Don’t Drive Today with Yesterday’s Maps

March 12, 2009

Places change. I know, obvious statement, right? Every sane person would readily acknowledge that the country, state, and town in which they live has changed from what it was 150 years ago or even 5 years ago. So imagine, if you will, a person who insisted on traveling about the state using a map and visitors guide from, say, 1952. They are frustrated when Sycamore Street dead ends in an overgrown field.  When the gas station is boarded up, they are confused.  They are utterly confused when the restaurant where they had planned on stopping for lunch turns out to be a small library.

When they ask you for some insight, you take a look at their materials and say, “Here’s your problem!  Somebody gave you an old map and visitor’s guide.”  You point to a cute brick building across the street.  “The Visitor’s Center is right over there.  They have updated maps, and there’s a sandwich shop in there as well so you can get something to eat.”

“No thanks,” they respond.  “This map has been in my family for years.  It’s perfectly good.”

“But, you’re having a hard time finding anything.  That map is old and alot has changed.” 

“No it hasn’t.  I must just be holding it wrong.  Thanks anyway.”

And you watch them walk away slowly, rotating the map and scratching their heads.

You would call such a person crazy.  After all, only an insane person would insist on using badly outdated maps to get around.

I feel much the same when I see black women holding on to outdated ideas.  (Well, anyone really, but I’m talking about black women today)

The world has changed, sistas.  It is not 1860 or 1920 or 1966.  Rub the sleep from your eyes, clean your glasses, push aside your bangs. 

See the world as it is today, not as it was yesterday.

If not, you will be the one wandering around, dazed and confused.

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