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"Make Do"

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"Ether" (Chinese "Chi")--a fine, flimsy, vapor mist--is a fundamental element of the world of Patterns. Hence, everything in the universe is caused by this subtle fluid of pre-matter. When it gathers, a Pattern is formed; when it becomes "frozen," the Pattern persists; when it dissipates, that Pattern fades. As an oversimplification, Patterned Thinking (PT) present in the Enslaved manifested by them: (1) "Just Being" without thinking or emotions, as occurs in "simply waiting" when there is nothing else to do; (2) Reacting mentally but not physically because "doing something" out of fear may make things worse; and (3) Accepting the hellish situation under the title I heard ex-Slaves say as a boy: "It's my fate!" The common final pathway for these three is to "Make Do" with whatever is handed to one in life and then getting along with whatever little is available. Such was "normal" for the Enslaved, starting at the moment the fishnet was thrown over them as a free people in Africa; lasting to extreme degrees throughout slavery and post-slavery periods; and continuing in the Struggling Tunnel (which metaphorically connects the Slave Quarters with today's inner cities).

Yet, “Make Do's” core idea is a double-edged sword--i.e. extremely good when needed to "get over the hump"; terribly bad otherwise. Slaves who chose to cope by Non-Sexual Masochism (inviting or failing to resist needless hardships) developed a Thinking Pattern of "Make Do". This "Make Do" pattern paralyzes ones instincts to thrive in life; is routinely resorted to, even when situations do not call for it; prevents the development or blending of ones various skills and talents; and spreads into all areas of ones life, like snake venom in the blood poisons every body cell. The pattern of rejecting benefits in favor of "Make Do" has been passed through the Struggling Tunnel--often with good reasons because of Europeans' historical deceptions with gifts causing Black Americans' devastations. "Make Do" is what characterizes the Status Quo and its patterned life, as if on a treadmill. Self-generated "Make Do PT is like a repeating tape recorded message played over and over inside ones head. Its attraction is its simplicity; not requiring time, energy or effort; and freeing one to engage in various "Escapes"--e.g. excessively talking on cell phones, watching television, peering at electronic gadgets, listening to loud music. These "Escapes" prevent one from knowing what is on ones mind (which can only happen from being quiet); prevent one from standing up for what is wrong or disrespectful (out of fear of becoming unpopular); and suppressing what it takes to be oneself and reach ones potential. Behind all this PT is ones unconscious awareness of lacking courage and ones Chronic Fright which often makes one unwilling to "Do Right" for oneself and others.

Because so many struggling Black Americans "Make Do," prefer to stay in the background, and the other points mentioned, they are difficult to help. In my present efforts to help the most needy, scores of hours have been spent trying to locate Black charity medical clinics who would benefit from the orthopaedic appliances in my gargage. Nobody seems to know who and likely sources fail to return telephone and email inquiries. On the rare occasion I can talk with a "real person" in charitable organizations their interest is only in money and with no concept of "Grass Roots" efforts concerning recycling "used things" or teaching the unskilled how to fix or do other things which could help them "rise out" of their deepest struggles. When I was growing up this was our way--not throwing away anything because its parts could be "Re-Purposed" (and that taught me about being creative). These things were done, not with a sense of shame, but with a sense of pride and excitement from working together and getting things done. Community elders need to tell youth about their experiences. There is no point in waiting because nothing will get done while waiting. More leaders in the community ought to "do something" to get the community involved in Self-Help.


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