This edition of Hood Health deals with the collective issue of keeping everybody in the cipher healthy in all facets
The infamous microphone check in Hip Hop is used to make sure that all sound systems are a go so that not one word of the upcoming delivery is wasted. In many worldwide Original communities and at different eras in other worldwide Original communities checking up on every member of the community was a responsibility for every member of the community. I remember many times when I was younger that my mother would send me to check on an older member of our neighborhood under the pretense of bringing them something or asking for a cup of sugar. When I got back in the house my mother would ask me how they were doing. If a person wasn’t at church who normally showed up my parents would be on the phone checking in on them. Nowadays with the overbearing presence of social media it appears that we are more connected than ever yet the reality is that there is a huge disconnect between people despite social media. Step up your check ups.
By checking up on a person I don’t mean sending them a text when you are bored. Text messages many times are a means to claim that we are keeping in contact with a person. In reality they can be just impersonal background noise in many peoples lives. By checking in with a person I mean hitting them face to face or extended talks on the phone. If you must use technology I am talking face to face like Skype or Glide. I am talking about you being in a position where you can see and read each other’s body language and faces. I am talking about actually taking out a portion of your day’s plans to involve your self in the life of another. I am talking about being actively involved in people’s lives due to genuine concern.
America as a whole promotes hyper individualism. Original/Indigenous communities as a whole practice communalism. As my righteous brother Supreme Understanding often states “the Hood is Indigenous.” These practices worked to keep the whole body of the hood healthy. Looking out for each other is the hood’s immune system. Gangstarr’s song “Who’s Going to take the Weight” reflects this on one level. Asking yourself if you are your brother’s or sister’s keeper reflects this on another level. With the issues of society bearing down on us the wise know that they cannot handle it alone. When you have a strong community you never have to worry about doing it alone.
The Original community is afflicted with many mental health issues and issues arising from trauma. The way to detect them and deal with them is to be put in touch with the right network and resources. Even before one is put in touch with the right path someone to talk to allows for some of that pressure to be displaced. The load is made lighter. The check ups don’t have to be daily. They can be at random times during the week. They don’t have to be lengthy. Just make sure that you are present mentally when you are checking in one someone. See what is on their mind. If it is a problem see what you can do to assist in alleviating it a little. Like the microphone check making sure that system is all set before letting loose the rhyme check in on your peoples to make sure that all systems are set as they move through life.
Câ€™BS ALife Allah is the co-editor of the Hood Health Handbook and co-creator of the HoodHealth concept. Check him out at ALifeAllah.com and follow him on twitter @alifeallah IG @Alifeallah