“The Night Of”: Is The Story Of Us
I have been blown away the last 6 weeks by the HBO mini-series, or as they call it, a limited series, (which is basically just a mini-series), The Night Of.
Honestly, I was 4 weeks late to the party, so I have only been blown away for a couple weeks (but six times!!).
If you have not seen it, I will spin the story in a way that you don’t miss anything (but it may spoil some of the show for you).
So we are all on the same page: Nasir Khan is a good, working class, Pakistani (US born), college student accused of murdering a woman he had just met. Without bail, he is forced to fight his case from “the inside.”
In New York City, “the inside” is Riker’s Island.
Yup, you read that right.
Not even convicted, and doing time at Rikers. The moral of the story is, don’t f*** up in New York City (unless you can post bail).
Throughout the series so far, we have seen an amazing transformation of young Nas (his nickname, not the rapper). He has gone from an innocent looking college student, to a shaved head, bulked up, tattooed knuckles having, prisoner beating, crack smoking, inmate.
As crazy as that sounds,
He Is Just Like Us
Not exactly. I am hoping you don’t have prison tattoos on your knuckles and are smoking crack, but you never know. This article may be more on point than I had intended.
He is just like us in the way he is losing himself. It is EXACTLY how we lose ourselves: We don’t have a true identity.
None of us want to admit that, but it’s true. If you have ever found yourself in a situation where you don’t even recognize who you are anymore, you don’t have an identity. You are like waves being pushed around by the wind. You can be tossed around because you have no roots. You want to be a tree, but you are just a leaf.
Nas has no identity. He is becoming what people think he is. His lack of identity created a vacuum for the media’s perspective to fill the void.
Don’t we do the same thing?
We are what they think we are?
I’m not good enough. I’m not smart enough. I’m not pretty. I’m not handsome. I’m fat. I have bad hair. I’m a loser.
We tell ourselves these horrible things because people tell us these horrible things, or at least we think they do. That’s how the downward spiral begins. Pretty soon, you don’t know who you are, and you hate who you’ve become.
The only way to plant deep roots is to live with purpose. Dig in. What kind of person do you want to be? What kind of a parent? Employee? Friend? Lover?
Nas should still be the same kid that walked through those prison walls 5 episodes ago, but he’s not. He has changed. Rikers pulled him away from himself, and he let it. Just like we do.
Drugs, other women, other men, gambling, ego, jealousy, alcohol. What pulls you away?
Who are you really?
And what have you allowed yourself to become?
You need to define yourself and take control.