This week we complete the second part of our reflection on Gansta’s Paradise by Coolio. It’s certainly a song which, when you get past the ‘gansta’ element, which for most of us isn’t how we experience life, has some amazing social commentary. Take this for example:
Power and the money, money and the power. Minute after minute, hour after hour. Everybody's runnin', but half of them ain't lookin'. It's goin' on in the kitchen, but I don't know what's cookin'.
I’m guessing that most of us wouldn’t say we’re interested in money and power. Yet, if we were to take a critical approach to analysing our lives, how much time, and how many of our actions, are about acquiring and maintaining money and power? The lyrics act as a reality check for our society. We might be busy in the kitchen of our lives, but do we know what we’re cooking? Are we living on purpose, or drifting with social norms and expectations?
Taking the time to reflect, analyse and consider our priorities and actions is a tough and deliberate acion. Yet it is one of those activities which helps us to refocus our lives. The danger when we don’t do this is that our lives become a treadmill of unknowingly seeking more (but of what?) and simply drifting into the expectations of others. Life can become just a shadow of what it can be, and more a show for the benefit of others than our own wellbeing:
I guess they frontin'; that's why I know my life is out of luck, fool!
We can end up being those who are just frontin success and happiness. But if we dig deeper, or something damages our exterior shell, we know life isn’t what it could be. When we allow ourselves to fall into this pattern, not only are we not in control of our lives, but we also end up hurt:
Tell me why are we so blind to see, that the ones we hurt are you and me?
When we’re not living authentically, being ourselves in every situation and context, we are really hurting ourselves. So, whilst we may not be living the ‘gansta’ lifestyle, maybe the alternate nature of listening to another culture can help us reflect and discover an authenticity of our own.
Need some help become the most authentic you? Why not consider booking an appointment with the author, Dr Dave Wood?
Taken from the album:
Photo by Moses Vega on Unsplash
Gansta's Paradise by Coolio