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His image in his daughter's eyes


4:44 is Shawn Carter's therapeutic moment. Self-reflection
and growth are heavy in his new album.
His daughter was born. The image he had of himself began to fall away, being replaced by the image she had of him. Were his actions meeting her standards? Probably not. Did his decisions change the way she saw him? Probably.

What's a daddy to a little girl? A superhero. Her first love. The strongest man in the world. The lens through which she sees all men.

But what becomes of him in her eyes, when his actions seem more like a villain?

I am a fan of storytelling and poetry. As Tupac once said (paraphrasing), Rap is merely poetry set to a beat...without the beat, the poetry would still be there... It just seems that these days, the poetry and storytelling are gone and without the beat, there would be nothing.

The other day, I listened to Kill Jay-Z, on Shawn Carter's latest album: "4:44". Carter said he began writing it when he was snapped out of sleep at 4:44 a.m.  I have had those kinds of wakeful moments in the middle of the night, so I understand.

In Kill Jay-Z, Carter confesses that the thought of losing his family and ultimately losing superhero status to his daughter compelled him to kill his id. ("The id is the impulsive (and unconscious) part of our psyche which responds directly and immediately to the instincts."-Simply Psychology) Carter did not want to remain the villain.
"You remind me of my father, a magician ... able to exist in two places at once. In the tradition of men in my blood, you come home at 3 a.m. and lie to me. What are you hiding?"- Intuition: Lemonade
I've known many men who lived in this duality of existence that Beyonce speaks of in "Lemonade". They believed that they could be terrible husbands, but great fathers. They chose to marry but continued carrying on as though they were single. Commitment to fatherhood was boasted while commitments to their wives were left in shambles. 

Parents lay the foundation for future behaviors, but your
growth into adulthood means making the best decisions
regardless of your grooming/rearing.
screen capture from Black and Married With Children
Back to Carter. You might ask, "How was he a villain?" In the title track 4:44, Carter confessed to the multiple women he had on the side, the times of feeding his selfishness while doing women wrong, being emotionally unavailable, and not being there as his woman suffered through stillbirths. A man who causes mommy pain is a villain in his daughter's (and son's) eyes. (Before you go there...I'm only dealing with men in this post...I know women cause pain as well.)

Mommy is the warm place, the place of peace and nurturing for most children. When mommy grows cold, bitter and broken, her babies suffer.

Daughters learn from mommy that you can be cold, bitter and broken but "in love" anyway.
Sons learn that you can inflict coldness, bitterness, and brokenness but you should be loved anyway. These aren't good lessons.

Most good dads want their daughters treated well. So how can a man who wants his daughter to be treated well, treat women so poorly? Most times, they do not connect the dots. I knew a lady who was seeing a particular guy whom would speak to her any kinda way. One day, we were all at the same place at the same time, and he opened his mouth to spew venom at her, and I said wait a minute. Not today!

I asked him, how he could speak to her so ill, when he had a daughter himself. This fool says to me, "Well...she ain't my daughter!"

Men tend to compartmentalize. (Read about men and compartmentalization, in this book.) So, to this clown, the way he treated women had no impact on how he treated his daughter. What he did not get is that it is not enough that your daughter not see you treat women poorly, she has to actually see you treat women well.

For you to remain a hero, your daughter has to see you put light into the eyes of a woman she admires. She has to see you be a protector. She has to see you provide.

Being a daddy is heavy work. You can be the bridge to your daughter's happiness or the staircase descending to her pain.


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