I now know what was Lucille “Big Mama’ Allen saying to me and others when she stated, “you must pour into those who pour into you!”
I learned that this lesson was about deciding who you give respect, trust and honor and who receives it from you. It was about giving yourself the permission to grow, learn and bond with those who grown learn and bond for your life lessons.
Throughout your life, you will meet people who will only care for you temporarily. There are people whose spirit will entwine with yours for a moment, then wither and walk away. We all know people who, under the guise of mutual engagement, will only take from you.
Big Mama said be very weary of fair-weather friends – she told me that those are people who all around you during your good times but are completely unavailable during your bad times.
Big Mama said they were “rough patch” absent.
The COVID-19 pandemic surely allowed us to see who our fair-weather friends were. I am reminded of the very famous song penned by writers, McFadden and Whitehead, as sung by the O-Jays, called “Backstabbers.” The song referred to those people who praise you in person and were poised to take what you have and undermine your progress when you are not in the room.
Big Mama never gave us a lesson without a bright light at the end of the tunnel. She said the good thing about temporary people is they cannot steal your joy without your permission. All of these temporary people and their eventual departures don’t determine the worth of your life.
Currently, the death of Floyd and the “Woke” moment caused our young BIPOCs to rise up as navigators of change just as Emmett Till’s murder set off a wave of activism and resistance during the Civil Rights Movement in 1955, especially in the segregated South.
Floyd and Till’s death exposed the longstanding violence against Black men and women. Yet, what also surfaced is that the activists of Till and the activists of Floyd are not collaborating at the optimum level.
The purveyors of institutionalized racism are benefiting from the fact that ‘young” activists are not engaging “older” activists.
The Honorable John Lewis would make us talk and make sure that this moment becomes an economic movement.
If you do not understand the messages today, check out the story of my friend, Michelle Hoskins and her syrup. Our pour has to be economic, Big Mama would say right now, “Fall (pour) into the people who are already falling (pouring) into you, not to surrender but rather create a mutual power.”
Can we talk? Let me know email me at the paper!
Terry Allen is an award-winning media professional, journalist, and entrepreneur. He is also the founder of City Men Cook and 1016 Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org