ListenFromTheHeart: #9 Dance with the Devil – Immortal Technique

“A feeble-minded young man with infinite potential
The product of a ghetto-bred capitalistic mental”

It may sometimes be hard to believe that the different circumstances in which you grew up may influence you so deeply in your future. The path that you choose to lead is often modified by those around you on your journey, for better or for worse, they leave an ever so slight impact on your life. Always.

To have grown up in a stable Christian family with rarely any contact with neighbourhoods as that described in the song, I have little to no understanding of that sort of lifestyle other than from movies and music. This rap, although I still remain biased towards rap music, was an eye-opening chance to see beyond the misconception of the thug life.

There are so many times when the circumstances define our actions. The community that surrounds us as we grow up may become the reason why we’re inspired to do what we do, or otherwise trapped into a place doings things we don’t want to do. There is so much evil in the world, that many times we don’t even notice it amongst us before it’s too late.

“He could be standing right next to you, and you wouldn’t know
The devil grows inside the hearts of the selfish and wicked
White, brown, yellow and black color is not restricted
You have a self-destructive destiny when you’re inflicted”

The song speaks of a story about a boy named Billy (though actually name is William).

Billy grew up in the projects, and from a young age had thought of money as ‘his primary concern’. However, with the influences that surround him as he grows, he soon discovered that ‘money never bought respect’. Instead, he had needed to carry out task after task, each being more dangerous and illegal than the next, until he had been allowed to become a part of those who were known as ‘hardcore niggas’.

There is one thing that many often struggle with when going to a new place: fitting in.
No one truly dares to admit it, but deep down inside, many of use had once in our lifetimes wanted to be popular. To be noticed, and known, or even respected. As a result, you often fall under peer pressure to do things that in other circumstances would’ve been even absurd to consider.

Yet, in this story, the young boy, in order to prove he was fit to belong in the crew, had not only physically abused a woman who had turned out to be his own mother, but also raped and tortured her until she lay bloody, broken, and bruised. As he found out her true identity, the guilt had overwhelmed him, and he took the step over the edge of the rooftop to end his life.

You now are left with two broken people, each with shattered soul, trapped in a broken body.

During an alpha course yesterday, we had talked about the 3 different forces that existed: the world, the flesh and the devil. The ‘world’ described those temptations coming from the rest of the world; the ‘flesh’ described those temptations coming from within ourselves, greed, selfishness, pride; the ‘devil’ describes the tempter whom had caused the downfall at the beginning of time. There is no one force that you can blame for each sin, instead, they are all intertwined.

It’s a good reminder to keep track of where you are on your path towards your goal. The distance you have travelled, the places you have seen, the people you had met, and the things you had done. For better or for worse, it’s good to always know what you have as a final destination, what it is that you are striving for, just to make sure you don’t stray too far away from your initial goal due to the circumstances.

In this world where there is so much that can tempt us off the path that we were meant to walk on, we can only rely on the fact that there are friends and family whom may guide you back on track. But most importantly, that there is a God who had made plans for you long before you knew.

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11-13

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