Let Love Have the Last Word by Common (Book Summary)

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Envision the scene. 

Beverly Hills, Los Angeles. A black man who is in his mid-forties stands in front of a mirror, looking over himself. An associate sits adjacent, dealing with his schedule on her telephone. His beautician is administering style guidance through FaceTime, while further partners drift around, prepared to give the man another coat, new shoes, another look. It’s a modest universe, and he’s the focal point of it. 

He looks in the mirror, and however he perceives himself – his name is Rashid, and he’s a rapper, referred to his fans as Common – he likewise feels alienated. Is that truly him? 

Is that the equivalent hopeful craftsman who, 25 years prior, felt only appreciation when he got just $5,000 for his presentation collection, Can I Borrow a Dollar? Is that the equivalent thin, b-ball playing kid from Chicago? A similar child who adored his mom? 

How did these past selves form into a rapper, an entertainer, a maker, a giver, a dad? How did Rashid become Common? 

Some portion of the appropriate response is love – the love of music, love of family, love of God. 

On that day in Beverly Hills, remaining before the mirror, Common wanted to inspect himself. This outline is another kind of mirror, and you’re welcome to join Common on an adventure of self-assessment, powered by reflections on adoration. 

1 – Common constantly needed to be an artist, and he utilizes his specialty to create love.

Common’s name wasn’t always Common. 

He was born in Chicago, in 1972. He had two names, Lonnie and Rashid: the primary Christian, the subsequent Muslim. These names were given to him by his dad, accepting that each contained “the same love.” 

Love – of family, of God, of music – has guided Common’s life from that point forward, however, he doesn’t profess to find out about affection than any other person. What he can be sure of is that he wants to make, to perform, to rap. 

He realized this even as a kid. Common recalls telling his mom that he needed to be a star in the wake of seeing Michael Jackson on TV doing the moonwalk. 

Afterward, he considered the music of rappers like Rakim and Big Daddy Kane, making his first refrains at 12 years old. All he needed was to pick up the appreciation of his hip-jump cherishing companions and to shake the mic like a genuine MC in those years. 

As he got somewhat more established, however, he started to understand that hip-bounce wasn’t only a way to a famous end; it was an end in itself, space where he and his companions could put words to their emotions and distractions. 

It was adoration for this space motivated the youthful Rashid to change his name and seek after a vocation as a rapper. Presently, as a man in his mid-forties, Common compares portions of his aesthetic practice to petition. 

For instance, he wants to drive in his truck, the warm Los Angeles sun all over, his brain out and about. And keeping in mind that he drives, he gets a kick out of the chance to free-form, thinking of without any preparation verses. As he puts it, to free-form is “to rap in the present.” 

The main other time Common feels so arranged in the now is during his day by day reflection session, a sort of quiet petition. Rising early every morning, Common uses this opportunity to enter the present minute, where, he accepts, both God and love are found. 

In the case of improvising verses or quietly communing with God, Common attempts to discover the adoration that exists in the present and to utilize this affection to better both himself and humankind. 

2 – Self-esteem empowered Common’s saints to cherish others, yet one can be too self-included.

Common has faith in heroes. 

For Common, a hero is an individual who imagines a superior world or sets a praiseworthy objective, and afterward seeks after that objective or vision with industriousness and assurance. Maya Angelou, Mohammad Ali, Martin Luther King, Jr. – every one of these individuals was, as indicated by Common, a hero. 

A courageous life is unthinkable without love. The heroes that Common recognized loved others. They battled for the improvement of the Black people group and discovered their specific manners to serve. 

Be that as it may, before you can nobly stretch out love to other people, you need to love yourself first. Common realizes it sounds mushy, yet consider it: How would you be able to give of yourself on the off chance that you don’t love the self that you’re giving? 

This is the reason Common practices self-care. He works out different times each week and watches his eating regimen. What’s more, through meditation, he supports his psyche as much as his body. 

But at the same time, he’s mindful that one can be excessively focused on oneself. 

Common had the chance to get familiar with Dr. King while functioning as an entertainer on the film Selma – not the social liberties fantasy, however the genuine man, with every one of his imperfections and failings. 

King did limitless useful for Black individuals. Now and again, however, he was so centered around his main goal to improve the parcel of mankind that he hurt the individuals nearest to him. 

Common knows the feeling. Without a doubt, his girl, Omoye, made it agonizingly clear how much agony he’d caused her growing up. 

One of Common’s aunties called attention to that he was as yet youthful enough to have more youngsters at a family assembling, and he reacted excitedly to the thought. Be that as it may, at that point his 20-year-old girl made some noise, commenting that she’d passed up love and consideration from him when she was young. 

It hurt to hear this, yet Common recognized what she was alluding to. He’d frequently been missing during her adolescence – visiting, voyaging, performing, doing what should have been finished. 

His first drive was to guard himself. In any case, as you’ll learn in the following flicker, he before long understood that self-protection was a prideful, narcissistic motivation. What he expected to do was to recognize his girl’s agony. 

3 – You need to recognize emotional issues before attempting to fix them.

Have you at any point seen this in your very own life? Individuals, particularly men, frequently attempt to “fix” relational issues. Instead of consciously tuning in to their friends and family’s reactions or protests, these eventual enthusiastic jacks of all trades promptly set to deal with reasonable arrangements. 

This may appear to be reasonable enough. All things considered if there’s an issue, is there any valid reason why you wouldn’t attempt to understand it? Yet, an answer is regularly not what’s required or being requested; to be sure, there frequently is no arrangement. 

Common took in this by conversing with his little girl, Omoye. 

A couple of months after that family assembling where Omoye talked her fact about missing her dad’s love, she called him. It was just both of them talking now, only a dad and a little girl attempting to level with one another. Common attempted to clarify his side of issues. 

As a youthful father, he’d had an extremely clear thought of what an “awful father” looked and acted like, and he’d realized that he wasn’t one. Of course, he’d frequently been away from home. Be that as it may, he’d been hustling and visiting to accommodate his family. Couldn’t Omoye see that his successive nonattendance didn’t add up to an absence of love? 

At that point, Common woke up. He understood that, rather than recognizing Omoye’s agony, he was putting himself at the focal point of the discussion. 

Furthermore, he understood that, truly, the two of them needed something very similar: affirmation. He needed to be recognized as a decent father, and she needed him to recognize that he’d once in a while organized his profession over his family life. 

It was additionally clear that he proved unable “fix” the issue. Dislike he could return in time and reinsert himself into her life. 

He could be that as it may, recognize the issue and endeavor to be a superior dad. “Love,” Common reminds us, is an action word, not a thing. It’s one thing to state that you adore somebody; it’s very another to cherish with your activities. 

Common along these lines took a shot at being progressively present, on being there for his girl. Furthermore, the work satisfied. 

Omoye called once more a couple of months after their discussion. She’d been tuning in to his collection August Greene and had been moved by his verses, which uncovered his qualms about his past presentation as a dad. “You weren’t an awful father,” she said. “You’re the father I should have.” 

4 – Common experienced a childhood without a father, however, his mother was consistently there for him.

Common thought that it was difficult to stand up to his inadequacies as a parent, to some extent since he knows precisely what it feels like to experience childhood in a fatherless family unit. 

When he was a young man, his parents separated. Leaving Common and his mother behind in Chicago, his dad moved to Denver, Colorado. Common regularly talked with his father on the telephone, and the love was certainly there. Yet, telephone contact isn’t equivalent to physical nearness, and Common marvels right up ’til today what it would have been similar to had his dad lived in a similar city. 

His mom, in the interim, was Common’s shake. An instructor and a sincere Christian, she upheld Common’s desire, notwithstanding when she may have thought them questionable. At the point when Common declared his aesthetic yearnings as a kid, she didn’t reject them. Despite what might be expected, she gave him a heap of important books to peruse. 

Continuously quiet and minding, she stretched out her love to Common, making it workable for him to stretch out a comparable love to himself – the sort of self-esteem that is essential on the off chance that you need to genuinely cherish others. 

So you can envision how startling it was for Common when she needed to experience the medical procedure for thyroid issues. 

Common’s dad passed away in 2014, and losing him was intense. Nonetheless, he’d been battling with malignant growth for a considerable length of time, so his passing was to some degree anticipated. 

The idea of losing his mom, then again, was exceptionally frightening for Common. He was at the emergency clinic upon the arrival of her medical procedure, close by his stepfather, Ralph. Basic’s uneasiness expanded as the anticipated medical procedure time – five hours – passed, becoming intolerable as the minutes kept on ticking by, with no indication of the specialist. 

At long last, the specialist rose. His mom was fine, however powerless. Her eyes were shut when they went in to see her and her first question was whether Ralph, her significant other of more than 40 years, was there. “I’m directly here,” Ralph answered. 

At this time, Common abruptly observed the connection between Ralph and his mom in another light. He thought: What more is there to live than getting out for your accomplice and accepting an adoring answer? 

5 – Common has accomplished a ton in his life, yet he’s never been a spouse.

Common possesses numerous jobs. You may know him as a rapper and actor, but he is also a producer, activist, philanthropist, and a public speaker, along with being a son, a father, a faithful friend, and a faithful Christian.

Be that as it may, there’s one thing he’s never been: a spouse. This is a job that he aches to take on, and he’s approached a couple of times. In any case, it never entirely worked out. 

Maybe given these considerations, Common once approached then-First Lady Michelle Obama for relationship counsel. 

They were in the White House, and Common point by point told Mrs. Obama the characteristics he looked for in an accomplice. After tuning in to this rundown, she offered him some even-minded guidance: he’d need to make settles. 

He gets this, and he acknowledges that there’s nothing of the sort as an ideal accomplice. Be that as it may, the bargain is difficult for him to stomach – particularly with regards to trading off himself. 

Common’s association with himself has constantly overshadowed associations with others. A flood of inquiries overpowers him when visualizing sentimental love with another accomplice: What if he winds up genuinely hurting her, or getting sincerely hurt himself? Will he be consistent with her? Imagine a scenario in which he quits being consistent with himself. Is some kind of problem with him? 

It was distinctly in 2012 when he began addressing a therapist named Susan, that he had the option to distinguish the underlying foundations of these questions and fears. 

Common battles with “closeness shirking,” for Susan, maybe as a result of the undue duties he took on as a single kid raised by a single parent. Another issue Susan indicated is his dread of relinquishment, which may have its underlying foundations in his dad’s nonattendance. 

Common didn’t feel that his mom utilized him as a passionate prop growing up, nor does he feel that his dad deserted him. Be that as it may, Susan’s judgments have helped him perceive a portion of his examples. However, he keeps on avoiding closeness and stress that potential accomplices will allow him to down. 

He manages these apprehensions by depending on the two substances he can generally rely on as you’ll learn in the following flicker: himself and God. 

6 – Common is a Christian and he attempts to imitate Jesus.

Although Common is a long way from closed-minded, he is a man of god. There’s a well-known fact on the world for him, involved each natural being’s little, singular realities. This single truth is the thing that Common considers as God. 

Notwithstanding so much else, Common’s mom gave him his confidence. She brought him up in a God-dreading house, yet that was just 50% of it. She likewise outfitted him with confidence’s essential: the limit concerning the love of oneself. 

Common doesn’t trust self-esteem should precede the love of God presently. In any case, he believes that receptiveness to God’s love starts with one’s very own consciousness adorableness. Because of his mom and her genuine love, Common discovered that he was adorable, which enabled him to acknowledge the well-known fact of God’s love. 

He attempts to sustain this love consistently, by working out, eating admirably and pondering, yet by imitating Jesus, who attempted to direct others down a pathway of affection. 

In obscurity universe of today, with its wars and endless sufferings, Common in some cases addresses love’s viability. In any case, he keeps up his confidence and attempts to discover a love for all individuals. One of the manners in which he does this is by connecting with people whom society has thrown away. 

Common visited four California penitentiaries in 2017. He was there to perform, yet in addition to meet the detainees and hear their accounts. 

At a certain point, Common met a gathering of detainees without the chance for further appeal. Every detainee presented himself and named the individuals he’d killed. At the point when Common inquired as to why they talked the names of the people in question, they disclosed this was to acculturate them – to recognize that their unfortunate casualties had been individuals, with dreams, expectations, and families. 

Common experienced the absolute most edified individuals he’s at any point met in prisons, and it hurt his heart to feel that a significant number of them were bolted up always for single demonstrations of idiocy, regularly dedicated as adolescents. 

Jesus, Common envisions, would excuse these detainees for their transgressions. Also, now and again, Common discovered absolution in his heart, as well. In others, be that as it may – for instance when he saw mass killers waiting for capital punishment – he thought that it was hard to feel compassion. 

Common isn’t sure that he’s fit for broadening Jesus-like absolution, yet he did at any rate endeavor to see the mankind in every detainee. 

7 – Common was abused as a kid, yet covered the memory for a considerable length of time.

Common had a job at The Tale, a film about child abuse in 2017. It was an extraordinary venture about a troublesome subject, and Common went through numerous hours conversing with its essayist chief, Jennifer Fox. He needed to carry everything to this significant film. 

Common wound up ruminating on injury while getting ready for his role – how it weighs on those who’ve encountered it, and how survivors may attempt to manage that weight by isolating themselves from their recollections. 

It flashed into Common’s psyche with astonishing suddenness. He was working with the film’s lead entertainer, Laura Dern, and he said at that moment, “I think I was abused.” 

It occurred on a family trip. Normal was around nine or ten, and venturing out from Chicago to Cleveland with his mother and his guardian, just as his back up parent’s child, Skeet, and a relative of theirs named Brandon. 

Brandon, additionally from Chicago, was a couple of years old than Common. He was a cool person and a trying DJ, and Common and Skeet would in some cases spend time with him throughout the mid-year. 

However, Common got an uneasy inclination on this outing. When they landed at Skeet’s auntie’s home in Cleveland, it was chosen that Common would impart a space to Brandon. He nearly challenged, because prior, when they were quickly alone together, Brandon contacted him on the shoulder and in a manner that had made him awkward. 

Yet, Common said nothing. That night, Brandon attacked him, grabbing his private parts and requesting that he respond. Normal immovably said no, and Brandon in the long run supported off. 

This episode filled Common with such disgrace that he never told his mom. Indeed, even now, he’s uncertain how to advise her. In any case, he realizes that some way or another, he will share what occurred. 

He additionally knows this: he pardons Brandon, and, at any rate at present, he doesn’t view himself as an injured individual. 

Common needs to be the sort of man who disturbs negative examples, who ends propagations of injury and pressure. To do this is to placed love energetically. 

More, Common means to give love a chance to have the final word.

Let Love Have the Last Word by Common Book Review

Love is an action word, a verb. To live enamored requires activity, not simply words, and the capacity to make that move begins with self-love. Creating art, exercising, praying and meditating helps Common to practice self-love. However, to love others isn’t in every case simple. 

Common’s never been a spouse, maybe because he battles with dread in regards to closeness and relinquishment. He had a childhood without a father, and his little girl intensely felt Common’s absence during her youth. As a kid, he was explicitly abused by a family companion. Be that as it may, the way ahead is the way of affection and absolution, the way strolled by Jesus Christ. Common plans to pursue this way toward a superior world. 


It’s not in every case simple to realize the proper behavior for the sake of love. Common has found, in any case, that a large portion of the fight is essentially appearing, regardless of whether that implies visiting a jail or just being progressively present in a friend or family member’s life. 

So attempt to consider ways that you could appear, show up. Don’t simply express encouraging statements – in reality, live the love that is in you!

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Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I like reading books and writing summaries. I like to play soccer too :) Good Reads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/106467014-sava-ate

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