One thing about the millennials, they do not play about money or status. If you don’t look like you have a lot going on, they will tell you that you have fallen off. “Getting to the bag”, “securing the bag”, and “do not fumble the bag” are all expressions that have been embedded into our day-to-day language. Blue check verification and how many social media followers you have taken precedent before anything.
It’s all about who is the most poppin’ and what people can do for you. It feels like things that used to matter to us as a people—like family, womanhood, relationships—are fading, and I have a major problem with that.
I live in Los Angeles, and I am telling y’all right now it cost to breathe out here. I really thought my Ramen noodle and frozen fish stick days were behind me, but LA has a way of humbling you real quick. Anyways, whenever I miss the opportunity to make a dollar here or there, I feel like it sets me back decades. We know the saying, “Money can’t buy you happiness,” but I have learned neither can poverty! I say all that to say, I understand money is important, and we should value the dollar. However my problem is people tend not to care about anything else. I mean, if it comes down to it, people will sell themselves out of their own dignity for a bunch of likes on social media. Some will literally step on their friends’ necks, as long as it looks like there’s a better opportunity for them.
I was watching Black Mafia Family (BMF) on Starz, and in one of the latest episodes Ms. Flenory’s neighbor and longtime trusted friend Mable Jones (played by Christine Horn) had an affair with Mrs. Flenory’s husband. Y’all this scene was a huge cringe for me because the mistress, Mable Jones, would go over to Ms. Flenory’s house to use her pots and pans! Ms. Flenory even offered to pray for Mable just because that was the type of woman she was. Ms. Flenory had no clue that the woman she was praying for was sleeping with her husband. What bothered me so much was that Mable Jones was willing to risk her friendship and sisterhood all for a man that was not even committed to her. Once Ms. Flenory found out about the affair, she severed her sisterhood with Mable Jones.
I know the show is fiction, but real friends—especially praying friends—are extremely hard to find. I would never risk a solid sisterhood because I know the value of relationships. I do not know where I would be without most of my sisters. I remember when I lost a contract for my job due to an app crashing. I called my sisters day in and day out just for reassurance because mentally it was too much to bear. Don’t y’all know my sisters picked up every single phone call? I had to call at least 500 times in a matter of three weeks, not only because I am extra, but I needed to regain my confidence. My sisters helped me pick my face up off the floor, so I could keep pressing on. Their friendship was essential to regaining the confidence I needed to solidify another contract. Sisterhood is one of the sole reasons behind most of my successes.
While I was writing this piece, I felt inclined to reach out to actress Christine Horn who plays Mable Jones on BMF to get her thoughts on sisterhood. I love interviewing entertainers on these subjects for a deeper perspective. During the interview, I asked Christine how important sisterhood is to her. She responded with conviction, “Sisterhood is a sacred bond, a safe incubator of trust, vulnerability, and unconditional love. You get the ability to be your true authentic self, accepted as you are, and knowing you are not alone in the world.”
I asked what she learned from the portrayal of her character Mable Jones. Christine responded with some powerful words, “Mable lacks self-love, and because of the lack of self-love, she sabotaged her own life.”
I am so glad I interviewed Christine Horn because it amplified my point of how valuable relationships are. You cannot find a safe space to always be authentic. You cannot possibly depend on the world to have your back like a solid, healthy relationship can. With Ms. Flenory for a friend, Mable Jones didn’t have to worry about running out or going without. But she was willing to sabotage all of what money can’t even buy.
The fact of the matter is that money and status are important to one’s survival; those resources can influence what opportunities are obtainable in this country. I can’t even argue this fact. But what they won’t tell you is that relationships are more important to one’s survival and success in this country because when the money runs out, relationships will help prosper you. If only people treated their relationships with as much care as they do their bank accounts, we would all be in a better place.
How important have platonic and romantic relationships been to your professional success?