Life’s Lessons: Life on The Road In Detroit


Out in the deep of the most depressed city in America, I am well acquainted with those that lost hope in themselves and their community.  Detroit, Michigan is ground zero for the Black Struggle.  

- by George X Lampkin, on the road in Detroit, Michigan

In a world of twistedness and conflicting messages, a person can get oneself lost in a maze of confusion.  It is one thing to say “I am on the straight and narrow path, right now,” and it is another thing to feel fully engage in the process.  It’s hard to hold true to being on the path of the straight and narrow.  It takes hard work to maintain focus, while walking among the darkness of this world.  

People are constantly showing themselves as being lovers of themselves.  They forsake the world of peace for living a fun-filled life in the rough and tumble of this world.  

So, is it practical to live our lives pursuing the righteous life in a world filled with so many distractions; whose evils are fair-seeming?  Can we find the steady peace of mind we seek, in this lifetime?  Can we live in harmony with those who live in darkness?  I know we can, but it won’t be easy.

Don’t confuse peace of mind with spaced-out sensitivity.  A truly peaceful mind is very sensitive, in the moment, very aware. 

The path to lasting peace can exist when we quiet the mind.  This process of quieting the mind allows us to see far into the future.  For instance, I have had so many people ask me questions, seeking advice.  I have learned to resist the urge to give advice, because very few people really want it.  Most people have already made up their own minds, and what they are looking for is permission to go ahead and do what they have already decided to do.  Some are sincere and those few people, I open up and give my advice.  

I have found that people who need advice are those that find themselves in an uncalm state.  It’s important to get rid of the chattering voices in our minds.  Oft-times, people seek advice from various sources, as their opinions and advices are oft-times conflicting and never of the same spirit.  When we seek advice from people, we have to remember that people come with their own baggage of experiences and biases.  They seek to impose on us their own experience(s) about what we seek.  

To spiritually unfold ourselves, we must find calm and centerness!

We must confront ourselves!  When we find fault with ourselves and face overcoming our problems, we oft-times blame our faults on others and we run away.  People talk about enlightenment and they read about it.  This is not enough to reach the peace we seek.  This is not good enough if we seek to walk the true path of righteousness.  We must bring our entire mind into focus with the divine.  

We have to struggle hard to go deep within ourselves.  For within us are some hard truths about ourselves.  We have to face the demons and the dragons that dwell within us.  We have to resist this tendacy to say, “I shall do this and/or that and this!”  Then, because we had this REACTION over something, our enthusiasm died; we forgot the idea(s) and ran off onto something else.  This is typical of so many people.  

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I was asked yesterday, why can’t we spiritually unfold until we learn to give and give until it hurts?  Many people have this stoping point of giving.  People oft-times qualify their giving.  Some people evolve within themselves to give little things, even advice or two.  Some are forever looking for ways to give of themselves, because they know that giving to others is to give back to themselves.  

The individual who has a heart filled with peace and joy, even if that person doesn’t have material possessions to speak of, always finds something to give; that person gives what he/she has.  When we offer up ourselves, we must be mindful that it is the spirit of God within us that gives and offers.  


Homeless men eats lunch at the 'Capuchin Soup Kitchen,' where hundreds of people receive food and supplies everyday, here in Detroit, Michigan.

When we find peace and calmness, our intuition is heightened to a very powerful degree.  We soon have this ability to penetrate our attention on our inner-mind; breaking down the walls of our subconscious mind.  We can clear up the old negative patterns of thinking and behaving.  We can disrupt the old reactionary patterns, as we set out to reprogram thoroughly our fundamental and basic beliefs about ourselves and the world at large.  

It is our experiences that we live in.  When the experience(s) comes to an end, we oft-times live in them for years and years.  We get stuck in the past.  Sometimes, we find ourselves living in a hellish existance because some past expereinces are tramatic in nature.

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A homeless family here in Detroit waits for housing assistance.  As of 2011, 46 million people in the United States lived in poverty.

There is no real harmony in living with those who live in darkness.  What is important to realize here is that we all grow at different levels; at any given time.  We must decide for ourselves if we are going to walk with others in their path to realization.  It’s a choice.  However, we can still find some level of peace if we separate ourselves from the chatter and madness; sitting in a private (quiet) place and commune with the Creator.  This must be practiced several times per day; everyday.  We must pray for those that we love; to inspire the universe to help our love ones find their awakening moment.  This is what I call ‘I am my Brother’s Keeper.”  This slogan is well known, but I choose to apply it in situations like this. 


Allah created Man to be the ‘Vicegerent' of Allah on earth (The Holy Qur’an, 2:30). He has given us more than we need yet inequality still exists. Because of greed and the love for dunya (worldly matter), the rich become richer and the poor become poorer. It has been stated in the Qur'an that all the bad things that have been happening to us have been preordained by Allah. Perhaps some of you are taking negatively about it and some, positively. I believe Allah created the hardships to us as means of elevating us and removing our sins. Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, "We believe", and that they will not be tested? We did test those before them, and God will certainly will know those who are true from those who are false. (The Holy Qur’an, 29:2-3) Remember, we are sent to this world with a purpose, i.e to worship Allah.

Evil appears fair-seeming by those with weeker minds.  Those who lack consciousness will see evil as good.  Those who see evil for what it is, is considered closed-minded and rigid.  The fair-seeming world of evil is proliferating all throughout the earth; in many cultures and civilizations.  There are places in the world where nations are pushing back the influences of do-whatever-you-want-to-do attitudes.  They see a decline in their societies moral and ethical tone-scales.  

My thoughts in this area is becoming strong as I travel the streets and roads of Detroit, Michigan.  At night, I see young under-age girls flagging down cars looking for an opportunity to make a few dollars to buy grocery for themselves and their family.  Such young girls walk around looking like Rihanna and Beyonce; with long weaves and tight fitting clothes to arouse their potential customers.  This is so shameful to watch, but the fair-seeming world of evil has got them trapped in their minds.  

If one is to survive in this fair-seeming world of evil, one must possess a spirit of revolution and fight.  The Holy Qur’an tells us in Surah 2:216, "Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it.  But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not." 

To fight the most important evil that exist is to fight the forces of evil that exist within us.  This is the great weapon being used against us, today.  The enemy knows all to well just how to cripple us.  He is there inside our minds, destroying our wills, our self-esteem and self confidence.  The enemy’s work is subtle and yet very effective.  We must fight hard against such tactics; as we reinforce our minds with the thinking that God made us in the image of himself, and we are his Beloved People.  

Fight the enemy!  Love God and obey his commandments!  Help the poor and free the captives! Consider those that live in Christ and struggle against the forces of darkness!

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