This picture comes from the cover of Kanye' West's third album cover. Prophetically created, this was the album that musically launched him into orbit.
Before we get too far into this, let me first say that this blog is not about Kanye' West. The three elements that I draw off of from the cover of this album are, the village that propels a man or woman to their destiny, the direction one chooses to go, and last but not least overcoming the fear of the journey that it takes to get there.
To me the this album cover speaks to all three of those issues. If you look back at the place where the bear is being launched from you'll notice the cheerleaders cheering him on as he's shot into the sky. We know the village doesn't only consist of cheerleaders, even though that's whats shown in the picture. If the story could be told a little more, I'd say that the other components of the village decided to stay inside of the university. Those other components consists of the negative charge of energy, the naysayers, or haters! The cheerleaders represent the positive charge that's needed to see the individual or idea take off, but the negative charge is as important to the story as a positive one is. The right dose of hating from "well meaning individuals," keeps a person humble, continuing to strive for approval, or to prove those individuals wrong. The cheerleaders are the one's that tell you that they believe in you, while offering as much help as they can to see you succeed. But make no mistake, both energies are needed.
It's equally as important to know in which direction you are travelling in, or your destination. Going back to the picture, we see that the bear is being shot into the stratosphere. From the angle of the cannon, he was being sent into a certain direction. I see this as knowing where it is that you are trying to go. It's not enough to say that you want to be a star, more specifics need to be added, the where's, what kind, and how's should serve as a GPS.
Lastly, the eyes of the bear in the picture speaks volumes. I'm not sure if the two different color eyes meant anything significant, but I do see the duality of fear and excitement. Getting back to Kanye' West briefly, when this album was released it served as the leader of a new direction in Hip-Hop. In competition with 50 Cent's second album "Curtis," everyone thought 50 would win by a landslide. That didn't happen, as a result Kanye' West became a new leader in Hip Hop. Both went on to have super successful careers, but at the time Kanye' created a new path that artist such as Drake, Tyler the Creator, and many others have followed in.
On a journey that's unknown, it's natural to have a level of fear. As you learn to navigate through it, the fear subsides and the adrenaline creates excitement. Proud of where you came from, thankful to the village for what it provided, but aware that you have to remain focused on where it is that you're going. The village, positive as well as negative energy provided familiarity, which is something that you can't take with you. Until you are able to build a new village, you must focus on the present. In time, it will provide the same energy, but as you did with your old village, you must learn to manipulate the energy so that it doesn't kill you.