Here at KULTJAH, we have a number of phrases that help keep us focused on the path of authentic “Brand” building. Sayings such as “Mind Power”, “Today’s Mathematics”, “Grow Knowledge…Teach the Seeds”, “Guerrilla Intelligence” and various mantras synthesize our overall goals and perspectives. However, one particular phrase has become more prevalent in recent days…that is the saying “Heal Yourself…Heal Your Hood”.
As a vegetarian for over 17 years, I can’t front…I’ve slipped a few times (no pork tho..). I’m currently not “totally” vegan, however I’ve found a comfortable balance with room for improvement. Like so many “Ghetto Youth”, growing up in the projects wasn’t exactly an introduction to healthy living. Moms tried her best to make us eat our veggies, but the billion dollar marketing budgets of fast food chains and our friendly neighborhood (junk food dealing) bodegas…made sure we satisfied our daily cravings for a dose of dietary destruction. Yet somehow, in my late teens, I found myself striving for a healthier lifestyle. Books like “How to Eat to Live” by Elijah Muhammad, “African Holistic Health” by Dr. Llaila Africa and songs like KRS ONE’S “BEEF” guided my cerebral transformation, while access to wholesome, tasty alternatives made switch more appetizing.
The first few years were trial and error…cut back then cut out. Lots of research on how to combine foods for maximum nutritional value. (Sidebar…it’s always amusing to hear people become back seat nutritionist…making statements like “You can’t get enough protein as a vegetarian” or “You need to eat some meat to be healthy”, when the majority of research proves just the opposite). Of course there was the initial criticism, or rather disbelief from doubtful carnivores. Having to defend ones own palate at “Holiday” festivities and family gatherings became a norm. However, time and social acceptance soon turned criticism into inquiry and admiration.
Ultimately it’s all about you. After the latest trends, fads, cool gym outfits, advice from Oprah, reality TV show mysticism, etc…you are your most valuable asset. Investments in your health build the greatest equity in life. What you eat, think, do or don’t do…has a direct effect on your life force. You (nor I) wouldn’t dare pour gallons of junk into a prized automobile and expect it to run at peak performance, but we do it to our bodies and expect healthy results. I know some will say “my grandfather smoked cigarettes til’ he was 90” or “I eat and drink whatever I want and I’m as healthy as can be”, but the odds of living a vibrant life with that mentality benefit very few…much sooner than later, it will catch up to yah.
The reality is…we are at a pivotal time in history. I’m not implying that a veggie-burger is the solution to the worlds problems, but I do think it all starts with how we treat our minds, bodies and souls. Perhaps, (zen moment) the process, or at least the attempt to heal ourselves would create healthier communities and thus…global environment. If we are what we eat…you can’t blame “Them” for treating “Us ” like pigs, cattle and sheep. Free your mind and your ass will follow…”Heal Yourself…Heal Your Hood!”