The Infinity Groans

Imagine yourself in Thanos’ position (Avengers: Infinity War). You think that in order for the entire universe to be cleansed of negativity concerning your art, you must collect all Infinity Groans (yes, groans). You are fed up with how people treat your art form.  They aren’t appreciating its value and refuse to supply support. I’m certain that you would be willing to fix it with the snap of your fingers, causing all worries to decimate in an instance. Imagine the disapproval of all your haters disintegrating in your hands. The upside is that no more oppositions will threaten the outcome of your creativity.  The downside is…well…there’s no more opposition. How will you be challenged? What will prune you into the best you were created to be? Don’t get comfortable, comrades. Time to either replace the stones with challenges or remove the gauntlet entirely!

It’s okay to complain, but not cool to continue. When are you going to accept the fact that not everyone will gravitate towards your gift? Many won’t mimic your principals or agree with your sense of morality, let alone get on board with your choice in artistic expression. Beyoncé’s crowd will be vastly different than Kendrick Lamar’s. Fans of Lebron will vary in relation to Steph Curry. Same game, different players. If you’re not familiar with Thanos’ journey via Marvel, he’s pretty much a hungry tyrant seeking to have the universe shaped into his own preference. This includes (spoiler alert!) the soft, yet quick killing of 50% of the entire universe! This was done at a great cost, for he sacrificed something/ someone to gain what he assumed would fulfill his ultimate objective. Are you willing to go without your greatest need to receive your deepest, unnecessary longing?

Think back to when you were young. Can you imagine your parents saying yes to all the things to which they applied the answer no? Your life has been spared on many occasions concerning moments you thought should have had different outcomes. Caring can be crucial at times, but quite essential. So what if that part of town doesn’t swing through your art gallery to examine your pieces. There’s a chance that your family may provide the biggest lack in reinforcing the essence of your talent, let alone what it produces. Despite such pain caused from those closest to you, are they worth jeweling a gauntlet to disregard forever? Sorry to go all gospel on you, but what if Joseph ceased an opportunity and killed his brothers for selling him into slavery (begins in Genesis 37)? Where’s the grace and mercy? True strength and grit was displayed when Joseph was in a position of power, yet chose to utilize it to get closer to his family. The key word is opportunity. The outcome, whether good or bad, is determined by your reaction and how you choose to go about using it.

So in the words of En Vogue, “What’s it gonna be?” Are you going to collect or consider how to use what’s against you so that it works for you?  Truthfully, I can snap my fingers all day. I can tap my heels and stomp my feet, but it won’t stop others from not streaming my podcast episodes, purchasing my book of poetry once it’s produced, or attend open mics to hear me recite recent pieces. If anything, I’ll collect those moments and build my momentum. I’ll continue to produce material to share because there’s a story in what we do that needs to be told. Someone is hurting and they need our gifts to help them maintain or simply overcome. Use your gauntlet not to destroy, but to dominate your need for approval. Get it under control before it returns the instinct, causing you to make a decision you’ll regret later.

- Calvin Pennywell, Jr.