What people see, hear and feel can influence whether they behave in a way that is detrimental to society or uplifting. Seeing kids sagging their pants, speaking with foul language and being disrespectful to their peers and to adults is something that needs to be avoided.
Is it the lyrics that they listen to that has made them act this way? Are the videos of bad behavior they watch to blame? Or are they getting the wrong idea of whom their role models should be?
Shareef Nasir has always been not only interested in what he sees going on in society today but also in how these behaviors have happened throughout history.
Shareef was a high school teacher where young people came from under-represented areas. The experience was very eye opening for him.
“It was both challenging and rewarding. Our young people are constantly bombarded with images and substances that remove them from reality and place them in a vulnerable state to be exploited by big businesses,” he said.
“I believe the inner city youth has a very unique history and specific problem that needs a unique educational program that can offset present challenges.”
Shareef to created a film titled “The Evolution of the Nation of Islam” that spoke about the chronicles of the creation, rise and evolution of a once-separatist movement into one that embraces universal humanity.
During this process, Shareef realized that the challenges of present-day society are grounded in a history of human triumphs and tragedies. Malcolm X spoke about these societal disasters in his speeches and interviews.
“I quickly realized that the attacks he (Malcolm X) received were not grounded in an understanding of what he was trying to achieve nor was it an honest evaluation by his critics,” said Shareef.
This sparked his intrigue to figure out why such misinformation that was being told. “I wanted to understand why he was deemed a hate monger and violent. Thus, I began a closer examination of who he was and the circumstances behind his murder,” said Shareef.
“I saw that this was a remarkable man with a very extraordinary mind to understand people and culture in America and how the American way of life was connected to the world. Sometimes, that did not form the most pleasant of relationships,” said Shareef.
There have been multiple changes of perception in society, altering what is being said and understood. Shareef noticed the miscommunication that is being presented to the public, which can negatively impact how people behave.
The past has passed and it is now time for us all to progress through happiness, love and positivity.