Saturday, April 28, 2012

[Music] Break In- Halestorm

Let Go

We're writing a story every day. I've said this before.

But something I forgot to mention was that one of the most difficult things about writing a story, is coming across a part that no longer fits.

Have you been to this place?

A place that you realize that these pages can no longer be a part of the story you're telling?

It's absolutely painful to tear them out. To toss them away. These are sections of your life that you've been writing for weeks, months, years...

Suddenly you find yourself clinging to these lines, though you know you should let go. These lines, after all, are incredibly important to you. To lose these memories, experiences, or relationships would be like losing a piece of your heart.

Maybe you do in the process.

But not all lines are worthy to stay in your story.

Sometimes it's best to burn these scribbled pages, riddled with barely discernible chicken-scratch scrawled across them. Erase marks, and corrections prevalent; evidences of your continual attempts to write a story with no outcome. Sometimes these lines, though important to you, can only serve to injure, or reawaken heaviness of the heart. Sometimes these lines can hinder life that's yet to come...

We aren't meant to live in sorrow.
We're meant to overcome sorrow.
Sometimes we're our biggest obstacle, when it comes to finding joy.

Holding tightly to the page, standing over the fire. Indecisive. Scared. Uncertain. Opening the clenched fist, one finger at a time, a slow agonizing process. Until the page slides from you, and you see the warm flames greedily lapping up this part of your life...a part of your life that you allowed to hold you back.

It's like feeling chains open and fall to your feet.

You can breathe again.
Your lungs aren't twisted up in knots anymore.
Suddenly the light, that seemed an elusive whisper waiting, always, around the corner, is now visible and real.

Not all pages are meant to remain in our stories.
Letting go is the hardest part.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Chaos

It's an adrenaline rush.
The rebellious voltage, racing through my veins.

How'd I get here??


Just a few moments ago, I felt still.
Suddenly, I'm thrust into chaos.

Stranger still...
I kinda like it.

The chaos reminds me that I'm alive.

It's what pushes violently against complacency. It fights to get out, like it's trapped within my skin. It's a monster, but a monster I love.

I can't imagine how anyone could bask in light, without facing the dark.

How can anyone know peace, without first experiencing violence?
How can I appreciate the air, without first finding myself in danger of drowning?
How can I love, without loss?

And this, friends, is the shadowy secret. Paradox.

Despite it's best attempts to the contrary, the chaos actually serves to bring life to order.
It makes life more vibrant. Fresh. New.
The colors that surround us bleed a new boldness, and life itself seems sweet once again, rather than mundane.

Rather than destruction, the chaos only brings new beginnings.

When I feel the chaos begin, I know that good things are to come.
Some would tame the beast, but I let it run free. It's not containable.

It's our nature.
And it's in that nature, that we see so clearly our need for rescue.
If you don't face the monster, you'll never know your need for something greater...

God is bigger than the monsters that run loose in our lives. But, sometimes, we need the monster running wild, to see it.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

To Those Who Endure

I rolled out of bed around 6 a.m. 
If people don't believe in miracles, let me tell you, this fact alone is proof they exist.

I stumbled into the bathroom, and got in the shower. I let the hot water run over me, and slowly began to feel coordination seep into my limbs.

This boy wasn't made for early mornings.

A friend of mine had asked me to photograph her in the Oshkosh Half Marathon today though. I said yes, before I found out the details.

She told me, about three days beforehand that it started at 7 a.m.

I was trapped. Had no way out. Well, that's not entirely true. I could have just slept in, but I'd made a promise, and a promise is a promise.

I'd keep it, or at the very least I'd die trying.

So there I was, on a chilly, crisp Sunday morning. The breeze a little stronger than I'd like. Clutching my Cannon, and wading through the throngs of people.

"My god," I thought to myself, "who would honestly get up by choice, today?"

I tried believe that they'd all been tricked into it, like I had been. But, alas, logic won out, and I faced the cold, hard truth that hundreds of people couldn't have simply been tricked into waking up early on Sunday. They're just all in better shape, and had earlier bed times than me.

Anyway, I digress.

It wasn't terrible outside. The sky was clear, the sun (when you stood in it) was warm.

All at once a terrible thought crept into my mind.

What if I'm not able to find her?
There were certainly enough people to constitute a large mob here.

What if I couldn't fulfill my duty to photograph my friend on this important day? That would certainly put a damper on my day. It was about five minutes till the starting gun went off, and I still hadn't found her.

A man, a local talent probably, bleated out the national anthem, and I positioned myself a ways down from the starting line so I could catch the stream of half marathon-ers as they poured through the street. Hoping Taylor would find me.

It was nothing short of pure insanity seeing the sea of bodies all running toward me. Like the freakin' Running of the Bulls,  only the human edition... All at once, I felt quite grateful that I wasn't wearing red. Who knew? They could get angry and chase me out of town. Nothing's beyond the realm of possibility at 7 a.m. on Sunday morning.

As the mass of fit, awesome people filtered by me I snapped a few shots. Playing with my continuous shoot feature. I won't lie, I felt pretty cool, even though there were several real photographers in my vicinity, all with cooler cameras than my own. But, I relished the moment nonetheless.

Suddenly I heard my name called. I whipped around, and there she was, mid stride on her way past me! Thank you Jesus, I said to myself. I won't disappoint her, and today won't be in vain. I now knew her number, relative position in the pack, and what she was wearing. As the last of them trickled by, I made my way to my car. Time to head to the next checkpoint.

Of course... I didn't realize they'd block off key roads between me and my destination. So about five minutes later I was hoofing it, muttering words I'd never want Mom to hear me say under my breath. I made it to a check point about halfway through the course.

In the vicinity was a girl with a sign who'd come to cheer on the runners. I thought about asking her what was on the sign, but I opted to be lazy instead, so it never happened.

As the pack began to come round the bend she started shouting encouragements to the participants.

"Go runners!"
"Keep it up, you guys are awesome!"

Sweet right?

I'm sure it was great for the runners, who passed by her in a matter of seconds, but I, however, was standing there for a good twenty minutes.

Equally unfortunate was the fact that she chose to recycle the same phrases over and over, every two seconds. And something about the frequency of her voice, didn't quite jive with my ear canals.

I suppose you have to shout things at ungodly decibels, so that people on the move can hear you over their iPods, but my lord was it ever annoying!

It was at this, the halfway point, that I began to see why people use marathons as an analogy for life. I saw the fatigue on the runners faces, mingled with determination. I tried to imagine what it must be like to have run about seven miles, and to know that you have at least five more to go.

I had a bit of trouble actually envisioning this this, seeing as how my mile generally takes about an hour, and is promptly followed by vows to myself never to run again. But it still had an element of truth to it. Isn't that how life is sometimes? That is, isn't it like the halfway mark in a race?

Exhaustion, fatigue, drive, desire all mixed up into a unique cocktail known as life?

I began to ask myself, why anyone would ever put themselves through this. This thought was reinforced by the slapping of feet on pavement, and ragged breaths of those passing by. I know you've probably guessed by this point that I'm not a runner. Not even casually.

After my friend passed by the checkpoint, providing me with some more great shots, I slipped away and headed to the finish.

By the way, how is it possible that someone running a half marathon can provide better pictures for people, than I can when I'm standing still and posing for them? What gives?! I guess some people are just photogenic.

I got a great spot near the finish line, and saw the giant snake-like mass of bodies slithering toward me.

At this point I'd seen, and identified several of the event's "characters." There were a pair of girls wearing the fairy skirts over their sweatpants, a guy with a handlebar mustache, a girl with sweet multi-colored zebra tights, a couple doing the half marathon together, among others. It was the strangest thing, but at this place I found myself becoming their groupie.

Yeah, weird I know.

But something about seeing these individuals struggle, sweat, and now finding themselves on the cusp of victory made me want to start cheering them on. It made me want to run alongside them and whisper words of encouragement to them. Of course, I can't really run more than a block without getting winded, but at least the sentiment was there, right?

What is it about the story of human perseverance that inspires us?

My friend blew by me, looking not in the least winded, and as I snapped the last few pictures, I knew she was going to finish strong. I smiled as I walked to my car, and put my camera away. I drove over to the actual finish line, where people were already eating hot dogs and guzzling beer (gotta love Wisconsin).

I met my friend there, congratulated her, but what I should have done was thank her.

Not only did I feel skinnier just by watching this event today, but because it got me thinking about life. It made me think about the storms and trials we face every day and how, if we quit, we'll never be able to taste the sweetness of victory. Of overcoming. Of finishing strong.

I can only imagine how it feels to cross that finish line after thirteen miles of pushing yourself forward... but I can only hope that when I finish my race, it'll mean that much.

Congratulations to my friend Taylor for knocking a whole ten minutes of her last half-marathon time! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Courtesy



Interesting video by Penn. It's amazing what a bit of common courtesy in matters of faith can actually do!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Elites

Don't comment sections on articles or YouTube videos drive you insane?

You pop up an article, generally about something that piques your interest, or something that's important to you and underneath it can be a slew of comments, debates, and hateful rhetoric.

Kinda a downer.

The funny thing is, you can get sucked into reading them, and even joining the comment war. It's so messed up.

I often read articles about prominent religious figures, or concepts. If you read this space, then you probably aren't surprised by this factoid.

I've noticed a disturbing trend in the posts of bloggers (many of whom I don't agree with, but read anyway for a different perspective), and those who jump into comment arguments.

It's the idea that only certain people have the qualifications to speak about God.

No joke. I read a comment just last night, in which, the author said that C.S. Lewis, being a writer not a theologian, would have no qualification to speak on the issue being discussed.

C.S. Lewis??

One of the single greatest apologists for the Christian faith in the last century, is being dismissed because he wasn't a theologian?

Never mind that he's consistently referenced by theologians, but really?

Have we come this far? Has Christianity really come to this?

I'm not a theologian. Let's start with that.

I don't have a fancy degree. I don't have pastoral experience. And I haven't studied the accepted books that most evangelicals are supposed to study to gain acceptance.

But God is real to me.

He's real to millions of people around the Earth who didn't go to seminary.

The culture that Jesus lived in, was one of dogmatic elitism. The religious leaders were the authorities, and no one else had a say.

Didn't Jesus speak out against that?
Weren't his disciples the unwanted? The "not-good-enoughs"?

Yet in American culture, about two thousand years later, we have people who profess to be Christian, telling people the same sorts of things that the Jewish leaders told the Jews of Jesus' day.

This is what happens when you institutionalize a deeply personal way of life.

I may not have the degree.
I may not wear the suit and tie.
I may not use words like "salvation" and "sanctification" or "penal substitution."

But I know that God is real, powerful, and beyond a human's credentials.
I know that God doesn't care if you went to Wheaton or Brown.
I know that God doesn't care if you were a pastor or a stripper.

I do know, that Jesus, cares for people.
That he seeks people.
And that knowing him, is an invitation extended to all.

I also believe that sharing an experience with Christ is not a privilege confined to a small group of pastoral elite.

The whole premise of Jesus' ministry was to shake the foundations of a stale, dead, religious system, and bring people a life of peace with God.

He came for the B-team as well as the A-team.
He came for the clumsy as well as the polished.

Authority to share God, and thoughts of what God is like, isn't given to the Bible colleges of America. Truth and goodness are accessible to all. All have the great honor of sharing God's love with the world. Not just some.

God isn't a theology. He's a real, genuine being, who cares deeply about people, meets them where they're at, and shapes them into the person he's designed them to be.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Courage

You're an artist.

Did you know that?
Well, it's true.

Being an artist is more than having a brush, and paints at your disposal. More than having a Mac Book to edit things on, and make the colors snappier than a PC could ever dream to do...

It's the person you are that's the masterpiece, and the world is waiting for you to reveal it.

Here's what I mean by this...

It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there.

Not just the image you've generated, but the real, true, unfiltered you.

The one that you're afraid will be judged, or looked down on.

The one who has strong opinions about things, and the way things should be.

The one who creates things, but never shares them because you look around and think that your creations are so inferior to the things that others have created.


Artists, many that I know, have this insane complex. Friends of mine create these incredible works of art, and then begin to tell me all the reasons that their creation is garbage.

Writers that I know will never share their writings with others, and not just the deeply personal ones, but the rest of their works that could benefit others.

Photographers keep their images on hard drives, or in old dusty albums, rather than displaying them for the world to see.

Singers let silence replace music from their lips.
Dancers hold back from the steps that are capable of moving even the most stoic of observers.

Why?

Because expression, art, and the real you are images the world will never see without courage.

Blogging is an act of courage, I think.

I have so many friends who are brilliant writers, but they draw back at the simple idea of putting their work out there for others to see. I don't blame them.

The Internet is crawling with haters. Just check out any YouTube video, and you'll know what I'm talking about. There are plenty of people who would rather tear others down, rather than create something of their own. I call these people cowards.

It takes incredible fortitude, not only to create, not only to put something out there, but to weather the storms that accompany it. Critique can be an excellent teacher, but it can also discourage and destroy potential. Potential, is the soil of dreams. It can foster growth, and stability as we grow into the person we were created to be.

Is it easier sometimes to shrink back from the unknown? Sure.

But here's the thing...

If you don't own the things that make up the person known as you...what's the purpose in life?

Is it to please everyone around you? Is it to live a facade? Is it presenting an image that you think that everyone else wants to see of you? Because, even if this is the case, you're still going to find people who dislike just about everything you do. You're still going to find people who tear down what you offer.

So why live a lie?

I don't know what your particular gifts are. I don't know what role you'll play in shaping this world. But something I do know is that, whatever it may be, it's crucial to tomorrow.

You have something to offer that no one else does.
You do it in a style that's all your own, and no one elses.
Put it out there! It will take courage. It's gunna get real scary.
But it's worth it.

Own your work. Take pride in it.

Whether you're a writer, dancer, philosopher, artist, or a musician.

John Keating, one of my heroes, said it best when he said:

"We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for!"

When the real you comes forward. Unfiltered, and unashamed, it is a masterpiece, unlike any other.

The question is; Do you have the courage to reveal it, for all to see?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Our Deepest Fear

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

-Marianne Williamson

Amen to that! You matter, and you make a difference!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Fight

It's been a little over two years, since I felt completely void of hope.

Two years.

I remember what it was like to this day. It was like a foggy London day. A haze so dense that I wasn't able to walk with purpose to my destination, but rather stumbled around blindly hoping to find...something. Anything.

A gnawing feeling, that just ate at my insides. Restless, discontent, never resting, never letting me rest...

This past Wednesday night, I went to a presentation in Appleton. It was a presentation I'd seen before, but though the message was the same, it's a message that is worth repeating.

We're all living stories. Our story is important.

Our story is worth fighting for.

I remember wanting to give up so badly. I remember thinking that there wasn't anything worthwhile about my story, and that there would never be anything worthwhile to it.

I think about it now, the people I've met since, the experiences I've had, the experiences I look forward to. I think to myself... "I could've missed all of this."

At some point I stumbled out of the thick fog. At some point my head began to clear... It was a complete accident, but also seemed to have a touch of providence reverberating to it's core.

I felt exhausted. Like someone lost in the ocean, swimming in every which direction, looking for land, for rest. Only after I'd given up completely, and began to sink, a savior showed up. Life has been quite different ever since.

Life isn't perfect.

When you're living a story, there are inevitably parts that aren't desirable. There are boring, mundane parts. There are negative, painful parts. There are parts that make us want to put the book down, to give up, to stop writing because it just seems like it's too much.

And then there are the great parts, the parts that keep us turning the pages, wondering what will happen next.

But, when you find yourself in the times that tempt you to give up, you have a choice to make.

Do you surrender, or do you fight?

I want you to know, you're not alone. I've been there. I almost gave up...and I almost missed out.

There is life to be had for you. This isn't the end of your story. You matter. It's worth fighting for...

Don't give up.
Don't surrender.
You have too much to offer the world.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Reality Check

There are plenty of cynics in the world.

I, personally, think cynicism is void of merit, to be completely honest. But, sometimes, the inclination can be to go to the other extreme. To be insanely optimistic, or to gain false hopes about things that aren't reality.

Hope, in the best sense of the term, can give people a purpose, and drive. It can cause humans to act altruistically, and to do incredible things. It can breed perseverance, ultimately leading to success.

Hope, in the negative sense of the term (call it what you will: "false hope", unrealistic expectations, etc.) can bring us to a place of utter disappointment, and the crash can be even more devastating than a cynic's disappointment. Why? Because you've brought yourself incredibly high, and it didn't turn out the way you wanted.

So, why or when does this happen?

Hope can be based in several things, but often it breaks down to two categories:

1) Hope based out of knowledge
2) Hope based out of feeling

The second one isn't always bad, but it can be consuming, if we let it. The problem with basing your hope solely on feelings, is that feelings are fickle things. They can lead us one direction one moment, then pull a 180 the next.

For instance, I can hope with all my might that the $20 bill I dropped in Starbucks will still be there when I come back two days later. Despite the knowledge I have that people generally don't turn in cash when they find it. I can choose to disregard and place my hope in the feeling that it should still be there upon my return.

That's basing hope in feelings.

Now, say you lost your credit or debit card. Something with your name on it. Again, you would have to hope that someone would turn it in. The difference here, is that people are more inclined to turn something like a lost wallet, or debit card in. Not all the time, mind you, people still steal wallets they've found, and what not. That's why it's still a hope. But that hope is based in a more realistic view of how the world works.

That hope can be grounded, and complimented by a dose of realism.

What the source of your "feelings based hope"?

For me, it's people.

I'll meet a person, and become insanely interested in their life. Odds are, if you're my friend, I find you interesting. Congratulations.

Then, my mind will start to piece together an image of them, a caricature. The things that I find virtuous, noble, and compelling about that individual. These are all very real things. But, the problem comes when I place all my hope in the idea that this individual will stay exactly as I've pictured them in my mind to be.

See the difficulty?

Me too. People change. People have off days. So when I've placed all my hope in them acting one way, when it doesn't happen that particular way, it can lead to disappointment, and disillusionment.

We see this happen all the time in relationships. Someone will fall for someone else. That someone else may, or may not, realize this is the case.

Person 1 will start generating all these expectations about how life is going to pan out between the two of them. They may even jump past friendship, and right into romantic thought life. While they're spending so much time in "romance mode" they're completely missing out on the friendship to be had, and when their romantic expectations don't come to fruition, it can be a bitter taste in one's mouth.

I'm guilty of this. I've been Person 1, one too many times.

I've gotten way ahead of myself in friendships, hoping for more, without grounding myself in the least. It's always turned out poorly, as far as I can remember, and the friendship is never the same afterward.

It sucks.

It's important for romantics and dreamers alike to remember to ground themselves with a dose of realism sometimes.

Realism is different than cynicism.

Cynicism says "I can't."
Realism says "This isn't attainable right now, but what can I do to make this attainable?"

Sometimes you'll find that you can't make something attainable, but sometimes that simple question will put you on a path to achieving that which was previously a dream. All dreamers had to quit dreaming, and start doing at some point. Yes, they pursued their dream, their hope, but they also complimented that hope with realism.

It's like someone who dreams to fly a fighter jet. They can really, really, really desire it. It can really, truly be the ultimate longing of their heart, but if this person doesn't get a pilot's license it soon won't matter if they believe they were born to fly. They'll likely crash and burn.

But a person who dreams to fly, but understands that there are certain channels that they have to swim before that dream is fully realized, may take a little longer to get there, but they can leave the ground with confidence that they won't fall from the sky...

Sometimes we need to get our heads out of the clouds, because when you fly too long in the clouds, it can be quite difficult to see what's ahead, and around you. Being grounded isn't bad. It can help you appreciate taking flight all the more, when the time is right.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

[Music] My Sweet Escape- Run Kid Run

Pain

What is it about this simple word, that means so much to us?

Pain.

You worked, bled, sweated, cried, fought and finally arrived.

You look back at the hell you've been carried through, not wishing it upon your worst enemy.

But you wouldn't have it any other way.

Are we masochists? Wouldn't we change these experiences in a second, if we could?

But, you can't change the past. It's a funny little thing, pain.

The trophy doesn't mean as much, if you haven't put in the work to earn it.

The new car doesn't mean as much, if someone else paid for it.

You find new perspective on a relationship, after surviving hell.

Those twenty pounds? You felt each one.

Each level of pain, brings a kind of gift with it, as strange as it seems.

Imminent loss, causes us to hold onto those we love with renewed tenacity. Each moment becomes a gift. Loss of love, brings a renewed understanding of what love is, and what we were lacking in love previously. The workouts burn every fiber of our being, but produce a high so unmatched, that our gyms are packed morning, noon, and night.

Out of personal pain, comes some of art's most tremendous works.

Out of personal injury comes individuals who are willing to work tirelessly to ensure that others don't experience the things they did.

When we look around at the world, and the mess we've made of it, we often ask where God is in this. People knew God before this. Before all this shattered mess. They took it for granted. Now we live in a hellish place, catching glimpses of former glory. But, was it necessary? Do we finally learn what it means to depend, trust, and appreciate the One who made us, because of this mess?

Is that why He can be so real, even though we don't physically walk with Him daily?

I think so.

Pain isn't something I relish. It's a prickly thing to embrace. It hurts.
Sometimes, though, pain is the only way to see more clearly who you are, and who you were made to be. And, for that alone, pain has my respect.

Real

When people create their own blog space there are so many reasons they can do it.

Sometimes, they want to create a journal of sorts, or have an outlet for their fiction writing. Some do a concept blog, or a vlog (video blog); still others showcase artwork.

Blogger, like Facebook, is a great place to share ideas, and to actually construct an image. In fact, some people that I know actually like their online life better than their actual life. If you can imagine that.

I want you to know this: When you visit Perspectives, you're getting about as close to me, short of actually meeting me in person, as you can get. I don't want to create a mask here. I don't want to be an image. I want to be me. I want it to be the real deal.

And the truth is, sometimes life isn't always peachy. Sometimes life can suck. Then again, sometimes you can be on cloud 9 the very next day. I'm not static. I'm a person who has his ups and downs. I mess up, I get back up and try again.

This is a space that allows my friends (you who read this) to see, spilled out in blog format, just what goes on in my mind. It won't always be pretty, but it's real.

I guess what I'm saying is this, I'm grateful for you. I'm grateful that you take time out of your day to stop by and read the chronicle of growing up, learning painful lessons, and moving forward through them.

Thank you for inspiring me to write more.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Becoming An Activist

Every one's an activist to some extent.

We all have "causes" that we fight for; whether it's fighting global hunger through an organization, or crusading against the guy who writes the schedule at work, fighting hard to get your weekends off.

As humans we stand for things. We put our foot down against perceived injustices, and we're always looking for a way to make the world better. At least, better for us.

But, becoming a true activist is something completely different than you might think.

It's a concept that's, by and large, lost in our society and our every day lives.

An activist is someone who doesn't just stop after raising awareness. It's someone who goes beyond wearing a trendy little pin, during successful campaigns. It's someone who doesn't just talk, but decides instead to walk.Activism doesn't end at awareness. Activism is the continual process of standing up for those with no voice. Activism, is the constant giving of oneself, to something greater than simply self.

A cause.

What's been lost, is the giving part.

I'm not sure that many individuals understand what it means to give yourself to something, not expecting anything in return. Heck, I myself am still trying to figure out what that looks like.

But it's important.

A society that's comprised of individuals who only care for self, is a society that will choose to be blind to the suffering of the world.

Jesus, my greatest inspiration, was an activist. Activists advocate on behalf of something. Jesus advocated for people. He still does. That's why, I believe, when people stand up for the oppressed, the poor, and the hungry, God is present in it.

That's why people resonate with the great humanitarian calls of our time. Action is our destiny. Not complacency.

We can choose complacency, but it isn't stagnation that brings us to fullness of life.

Critics

In high school, much of my junior and senior year was consumed by trying to rally students against school budget cuts. We actually created a fair amount of noise. What I learned through that experience, is that there are always critics.

It doesn't matter how right, noble or just a cause may seem. Someone is always going to be critical of the work you do.

Sometimes critics are genuine. They are skeptical merely because they want to be sure the cause is as noble as it seems on the outside. These critics can guide us to examine our affiliations, and they can drive a cause to higher pursuits.

Sometimes critics are just that, critics.

Sometimes critics don't want to see anything better come from a movement. They simply want deconstruct what's been built by others.

It's easy to be a critic.
It's hard to stand for something that matters.

Being an activist isn't a label that you can pin onto yourself. Being an activist is something that one becomes. It's a lifestyle. A lifestyle that expects nothing tangible in return.

When the viral Kony 2012 campaign hit the world wide web, some complained that the 30 minute run time was too long. Too long? A story, about children who are in danger, being oppressed and being forced to kill, and the movie is too long?

Some shared the movie with their friends and stopped at that.

Yet others continue to carry the mission forth, to this day.

You decide. Who are the true activists?

Being an activist isn't a label, it's something you become.

Kony 2012 (Part Two)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

[Music] One Day- Matisyahu

Dear Reader,

Thank you for your loyalty, and all the incredible perspectives you've brought to this space. :) This journey is quite a lot more interesting with you, and I'm privileged to have you alongside me.

Lately, I've been having major writer's block. Big time. So, I've created a new space that I'll be putting more time into in the coming weeks.

It's called Words Fail, and will be a blog focused on my photography, and the edits that inevitably follow each shoot.

Feel free to follow, and comment away if you like what you see. :) Again, I'm thrilled that you spend some of your time here, and want to thank you again. You mean the world to me!

Sincerely,
Josh