Ya Aight?

Are you familiar with this phrase? It’s usually asked when someone sees you sinking into your chair with your head down, asking are you okay in a way that’s more familiar to you. Most of us are used to hearing people ask you good, depending on where you live. Seriously though, are you okay? Has anyone asked you that lately? As an artist, we can get so caught up in our art that it overshadows how we really feel. Most of us can express our passions in such a way that it’s difficult to show any signs of depression and anxiety. Being asked ya aight is someone’s way of popping your bubble, stepping inside your space and letting you know how much they care.

I recently read an article about a pastor in Chino, California who attempted to take his own life. He ended up on life support, passing away afterwards. He was only 30 –years- old. Despite his case, asking him if he was okay probably did more good than harm. It hurts seeing that death appears to be the best exit out of any situation. Many would prefer to it as a copout, but others, an understandable decision. We never want things to get that bad, but what if they do? That’s why it’s important that we know that you’re alright.  

When I was a teenager, my mom was able to tell whether or not I had a bad day. It all started with, how was your day? She was concerned about me not just because I was her son, but because she cared. We all have an innate impulse to care. Most of us rather befriend a pet than an actual person, but we still care. We have the natural tendency to love. Whether someone can offer us anything or not, receiving isn’t always the best option. We should be quick to give.  Being of service is a nonstop way of living, whether you do it for eight hours behind a desk or for sixteen as a parent to a child. Someone with mental weight on their shoulders needs help either carrying it or having it removed. It all starts with a question: Are you okay?

If you can, take an assessment of your life. What is it that’s consuming most of your energy? Is it a relationship, your career, inconsistency in finances, or fear of the unknown? Put one of them to the side and challenge yourself to function without it. If your job is stressing you out, quit! If your relationship is draining you, deuces! Leave them alone! Believe it or not, we need you. Your audience and fans appreciate what you do because it’s providing a service. It’s helping fill voids we have within ourselves. Preserving your life helps preserve ours. Have you ever considered that? I know I’m asking a lot of questions, but I have to because maybe…maybe someone isn’t asking you if you’re okay. I hope you’re doing well, my friend. Your spot on this planet is more valuable than you think. Your footprints are more than carbon. They are spots of light, granting others the opportunity to see, be led, and pursue opportunities to create light for others.

- Calvin Pennywell, Jr.