Glenn W. Harrell

“We dealt with death, with murder,” he said. “It was like living in a war zone, where people die on these blocks and everybody is a little bit immune to it. I guess they call it post-traumatic stress, when you have people that have been at war for such a long time. I think L.A. suffers from that because it’s not normal yet we embrace it like it is after a while.”

—Nipsey Hussle

The tragic death of Mr. Asghedom reminds us that it is not normal for a human being to be subjected to a lifestyle of survival from childhood. The perplexing question of the day and era is just how to not only make such a lifestyle abnormal but to eradicate it. Eradicating and “embracing” are most often opposites but not here in the world of impossible poverty set against unfortunate wealth. Black fortune is here haunted by human frailty and the broken, fatherless family.

The money culture of Hip-Hop-Rap belies slavery to violence and trauma. Neither culture, venue nor performer seem to want to take responsibility at a level of action.

The potential for loss of revenue is just too great.

The trash-talk-guttural filth with rhyme reveals the angry heart filled with envy, revenge and hate. The sing-song message that not having enough money and wealth are why our youth break laws and destroy their lives from within is proven false. Theirs is a a broken culture that has turned sour once again in deference to government funding and social programs.

The entertainment industry and world of thuggery is not about to exchange money for the kind of integrity it would take to escape this cycle of entrapment. No amount of philanthropy can redeem this imploded lifestyle set to music. The conflict and contradiction is likened to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting held at the Jim Beam Distillery to discuss freedom from drink. Such duplicity and collaboration will ensure that no one escapes “because it’s not normal yet we embrace it like it is after a while.”

Today and every day, 115 Nipsey Hussle’s stand willing and ready to fill his shoes. Producers, managers, fans, sponsors and body guards alike, all stand to profit from this perpetual dysfunction society complete with “war zones”. Little boys see only what they crave–attention and what appears to be love. When they emulate their heroes, suddenly they too are in the gun sights and the flow of drugs and alcohol as being“normal-yet they embrace it”. With such a sorrowful, tragic death as was Nipsey Hussle’s, perhaps his life and message to these youth will be one of warning, courage and determination to abandon the culture that only brings ruination and death.

All of this will continue as programed by the stubborn truths of reality until committed for lifetime fathers and mothers raise children together in love. It will take brave men–real men, tattooed from within of courage and fed-upness. Men who will not be taken down by money, fame and addictions. When this becomes the new norm for young men and women, we find hope for “A New Normal”.

The new normal is actually as old as time. Father, mother, child–all committed to staying together come what may. All working, not for riches and material wealth, but rather the closeness and affections that family bring. There must be a trade off somewhere–the fake for the real.

Jesus shares what this looks like in His Kingdom for all who would follow Him.

A Hidden Treasure  (from Mathew chapter 13)

44The kingdom of heaven is like what happens when someone finds a treasure hidden in a field and buries it again. Such a person is happy and goes and sells everything in order to buy that field.

A Valuable Pearl

45The kingdom of heaven is like what happens when a shop owner is looking for fine pearls. 46 After finding a very valuable one, the owner goes and sells everything in order to buy that pearl.

A Fish Net

47The kingdom of heaven is like what happens when a net is thrown into a lake and catches all kinds of fish. 48When the net is full, it is dragged to the shore, and the fishermen sit down to separate the fish. They keep the good ones, but throw the bad ones away. 49 That’s how it will be at the end of time. Angels will come and separate the evil people from the ones who have done right. 50 Then those evil people will be thrown into a flaming furnace, where they will cry and grit their teeth in pain.”

“The poor have a hard life but being content is as good as an endless feast.”Proverbs 15:15

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