How the Ruthless Streets Created a Poet

On Monday night, a young man who calls himself an “unsigned artist” on Clubhouse was in a room (similar to a chat) with me and 250 others.

The topic was speaking with confidence

The man raised his hand, asking for feedback on a poem about the ruthless streets and people he’s known all his life.  

Clubhouse is an audio-only app, so everyone in the room could only hear this man’s voice.

A deep baritone enveloped with the thickness of the streets. 

His avatar was a logo; we had no idea what he looked like.  

We went merely by the sound of his voice, his mumbled words, his quick cadence.

It was nearly impossible to understand his words.

He raced awkwardly through his poem and asked for feedback.

He apologized for sounding “so ghetto."

One of the moderators on stage with me asked him respectfully to slow down, enunciate and recite the poem again.🎤

He did.  

The feedback came in heaps of praise and love for this young man who talked about why he’s so unsure—even embarrassed—about himself.

Others on the stage commended him for being open to constructive criticism.

He accepted their loving advice on how to sound more confident so he could deliver his words with more clarity and depth.

Then, we heard a flood of emotions as the man’s voice began to break with soft unyielding sobs.   ❤❤

You could hear a pin drop.

The man cried to hundreds of complete strangers about what led him to this moment.

About why he felt so damn sad.

About how he never felt as though he had a voice.  

We praised his poem and encouraged him to speak up; to use his voice for good.

To be proud because someone else needed to hear his beautiful words.  

A few folks in the room suggested he surround himself with successful people on Clubhouse to keep learning and improving.

And we told him that his message is one of hope, not sadness.

Then I remembered a study that found children laugh an average of 300 times a day.

Adults, however, laugh just 20 times a day.

I unmuted myself, shared the statistics and asked:  

Where did our joy go?🙄

I reminded folks that we must surround ourselves with uplifting and encouraging people.

Funny TV shows.

Comics and cartons that make us smile.

Look, the world can be brutal.  

We need to laugh more.

And with that, the Clubhouse room moderator invited the 30 people on stage with me to unmute ourselves and 🤣laugh out loud together.🤣

A show of solidarity and support for a fellow human being.

And so we did.

Together, we roared with deep belly laughs that were beyond contagious.

We laughed.

And laughed.

And laughed.  

And so did the man with the poem. 👈

Follow me on Clubhouse: @SueYoungMedia

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