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We're not on fire yet

In light of the recently covered killings of black men and women alike. There’s been a slew of faux anger on social networks. I recently saw somebody with a twitter header that read “#BlackLivesMatter” all whilst he was slandering black women in his tweets. I thought to myself, we're not really on fire yet.

Some people were even looking to Iggy Azalea to speak on the issue and affect change. With the wild and wide catalogue of black rappers feeding into the capitalism (that a lot have said to be the root of all of this), I was surprised to see that we looked towards Iggy Azalea as a candidate for helping solve an issue rife within the black community. I thought … we can't be pissed off yet.

Look at the picture above and get inflamed, watch the video of Eric Garners death and let it fill you up. I think the killings are something we need to be flaming hot about, except that energy needs to be pushed into 3 areas (maybe more, I don't know). These areas are education, appreciation & wealth creation.

Education

We need to be on fire, pick up a book and learn something new about how governments work, how inflation affects our savings, the true history of blacks.

When we educate ourselves, we can sit and smile in a room full of vultures. They'll pick at our intellect, and as an extensive library does, it will support us, with facts that can’t be disputed. It will also empower us and help us empower those around us.

We should form fraternities (men and women) that allow us to keep each other in check, and ignited with constant reminders of the bigger picture; so we steer away from short term “things” that contribute to someone elses bigger picture. Start a book club if you wish, learn and grow as a collective.

There is a game being played, clearly. We need to get off of the sidelines and play that game.

Appreciation

This one holds a lot of mixed feelings but we should appreciate that we, as blacks — although previous kings and queens, are a lot better off than where we were 50 years ago. This appreciation will allow us approach the situation less from the point of view of an angry man, but more from that of someone who wishes to make progress.

Wealth Creation

I was recently surprised to learn that a lot of the people I know aren't actively planning for their golden years (that is the time after retirement from work). I personally do not hope to ever stop doing, being and creating but I do plan to retire from having to work very soon.

I've noticed a lot of us complaining about the “system”. Which is weird because as crazy as it sounds we are heavily dependent on it. We can however remove the dependency, but how many of us are actively funding our retirement? Are we banking on the system to pump out a pension for us? We're living much longer and this seems less and less likely to happen as the years pass.

We need to learn to pay less taxes, as the wealthy do. We then need to turn around and take the money we've saved and invest in the same funds the wealthy invest in. Let’s forget about these savings accounts that give us 0.00001% interest on the coin (No match for inflation anyway).

There is an index (group of equities, companies, stocks — whatever you want to call it) that pulls together the top 500 companies in the US across different sectors and charts their performance, it’s called the S&P 500 (for those who don't know). This is effectively the “system” we're all talking about right? And the system doesn’t lose? This is true, the system doesn't really lose. Infact the system has only lost twice over the last two decades. You may know of this loss as the market crash, or recession. Only it never really lost because the economy climbed back up as it’s always done. Now you can invest in an index fund which tracks / mimics the performance of said system (that never really loses). This fund over the last 100 years has returned, on average around 8.50% every year. In 2013 the fund hit 30%, meaning if you put 1 million into that fund in 2013 you would have finished of the year with a sweet 300k in profit. If these are the funds the wealthy invest in it’s no wonder they're getting richer. I mean what are the returns on a pair of Christian Louboutins nowadays? Like -60% first year?

If you're risk averse you can invest in a government bond, which gives you a guaranteed return backed by the government (and insured). You can even invest in real estate without having to actually buy a property, there are a whole host of investments, but I'll let you learn about that for yourself.

These investment vehicles are marketed to the wealthy 24 / 7, while we have Belaire bottles and Jordans shoved in our faces every 5 minutes. Like I said we're not really on fire yet.

Overall the greatest benefit of wealth creation will be the ability we have as a race to contribute to causes that resonate within our hearts. At least 10% of our earnings should go into a giveaway pot that will allow us to actively help our community. This could even be money that goes to affecting political agendas. If somebody we know is trying to get into college, or get onto a course that will later give him / her the influence to affect change, let’s start giving.

We're all connected, and when one bleeds we all bleed. This isn't for blacks only, it’s for everyone within a community of any kind.

Written 20.12.2014