Slaying