Unequal Terms

It’s come to my attention that I have potential as a writer. I’ve received generally positive feedback after showing some of my pieces of friends and various professionals. I am by no means a professional writer, but it would seem the raw materials are there to craft one.

As with 99% of my endeavors I lack focus and conviction. I’ll be honest and admit that I’ve failed every standardized writing test I’ve encountered in my nearly two decades of education (my God has it been that long). Then, wasn’t Albert Einstein thought to be autistic and nearly held back a grade or three?

How is this a relevant topic? I’ll tell you how! I’m going to give it a go, writing that is. I’m going to give it a damn good try and if I fall flat on my face…well…I can say I’ve made a go of it and had a grand adventure in the interim.

The biggest smile came from the smallest moment.

Folks don’t go all in for things anymore. They save at least a little part of themselves for something else, a glimmer of hope for something better perhaps. Again I fear it is a sign of the times. Having the economic boom of the past few decades come to a grinding, screeching, job shattering halt has made everyone a little uneasy. We’re spending less and saving more and in the process we’re missing out on life.

What purpose does this mortal toil serve if not to ingratiate ourselves? Yes, yes by all means put a little cash in the sock drawer for an emergency but live a little! We have a very very short time on this Earth and it’s not made any longer by squirreling away money and possessions, though it could be argued that it goes by faster if you’re having a good time (but who cares).

Bottom line, get out there and do something. Find joy in something unexpected. Get mixed up in an adventure, even one so small as getting lost twixt here and the market because you fancied a stop at the sweets stand on the way. Oh and P.S., you don’t have to spend money to enjoy the little things.

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Definition: Humility

Having been recently humbled myself, and after some consideration on the subject, I’ve decided our next definition destination will be humility. Recently, upon asking an English major’s opinion of my blog, I had the opportunity to be humbled and this not only gave me the idea for the current post, but encouraged me to try harder.

Humility is knowing your strengths, accepting your weaknesses, and seeking neither praise nor discipline. Humility also requires that you think of others before yourself while not forsaking yourself. I think Ken Blanchard said it well, “Humility does not mean you think less of yourself, it means you think of yourself less.”

Humility Without Words

Humility is paramount in creating a better world.

How does humility apply to us, Gen Y? Over the past decade or so, I would even say going back to women’s lib and the racial tension of the middle of the last century, there has been a shift in American culture. This shift has taken us from one extreme to another, and with a natural flow I’m afraid. That shift being from the patriotic self-sacrificing individuals of our past, to the selfish and conceited individuals of our present.

Our past selves were a seemingly inevitable construct of the era we faced. A fledgling nation coming out of a depression and facing two world wars, we almost had to come together and sacrifice for each other as a matter of survival.

Enter the human rights movement. After surviving that deep set depression and those two world wars our motives began to change. We’d been through a lot, and sacrificed much to be left with what? A prosperous nation, dominated by straight white men. Many men and women of all colors and walks of life sacrificed as much as this supposed upper caste and were forced to settle for what was left or fight for more.

Now the focus has shifted to the individual over the whole. The question today seems to always be, “What’s in it for me?” This focus on individuality is, I believe, a healthy step in our social development if taken in stride. Taken to an extreme it would essentially lead to anarchy. Every man or woman for themselves. While that might be a hyperbolic situation, it lends a certain amount of perspective.

Somewhere between these two extremes lies the balance of humility and individualism. We can protect and preserve our own virtues while being courteous to those of people around us. Our rights can be upheld without infringing on the rights of others. This can only happen if we, as a species, stop being so selfish and…dare I say…childish.

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Definition: Dignity

So I think that the first section of this blog is going to be dedicated to defining some qualities that are important for a meaningful life. Today I wanted to talk about dignity, one of the qualities that gave so much charm to the last few generations.

Dignity Revealed

Reserve is not a lack of expression, simply a temperance of it.

Merriam-Webster defines dignity as formal reserve or seriousness of manner, appearance, or language. The lives lived by Americans today are, on a large scale, undignified. What though, is so undignified about the American public?

In recent times peoples’ lives have become public forum. I think it is only exacerbated by the constant liberalizing of privacy. You can’t turn around without seeing your best friend’s tweet, your boss’s latest Facebook status update, or the who’s who of Hollywood and all of their private business on every television channel. Publicity then, however necessary in our culture, has become the enemy of dignity.

It seems that at one time dignity was about showing the world a stoic and virtuous veneer, stiff upper lip and all of that. Things change as do the times and so today, as a new generation takes it place at the head of our ever changing world, dignity will no longer be about a reserve of expression but about a reserve of public therapy.

Thirty, forty years ago dignity was about not expressing yourself because it altered your dignified demeanor. Royalty milling about with common folk and the like. Today’s key to living a dignified life is not to hamper your expression or creativity; it is to express your life to the appropriate people, when and where appropriate. In an age when self expression is so valued I think that is an important distinction.

I’ll simply leave you with this. All things in moderation, dignity included (as well as the lack thereof). Love, laugh, and live. Finally, always remember to smile.



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A Simple Beginning

I believe the best way to start is to introduce what exactly I’d like to present with this blog. There are bound to be some side trips and detours along the way, but my main focus is a reflection on living life well.

While I’d like to think that the majority of the materials I will be presenting are common sense, the things we see and hear of in the world today are clear indications that common sense seems…well…uncommon.


Happiness is universal.

The sun rises in the East, it sets in the West, and presumably will explode in the distant future. These are things which, either through measurement or experience, we know to be objectively true. What I hope to accomplish is to provide a look at the intangibles that are important to a happy and meaningful life. Living life with a jeau de vive, chivalry, presenting yourself with class, and even proper ettiquite are going to be some of our first stops.

If you’re alive you will probably walk away from this blog with SOMETHING, if nothing other than a chuckle. As with anything in life take it with a grain of salt, smile if it makes you bitter, and try to have a good time.



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