Everything I need to know, I learned from Chris Rock
Chris Rock is one of my heroes. I love a man that can handle anything and everything, and Rock is that man. He makes me laugh, constantly. He makes me think, all the time. His voice, though it can be shrill and loud, is soothing to my ears. I had to Google the title of this article three times to make sure I had not already written it, because it seems like I should have a long time ago. Without further ado, the love of my life, Chris Rock.
EINTKILF Chris Rock
1. How to not get offended.
You can only offend me if you mean something to me.
Though I have never said it out loud, I live my life completely by Rock’s words about offense. It should be impossible to get offended by people who don’t know you, and especially people who don’t mean anything to you. If you take these words and live your life by them, I bet you will get offended much less often, too.
2. Family is the most important thing.
A lot of Rock’s comedy comes from joking about his family; either growing up, or his kids now. One of the most solid statements I’ve ever heard from Rock is about making sacrifices for your children, largely because I don’t think people should speak of their children as sacrifices. As Rock says, “Sacrifice infers that there was something better to do than be with your children.”
Coming from a man, I appreciate that statement even more.
3. The truth about marriage.
Though Rock says, “Only married people understand you can be miserable and happy at the same time,” I want to say, I feel like that’s true for all relationships as well. God knows I have never been married, but god knows I’ve been simultaneously miserable and happy in a relationship. (Ahem, in ALL of my relationships?)
4. Pay no attention to judgment.
I have to not care so much. Not care what people think, and not care about judgment.
Rock was speaking to Charlie Rose about the difference between doing a movie and doing stand-up comedy. Though Rock was speaking specifically to not over-analyzing what people may or may not love in a film, the whole “I have to not care so much” thing is prime advice for life.
5. No one is ever happy.
You can be married and bored, or single and lonely. Ain’t no happiness nowhere.
6. Stay passionate.
Listening to Rock speak about comedy, and reading pieces by people who have interviewed Rock about his performances, you can sense his passion. Rock has always had a hunger to be great, and he rarely, if ever, takes his fame for granted.
7. Don’t ignore race.
Jerry Seinfeld has been noted as saying that Rock “can do race better than anyone else.” Rock says it is because he grew up in an era where racism was so prevalent. Speaking of his school days, Rock said he was so used to protests against him and the other Black kids on a regular basis, that he feels like he understands race on all levels.
I really, really, really know it.
And not only does he know it, but he speaks to it, always, which I actually find refreshing in this day and age. We are getting better in these post-Ferguson days. We are getting better at recognizing inherently racist subjects, people, and things; but there is still a hush-hush vibe to the whole subject matter. People with big voices like Rock should be talking about race in such an open way. Thank god for that.
8. Get rid of the word “progress.”
I cannot say it better than Rock did, but this is one of the most significant points about race I have ever heard in my life.
To say that black people have made progress would be to say they deserve what happened to them before.
9. Remain humble.
Listening to Rock talk about his stand-up, his money, his talent, is really inspiring. Rock is unarguably one of the funniest men in America, yet he calls himself out in his moments of being “too cocky,” which is mind-blowing to anyone who appreciates Chris Rock’s humor.
I’m rich compared to where I’m from, I’m poor compared to where I’m at.
No matter what has happened to Rock in his career, he has checked himself before he wrecked himself. No wonder he’s such a success.
10. Stay funny.
Rock has pretty much no boundaries, which is true for many comedians, though you have to be clever and respected to pull off a joke that might be insensitive. But what I love about Rock is that he is never doing it for the laugh—he is doing it for the cultural commentary. From his reflections on OJ Simpson all the way to his recent World Trade jokes during his Saturday Night Live monologue, Rock is relevant, and relevant is funny.
Bless that man’s soul.