These past weeks and months have been tough both personally and professionally. Sometimes it has honestly felt as if everything is falling apart, with one setback coming on the heels of another. Yet thankfully I have not felt like despairing. I am keenly aware that life has it’s seasons and that confronting (and overcoming) challenges is an essential part of the evolutionary process as a human being.

In the midst of this rough patch, I went for a walk one day last week, ontensibly to pick up a few items at the grocery store, when something strangely uplifting occurred. As I was coming back I heard a rap song blaring from the stereo of a car parked outside the supermarket. The windows were halfway lowered, and inside the vehicle I could see a young boy of about four or five, who was alone jamming to the music. His head was bobbing up and down, and he wore a wide blissful smile on his face indicating he was enjoying himself.

The voice of the rapper in the song was strangely familiar. At first I thought, it was Wiz Khalifa, but later after I searched for the hook ‘All my life‘ on YouTube I discovered that it was one of my favorite rappers, J. Cole (in collaboration with another American rapper called Lil Durk). I have in fact written an earlier blogpost about another of his song’s called, Love Yourz, which contains the epic line “It’s beauty in the struggle, ugliness in the success.” I have always found J. Cole’s lyrics to be deep and thought-provoking since he has a knack for capturing emotions and feelings with stunningly beautiful prose. He is a street poet who uses rap as a medium to reach the masses.

Naturally, I immediately played the tune from start to finish. As I listened to the lyrics I felt a wave of hope and positivity wash over me. All my life, reminded that everything will be okay eventually. That even though I “[…] never thought that I would make it out” it is possible, and that “[…] they couldn’t break me.” These words were what I needed to hear in that moment. For the rest of the day and in the ensuing days I listened to All my life on repeat. This experience made me realize anew that although we cannot control what happens to us in life we can control how we respond to our circumstances. Half the battle is won just by maintaining perspective and keeping a positive attitude. S.D.G.

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