Recently, on the heels of a fatal hip hop shooting, we published an article encouraging young men to stop and think before taking the life of another. Stop and think. But just what should one think about? And who should we be thinking like? Well there are thousands of useful sources we could draw inspiration from. For the sake of convenience, we narrowed it down to three books. These extremely powerful pieces of non-fictitious literature combine some of the more applicable ways of thinking to help organize our frustrations and convert them into usable energies.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X:
These brutally honest memoirs of the legendary leader carry an aura of impenetrable truth. There isn't a soul on the planet who wouldn't benefit from the candid confessions. The memory and detail alone are enough to give the reader a wondrous adventure. But Malcolm delves deep into his own soul as he confronts his own mistakes and successes. He wrestles with and ultimately overcomes his racially biased nature, his misuse of women, drug abuse and a self-destructive path. He came out the other side scarred from the battle but a better man because of it. Internally and externally, we are always one horn blow away from war.
The Art of War
This book is a collection of in-war principles. World-renowned and timeless, Sun Tzu's work is wholly applicable outside of military engagement as we always stand on the precipice of individual conflict. We asked that our young men think before shooting... However, we'd be suspiciously naïve if we didn't acknowledge the existence of opposition. In order to keep from being consumed by evils, we must always be ready to armor up and defend our ground. Should we come face to face with the inevitable perils, it is by the grace of clear, calculated thinking that we may prevail. Thumb through these pages and equip yourself with the essential principles therein. Knowledge is and always will be power.
The 48 Laws of Power
Forged from the archives of 3,000 years of documented success in life-walks throughout history, The 48 Laws of Power presents a comprehensive list of mandates that when applied, invariably produce outcomes in favor of the user. Consider: The thrill of scoring a game-winning shot. Or how about clearly asserting yourself and winning an argument? Commanding the attention of a full room and controlling the energy in a crowd of chaos... These are examples of Power. Whether you want to strengthen your approach to life or ensure that your mind is not open to manipulation from others with malicious intent, “48 Laws” will provide you with an unshakeable foundation from which to operate. As you begin to process and understand each law, you will grow more comfortable with incorporating them into your everyday life. Eventually, these laws become an integral part of one's character and each reader begins to evolve into a more calculated and successful person.
We know that some decisions are made in a split second. There's isn't always time to pull out your scale and weigh the consequences. But in the long term, these works of literature may help the overall direction one chooses which may reduce the number of life-or-death situations you encounter.