Hasty Generalization vs. Social Equality
"All generalizations are dangerous, even this one."
I'm back with a more organized thought today. This is a topic that's been on my mind for quite some time. It took a bit of research in the lab I call Life before I could come to the conclusions that'll be posted today. I'll do my best to keep this short & simple, so that it can be plainly understood, everyone who knows me though, knows my tendency to take things too far :)...This is written with the Nation of Gods & Earths (also known as Allah's 5%) in mind (newborns specifically), as the intended target audience, but is meant to benefit all readers...
Growing in the way I approach Life, I've learned that generalization (Hasty Generalization, specifically) , Just isn't the best way to deal in social equality. I can't go around categorizing people based on what I "think" I know about them "in general". Allah is Just and True in all of his dealings, and it simply isn't fair to pre-judge individuals based on what I already know, prior to meeting them. Judge not, & you shall not be judged...
Some people have a tendency to generalize when trying to persuade another to accept their point of view. Even I just generalized with that statement J It seems to be more of a political or rhetorical stance than a logical or scientific one, if you think about it. Some of the generalities I hear often are:
All Men cheat, because it's in their nature...All Women are emotional and lie because all of my ex-girlfriends/wives did... All white people are ___... All rappers talk about is ___...All babies are cute (I know some of you disagree with that one :P )...If you do this then ___...All smokers will get ___...All ___ are greedy...All Muslims are ___ or related to one...etc, etc, etc...
That's not to say that these statements can't be true in some cases, the key word though, is SOME cases! The trouble with blanket statements using the word "all", is that you're potentially telling only a half-truth, rather than a Universal Truth, which indeed would be true in ALL cases. It can be said that "All persons alive on the planet as you read this will die physically at one point or another", and that can be accepted as a Universal Truth. To "try" and limit this to something like "all people will die before their time is up because things are that bad on earth", can't be shown & proven to be true in ALL cases. If your "all"-encompassing statement can be counteracted by its opposite, it's probably not true.
The above is not limited just to people that don't know better than to take things on face value. In regards to the Nation of Gods specifically, there seems to be an all-encompassing way of looking at things as well, which violates the 9th degree in the 1-40 (...instead, they take...on face value). One of the points I want to address, is the tendency to group ALL people into 3 categories. I'm referring to what's known as the 85%, the 10%, & the 5% of the entire world's population.
For those who have no clue what I'm talking about, here's a briefing...(taken from the Lost-Found Muslim Lessons of the NOI, also known as the 1-40)
14) Who are the 85%?
The uncivilized people, poison animal eaters, slaves of a mental death & power; people who do not know who the True & Living God is, nor their origin in this world, and worship they know not what; people who are easy to lead in the wrong direction, and hard to lead in the Right direction.
15) Who are the 10%?
The rich slave-makers of the poor, who teach the poor that the Almighty True & living God is a spook, and cannot be seen by the physical eye. Otherwise known as blood-suckers of the poor
16) Who are the 5% on this poor part of the Planet Earth?
They are the poor Righteous Teachers, who do not believe in the teachings of the 10%, and are All-Wise and Know who the True & Living God is, and teach that the True & living god is the Son of Man, the Supreme Being Black Man of Asia, and teach Freedom, Justice, and Equality to all of the human families of the Planet Earth. Otherwise known as Civilized People, also are Muslims & Muslim Sons.
It is these words of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, of February 20th, 1934, being used as a person's only measuring tool, that concern me.
side note: TRUST me when I say that there SO much more to these 3 Q&A's than meets the eye, that isn't where I want to go with this today though. (see previous MySpace blog entry "Did I Do Dat?" Hell Yeah U Did!...The 13th Degree for more details/the tip of the iceberg)
Understanding the context of the time, and what Elijah Muhammad was striving to do, these words made perfect sense for those who it was intended for. His intention is what mattered in this. The intention was to get his people (Muslims of the NOI), a glimpse of their potential, who they were, and where they fit into the society that they lived & breathed in. He knew that he was trying to reach people who were barely 70 years from under the yoke of institutional (read: physical) slavery, that may not have understood the hows & whys of why they seemed to have no control over their lives. Elijah gave them very general answers in these 3 lessons (it may have been the limit of his understanding at the time). For a basically uneducated people, who knew not much of the world around them, general answers is what they could easily grasp. Had he expounded too much, he would not have been able to do his job/duty as their leader, for he would have been way over their heads (with exceptions in the crowd, of course). In a nutshell, Elijah was telling them "Look, you have no civilization (14), this is why (15), and this is where you need to get to (16)." That was fine...for that time.
Now-A-Days, (this ain't the 1930s OR the 1960s!) I see it as being of the utmost importance to determine who a person is as an INDIVIDUAL! The average joe who isn't in the know re: the teachings of the Nation of Gods and Earths, I don't default him to the 85% category, just based on that. Getting to know him, I may learn that he doesn't eat pork (because it's in the Bible), but loves shrimp, that he's also an Christian who has no idea what "race" he is (his origin in this world), reads the Bible and prays daily (to a God he admits that he doesn't really know), that he sells bootleg movies, is a Mason, is bipolar, and is a law professor that believes in freewill. He also "Santa's" every Christmas season for the Salvation Army, taking donations in low-income neighborhoods. Now, which of the above 3 groups can he be placed in? 85% because he's Christian, eats shrimp, prays, doesn't know his origin & and is bipolar (mental disease) ? 10% because he sells bootleg movies (that he didn't produce) at a profit, and takes nickels, dimes, & dollars from poor people? 5% because he's a Mason (Muslim Son) who teaches Freedom, Justice, and Equality to his students? Hmm...Who's to say?
I'll even use myself as an example...I still have a problem with my temper (acting uncivilized at times), I'm hard-headed (hard to lead in the "right" direction), and hell yeah, I still eat meat, KNOWING that the animals come from this poisoned planet?...Do these 2 things qualify me to be considered an 85%er? Oh, not only that, I'm working on being rich, then wealthy, and when I talk to people who believe in the so-called mystery god, I'll quote from scripture, use the word "believe", I use terms like "the God in you", or "spiritual"...does that make me a 10%er, because I'm not "quoting" Allah's 8 Point Lessons to them, or because I don't disagree with their right/choice to believe in God as a Spirit, not bothering to "correct" them? Or am I 5%, because I'm an overall Civilized Person, who knows Who I Am, who & what "God" is, and knows bullshit when he smells it, refusing to inhale? Hmm...Who's to say?
In my Universe, I no longer try only to put persons in a "box" (Square), I do the Knowledge to their Cipher also! How many times have people tried to put me into some box where I just don't fit, only be shown & proven wrong? Both the Square and the Cipher/Circle have 360 degrees, but why is the Compass above the Square? Also, why are they in that same sequence in the Supreme Alphabet?...Let's take a quick look into that...When you deal with the Cipher/Circle/Compass alone, you are dealing in Equality (1+5=6; Knowledge Power/Refinement=Equality), Knowing a person's Strengths(Mental & Physical Powers) & Weaknesses (areas that can be Refined). When you try to "box" a person into this or that, essentially you end up "Squaring off" with a person, you deal only with the Wisdom that's added onto a Cipher (2+0=2), which is still born back as their Own Self-Styled Wisdom (ending up right back where you started). Can you see the potential for a conversation that becomes a confrontation/"box"ing match, that gets nowhere? However, when you put BOTH the Compass and the Square together when examining a person's character as a whole, (Cipher=15, Square=20...15+20=35 Understanding the Strengths & Weaknesses), you can truly BUILD with them whilst Destroying/negating negativity in the process!!! (3+5=8; Build/Destroy) Simple huh?
Understanding the Law of Cause & Effect, I've been purposely striving to be a more fair person daily. In this Life, you get what you give, and you sometimes have to give people the "benefit of the doubt" when you associate with them, to get it back in return. I know a white man who is a LOT more patient, merciful and compassionate then I have EVER been in my Life! I know some Gods coming in the Name of Allah who are haters & don't even know it! I Know some Earths who will gossip about "85%" women, just to boost their own egos & feel superior to them! I have also seen some Babies that just simply ain't cute!! (gotta love 'em though J)...What I'm saying, is if I were to go into associating with these people with some pre-conceived notion of who & what they "should" be (the white man is the devil, the Gods love me because I'm their Brother, Earths are the most secure Women alive, etc), I would have just be plain wrong! Taking Nothing & No-One on face value though, I choose instead to Understand the Equality in their Cipher using both the Compass AND the Square, so that I can efficiently Build with them from whichever of their 360°s will bring out the Best Part in both of Us! Saves time, energy, and Builds relationships. Right now, I can only think of a few people who I KNOW for a FACT truly don't like or respect me, & that's only because they don't like or respect themselves (not my fault)...From what I know, me doing my part in Understanding how Equality works in my Cipher, has kept me on Square with everyone else. At the very least, they KNOW not to fuck a-round & cross the line in my presence, they can do whatever they want when I'm not a-round J All things being held constant, this is how I constantly & consistently expand my sphere of influence, and maintain my place as Allah Universal. Maybe others can benefit from this reading, I doubt that many can't...
(idea born on April 20, 2008)