So this is about what I owe you. All of you.
It’s happened not so much as a conscious or deliberate choice as much as it’s happened as a ‘this is how I choose to live my life’ choice, but I’ve built a big part of my adult reputation as a goofy, devil may care, don’t get stressed about anything, lust filled manchild. And that is who I am. But I’m more than that too. A lot more.
People who knew me as a teenager would tell you I was a stone cold, thoughtful, ambitious, driven, focused boy with revolutionary plans to change the world. That’s who I am too, most of you know that. But that side has spent more time in the shadows. Not because I was going out of my way to hide it. Just wasn’t turned on as much as the other side (with all necessary puns intended). Recent events have certainly changed things.
Not just what we’ve all been watching on the news for what feels like the past couple of years. Last week I talked about what it means when we give up more of our private identities. In my personal case, coming out of my shell (in real life and in the Matrix) has drawn me into this moment in my life where I’ve put myself on the radar of a lot of people I look up to and respect: politicians and community activists, film and TV stars, film and music geeks, hip hop legends, ‘concerned world citizens’ like myself. You add these people on top of my family and friends (who always come first), and the numerous mentors, past and present, who have invested in me, and that (human) need to validate the people who believe in what I am now and what I can potentially become in the near future is very, very strong right now.
I don’t forsee this as anything overly planned or rigid (like ‘Sunday is the day of the week where Malik doesn’t act silly’). I do see giving more (or maybe better said, ‘as much’) time to the critically thinking, socially conscious, politically aware adult. Writing or telling jokes is not a skill everyone has, neither is writing or delivering a well thought out opinion on a serious topic where people who don’t necessarily agree with you at least can see your point of view and the logic of how you got there. I can do both of these things, quite well.
And I owe it to my allies to bring my complete skill set on a more consistent basis.