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HomeNewsLocal newsThe Lounge | A Column for Men: Keep it 100

The Lounge | A Column for Men: Keep it 100

In his biweekly column, Langley Shazor speaks to issues important to men within the territory.

Much of what we have talked about and will continue to talk about here at The Lounge revolves around accountability. Simply put, this is us taking responsibility for our actions, choices, and our role in our lives. If we are to become the men (and women) that we are called to be, we can no longer place the blame solely on others. During Andrew Hairston’s keynote address at the B.A.D. Fitness and Health Seminar, he stated that accountability doesn’t absolve the other person, but puts into perspective the part you had to play in whatever has happened.

I will continue to reiterate that it takes courage to take a hard, honest, uncensored look at yourself. Most of us do not want to even acknowledge, let alone admit, our faults. Even though you are not your failures, you are a product of your choices. Again, the good news is that you can change the story. That story, like all of ours, will see the dissolution of relationships and the introduction of new characters. What type of people that continue to be in your circle says as much about you as it does about them.

I may be showing my age here, but I grew up with the phrase “Keep it 100”. I am sure there is some new variation of it that today’s youths use, but it means to both be true to who you are and be honest with others. When we talk about circles and cages, wardens or liberators, we are talking about your sphere of influence. In this sphere, you influence others and are influenced by them. Take a mental inventory of the types of people you have around and how they are impacting you. Are they pushing you to be better, or holding you hostage to a version of you that no longer fits your direction?

We all have people whose life choices are not leading them down the correct path. Keeping it 100 means that we hold them accountable for how they are destroying their lives and the lives around them. I have seen people who will cosign or agree with someone even when that person is wrong. They will “go along to get along” to salvage friendships or business partnerships or to not look like the bad guy. The problem is that you are the company you keep and guilty by association is a real thing. Those on the outside of your life will derive an opinion of you without ever interacting with you. They will draw this conclusion purely from the people they observe you with. If you want to be better, you must make the people around you better. If they are not interested in growing, you must leave them where they are.

Your life is your own and you only live once. The account we give at the end of our lives will be an account of only our lives. It won’t matter what someone else told you to do, or what they said about you. It won’t matter that they were making poor decisions, what will matter is that you went along with them. What will matter is that you didn’t try to stop it or remove yourself. This is keeping it 100. If a person’s behavior goes against what you know to be right (based on your moral and ethical compass) you have an obligation to check them. I am not saying go out and be a bully and tell strangers what to do. We have enough of that happening on social media, from the church, and other platforms. I am speaking exclusively about your inner circle, your boys (or girls), the “ride or die, A1 from day 1’s”. These people deserve you to be 100 with them.

Ignorance can no longer be an excuse and negligence can no longer be the standard operation. Those who do not respect your growth are bound to sabotage it. Those whom you do not care enough to help make you a manipulator and an opportunist. In either case, without serious, substantial, and sustainable changes, everyone becomes collateral damage, and the cycle continues. We are our brothers (and sisters) keepers, and we have a mandate to see them become the best versions of themselves. How can you call a person your boy if you let him destroy everything he touches, including yourself? How can you consider yourself a “real one” if you can’t be honest about anything?


Langley “Casual-Word” Shazor is a poet, author, publisher, entrepreneur, public speaking coach, podcast host, and pastor who is an advocate for youth and men. His goal is to enlighten, empower, and liberate those who are silenced, marginalized, and enslaved to self-destructive thoughts and behaviors.

Visit www.thecasualword.com.


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