Ezi Adesi

It’s a shame to see dollar signs and so much conversation about money every time I read an article about solving the problem of gun violence, specifically among our people in Madison. It’s time to eliminate the dollar from the equation. What were we doing before the dollar was given to us? We were using proper education and mentoring. Proper education provided us with knowledge of ourselves, our true history and culture. Once we gain knowledge of ourselves, great things will follow.

There will always exist adversity (maybe even more so), but with knowledge of self, we will navigate adversity in a much better fashion. An extension of that proper education was mentorship between adults and the youths which provided a passing down of culture.

It’s not about money, it’s about mentality. Thanks to all the “community leaders” serving on committees and boards, attempting to establish initiatives and programs to solve the problem of black-on-black gun violence. Your efforts are greatly appreciated. BUT understand, if the mentality of the people you are trying to reach doesn’t change, those at the table have wasted their time and there is a lot of time being wasted. So not only is it the mentality of the community members that need to change but also that of the community leaders constantly seeking money to create change. Begging, wrestling for and attacking one another about a green piece of paper has and will keep the people stagnate.

No amount of funding can change a person’s mentality; that is up to each individual man and woman, but they must be open to a new and proper education. Tools that can change our situation are in our hands and when we realize that, we will no longer have to look further than ourselves for the source(s) of a better circumstance because we are the source and we come from THE source.

Perhaps the single most effective, yet underemphasized and undervalued tool to solving many of our problems is mentoring; an age old, antiquitous, practice that today seems to be a lost art and a loosely tossed around term. I am talking about black men and women intentionally and proactively teaching, supporting, and guiding boys and girls through life. Mentoring and passing down of culture is a birthright and naturally assumed responsibility of each Original Man on this Earth. Black men: Our black boys are OUR responsibility.

If you have not yet or are not presently mentoring, you are missing a very key aspect of manhood. Care about a child that is not yours, teach a child that is not yours, spend time and give energy to a child that is not yours, talk to and be there for a child that is not yours. Save a life from occupying a prison cell or plot at the cemetery.

Simple mathematics: Gain knowledge of self + shift mentality + mentorship – money = A better us.

Saying that “one day we will get it together” and “now is the time to come together” are two outdated clichés. It’s BEEN time; we are well overdue for coming together and solving our own problems without looking externally. But better late than never, right?

Brothers and sisters: change your mentality towards yourself and your people today. Let’s drop egoism and self-destruction. Change your beliefs. Egoism and murder are leaving too many women without men, children without parents and parents without children. When you change your beliefs toward yourself and your people, your actions will change, as well. Start believing and teaching TODAY that we are great, powerful, and beautiful and that we are family and that we are valuable.

It’s not about money; it’s about shifting mentality through proper education and mentorship.

Written by Ezi Adesi

Ezi Adesi is a veteran educator and active mentor in Madison