Poetry by Charles Joseph

My Life is my Message

“My life is my message” – Mahatma Gandhi

This is my first time seeing this quote. I love it because it fits-in perfectly with my beliefs. A lot of pressure is put on me, as a black male and young artist, to be SPECIFICALLY this and that for the sole purpose of influencing the communities (mainly male, black, Haitian, young adult, black artist) that I am a part of in a positive and progressive way.

The struggle that I face being in these categories (btw no one cares about my preferences—maybe I wanted to be a kangaroo, who knows?) is that I don’t want to play along with anyone’s idea of what I SHOULD be. Neither do I like that. I believe that by keeping myself alive and taking the best care of myself, I am being an exemplary member of the black community, for example (staying alive is key here, unfortunately). I believe that by chasing my freedom regardless of what others may think (regardless of even the opinions of those who fully support me), I am being an exemplary member of the male community—especially when considering the captivity of toxic masculinity. I believe that just by creating at my own pace (there is no pace, actually—it’s all crazy and shit gets created when it does 🤷🏾‍♂️), even though I always turn my back to go clock-in for my day job, I am being an exemplary artist. I don’t need to be producing content heavily—especially black-activism themed content. I don’t need to have a certain level of recognition to be an “artist” (even though recognition is a part of my big-bad plan). I believe that I don’t have to be monetarily, actively, educationally, spiritually, or culturally supporting Haiti in order to be an “acceptable” Haitian, a “real” Haitian, or just a Haitian. Being born in Haiti, and even me correcting people, “No. I am Haitian. I just happen to have an American citizenship” is enough. I don’t have to be racking up debt, bills, have a stable job, all the while building a family to be properly “adulting”. I’m legally an adult—alive and thriving. That suffices.

I also don’t have to start an organization, support a fund, or put my name behind a movement in order to be a promoter of these things. My life is my message. Me being alive while being my full self should send the message that I, too, am a part of the revolution. I don’t need to be fighting like everyone else is fighting or like everyone else is expecting their counterparts to fight. My Life is my Message.

Anyways, I surely hope that is what Gandhi meant with that quote lol!

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5 responses to “My Life is my Message”

  1. You know my thoughts, Sir. Thank you for the pingback

    1. Of course! We gotta support each other!

  2. Yes, you can use your life to spread your message. It doesn’t always have to be a big organisation or statement. It can just be how you choose to live.

    1. It shall be how I choose to live indeed

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