What My World's Like

What My World Sounds Like: new energy…

Feb
18


Theophilus London

This weekend proved to be pretty swell for me musically. First, there was the unanticipated Goo Goo Dolls concert at the rodeo (a whole ‘nother story), then I found Charles Hamilton‘s Well Isn’t This Awkward mixtape, as well as Blu‘s Her Favorite Colo(u)r mixtape. I also threw Theophilus London‘s This Charming Mixtape into rotation and had a nice little solo party.  At the gym, I got reacquainted with The Cool Kids…I really enjoy those guys.

What does this have to do with anything?  It’s good music.  From artists that aren’t mainstream yet.  Their creativity is in tact.  Their movement is strong.  And they’re all young and making their name in an oversaturated market.  I’m inspired to move forward with my movement.  Passion=purpose, yeah?  I’m so about to find a way to travel the world.  It also made me happy because hip hop, for me, was kind of stale for a while. I like this new energy.

A surprise for me was Ryan Leslie‘s new self-titled album.  I quite fancy a number of songs.

Charles Hamilton – “Neverland”
[audio:http://www.whatmyworldslike.com/audio/neverland.mp3]

Blu – “Never Be Another Me”
[audio:http://www.whatmyworldslike.com/audio/neverbeanotherme.mp3]

Theophilus London – “Computer Love”
[audio:http://www.whatmyworldslike.com/audio/computerlove.mp3]

The Cool Kids – “A Little Bit Cooler”
[audio:http://www.whatmyworldslike.com/audio/alittlebitcooler.mp3]

Ryan Leslie – “How It Was Supposed To Be”
[audio:http://www.whatmyworldslike.com/audio/howitwassupposedtobe.mp3]

“Thank you”

Feb
17

On Twitter last night, I asked what inspired people. Only one person got back to me, but what she said was so profound. Her response was “the unbroken spirits of impoverished people around the world. essentially, love.”

In that moment, I realized I needed more gratitude.

Fast forward to today. A few weeks ago, I was speaking with someone who said she wanted to lose weight, so I emailed her last week to share a few resources I thought would be helpful for the beginning of her journey. This morning, I found out that I gave her the wrong date for something happening at the university where I work and emailed her to update the information.

Shortly thereafter she responded to tell me that my email came at the perfect time and thanked me for thinking of her.

Her appreciation really touched me. I found myself thinking, “thank you for appreciating it!”

So…gratitude. Maybe I need to be more appreciative of myself. Hmm…that’s a new thought. I’ll ponder on that.

A fresh start is always a moment away

Feb
16

I’ve been trudging along full of regret, harping over the past. Just this moment–and I knew this before–I realized, that the past is the past. You can never “redo” anything. You can never undo anything. It is what it is. Que sera sera. All you can do…is move forward. Begin again. Start anew.

So tomorrow, I’ll wake up and it’ll be a brand new day. A brand new start. And all I can do, all I will do, is my best.

For a minute, I think I stopped growing. I stopped looking at the everyday lessons. The beauty in life has escaped me for quite some time, except in random moments, when my eyes would catch the glimmer of something great. But life isn’t about the great moments. Those are nice, but really, life is full of the ordinary. The mundane and the trite. Great moments are extraordinary, but they don’t come all that often. And even if they did, they, too, would be a part of the mundane eventually.

I think I need to start examining what I’ve learned everyday or at least what I’m learning at a specific block in time…to the best that I can identify it anyway.

I guess I’ll start with today. What was great about today? Great? Err…? Okay, what did I learn today? Well, the above. There are people who have far less and they enjoy their lives far more. What am I missing? Maybe it’s sheer gratitude. My bills are paid (relatively). I’m young (relatively). I have my health (relatively). I heard some GREAT music this weekend!

The other day, I was at the gym. The treadmills face the wall, on which hang two TVs that are always set to MtvU. Sometimes I pay attention to the videos, but most of the time, I stare ahead at a spot on the wall and just imagine myself walking towards something. Random, I know. But on comes this video and I catch the beginning where they show the name of the artist and it turns out that I know the guy. He’s a rapper…? And he’s not even good. And he’s on TV. What am I doing???

Motivation.  

Now is the time.

“If not you, then who? If not now, then when?”
– Phillip Vera Cruz

Be my hero…

Feb
15

I was scanning the archives for something in particular that I never found. What I did find, however, was something I wrote a while ago. As I read it, I realized it had a certain weight and energy to it that needed to be put out into the cosmos once more. So…reduce, reuse, recycle:

Does your voice/opinion/life matter? Yes…I’m talking to YOU!

**While reading this note, please consider the possibility that it was written just for you.**

Yes, our political system is purposely full of shit. And yes, power with Godlessness is always corrupted, therefore the US political system will probably remain corrupted. But is the only power you have in the form of a vote that’s “taken into consideration” by a representative who then casts their “representative” vote?

So much goes on in our society that we — WE, you and I– dislike, yet do nothing about. We complain about the political process, the politicians, the war, the taxes, the economic state, the this, the that…yet sit idly and complacently as we scan online social networks for new blogs, pictures, and wall posts. Okay, maybe you don’t, but…

Thing is…voting is ONE way that we’re able to voice our opinions, but it’s not the ONLY way. We can’t keep leaving it up to the media to tell us what’s going on in the world. We can’t leave it up to government to make changes in the world.

I’ve decided that I have value. My thoughts, words, opinion, and life all matter. Not because I’m going to be a famous author and transformational speaker, but because I’m going to live a congruent life that’s based on making the world a better place for everyone.

That word “better” is problematic. “What is exactly does it mean?” you may want to know. I’ll tell you. Better is access to things that sustain life, not because you have money, but because you have life. Better is cooperative living rather than individualistic selfishness. We’re all really messed up from the US’ theme of rugged individualism. A divided house will never stand. (Consider that maybe that’s the point.) Better is peace and open dialogue. Better is clean air and water and sustainability. Better is food that you can pronounce because it’s REAL and has never seen a factory or a plastic bag. Better is love, understanding, and the presence of God opposed to the lurking presence of fear and evil. Better is an education for everyone that includes critical thinking. Better is racially and culturally inclusive media for people of all ages, races, and nationalities. Better is music that makes your heart, soul, and body sing and dance because you’re uplifted and moved closer to God. Better is men that respect and love women. Better is women that respect themselves and can trust men. Better is when networks of people from all over the world unite for common causes not for direct profit gain, but because we’re all one body of people spread across several lands.

(more…)

What My World Sounds Like: “Promiseland”

Feb
13

mario-2

Turns out this song by Mario came out sometime this summer, but completely slipped under my radar.  It’s called “Promise Land” produced by DarkChild and Stargate. Since way back when, I’ve been a fan…absolutely love his voice.

[audio:http://www.whatmyworldslike.com/mymusic/tunes/promiseland3.mp3]

If you have some new tunes that fall into that good music category…let me know!

Great words…

Feb
13

“To be nobody but yourself in a world that’s doing its best to make you somebody else,
is to fight the hardest battle you are ever going to fight.
Never stop fighting.”

– E.E. Cummings

Operation Nice

Feb
13

After a random act of kindness, Jersey girl Melissa Morris Ivone decided to start a blog about perpetuating the niceness meme. Every Monday, she takes the guesswork out of being nice by providing a “Nice Assignment,” something easy that can make a difference like sending someone flowers, hugging someone, giving a compliment, or volunteering. The blog highlights pictures, blogs, and testimonials about all…being nice!

Operation Nice epitomizes the focus of finding good in the world and being inspired to create more. I challenge you to go to site, send someone an e-card and do something unexpectedly nice for someone else. Play your part in making the world a better place. It’s the little things, people. 🙂

from OperationNice.com

Show up to work…and do your job

Feb
13

Elizabeth Gilbert, of Eat, Pray, Love fame, spoke at TED this month about creative genius and the torment known to accompany it. She posits that we lose our great artists mostly because of their relationship with their genius. Instead of believing that we are the vessels and possess creativity, we might find a great deal of freedom, relief, and accuracy in the idea that perhaps creativity passes through us and uses us. It’s a paradigm shift that certainly deserves consideration.

Watch the speech below…it’s time very well spent. Entertaining and inspiring.

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Go to jail or get a degree?

Feb
06

Being as rich as he is, Bill Gates can definitely effect great change. He spoke at TED this year on how he’s trying to change the world right now. During his 20 minute talk, he asked how do we stop malaria and how do we improve education.

I truly enjoyed this speech in its entirety, but the highlights were at 5:05 – 5:30 and generally everything after 7:57 when he starts talking about education. He provides some startling statistics at 9:51 – 10:50.

According to the research Gates references, if you’re low income, you have less than a 25% chance of finishing college should you not drop out in high school. Over 30% of students entering high school in this country never finish. In some areas, the drop out rate is over 50%. I think it’s 40% here in Bexar County.

Everyone’s not built to be a teacher, and definitely not a good one. While effective teachers are certainly a large part of the solution, so are tutors and mentors. Get involved however you can. I recently signed up to mentor a high schooler since there’s one right across the street. One hour a week. Such a small commitment that can make a huge difference. Really, I wish I’d thought of it sooner. Yet and still…it’s never too late.

Communities In Schools is a nationwide nonprofit focused on preventing kids from dropping out. Sign up to tutor or mentor an elementary, middle, or high school student. Mentor multiple students…whatever your time permits. Call your nearest school and see how you can get involved to help. Let’s all do our part because none of us are disconnected from this phenomenon. None of us.

Dumpster Diving

Feb
04


I assure you that this is not what I did or ever will do.

Time waits for no one…every moment counts. Make it matter, right?

Yeah, I know. I need to keep all of this in mind. The blog entry you’re about to read was supposed to be written several weeks ago, but it was late…then, I was getting up early…and it happened all over again.

No more excuses.

So…dumpster diving. Considering the response I’ve received when I tell people this story, I might want to start with a definition of dumpster diving. A more accurate designation for the concept is called “urban foraging,” a tactic commonly used by freegans and homeless everywhere.

According to Freegan.info, “this technique involves rummaging through the garbage of retailers, residences, offices, and other facilities for useful goods. Despite our society’s sterotypes about garbage, the goods recovered by freegans are safe, useable, clean, and in perfect or near-perfect condition, a symptom of a throwaway culture that encourages us to constantly replace our older goods with newer ones, and where retailers plan high-volume product disposal as part of their economic model.”

One Friday evening, me and my companion VISTAs were enjoying frozen treats at Amy’s Ice Cream when Tina suggested we find a Panera and try dumpster diving. I was all in. Paul was hesitant, but more than willing to observe. We drove around in a circle for ten minutes before we finally found the Panera and started sleuthing around to find their dumpsters. We found a few different sets of dumpsters that, naturally, smelled atrocious and effectively killed the idea of eating, should we actually find anything.

Ready to give up, I suggested we ask where the dumpsters are, already expecting the answer to be no. We decided that Tina, being white, would ask…even if she couldn’t keep a straight face. While we were clean and well-groomed, I’m black, Paul’s Filipino, and we didn’t want to be negatively stereotyped.

We approach the set of front doors, now being wiped down by an employee since it’s past 10 and they’re closed. We motion for her to open the door. She tells us they’re closed. We persist, so she comes to the door. Tina, in her best efforts to be serious, blankly asks, “Yes, we’re wondering where your dumpsters are.” The lady doesn’t speak English very well, so Tina starts speaking in Spanish.

“This is even better!” I tell Paul.
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