Sorry if this is spam guys, but who knows, maybe your bored and wanna read. I'm just looking for ways to contribute to the community. p.s. Thanks for such a great welcome everyone, you rock.
"Even the smallest person can change the course of the future"
Gifts tend to be something that few dwell upon on a daily basis, yet seem to always be sub-aware of. Everyone is good at something, so we naturally spend time in that area of our life, while rarely taking the step back to look at the gift itself. One magnificent feature of life is that we are all unique. No two one of us are entirely alike. We all have our own ups, our own downs, our own weaknesses, and strengths likewise. We all posses great confidence, as well as great self-despair. While we all suffer at various things, in turn we all excel in different areas. It's a truth in life we never really look to deeply into, and I think it's something stunning and wonderful that is absolutely worth the time to explore. Like I said, the majority of people see this situation as black and white. "I'm great at basketball, but I suck at baseball." "I wish I was a faster reader." Most accept the fact that totally beyond their control, they are better at some aspects of life that others aren't, and in turn are also worse off at things than others. Over the past few years I have become aware more and more every passing day the importance and strength in community. Community is truly a gift. Communication is truly a gift. We are lucky enough to be alive in a world where we don't need to face existence alone. We have our fellow man (or woman) to help us along. Everyone has their own agenda's, their own goals, their own reason for living, for existing. It's human instinct and tendency to find that "purpose" if you will, for waking up every morning and living another day out. This is truly a journey. Some seek professional success, some social acceptance. Some chase spiritual completion, and all desire to feel completely alive. Self-Actualization is something we all strive for. We all search for that indescribable, invaluable feeling that we are EXACTLY where we need to be. That what we are doing with our hands, feet, heart, and soul is entirely what we were put on this earth to do. All too often, as we all know, it's so incredibly easy to lose our passion for life. Our hand's and feet become tired, our heart's grow cold, and the flames in our soul reduce to embers. It is a part of life we hate to come across, and we indeed come across it far too often. This can happen for many reasons. We feel as though we are getting nowhere, or that our journey yielded no results. We see others succeed while we wither and fade in the night. The horrible, ironic, and slightly humorous truth, is that those whom we envy, in turn, envy us. We see our neighbor live a life that in our eyes is perfection, so we sulk in our thoughts, drowning out the reality that the person we wish we were is sitting in their room dreaming of being you. As I have mentioned, we all succeed where others fail, and vice-versa. But here comes the kicker. These gifts and abilities we all have, while unique to us, don't have to be used exclusively by us. We don't have to be the sole benefactors (and I do not believe at all that we are supposed to be). We aren't created to be prominent in one area just to bottle it up and feel good about it. For nearly all of my life, I was convinced that life was best lived self-serving, self-supporting, and self-healing. I failed. It backfired and went nowhere. Obviously, a shift in worldview needs to happen, where we realize that we are not alone in this fight, or better put, journey. We all want success, acceptance, and completion. We all want to feel alive. What I have found, is that with an open mind and a bit of community, it's pretty tough to keep that fire in your heart under control. I think it's time for an example, to keep us all on the same page. I have a really good friend, who has an abnormally amazing way of challenging me to be a far better human being, without a doubt one of his gifts. So one night, I'm at Adam's apartment. I'm talking about how I'm down on life because it's not really going the way I wanted to it to. How I'm not working where I want to work, how I'm not going to school for what I want, and how essentially my passion for life is dimming. He naturally, not even trying to, begins utilizing his gifts. He looks me straight in the eye and says, "You only live once. I don't know about you, but I gotta do what I gotta do to make it happen. You and I, we both write. You write with words, I write with music. Go into business if you want." He has the gift of challenging people to live their one life to the best they can. So his gift was used to make an extremely drastic decision in my life, 12 hours later, my major was switched. This use of Adam's gift, in turn, could in fact influence many others lives, and fan the flame in their souls. My future writing could somehow influence others, who then go out and use what they learned through Adam through me, to influence others. And those people, in turn, can change the world. We all have gifts, and with these, we have the potential to change the world. Think about it, you never know when you affect someone in a significant way. The smile on your face could, through a series of events, change someone's life. They could see that smile, greet you, get to talking, you two become swift friends, and eventually, through community, change each other in ways that would have otherwise been entirely impossible. We all possess within us the creative power to change the world. We all have gifts, we all succeed. We all have shortcomings, we all fail. Even in failure, we encourage others through our strength to pull through, and they encourage us through their gifts. It's a chain reaction. It's a community. I am a product of the events and people that have come into my life over the past 19 years. So many different gifts funneled into me and became Jason. From this process has sprouted gifts of my own, which can be used to build community with the people that used their gifts to strengthen me. It's a cycle, and a crucial one. Never stop fighting, never lose your flame for life. You never know how you will be used to change the world.
"Even the smallest person can change the course of the future"
"My father once said, 'If the whole world wants to go left and you feel like going right, go right. You don't have to follow. You don't have to make a big deal about which way you're going. Just go. It's very easy'." -Yanni
Dear Mr. Watson, Your post totally rocks!! lol It's like the best post I've ever read on this board. I recognize your clarity and I recognize exactly what you're talking about! Only it took me about 20 years longer than you to become profoundly immersed in it lol. I was telling a close friend some of the very same things a couple years ago. This person has such a positive influence on my life, that I find myself passing it on to others. A simple example was a trip to the beach. I went down on the beach alone to think, and take some photos. I was thinking of all the wonderful times my friend and I share and it didn't take long for me to channel that energy into discovering the beauty of that beach and how much I enjoy photography. Everything I did that day was inspired by the positive influence from my friend, as is every day in my life.
I returned from the beach and got on the elevator to my hotel room. There were 3 elderly ladies also on board. At first, no one said a word - normal with strangers, right? Then one asked, "Was chilly on the beach this morning?" I replied "I didn't really notice, I was so busy taking photos." I hesitated, then decided why not spread the joy. I began to describe my morning mission to them, telling them all about the seagulls, the crabs, the rough foamy surf, and even the beautiful starfish I found alive on the sand near the water. I crammed in as many details as I could on an old slow elevator. I had six enthusiastic eyes pinned on me as if I was their granddaughter. No -- as if they were right there on the beach too! I was on such a natural high already when I was on the beach, but sharing the excitement with the ladies made it even more special. They were asking questions and teaching me things about starfish in return. After we bid farewell as if we had been friends for years, I got off the elevator and proceeded down the long hall way.
As the elevator door closed behind me, I heard one of the ladies say to a new passenger on the elevator, "did you hear, she saw this beautiful star fish on the beach, and then...." She was passing the story on to the new passenger with such excitement, that I almost felt as if I was in a movie scene - the last few seconds of the big happy ending! I never looked back down that hall, but I was thinking, my friend just totally lit up those ladies' morning. Through me.
I loved part II, as much as part I. You are a wonderful writer; but even more importantly, the messages that you pass to others, will change lives forever. As a writer, I know how important that is. I have always felt that if only I could make one person smile, or feel better about themselves, then I've served my purpose. You just keep being 'you', & doing what you are doing. It's beautiful!
You have hit upon some very fundamental points here, and I especially agree about the importance of community. I'm glad you decided to post here on the YMB, because this is a community at its finest! We have people of all backgrounds, ages, races, etc. here and we are helping each other down the path of life. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and thanks to Yanni for allowing this place for us to revel in his music, life, and vision for a world community.