Lessons From The Wire: Stand Tall For Your Friends

Lessons From The Wire: Stand Tall For Your Friends

That creed has never let me down.

I have an admission to make: I give up on myself all the time. For hours or even days, I'll believe that my latest failure was the end of the world, whether it was a bad grade on a test, a failed conversation with my family, or a bad race on the track. Part of my nature is that I ride a roller coaster of emotions, high on my successes, but incredibly low on my failures. I've tried to change that and keep myself consistent for years, but it hasn't changed. It's who I am right now. I can't beat it.

However, one thing that has helped keep me grounded all this time is that even though I give up on myself, some people in my life have never given up on me. Whether it's the straight-A friend who lets him or herself be vulnerable and admits when they were in my situation, or the teammate who gives me a pat on the back and gives me space to process things, or the mom who will always give her full support on any decision I make, even if she disapproves.

All these people have kept me going despite how much I want to stop myself. In the context of popular media, I can relate it to two moments in God's gift to the Earth, the greatest show ever to be put on Television, "The Wire." I'm also going to spoil parts of the show, but I won't apologize because, in my experience, spoilers enhance my viewing of TV shows or my reading of books.

Near the end of Season 1, a boss of the West Baltimore Barksdale Narcotics Organization requests that Bodie kills one of his best friends, Wallace. Wallace had been traumatized after seeing the atrocious mutilation of someone the enforcers had killed, and had resorted to heroin use and wanting to leave the "Game" of drug dealing. Momentarily, he does, but eventually, Wallace returns to Baltimore to return to the Game.

However, the bosses of the organization, have been incredibly careful about tying up loose ends after aggressive pursuit by the police. Wallace, seen as mentally unstable and a possible snitch, is one of those loose ends. The boss, Stringer Bell, requests Bodie tie up that loose end, hinting at a possible promotion within the organization if he does.

After some heavy disagreement with another friend, Poot, Bodie and Poot follow Wallace into his apartment. Wallace is looking for some of the orphans in the projects, who he tutors and takes care of, but they aren't there. Bodie and Poot cleared them out right before this. Once Wallace reaches the last room and stands in the corner, Bodie pulls the gun, clearly pained to be doing this.

"Y'all my niggas, yo... It's us." Wallace says.

After more pained, heart-wrenching exchanges, Poot, also is grimacing at what the two are doing. "Do it, God damn it! If you're gonna do it -"

Bodie fires the shot into Wallace's chest. Wallace is suffering, not dead but bleeding out in pain. Bodie is traumatized by his decision, and starts shaking. But Poot can't stand to see Wallace like this. He takes Bodie's gun, and frees Wallace of his misery.

In Season 4, one kid at the middle school, Randy, has been outed by an older kid as a snitch who talked to the police, and soon he is made a target by many in the school. Three kids walk up to Randy and his two friends, Dukie and Michael, and spread the word that Randy is a snitch. Clearly, they want to jump him.

Michael gives a signal to Dukie. The leader of the three kids asks Michael, "ain't gonna stand by no rat motherfucker, is you?" Michael, for a moment, disappoints the audience as we think he's going to let Randy down and let the kids jump him. However, he strikes the first blow, and starts the fight with the other kids, defending Randy.

Later, Michael's reputation suffers. Marlo Stanfield, the boss of the Stanfield Narcotics Organization, expresses doubt about Michael joining the organization for "standing tall" for the Randy. Michael subsequently suffers a blow in his standing in the organization.

Michael standing tall by Randy can be perceived as a stupid choice having little benefit. Randy was still inevitably going to be punished by the community for snitching regardless. He still got put into a group home, despite Michael's best efforts. Likewise, Wallace probably would have still been killed had Bodie not shot him, and Bodie most likely would have suffered a demotion within the Barksdale Organization as a result.

However, most viewers, including myself, respect the decision of Michael to stand tall for Randy far more than Bodie's killing of Wallace. One of the most famous quotes from "The Wire" is "a man must have a code." Michael had one and stood up for it. Bodie did not. Again, it's hard to make assessments or judgments of Bodie, because another enforcer from the Barksdale Organization likely would have killed Wallace instead.

So what's the lesson between this contrast? Stand tall for your friends, no matter what. Even if you doubt they would for you, and even if you will suffer some consequences, stand tall because that's what you'd want the other person to do for you.

I think this lesson from "The Wire," although somewhat hidden and less well-known, is one of my big takeaways from the show. I want to teach right after I get out of college, and the reason I think I would give my all to it is that, my whole life, I have stood tall for my friends. I never give up on people I'm close to, no matter what, and I, for certain, will not do that for kids I'm in charge of educating.

I write feature articles on my friends and the people I'm close to, because from time to time, each of them has had my back when I needed it. They've surprised me when I thought the worst of myself, and this is just me paying back a debt. Yes, I have been disappointed by people. There were times when I had certain expectations that weren't met, or they didn't have the character I thought they did. But almost always, I stayed with them and stood by them, and eventually, their solidarity surprised me.

That creed has never let me down.

I think one of my biggest strengths, for all I do wrong, is that I am fiercely loyal to my friends. I will never give up on them. At the end of the day, I'll put the petty grievances and drama aside, because now, I know what matters.

A wise friend, Shane Sullivan, once said that "in the final analysis, relation is all that matters." One of the best choices I've made, and that you can make, is following those words.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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A Playlist From The iPod Of A Middle Schooler In 2007

I will always love you, Akon.

Something happened today that I never thought in a million years would happen. I opened up a drawer at my parents' house and I found my pink, 4th generation iPod Nano. I had not seen this thing since I graduated from the 8th grade, and the headphones have not left my ears since I pulled it out of that drawer. It's funny to me how music can take you back. You listen to a song and suddenly you're wearing a pair of gauchos, sitting on the bleachers in a gym somewhere, avoiding boys at all cost at your seventh grade dance. So if you were around in 2007 and feel like reminiscing, here is a playlist straight from the iPod of a middle schooler in 2007.

1. "Bad Day" — Daniel Powter

2. "Hips Don't Lie" — Shakira ft. Wyclef Jean

SEE ALSO: 23 Iconic Disney Channel Moments We Will Never Forget

3. "Unwritten" — Natasha Bedingfield

4. "Run It!" — Chris Brown

5. "Girlfriend" — Avril Lavigne

6. "Move Along" — All-American Rejects

7. "Fergalicious" — Fergie

8. "Every Time We Touch" — Cascada

9. "Ms. New Booty" — Bubba Sparxxx

10. "Chain Hang Low" — Jibbs

11. "Smack That" — Akon ft. Eminem

12. "Waiting on the World to Change" — John Mayer

13. "Stupid Girls" — Pink

14. "Irreplaceable" — Beyonce

15. "Umbrella" — Rihanna ft. Jay-Z

16. "Don't Matter" — Akon

17. "Party Like A Rockstar" — Shop Boyz

18. "This Is Why I'm Hot" — Mims

19. "Beautiful Girls" — Sean Kingston

20. "Bartender" — T-Pain

21. "Pop, Lock and Drop It" — Huey

22. "Wait For You" — Elliot Yamin

23. "Lips Of An Angel" — Hinder

24. "Face Down" — Red Jumpsuit Apparatus

25. "Chasing Cars" — Snow Patrol

26. "No One" — Alicia Keys

27. "Cyclone" — Baby Bash ft. T-Pain

28. "Crank That" — Soulja Boy

29. "Kiss Kiss" — Chris Brown

SEE ALSO: 20 Of The Best 2000's Tunes We Still Know Every Word To

30. "Lip Gloss" — Lil' Mama

Cover Image Credit: http://nd01.jxs.cz/368/634/c6501cc7f9_18850334_o2.jpg

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13 Taylor Swift Lyrics About Love

“We could get married. Have 10 kids and teach em how to dream."


Taylor Swift is the only reason I've gotten through every love, and every break-up. Here's a list of 13 lyrics/quotes about love from Taylor Swift's albums.

“Losing him was blue like I’ve never known. Missing him was dark grey all alone. Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you never met. Loving him was red.”

"Red" from the album "Red." This song perfectly describes every feeling that radiates through your entire being when you love and then lose someone.

“I wish we could go back, and remember what we were fighting for. I wish you knew that, I miss you too much to be mad anymore. I wish you were right here, right now, it’s all good. I wish you would.”

"I Wish You Would" from 1989. Sometimes I wish it was acceptable to just blast Taylor Swift during an argument because I totally would.

“You learn my secrets and you figure out why I’m guarded. You say we’ll never make my parents mistake.”

"Mine" from Speak Now. Let's surpass everyone's expectations.

“My baby’s fly like a jet stream, high above the whole scene, loves me like I’m brand new.” 

"Call It What You Want To" from the Reputation album. Once in a lifetime, there's someone who looks at your scars and calls you strong and brave, instead of damaged.

“My mother accused me of losing my mind, but I swore I was fine.” 

"Dear John" from Speak now. Love makes you do crazy things.

“One night he wakes, strange look on his face. Pauses then says ‘you’re my best friend’. And you knew what it was. He is in love.” 

"You Are In Love" from the 1989 album. Swift gives me chills with this song. Every time you think you're in love, you realize that the last time wasn't even close. True love, happens once or twice, and not for everyone.

“You pull my chair out, and help me in. And you don’t know how nice that is, but I do. And you throw your head back laughing like a little kid. I think it’s strange that you think I’m funny cause, he never did. I’ve been spending the last eight months, thinking all love ever does is break, and burn, and end. But on a Wednesday, in a cafe, I watched it begin again.”

"Begin Again" from the Red album. One of my top five favorite songs. Real love shows you how you should've been treated all along.

“Why would you wanna make the very first scar? Why would you wanna break a perfectly good heart?”

"A Perfectly Good Heart" from the first Taylor Swift album. Some people are only here to take. Never to give or share.

“The rain came pouring down, when I was drowning that’s when I cold finally breathe. And by morning, gone was any trace of you, I think I am finally clean.”

'Clean' from 1989. It can take years, even lifetimes, to finally feel free from love.

“There I was again tonight, forcing laughter, faking smiles, same old tired lonely place. Walls of insincerity, shifting eyes and vacancy, vanished when I saw your face. All I can say is it was, enchanting to meet you.”

'Enchanted' from Speak Now album. Love at first sight?

“Romeo take me somewhere we can be alone, I’ll be waiting all that’s left to do is run. You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess, it’s a love story, baby just say yes.”

'Love Story' from Fearless album. This song makes me want to take a chance and escape with a stranger.

“I once was poison ivy, but now I’m your daisy.”

"Don't Blame Me" from Reputation. I'm only better when I'm with you.

“We could get married. Have 10 kids and teach em how to dream.”

"Starlight" from the Red album. Only certain people are worth growing with.

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