“Oh tomorrow’s just a day away /
And tomorrow isn’t promised /
Where’s the fun in forever /
You gotta celebrate.” -Miguel
I’ve got a lot to celebrate! But it’s difficult to celebrate life surrounded by glares. It’s like being driven in a limo through a recession: It’s considered bad taste. No one likes to see success during misfortune. Twitter is like a virtual complaint box and Facebook walls are full of defeat. For every ten status updates I see, nine of them are rants about unhappiness. When others cry, they prefer you cry with them. Misery doesn’t do well alone. It loves company. I’m always conflicted whether to like the post or not.
So sometimes I hold back. I don’t share all of my victories. I don’t tweet all the details or Instagram all the evidence. I even withhold wins from my friends. I don’t like to be mistaken for boastful or arrogant. I can go on tour to sold out crowds across the US, change lives, make a bunch of money and not mention a word about it to my mother. When my book first came out, it was difficult discussing it with associates. I wasn’t comfortable talking solely about myself. My homies used to say I had all the women. I’d always respond, “Nah, you got it, pimpin’.” When I receive praise, I pass it right back. I downplay everything. It’s my way of keeping level and staying humble.
It’s the way I was taught. We grew up with everything we needed and then some, but you don’t go throwing that in people’s faces. There were children starving somewhere. But life throws difficulty at all of us. No one is exempt. And sometimes getting through the world’s challenges and coming out on top commands applause. Sometimes champagne is necessary and a pat on the back is earned even if a war is going on in Syria.
It took me quite sometime realize it, but it’s not selfish to be happy! I constantly pray for others and hope they come out on top, too. God’s brought me through a lot. All of my accomplishments are because of Him. When I display my joy, it’s not arrogance–it’s me giving God glory. I’m sorry that upsets you.
I once tweeted something about some great thing that happened to me and a young lady tweeted me back: “There was an earthquake in D.C. and you have the nerve to tweet about yourself?” Out of respect I didn’t respond. This column is my response.
I don’t mean to sound insensitive. When someone dies, a baby is born. There is life after death. Celebrate in between.
– Enitan Bereola, II
Bereola is the bestselling author of BEREOLAESQUE: The Contemporary Gentleman & Etiquette book for the Urban Sophisticate. He is also the go-to style & etiquette impresario and public speaker. Bereola is working on his next book, “GENTLEWOMAN: Etiquette for a Lady, from a Gentleman.” For more info, visit: Bereolaesque.com, Twitter & Facebook.