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Juggling Syndrome Introduction

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The term "Jugglers" as applied to Black Americans is not meant to imply its original 12th century English sense of a Jester, "Joke," "Jest," a general entertainer, or Buffoon. Instead, "Juggler" is used here as a diluted and polluted form of the17th century notion of a magician's dexterity or sleight of hand in order to keep in "Balance" several objects in the air at the same time.

Patricia Riddlespriger introduced to me the term "Jugglers" (and much associated information) to indicate their chaotic and entangled daily living activities all had to be handled "right now." Such I recall--during my boyhood days living in an all- Black North Carolina Community- -as being a way of life. Note the distinction between "Jugglers" and "Balancers" (like magicians who get things done). Although people of all ethnic groups "juggle," the focus here is only on struggling Black Americans. The first purpose of this very long series is to describe the Juggling Syndrome; its historical beginnings during African American slavery; and its Keystone aspects that fashion today's Chronic Jugglers. Knowing the source of the problem is what starts steps leading to finding workable solutions.

Second, this information is also for Mentors and Ambitious Black youth. These youth will benefit from gaining an idea of what to expect on their journey; of what to prepare for; of what to look out for; and of certain tools needed to move past the "alligators" along the path. Unfortunately, a few youth will get side-tracked off the path by attractive distractions (i.e. confused priorities); by lacks (mainly of knowledge); by losses; or by obstacles. To reduce such losses Mentors ought to understand essential aspects of the life of every Black youth; know their situation; their enemies (types, power, numbers); the points required to discover the youth's Mission in life; and how to properly guide each youth. Despite much talk about it and around it, a particular problem in pushing Black youth forward has been insufficient mentoring in specific practical steps that lays out a clear direction. That direction is towards a thriving life in a most efficient and effective manner--and chronic juggling is handicapping. Furthermore, youth need definite steps placed close enough together to make it sufficiently workable for motivated youth to realize they can achieve success.

Third, what is presented falls into the two categories of Diagnosis and Management. Both follow the medical model approaches and methods that have worked well for me for over forty years. For Mentors to attain skills in Diagnosis much background information is required in order to become familiar with the scope of struggling Black Americans' problems. There is no other way to predict what those problems will be in any given individual or to know to what degree each aspect of the problem is significant. Besides, what is significant in a given youth at one time may be different at another time. These points apply to all Chronic Jugglers. Such background preparation allows the Mentor to flow with winding, unexpected, and peculiar changes. My medical school preparation was four years of studying about the various diseases of mankind before treating patients. Mentors desiring to bring about meaningful change and Chronic Jugglers serious about rising above their desperation for not only themselves but for their children and their children's children will have to go through significant background preparation in order to arrive at the correct Diagnosis. Management, after knowing its general principles, must be individualized--the Prescription-- in a manner suitable to each Juggler.

Finally, a reason for presenting such extensive information pertaining to The Juggl ing Syndrome is because much of it is applicable for almost any problem Black Americans have in any part of their lives. It is designed to help fashion directions out of overwhelming or "impossible" situations; to help provide tools for rising above each; and to help get on the lifelong path of independent thriving and without the need for juggling.

Website: www.jablifeskills.com

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