This edition of “In The Review” we highlight writer Lincoln Anthony Blades of popular blog This is Your Conscience. He has a new book You’re Not a Victim, You’re a Volunteer: How To Stop Love From Kicking You in Your Ass that tackles relationships from a different standpoint. I decided to have fellow writer Ashley Yancy (@FancyAYancey) check out the book and dive into the thoughts of Lincoln. So, are Are You a Victim or a Volunteer??
With a title like You’re Not a Victim, You’re a Volunteer one could easily roll their eyes from annoyance; here is yet another self-appreciating Steve Harvey-type preaching his how-to-keep-a-boo Gospel. Do not be fooled. Lincoln Anthony Blades, the man behind This Is Your Conscience blog, has written a hidden gem. If you delve in a bit further, just past the tedious intro, you will certainly find the diamond-in-the-rough insight he has carved out for the reader.
You’re Not a Victim, You’re a Volunteer is basically an outline on how to best avoid pitfalls that can plague many relationships. A quick read infused with humorous, dramatic background stories that Tyler Perry would especially appreciate, help keep the reader’s attention throughout. Sticking to a model that centers around descriptive chapter titles accompanied by definitions to many of the guidebook’s central themes help the reader navigate this self-help manual. “Thirst,” one definition I found especially comical, comes from a chapter spotlighting the danger of selling yourself in an effort to keep someone from leaving the relationship.
Thirsty /ˈTHərstē/ adj.
1. Ones overeagerness to receive the attention and the affection
of someone(s) they are romantically interested in
Blades gives us his firsthand experience from many of his own relationships in each chapter, sharing the acumen he’s developed throughout. The danger of dating someone based off of their potential, as illustrated with Blades’ college sweetheart who was focused on partying, not becoming a housewife; his attempt to play “Captain Save a Hoe” for a woman who dropped him for a male background dancer in Atlanta who later played her; or his eagerness to sell himself to a woman who closely resembled George Foreman because she had an amazing personality, are all topics he tackles. Lowering one’s standards in an effort to compromise, exploiting yourself in the hopes of garnering more affection, bringing old baggage into new relationships and overanalyzing everything in an effort to avoid any shortcomings are all issues that he seeks to help the reader avoid.
Despite being greatly engaging, while reading You’re Not a Victim, You’re a Volunteer, I was left wondering what was Blades’ credibility to speak with such authority on this topic? He’s no Dr. Phil and towards the end I became a bit cynical. He speaks casually throughout, using modern slang terms with the occasional curse word thrown in for good measure, which prevents the reader from taking him too seriously. In the final chapter he offers a few suggestions on how to best apply his words of wisdom, a resolution of sorts I suppose. But again, I found myself questioning the credibility and mentality of his overall message.
Blades’ transparency is greatly appreciated and necessary however, for it is his saving grace when it comes to taking any of the advice offered seriously and implementing his feedback. At just over fifty pages of entertaining, relatable commentary on the pitfalls of modern-day dating, I’d say You’re Not a Victim, You’re a Volunteer is worth your time as long as you don’t take the book, or yourself, too seriously.
Make sure you check out this week’s episode of the “Straight Outta Lo Cash” Radio Show. This week’s show “Somethin’ Wicked This Way Come” with guest Tef Poe. You can also subscribe to the show on I-Tunes or listen on your Android, I-Phone, or I-Pad with Stitcher Radio.