By Shawn Harris
Let’s examine the standard definitions of two words. One of the words is very overused and commercialized. We use it to describe our personal style & demeanor. “Swag,” which is an abbreviation of swagger. Meaning , to conduct oneself in an arrogant or proud & pompous manner. To walk with an air of overbearing self-confidence. Swagger is conceitedly self-assured behavior. Now look at the word sway , which is defined as : to rule or govern. A preponderating force or pressure. A controlling influence. Sovereign power. Dominion. The ability to exercise influence or authority. Dominance , power.
Some of us mistakenly think swag is sway. We believe our style has influence. We believe our swagger is our power. We actually believe our glasses or watch, our chain, jeans, gym shoes, and tattoos, even our choice of phone, truck, car, or motorcycle (our swag) has a controlling influence, power or force (sway) over others. It’s what we privately feel as we look in the mirror. Your G-string short shorts or skirt, tight jeans, high heels, designer purse & lipstick, your boots & jacket, your hairstyle & expensive outfit gives you power when you walk into a room or walk down a hallway. Sometimes we think it’s not “what” we wear, but “the way” we wear it. The way we rock it. The tilt in our hat. The sag in our jeans. The loose shoe strings in our boots. The highlights in our hair. The bedizen and bedazzled nails. We have become so simple , so silly and vain. We believe material possessions are our source of sway or power. We will actually steal from & kill one over fashion accessories. We are willing to murder for fashion. Swagger jackers. We won’t just copy your style (“your swag”), but we will kill you for your “swag”. Then the swagger jacker arrogantly walks around conceited & cocky while wearing the clothes or driving the car of the murder victim. Please do not cheapen yourselves. Fashion is fickle. It’s a flaky fad. Your swag doesn’t truly determine your overall worth as a young woman & young man. Your swag is not your sway. Can your swag get your high school diploma? Does your swag have any sway, any influence on your S.A.T scores or college admissions exam? Does your swag have enough sway to secure a scholarship, grant or school loan? Does swag sway the cost of tuition? Does your swag have any sway or power to pay your mortgage, car note, rent, gas, water, or electricity bills? Can your swag influence the cost of medical prescriptions or sway professionals to provide you dental and health care benefits? Will your swag have any sway over an armed forces entry exam? What about a college research paper essay or thesis? Can your swag sway a college dean to confer to you your bachelors, associates, or master’s degree? Does your swag sway your welding, drafting design, and auto mechanics or electronics certification? Can your swag sway a small business loan? Can you sway a jury or a judge, a parole or probation officer with your swag? Are you willing to bet your freedom on your swag? Your swag is not your source of sway.
There’s so much more to you than just the way you rock your clothes. There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging & recognizing your unique personality & charisma. There’s nothing wrong with dressing nice and constantly staying fresh and clean. You deserve to thrive and shine and to sport a little bling from time to time. Creative self-expression is one of the purposes of your life. But you should also recognize your mentality, your intelligence. You are your mind. Meaning you are the sum of your thoughts. That includes your ability to reason & deduce. Your ability to imagine & create. You are your intellect. Intellect is defined as the capacity for rational or intelligent thought, the capacity for knowledge, you’re an intellectual being. Not a mindless dumb, numb well-dressed mannequin. Swag is not the source of your sway. Intellect is sway. Your intelligence sways the power brokers of the world. Your intelligence sways those who control the issuing of grants, loans & scholarships. Your intelligence is your currency. That’s how you pay a car note, mortgage, rent, gas, water and electricity bills. Your intelligence coupled with an education is the commerce which sways and influences space, time, people, situations, & circumstances to unfold to your advantage. Swag is not sway. Swag is simply fashion. Fashion fades away. Intelligence & education is forever. Swagger jackers can copy & jack your style, even your physical attributes (your hair, eye color, your physical build). The clubs, the streets, playing fields & ball courts are filled with big muscle bound men. In cities & towns across America, gyms, fitness centers & spas are filled with sculpted, physically fit shapely women. You can buy a body with steroid pills & hormone injections. You can buy sexual stamina, a tighter vagina & bigger breast, a fat ass or a longer penis. Swagger jackers can purchase all forms of swag, including specific body parts right off the shelf. But they can’t buy intellect. You can’t go to the plastic surgeon for that. You can’t buy a new mind. You can’t purchase a pill for intelligence & education. You can’t pop a pill that’ll give you knowledge, wisdom & understanding. Swag won’t sway the world. Intelligence sways the world, not the way you rock your clothing or your personal choice of material possessions. Not your physical attributes & prowess or your sexual abilities. Use your intellect. Use your mind.