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  • Writer's pictureNate Jolley

Game from OG's (Ancestral Wisdom)

Ameni. We hope all is well for you and your tribe. Today's topic is something that I've not only reflected on recently, but is something that I am eternally grateful for as I grow and become wiser.


Anyone who has grown up either in an urban neighborhood, or has had the pleasure of listening to grandparents or older family members speak for an extended period of time knows what I'm referring to. Even though the title is purposely named to grab your attention, we all know that those who came before us have a lot of wisdom, insight, and experience to share with the younger generation should that youth be willing to listen. Although it appears this is something that is lost on the youth today, I personally appreciate and honor this type of wisdom from any of the elders and "OG's" in our community, and hopefully by the end of this blog, you will understand why.


The term "OG" means "Original Gangster" and although seemingly malicious at first, it is the way we refer to elders (mostly men) in our community that have a level of hard life experience that cannot be "made up." (sidenote: the elder women are generally just respected and revered, with no particular title unless related to us.) These elders have been through the ups and downs of life; they have survived trials and tribulations that many would deem outright "crazy" and are here to offer the lessons from these experiences. This is mimicked in business, (with more experienced people being referred to as "mentors" "coaches" and other titles based on the particular association) and is also evidenced within spiritual systems, in which we KNOW that those elders who walked the Path offer timeless lessons from their experience. This alone should make one discern who is really a "coach," "mentor" or teacher, as these titles are thrown around today so haphazardly when they should be appraoched with care and consideration.


I grew up for the most part in rural South Carolina in a place called Kingstree, specifically in a neighborhood they called "Hell-Half Acre" (and to this day, i have no idea why it was named this.) Many people in this place were used to working in fields, doing hard labor, and generally making their way through tough times. Earlier in my childhood, many kids up in these areas, and eventually they either moved or got older. A common occurrence in my neighborhood though was our elders sitting on the porch after a long day, usually drinking a beer or smoking cigarettes. Although not the "prettiest" picture, this scene laid the groundwork for many wise conversations.



As kids of course we would get in trouble and have to get reprimanded, or in many cases, have to walk past our elders when going inside the house after a day of playing, school or whatever was happening that day. In these cases, almost immediately, we were confronted with certain "adult" conversations, and oftentimes we were also confronted with ANYTHING (and i mean anything) that was deemed "off" by the elders. Looking back, I have learned more about relationships, money, business, work ethic and more from these conversations than ANY so-called coach or teacher. Coming home late was not an option or even deemed appropriate until we got older and even then there were questions as to the "why." School was important, as it was a way to not repeat the mistakes of the elders, and be granted opportunities in life (from their perspective.) As a man, i was also taught to be mindful of women, as to not have many children, or end up in precarious circumstances due to said women. Respect was VITAL, and lack of it resulted in punishment. Being Mindful of how we spent the money we made, as well as being able to help within and around the community was a integral part of growing up. And since everyone in the neighborhood knew each other, everyone knew what was going on with each others' family members (which sometimes resulted in gossip, but generally it was for safety.)


This blog post became longer than i intended, but reading close you see certain themes: family, loyalty, community, respect (regardless of who did what) Love, Intelligence and even more topics that would make this post even longer. In closing, our ancestors, loved ones and elder community members ALL have something to share with us, and those who were (and are) listening are given wisdom that has helped tremendously in the life and world we live in today. Hopefully this helps you remember the wisdom of your OG's, the "Uncle on the Porch" or whomever has offered you timeless wisdom as a mentor or teacher.


Mediates on this today. Ameni.





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