I love Kevin Hart.
From the Chocolate Droppa mixtape to “My mom told me to tell you!”
I can’t get enough.
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing his show, twice, while at IUP (yes, he really is the tiniest man in the world) and he’s my go to when I need a self-care day.
So you can imagine how excited I was when my Pastor made a Kevin Hart reference in church the other day. This is just one of many perks of being part of a culturally-relevant Christian community within the community, designed to transform the community. My Pastor is a regular human being, who apparently indulges in Hart Therapy, while still living for and doing the work of God. That let’s me know, as a Kevin Hart enthusiast, that there is a place for me in the House of the Lord.
On December 3, 2016, my Pastor shared the Gospel of Kevin Hart:
How timely, as we enter into the Christmas season, that has been hijacked by Capitalists, tricking us into feeling as if we must buy the love of those who are special to us. Of course, those greedy Capitalists don’t reserve this terrorist attack to one holiday; this cancer has spread to every aspect of our AmeriKKKan lives.
Prior to addressing the theme of the day – anger issues- my Pastor made a quick sidebar and addressed Black folks obsession with being ghetto rich. You know what I’m talking about. But if you don’t, let my homies, the Big Tymers, explain:
Pastor Morton went on to share how God is never impressed by what we have and so eloquently described how we attempt to impress people that we don’t even f* with.
To be fair, he didn’t say “f*,” I just needed an excuse to say “p.s. Sorry for the language, Grammy.” [Sorry, Doc!]
The Gospel of Kevin Hart – probably one of those books that didn’t make it into the Bible- says, “Thou shall live within their means.”
Don’t get me wrong, there ain’t nothing wrong with getting Dougie, if you have Dougie money… but if you’re only getting Dougie to stunt on someone else with the Dougie money you don’t even have, what’s the point?
This message is relevant for all people but I can’t stress the importance of this message for the Black community. You see, we – Black folk- give our money to the same people and systems that oppress us.
That needs to stop. Like yesterday.
According to the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth, Black buying power is expected to reach $1.4 trillion by 2020.
Imagine what we could do for our community if we invested even half of that money into our communities. See, I wasn’t greedy. I left half of that money for you to get Dougie with!
Imagine what we could do for our churches, schools and black-owned businesses. I think we could create the utopia I, and many others, dream of for our Black and Brown sisters and brothers.
It’s about time for us to declare our New Year Resolution(s).
I challenge you to think about the financial decisions you’ll make in 2017. Maybe it’s a vow to buy Black, start or increase your contribution into a child’s college fund, to become a dedicated tither (that’s one of my resolutions) or to decrease your desire to get Dougie and stunt on the person you hate.
I encourage you to make your resolution a resolutions (plural) by including an economic-related aspiration.
Without really trying, I’ve managed to decrease my expenses to 50% of my net income. As a child of a hoarder with a shopping addiction, I’m proud of this. I know exactly what it means to “live beyond your means,” and I want to break that cycle. I want to, as my Pappy says, “Live below your means” so that I can actually enjoy the life God has given me while also doing my part to ensure the collective success and well-being of my community.
In 2017, I want to increase my cheapness; take it to the next level. I’m sure my family is thinking, “How is that even possible,” because my butt is C-H-E-A-P-. I’m talking, ‘go out to dinner with my family and ordering a free side of ranch and BBQ sauce because I only intend on eating the food that I know they’ll throw away at the end of the meal’ type of cheap. I won’t go full blown Extreme Cheapskate… maybe… but I will try to see if I can decrease my expenses to 45% of my net income. Yes, that’s an appropriate and realistic goal.
What’s your New Year Resolution(s)? More importantly, what’s your plan to stick with and accomplish it? I want to know.
Until then, enjoy another Gospel of Kevin Hart:
“Thall shall not force relationships. Let go and let God.”
Genesis 2:18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
p.s. To my Delawareans looking to make an economic related resolution, I’d encourage you to utilize a great community resource- The Money School in Claymont. The Money School offers free (my favorite word) financial education classes and financial literacy resources.