Islands of light

Ok. I was listening to the record „Psychodrama“ by Dave and suddenly was thinking:

Where would I be without Rap and HipHop?
Lost. I would be.
Gone. I would be.

And all these times when I heard someone rap, so true and honest, so fucking talented, that it brings tears to your eyes, fire in your heart and in a splitsecond makes you suddenly be good friend with humanity again, because a race, that can bring forth something so beautiful, so true, so talented has to have something good in it.

And I used to think „Fuck it, only pain seems to bring us forward.“ Because we seem to only be ready to listen and grow when we suffered enough. Like we can‘t grow and change without pain.

And every time I heard a rapper push trough to the other side, it was always about pain and suffering, pushing against obstacles, closing the eyes to focus all strength, just pushing, pushing, pushing back against the fear, the pain, the shame, pushing everything away till they can say the one thing, that makes us pure and whole and human again.

And when we shout „I don‘t give a fuck“ it is not because we gave up or don’t care, it is because of pain and because we are ready to to fight for our lives, won’t go down without a fight. You want us to suffer unheard, unseen, bowing to the way it is and always was, not even daring to think, that things can be different, that we are worth the same as you, are entitled to change things. You want to suffocate us silently, so we don’t rock the boat. But we are lions, tigers and giants. You won‘t bring us down.

And it used to make me so sad, so hopeless, that humanity seemed to need pain and disaster to grow. It made me feel so exhausted, because when our race, our human psychology needs suffering, disaster and pain to grow – it means there will be no end to the violence and pain. Never. We will always run around in a cycle of suffering, hurting each other, killing each other to finally awaken and say things like „we will never do that again, this can never be allowed to happen again“ and really mean it. Just to be in the exact same situation again a few decades later. Only more violently and nihilistic, because violence multiplies in our genes, in our history and with every repeat it gets worse.

But thinking about it I changed my mind: That we feel pain in the first place is because of the short moments of real joy, of love, of home, that we had or observed on others. We might not remember them as poignant as our pain, but they are there and just as important as the pain, even, if we don’t write many books, songs or movies about them. These moments are the soil on which our strength, our independence and even our pain can grow.

So in the end it is not the suffering, not the pain, that makes us change and grow, but the absence of happiness. And with thinking it this way something, that looked dysfunctional, fucked up and hopeless suddenly becomes something positive. We don’t grow because of pain, but because of the absence of happiness. This might sound the same, but it is something totally different. To need the pressure of the absence of happiness to finally move our asses and hearts is different than needing destruction to evolve. Looking at it this way still leaves the hope intact, that some day we might be able to change and evolve without pain. It might just mean, that the killing and hurting each other might not be a permanent, natural part of us.

This thought is an island of light.

This made me think about islands of light. I had a traumatic childhood and when I was trying to heal and change and grow out of it, I was always amazed by the strength, the absolute sureness about my path. Like a laser I moved towards my future. Nobody and nothing could advert me from my way, not even I myself. I wondered, if maybe we all know it, because it is in our instinct? But thinking about it I remembered all the little islands of light I had found throughout all my life along the way.

When I was 4 or 5 years old, I often was left alone at nights in the apartment. I was being so scared out of my mind, that I would sleep with my head at the wrong end of the bed, because I thought this way bad men would not know, that I was there and if they only find my feet they would leave again without doing bad things to me.

No child should have to think about such things.

Every time I woke up and found, that I was left alone at night again, I cried so loud the whole house woke up and then an old lady living in the apartment beneath us would take me in. She would make me a hot chocolate to drink and would give me a seashell, so huge I could barely get my tiny hands around it and tell me, that inside I can hear the ocean, when I hold it to my ear.

She was a little island of light.

As was the knowledge, that there indeed were people, who are good, who cared about me, who would protect me and not let me be all alone and afraid. And mysteriously along the way all my life this happened again and again. I found, that people I did not know went out of their way to be careful with me, see me, when I really needed it. Because I gave something real, honest from me and when you give something, you get something back. One way or the other. I always knew how to throw an anchor from my heart to other people’s heart when I really, really needed help. Like not sitting horrified and frozen in my room, having to endure the fear and feeling powerless against it, but instead crying as loud as I could on the staircase till someone came to save me with hot chocolate and a seashell. For that ability I am really thankful.

Without realizing it these little islands of lights had changed, taught and nurtured me all my life. I might only remember clearly all the pain and the horror, but these small islands of light were enough to inoculate me. They were enough to make me one day refuse the every day pain and misery and go all in in search for happiness. That is why it matters what we do. Every tiny thing.

That is why I don‘t simply pass by people, who might need help and look away as if even looking at them could dirty me. That is why I ask them, if I can help them. That is why when someone asks me for money I don’t act as if they don’t exist and I heard nothing, but smile and say „No“. They are people, we don’t have to pretend they are invisible.

Because a little smile, the knowledge, that in the end you are not all alone and that someone cares, can indeed change a whole life. And that changed life can then maybe change other lives. And this way with one smile you might save a whole life. Or even a country.

Rap and HipHop was and will always be my place of light. Where would I be without it?
Lost. I would be. Truly.

From „Psycho“ by Dave
Stop all the pain
How do you stop all the pain
I used to hear a voice when I was praying
But nowadays, I don’t even wanna be saved
Nah, fuck that, I don’t wanna be saved
I was born to be wild, I don’t wanna be tamed
Talent’s in my blood and I don’t wanna be vain
But if I’m a psycho, then I don’t wanna be sane…“