what if the world had no cameras or mirrors, or any type of reflection, and we had no idea how our own faces look.
in high school i fractured my neck playing football.
I spent the next 6 months mildly to severely depressed. that, and i was hyper introspective. a doctor had just told me i was supposed to be dead. and looking back on those 6 months, i didn’t feel much alive at all.
I didn’t talk much-i spent 90% of my time in solitude. i didn’t do much-i spent all of my free time sitting alone, usually in deep thought.
I didn’t know it then, but i was in a rut. and more specifically, i was in a rut because i wasn’t embracing my yin.
but that was before the real rain came.
I remember very distinctly the day i had a very visceral paradigm shift. one that made me love the rain.
class had ended and i had to walk home, as my newly-fused neck could not yet handle the bumps of a car ride.
but it was pouring rain.
but i didn’t have the same inherent reaction that i normally had to rain-to stay out of it. instead, i was awestruck by it. I felt an innate connection to it. I stepped outside and just stood there.
and i felt so alive.
and i looked around at my classmates after standing there for a few minutes listening to music in my headphones and realized that they were missing out. that they were letting the hassle of being wet get in the way from this amazing, unexplainable feeling of being completely at one with the yin of nature.
and from that day on I’ve looked forward to the rain. I’ve looked forward to getting soaked by mother nature. I’ve looked forward to being drenched in her love and beauty. and to this day i feel a special sense of connectedness with the world around me on rainy days.
[so i was really happy when i heard Joshua Waitzkin say on Tim Ferriss’ podcast that, when it rains, instead of telling his son that it’s an ugly day like many do, he instead says “look how beautiful it is today!”– and they go out and play in the rain.]
just like we shouldn’t judge the weather, we shouldn’t judge life and it’s ups & downs. it’s all an experience. our job is to embrace it all equally.
rain, sunshine, happiness, sadness, fear, depression and anger are all equally valid, equally important, and should be equally embraced.
and rain helped teach me that.
and that is why i love the rain.
Google is set to be powered solely by renewable energy in 2017. Elon Musk made the blueprint to a powerful, beautiful, fully electric car, and gave it away to his ‘competition’ for free. My amazing friend Osa captivates everyone he interacts with because everything about him is in agreement with his words–he does what he says and he means what he does.
I never understood why my college pushed health consciousness as an agenda, yet never had anything but sugary drinks and snacks in its vending machines. I never understood why my father constantly tells me to never smoke cigarettes, yet he smokes himself. and i never understood why politicians scold minorities for destroying their communities when that’s the one of the only times they ever pay attention to said communities.
leading by example is the right, not easy thing to do. It’s also the more influential and more effective way to lead.
but it takes bravery.
if my father was brave, and backed his advice with quitting, i would buy into it a hell of a lot more. If my college was brave, and backed its advice with healthy alternatives, i would’ve bought into it a hell of a lot more. and yes, if politicians were brave, and backed their words with policy, said communities would buy into it a hell of a lot more.
the power of leading by example is not in the action itself, but in the message that the action inevitably communicates. It tells people that you believe in your message, that you’re coming from a place of authenticity, and that you’re committed to the realization of your message.
thank you Google, thank you Elon Musk, and thank you Osa.
Dad, UCSB, Politicians, I hear you, and i believe in you, but I don’t believe you–yet.
the other day, on my way out of the office I overheard a woman say to another (as they walked past homeless people sleeping on the sidewalk) “[Name] saw him and said ‘hey! good to see you — how’s it going!?’ so yeah, he must be really important.” — followed by laughter.
I didn’t find this funny, I found it sad and unfortunate.
the concept of applying varying degrees of importance to people in general is a counterproductive act, especially so if the basis is something as arbitrary as a person’s occupation — this is a gravely dangerous mistake that most of us are guilty of.
in my world, no one is more-or less-important than anyone.
everyone — from children to adults, bosses to those working ‘under’ us, homeless people to family, loved ones to strangers — deserves the same respect, love and compassion. ranking people’s importance based on any sort of social status is a breach in the social contract of life.
if we must rank importance, let it be based on the degree of one’s understanding of the following:
we are one family. no one know why we’re really here. no one actually knows what’s more important — instead we choose what’s important to us.
the more fair and generous you are in your distribution of importance, the more important you are.
to be important is to understand that we are all one family, and to treat people as such.
there’s a very important moment in our lives when we come to a harsh realization.
our parents aren’t Gods. instead, they’re just people, doing their best like everyone else.
and it is an extremely transformative experience. it’s a paradigm shift.
the world, as we know it suddenly becomes a little bit bigger — and our parents’ words suddenly become a little less be-all & end-all.
but there is power in this moment. it means it’s our turn.
we can now be gods for our parents. we can now, finally, after all their years of hard work, of building the best life for us that they knew how– we can now begin to repay truly them by returning the favor.
and they might resist. and that’s OK. but, remember, they’re just people, doing their best. so, push on. and let that moment be the beginning of something beautiful.
often times people point to what’s realistic as a basis to counterattack idealist ideas.
the problem with the notion of ‘realistic’ is that it’s inaccurately defined. life is not realistic. By any definition ‘realistic,’ life itself is a miracle.
we all live in our own worlds. you and everyone you know would, while reading these words, experience different visceral responses to them.
we create these worlds of ours by seeing what we look for in the objective, physical world — by projecting our expectations and preconceived notions of what’s what. (and we are what we see in the world, not what we see in the mirror.) Both limitations and possibilities, if we see them, truly are there. so in that sense, pessimism and idealism — as well as every other ism — are in fact realistic.
realistic is relative to our own worlds.