Notorious B.I.G. had a saying/song that became a big slogan in the mid 90s of “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems”. The whole idea of the statement is that the more money you acquire the problems you will acquire as well because of what people expect from you because of the acquisition of money/success. This hip hop moniker is something that not only holds true for the people around you but also for yourself. All of those things we see in this world aren’t what they seem to be. We wish and want so many things but at what cost are we willing to get those things. Do we really even want what we think we want? One of the things I have known but began to understand more everyday is that everything that glitters isn’t gold and that many of us are caught up in our own hype.
In 1975 Berry Gordy produced and directed the cult classic Mahogany starring Diana Ross and Billy Dee Williams. This movie was not only known for the many mishaps to get the project being completed. The movie brought some interesting life principles and questions to the forefront of movie goers. The movie surrounds and up and coming fashionista and designer Tracy (Ross) who zooms from the slums of Chicago to the highest level of the fashion game in Rome. She does everything any woman can dream of she is the toast of the fashion world, has money, and has millions of people adoring her but amongst this climb to the top she lost who she was, her friends, and her man Brian(Williams). Tracy got caught up in believing her own hype was bigger than the people who have always loved her and supported her the most.
One of the pivotal scenes in the film is where Billy Dee Williams character Brian checks Tracy (Ross) for her personality and life changing. Tracy begun to get so caught up into this “dream” of hers that she never was able to see the difference between her needs and her wants. She didn’t realize that what life was showing her that the cost of everything you she wanted was the byproduct of losing what she needed. Brian tells her in classic Billy Dee swag “Let me tell you something, and don’t you ever forget it: that success is nothing without someone you love to share it with!”
Tracy would go on to realize that all the things she believed meant everything she could dream of didn’t do anything for her because she didn’t have anyone around her to share in the happiness. She realized the world she was in was too turbulent to navigate especially without the support of those who loved her.
Many of us are living and wishing our lives to be one way at all costs to ourselves and those around us. Like I wrote before “Be Careful What You Wish For” and what we feel like we want. We sometimes look at someone else’s life and become envious for what they have but many times they we never know what they could be going through even though it seems all good on the outside. Just because you achieve certain things in life be it money, family, relationship, etc. doesn’t mean that you have this whole game of life figured out. Many times it feels that people feel that aesthetic success will make all of those holes of their life dissipate. The funny thing about life is that if we do are not actively searching to understand ourselves and who we are success will not make us better it make us always want more because we will never be satisfied with the now.
They say money changes you, but that is the farthest thing from the truth. Money doesn’t change you, it just makes you more of what you already are. As the theme song of Mahogany describes do you really like the things that life is showing you, do you even know where you are going? Just because you are moving doesn’t mean you are going anywhere. Personal and spiritual growth goes hand in hand with everything other success as well. We have to understand who we are or we will get caught up in the glitz and glamour and never really are able to get a place where we are truly happy. I ask you then to check how much of your own hype are you believing in?Check out The Dragon's Lexicon.