The truth is, today, many people have no standards for their lives. Too many black women have high standards for their own lives (education, career) but low standards for the men in their lives (the any man will do type mentality). Ladies the truth is, anything you don’t have standards for will fail in your life! You must have standards for everything you expect to be productive and constructive in your life. This includes but is not limited to: your children, your fiances, your career, education and your HUSBAND. I’m a firm believer in using obstacles to your benefit. This is how many of our ancestors were able to keep pushing, instead of laying down to die.
Watching the Cosby Show is a little slice of heaven. If certain African-Americans or whites thought families like the Huxtables didn’t exist in the ’80’s when it originally aired I wonder what they’d think about it now. A show with an intact family of working professionals and happy well-adjusted kids seems foreign to many of us living in the age of Lil Wayne’s BET performance and exposing his daughter to his depravity.
Thankfully families did exist like the Huxtables and still do today. Increasingly however, they are becoming rare. Thank goodness for DVDs and cable re-runs! For those who didn’t have families that resembled their tv counterparts you have something to aspire to. You also have a measuring stick and good evaluation tool. Again, we’re talking about the tv representation of the family not of those portraying them.
So this episode has Cliff guiding Theo on the financial responsibilities of adulthood. It’s just one of many lessons he taught Theo on his journey to manhood like every good father does with his son. He didn’t even touch on the expense of having children because it was already assumed he’d be married first. I wonder how many young adults would rethink think their choices if they had the economic lesson presented from this episode? This is about establishing standards. If you recall Theo wasn’t focused on his studies and needed a firm hand in his youth. Had he not had that guidance you can imagine he would’ve settled for a life of mediocrity or even turned to crime. Some of our kids’ futures are balanced on the width of a dime. Theo thinks being a “regular” person is okay instead of trying harder. Doing better. Pushing past his comfort zone. Being inconvenienced. He had tons of excuses ready as well.
How often do we hear ourselves or others say “if only it wasn’t so hard” or “circumstances were out of my control” or how somebody else was supposed to do something or else we would’ve done x, y or z. We have to catch ourselves when we do. We don’t want to be “regular” where we’re grading our life on a curve based on the failings of others. We want to be normative. Exceptional even – but at least in keeping with the general pace and direction of a majority of society.
In another case of serendipity I am reading blogger Taylor-Sara’s essay on Why We Must Have HIGH Standards. I’m having a little laugh with myself that I set aside the essay I was working on to do some more research and wrote this one – and then saw Sara’s. She writes:
Doing that kind of work requires diligence and discipline. The economic turmoil isn’t helping matters but it’s the intention behind our actions that will guide our steps once we’ve decided to move. Our choices DO affect our lives.