Love Yourz (Be GRATEFUL)
By: Honey B. Baker
I have been a fan of J Cole’s music since one of his “cousins” who I went to A&T with put me onto his music during the fall semester of 2009. I liked his music because I could really relate to it. I could relate to being a college student, I could relate to coming from a small NC town, I could just flat out relate. J Cole’s music has grown with me and his music has always had some kind of impact on me because it spoke to issues I can wholeheartedly relate on. There is always at least two songs on any of his projects that make me cry and make the hairs on my arm stand on end.
However, on his last album 2014 Forest Hill Drive he probably gave me my life’s masterpiece “Love Yourz” The overarching message of the song is that we need to be grateful because there truly is no such thing as a life that is better than ours. On the chorus Cole repeats the phrase, there is no such thing as a life that’s better than yours, over and over again. The song is beautiful but the meaning of the song has really been coming into focus for me recently. I know to a lot of people that sounds like clichéd bullshit. But think about it there really is no life that is better than yours, everyone is struggling with someone even if it’s not financial it’s something.
I want a new car as a matter of fact I want to trade in my beat up 2007 Honda Civic Coupe for a brand new black 2016 Mercedes Benz CLA. This summer my AC stopped working, somebody hit the front of the car earlier this year and kept going tearing my bumper up, and it has all the war scars of a car that has been driven close to 200,000 miles up and down the East Coast and beyond. This thought was going through my mind as I was sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic in Norfolk, VA; at that moment I noticed a woman my age with her hands full as she tried to cross the street pushing a stroller, one child in her arm, and another one straggling behind. I realized even though my car isn’t sporty, new, or up-to-date it serves its function; it gets me from Point A to Point b in a reliable fashion.
In more ways than one on so many occasions I have been shown that I need to be appreciative of what I have and even though it’s not much it’s more than what a lot of people have. My car isn’t new. So what? Even if I got the CLA somebody would pull up beside me in an S Class and put me to shame.
I’m single? So what. I would rather focus on bettering myself and enjoying my own company than to be in a relationship with someone who mistreats or doesn’t appreciate me.
I’ve said all of that to say this. We will never ever truly be happy and exude joy until we are happy with what we have. Am I saying do not strive for better? Absolutely not, go for the things you want in life. What I am saying is that the measurement of our happiness should not be measured against the life of someone else. Everyone’s life has its own unique challenges; some of our challenges and obstacles are just more apparent than others. You do not know the costs that people pay to live the lifestyle they are living and what sacrifices they are making, justly or unjustly. Everyday and all your ways keep your life in perspective. Is your life perfect? No. Is my life perfect? No. Will it ever be perfect? No. However, life does not have to be perfect for us to be appreciative of it and for us to be happy.
Happiness isn’t found in material items, happiness isn’t found in a man or a woman, happiness isn’t found in a job title. No, happiness is found within us and happiness and true joy come from us loving our lives. Being in love with ourselves with our imperfections and obstacles being of no consequence.