Racism is a belief that all people of a certain ethnicity fall into the same role, or are essentially the same. Racist people usually have negative beliefs about those who are different from them, and they allow their lives to revolve around that false belief as truth. It is sad to realize and hard to believe for some, but racism is heavily engrained into society today, it doesn’t really matter where or how but there seems to be no escape from the occasional run in with racism. I can admit that growing up as a child and even as an adult I have encountered racism, but I have never allowed it to have any type of lasting or even poignant effect on my life. In the grand scope of things racism is pretty insignificant, if someone can generalize an entire group based on a false belief, then they are not worth the time it takes to deal with their problems. Not to say that racism can’t be at times hurtful, but I have grown to treat it as the foolishness that it is, you don’t feed foolishness, you ignore it or treat it as it deserves to be treated. It is far too often often these days that people seem to take two extremely polarizing stances on racism, they either think it doesn’t exist, or they think it controls everything, but it is rare that people understand that it is there and actually take time to get around it. I understand that in some places on this planet, racism is so bad that it can be almost debilitating, but I am confident that there is always a way to free yourself from the confines of a terrible situation or belief. It is sad that in the age we live, people still hold on to such foolish beliefs about others, but I am sure that someday soon racism will be a thing of the past.
I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.- Atticus Finch
– Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird was one of my favorite books as a child, it was a story of courage in the face of stark opposition. In this quote from the book, Atticus, one of the books protagonists, is explaining his definition of true courage. While I fully agree with the quote, I consider courage to be more than just continuing when the odds are stacked against you. Courage is pressing on in spite of uncertainty, courage is standing firm for your beliefs or convictions no matter who is coming against you. Courage is more than just fighting when you feel you are beaten, courage is fighting to win even when you are outnumbered. I am inspired to write this post today because my younger brother is currently in the hospital fighting courageously against an illness that I know he will defeat. It is never easy seeing a loved one go through pain, but I know by the grace of God, that he will be fully healed of his sickness. I dedicate this post to every person who ever has or ever will fight against an illness. As long as you are willing to fight, you will get better, just be courageous and never give up.
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
I have heard this quote several times before, it is often recited in graduation speeches to eager students ready to take on the world, but it is never really explained. Most people would love to set out on a new path and built their own trail, but the thing is, building a trail is difficult and doing it without the right tools or training is just plain stressful. I agree that it is much more rewarding to build your own path, and have the satisfaction of knowing that everyone else is following your lead, but many people don’t realize that there is a learning curve to getting it right. Whenever you set out on a new path it is wise to take note of the advice of those who have gone before you. Learning from the mistakes of others is not exactly taking their path, it is just working their experiences into another approach. What most people don’t realize is the fact that avoiding the mistakes of others is beneficial to time management, anytime I have known the mistakes of another I worked around these mistakes, effectively giving myself time to make my own while still keeping on a solid pace. I like this quote but if I had to tell graduating seniors one thing about setting out on their own trail, it would be to never disregard the counsel of those who have gone before them. It is always awesome to achieve great things but there are no bonus points for doing it all by yourself.
I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.
I love this quote, I may have to use it as my new motto. It is never easy to create something great and the old saying goes “you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs,” Thomas Edison was a great inventor who is celebrated for the things he accomplished, but there is little known about his failures. In order to reach the level of success that gained Edison his international notoriety, he had to go through thousands of setbacks. What makes Edison great is that he not only looked at his failures as just a minor issue, he looked at them as a learning experience, and built on each “failure” in order to reach his goal. I have to admit, there have been times in my life when I felt like I failed, and I ended up either moving on to something else or just putting plans on a shelf for an extended time. The message I gather from this quote is that every action towards a goal is worth something, often times we like to make setbacks bigger than they actually are, but from this quote and the life of Thomas Edison we can see that any misstep can be just brick in the building that is success, as long as one is willing to press on to their goals. Edison was quite the inventor, and I and the world at large will be forever grateful that he decided to reach his goals in spite of his many failures.
Dads get a pretty bad rap nowadays, I understand that there are many bad men who leave women with their children, but Father’s Day is not for them. Father’s Day is for real fathers, the guys who know who their children are. I just had to start with that because, over the past few years, I have seen postings over social media belittling Father’s Day due to the fact that some mothers raise their children alone. I respect single mothers and know they work very hard but today is for the fathers, the ones who do their job. The job of a father is an interesting one, especially in humans, a father is tasked with teaching their son to be a man, and also with teaching their daughter what a man is. In most species on this planet fatherhood is just a means to proliferate the species, but with humans fatherhood is more than just the physical act of producing progeny, it is also about rearing them correctly. Fatherhood is a difficult job, yet many men have taken up this task and done magnificently, so I would like to salute my dad and the great dads out there who have worked hard and raised generations of children aspiring to follow in their footsteps.
Don’t let bitterness destroy your life. Bitterness is a feeling that is breed from anger and unforgiveness. Anger is a natural response to being wronged, there is nothing wrong with being angry, it’s how you handle it that defines you. Unforgiveness is when you are unwilling to let the cause of your anger off the hook, when you allow anger to fester in unforgiveness you are left with pure bitterness. A bitter person hates everything, and cannot find happiness, all due to the fact that they could not let an infraction go. I understand there are certain things that may seem unforgivable, but when it is causing bitterness, it becomes a bigger problem than the infraction. The main problem with bitterness is unforgiveness and forgiving is a tough task, quite possibly one of the hardest things to do but it is key to regaining your happiness and relief. A quote comes to mind when I think about unforgiveness, “ Harboring unforgiveness is like drinking poison, and expecting your offender to die.” The best thing to do to live a life free of bitterness is to forgive and move on, I know it’s hard, but the amount of relief you get from dropping that bitterness is equal to a lifetime of joy.
What is progress? By that I mean what is true progress as in improvement, can it be placed on a scale and weighed? Can one’s progress be the regression of others or is all progress total “forward motion.” I guess the best way to answer these questions is to look at examples of progress in different cultures. Progress is not a tangible thing it is a cultural idea that just falls along the lines of social norms. In some cultures it would be considered progress just to go to college and graduate, while another may see that as a basic necessity. It is kind of interesting how someone’s progress can actually be held back by the standards of their culture. Consider the fact that some countries forbid young women from doing simple things such as driving and going to school. In America we would consider this extreme regression but in those countries and cultures, I guess they feel the progress of the woman is determined by her ability to be a wife and a mother to a wealthy man and his children respectively. The idea of “social progress” has sprung up, in large part due to the influence of Facebook and Twitter, and has created a more uniform view throughout the world of how progress should look. The ideas behind social and cultural progress clash on many fronts, social progress asks the questions that lead to progress, while cultural progress is long standing and often leaves little to no room for questioning. I personally understand how people can desire a uniformed standard for progress, and how people have to fight for the right to move forward. It is also clear to that due to the strong level of cultural involvement in the lives of many, and the fact that these cultural norms are woven into the fabric of almost all “non-westernized” countries, the desire for a uniformed definition of progress will have to wait for another time or generation. There is one thing true about all levels of progress, no matter the level “progress is a process” and it takes time to get where you want to be, but as long as you go through the process of fighting for it you will make progress.
Today a sports broadcasting legend died, Stuart Scott, who was one of the personalities that lead to the immense popularity of ESPN SportsCenter and subsequent copycat television shows. Stuart Scott was not just a great sportscaster but also a great father, friend, and an inspiration to many who knew him and the millions who knew of him. Scott’s battle with cancer was not hidden from his fans, as he often would appear on the air between treatments and when in remission, but his sudden death is quite shocking. The death of Stuart Scott, as upsetting as it is on its own, causes me to think about how unsettling cancer is in general and the research that has been done, and can be done to combat it. Cancer is basically the vicious multiplication of abnormal or rogue cells, which manifest as tumors or cell masses that can be very problematic especially if they start to spread throughout the body. Now I don’t want to sound like I have magically figured out how to simplify one of the most complicated and distressing issues of the past couple centuries, but I feel like there has to be a more efficient way to treat each cancer specifically. While I understand it is a ridiculously daunting task, I like to hope that each individual organization can use the funds they raise and receive to target the root of the form of cancer in which they specialize, and use all of their efforts to find treatments one disease at a time. I also find myself wondering if the more rare, less researched forms of cancer could hold the key to curing this terrible condition once and for all. Wouldn’t it be interesting if by finding a breakthrough treatment for Neuroblastoma we stumble upon a cure for other forms of cancer? I really hope within this decade we will be able to pinpoint a “game changer” and as a people win the fight against cancer. To all of those living with cancer, keep fighting! I leave you with the words of Stuart Scott in his acceptance speech for the Jimmy V Perseverance Award “You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.” Keep living and keep winning.
Rest In Peace Mr. Scott