What one depressing TV show taught me about life
When I was developing this post my friend looked at me and said….”you’re REALLY about to write about Good Times” ……………Uh DUH! I mean it is the best show in the whole wide world. When I tell older folks that this is my favorite show they always give me the confused look like ‘what does this 26 year old woman know about this.’ (and if your too young you may be wondering what the show Good Times is; a popular sitcom in the 70s about a family in the projects of Southside Chicago).
Back when I had cable it was not uncommon for me to watch it faithfully every Saturday on TV Land from 10am-4pm (Yes it was Scandal type concentration don’t text or call me and don’t DARE think that I’m going to leave the house). When I started to watch it I related to it so much that I became HOOKED (yes I have all the seasons on DVD, a lunch box, T-Shirts, two autograph posters, and have met Thelma TWICE……we are pretty much best friends).
Even though I didn’t grow up in the projects, life hasn’t always been easy. Just like the show I’m the only girl with two brothers and an auntie that is always spillin’ the tea. Yeezy may have taught you but Good Times definitely showed me a thing or two.
1. Surround Yourself with Good People
The company that you keep is KEY! The Evans family always hung with some good folks. Even though Wiona was always gossiping; she gave encouragement, was dependable, pressed the family to strive to be better. When Florida moved to Arizona to be with her new husband Carl, she even kept an eye on the kids. A lot of your friends won’t watch your child for two hours…. (things that make you go hmmmmmmm).
2. Your environment is not an excuse
The Evans family lived in the projects of Southside Chicago. They were surrounded by gangs, addicts, and poverty; every element that says that you shouldn’t succeed in life. They didn’t allow their current situation to determine what they wanted to accomplish. It was not a stronghold to stay there, but the fuel to a better future. James and Florida was still determined to send their kids to college (well except for JJ, there was no hope for him). How have you been allowing your current situation to hinder your future?
By know y’all know that I love to DREAM BIG. I admire how the youngest of the Evans clan Michael, aspired to be on the Supreme Court one day. It didn’t matter that he was only 9 years old; those around him held him to that standard and didn’t allow him to fall short of his goal. They spoke greatness into his life. Why settle when you can shoot for the stars?
James was a hustla baby! (and no he wasn’t on the corner slangin’ either). He had a vision in place to take care of his family; and not under his watch was his wife going to work. He had his eye on the prize and went after it. It didn’t matter if he had to work 5 jobs; he was going to GET IT!
5. Keep the faith
If nothing else the Evans family LOVED the Lord. Current circumstances in life are way too heavy for us to carry; they prayed and had faith that God would provide for them. He showed up right on time…. EVERY time. RIGHT before an eviction the money came through ,or RIGHT when a loss of a job another opportunity came. He’s an ON TIME God oh yes he is….but first you have to have the faith that he is going to come through.
6. Take a stand
Let’s go into one of my favorite episodes, where young Michael aka the Militant Midget is the spotlight. After he expresses to his teacher that Thomas Jefferson was a racist white man; he then gets suspense from school. His father James demanded that he apologize to his teacher ,and take back what he said. But Michael wasn’t going to back down even if it meant that he was going to get the beaten of his life. Sometimes in life we have to stand up for what we believe is right even if it means that we are by our self.
7. Values are better than temporary pay off
James one day sees one of his old navy buddies on TV as an evangelist that went around America “healing” folks during revival meetings. He wanted James to join his ministry and he would be making BANK (and I already told you James was a hustla’). But there was one thing, the family found out that he was a fraud; he wasn’t really healing people but just a big act. Even though James was still considering it; it wasn’t going to fly with Florida. Did they want to install that into the kids? It doesn’t matter how you have to con to get it as long as you get it? Nah bruh. Some perks in life are not worth changing WHO you are in order to get it; no matter how GOOD it may look on the outside.
8. Find the bright spot in your dark hours
This family truly had some hard times that should have broken them. They could have soaked in their sorrow but what help would that had been? Instead they found the tinniest piece of light in every situation. All we need is a little motivation to help us keep truckin’ for another day.
9. We fall down but we get up
When I tell people that Good Times is my favorite show; I always come in contact with that one person who thinks that the show is sooooo depressing (*cough cough my linesister).
James died, JJ losing a job ONCE again or Booger trying to evict the family BUT in spite of it all they always found a way to bounce back. When Thelma was about to marry soon to be Chicago Bears signee Keith ;it was finally their time to make it out the projects. Only for BOOM Keith falls and bust his knee as he walks out the wedding ceremony. Talk about a dream deferred!
It reminds me that life will throw all types of obstacles the we NEVER see coming. But we all have options; either we can mop in our misery or wipe the tears, dust off the dirt, gather ourselves together and get back in the game! (Keith recovered on the last episode to sign a contract, JJ developed a new cartoon, Wiona got a new job, and last episode they ALL moved out the hood).
I’m pretty sure that after reading this that Good Times will now be your favorite show pretty soon (you’re welcome in advance).
Any time you meet a payment.
Any time you need a friend.
Any time you're out from under.
Not getting hastled, not getting hustled.
Keepin' your head above water,
Making a wave when you can.
Temporary lay offs.
Easy credit rip offs.
Scratchin' and surviving.
Hangin in a chow line
Ain't we lucky we got 'em
What are some lessons that you have learned from your favorite show? Feel free to drop it in the comment section!