Ever come from a place that many people did not make it out of? How about arriving at a place in life, that some around you never got to see? This explains the phenomena of “survivor’s remorse.”
More and more African-American millennials are graduating college and embarking on the profession journey on their dreams. But what happens when those millennials come from a place where many people falter or live below the poverty line? Too often, some of those same kings and queens feel unworthy of their level of success.
Kendrick Lamar is no stranger to these feelings. The Compton rapper has always been vocal about his mental and emotional feelings, using interviews and intricately penned rhymes as his outlet. Compton has been long understood as a place that carries a reputation for its tough demeanor. Lamar has glided across many beats to lyrically detail the experiences of friends and family that never made it to see Lamar as one of the greatest rappers available.
In an MTV interview with hip-hop journalist, Rob Markman, Lamar was brutally honest about his struggle with depression and survivor’s remorse. Lamar admitted:
“It’s definitely survivor’s guilt, a lot of the album has that survivor’s guilt,” Lamar proclaimed. “How can I be a voice for all these people around the world and can’t reach them like I want to? And they’re the closest to me? That’s a trip.
“And when I was on that tour bus and things is happening back home in my city or in my family that I can’t do nothing about; it’s out of my control, I put it in God’s hands,” he continued. “I couldn’t understand that. And that can draw a thin line between you having your sanity and you losing it. This is how artists deteriorate if you don’t catch yourself.”
In 2013, BlackYouthProject found that an estimated 43.1% of African-American high school graduates actually go on to a four-year college, vocational, or graduate school. Following goals and dreams is never an easy task, let alone making it through obstacles to purely follow passion and purpose. Millennials, make no excuse for the fruits of your labor. Know that you worked hard and deserve everything good thing that comes your way. Keep in mind that your success is never yours to guard selfishly, give back as much as your can. It is your duty to pass on your words of wisdom and lessons learned.
The same way that Lamar is sometimes remorseful of his success, many college-educated and/or professionally successful millennials know these feelings all too well.
Whenever you start to feel regretful about your own success, remember the words of Kendrick Lamar, “We Gon Be Alright!”