Posts Tagged ‘Life’

Its 5 am….. Time to share a thought. (this might get a little long) My coworker, and friend, made a comment tonight about me learning how to juggle. She said soon I’m going to have a long resume of useless things. I laughed, because it was a cute comment, but my brain immediately began firing off a rebuttal and questions geared at attacking the foundation in reasoning that would even bring about a comment like that in the first place. But instead of attacking reasoning (knowing me I’ll end up doing it anyway), I figured I’d just say why I do the things I do.

 I have these little “rules” to my life. I try, to the best of my abilities, not to have anything I do NOT coincide with my rules. The first thing, and what’s most important, is my happiness. I’m very hedonistic in nature and almost everything I choose to do makes me happy. I feel that life is wasted if aren’t happy and you gain so much in the journey to it; new knowledge, friendships, experiences, ect. 

My second rule is that nothing is trivial. I’m a believer in the “butterfly effect” that the smallest things we do can have major effects on things in the future. The less things appear trivial, the less likely you are to take things for granted. 

Another rule to my life is that time and mind are the most precious things you can give a person. There’s no greater gift than teaching someone something new and nothing more valuable than time. You can get more money, you can’t get more time. 

Another rule is not to turn down a try. If you do…. There should be a really good reason not too, not just “I can’t right now”, “I’m too busy”, or “well… I don’t know”. If simple excuses keep you from trying things, you’re going to spend a lot of time in the future thinking about what you DIDNT do in the past. 

So, for me, juggling is another step towards my own personal happiness. To some it may not seem like much, but I’m pretty sure I’ll get more reward in making my daughter smile while doing it than in telling her it was something I wanted to do as a child but “just didn’t”. Stop making excuses for yourself, do what makes you feel good regardless of what the world may say. I do a lot of things from photography and writing to painting and now juggling. If people say, years from now, “damn, what DIDNT Marcus do?”……. I’ll be pleased with that! That’s fucking awesome. 

I just don’t turn down a try… Can you give me a good reason to? Better yet, can you give me a good reason why you have? (ah… see…. I couldn’t help it)

Don’t get caught up in the dream.. You know the house, the car, the job… That good ol’ American dream. There’s more to life than working your entire adult life to get by and leaving behind your inner child. The dream is for people who are asleep anyway.

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Think for a moment…. Why would anyone all powerful being ever concern itself with people worshipping it? I see that as a flaw, something a perfect being shouldn’t have. The only reason why people feel the need to worship a god is because they have daddy issues. Lol…  OK…  But more seriously, it makes people feel more significant. I can’t think of any other logical reason. I’m sure many will give other reasons, but I can see it boiling down to what I already stated.

Most people don’t have a real big perspective on most of the world and what lies beyond in terms cosmos… So I guess I will shed a little light on it in the near future. Really give you an idea of just how small we are in reality.

As an atheist, I don’t believe in any sort of super-natural entities, ghosts, or santa, but I do have faith in humanity. I would say it’s wavering constantly when I watch world news, but every once in a while it’s restored by a genuine act.

ah, where was I…. sorry.

 

Yea, so like an atheist, I’m actually reading parts of the bible and Luke 6:27-31 really stuck out.

27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

THAT’S AWESOME.. why can’t Christianity, and other Abrahamic religions,  just focus more on this!? Now I’m not saying do this to a T, even I highly doubt I would be able to. But seriously, the world would be a much better place. But NOOOOOOO, the rest of the bible just HAD to tell you who to enslave, how much to sell your children for, who to  hate, ect. I find that I follow the teachings of Jesus more than a lot of christians… really….. the atheist! I believe we all deserve equal rights and every should be free to express themselves and love who they want without the harming and oppression of others. I don’t need a god telling me what’s right and what’s wrong. In fact, I feel bad for anyone that can’t figure out that murdering your infant child is wrong without an authority telling them. We have a special cell and medication for people like that.

I don’t hate anyone for something they can’t help. Besides it being a total WASTE of energy, there’s absolutely NOTHING that can justify it.

Good ol’ Geaorgie boy Carlin! George Carlin was a comedian, known for his observational comedy and the use of language, and author. He also played Mr. Conductor on the children’s series “Shiny Times Station.” His work spans over 5 decades, over 20 CD’s, 15 comedy specials, and 6 books.

I grew up knowing who George Carlin was. I saw him on Shiny Times Station before I knew of his work in comedy. I watched some of his stand up when I was young, but I didn’t understand it. It wasn’t until I was much older that I got it and he really made an impact on me.

Artists typically see the world differently than most people. A good comedian will have you think about something in a way you never thought of before and leave you thinking about it. They are only conveying how they see the world, with a little humor mixed in, and often exploit ideas we take for granted. Carlin was a master of this. His “bullshit meter” was always on auto-detect and he had no problem letting you know how he felt.

I’ve always been a very inquisative and skeptical person. I like knowing the fundamentals of things, especially ideas and thinking. Carlin showed me the world in such a different way that I now can’t stop openly questioning things. I feel that I would rather be inquisitive of things than gullible. George Carlin was also the first open atheist I had ever known. I’ve been questioning the church and religion since I hit the age of reason, about 12, and had always been alone in the matter. I always felt I would be punished for talking openly about my skepticisms. Not believing in a god is a social taboo, and coming from the environment I grew up in it was more of a social suicide. When I saw how he backed his thinking with logic and did so with confidence, I felt the mental chains I placed on myself snap. I was alone on this journey for the longest time and here he was in front of the world saying what I was afraid to. I had never felt so empowered before. George Carlin really kickstarted my mind to openly question things as an adult. I began to see the world the way he did.

I actually read 3 of Carlin’s books before I saw a full comedy special of his. I feel like no one can read his work and not think about the world a little differently. Thank you, George, for opening my mind to thinking more deeply about how we operate in this world.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson is an astrophysicist, science communicator, and director of the Hayden Planitarium. He’s also the host of NOVA ScienceNOW on PBS and will also be hosting a new sequal to Carl Sagan’s Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. He’s also one of the people responsible for the reclassification of the planet Pluto, now classified as a dwarf planet.

Neil is one of the latest people to really impact my life. There’s many great people in the feild of astrophysics, theoretical physics, and astronomy that I look up to- Carl Sagan, Lawrence Krauss, and Michio Kaku to name a few, but it’s how Neil approaches the public sphere and how he conveys his message that’s both brilliant and inspiring.

Neil Degrasse Tyson likes to channel the minds of adults. Kids are natural born scientist and we tend to lose that as we get older and stop kids from exploring that part of their mind. If a child decides to pull out the pans from the kitchen cabnet and beat on them, adults are usually quick to stopping them. Unknowingly, they stopped a kid from exploring acoustics. He also talks about science literacy. A great quote of his, “If you’re scientifically literate, the world looks very different, and that understanding empowers you.” is one I hold close to me. Informed people make informed desicions.

Neil brings a level of sophistication and elegance to his views and science that is very approachable to the average person. That’s something you don’t see everyday. I truly feel that the only reason science isn’t commonly talked about, is because science is usually conveyed to people in a way that many people don’t get.

I now live to spark curiosity in the minds of people, to think a little more deeply about the world they live in. I thank Neil for that. It’s beautiful when you look at what makes the universe go ’round. Neil is the first person I’ve seen doing this in public and media. His view of the world should not go unnoticed. Not only is he an intellectual, he’s an excellent communicator and someone I look up to.

Thank you Neil

Victor Lemonte Wooten is a bass player, composer, and author. He’s won five Grammy awards for his work with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and solo work. He is the youngest of five brothers, all musicians themselves, and his experience and journey with music started at the age of two. He is a true “virtuoso” in the art of music.

I have to give a small back story to why how Victor made an impression on me. I went to West Chester University in 2004. I met some great people and made life-long friendships. One of my closest friends, Abon, is a guitar player. He had been playing since he was about 7 and he had two guitars and a bass in his dorm. One night we were invited by another great friend, Matt, to a small live show. It was on the second floor of a lounge. It was pretty cool. There were multiple bands performing, one after another. I had never watched a band play live before then. One band, whose name I forget, stole the shw for me. The solo the lead guitar player played left me in awe. That night I decided I wanted to learn how to play the guitar.

I would grab Abon’s electric guitar, plug it in, and go to town on it; not playing a single note. That’s how I started my journey in music. Abon tried his best to teach me, but I had a hard time keeping my fingers on one string. My fingers and hands were kinda big and Abon took notice to that. He recommended I play the bass. Up to that point, I had no idea bass guitars existed! I knew of stand up basses, but I didn’t know anything about bass guitars. So I tried it. It was a much better feel to me. But it wasn’t til Matt showed me a video of this guy that I really took off. He showed me a video of Victor Wooten playing Amazing Grace. It was absolutely beautiful. I didn’t think an instrument like the bass could be played in such a way. It was then that I had someone to emulate.

I’m a self taught musician. It took years for me to hone my skills and develop the type of playing I do today. I’ve been playing bass for eight years now, and Victor Wooten has been there all the way. His approach to music and life is something everyone should take a look at. To Victor, as well myself, music is a language. A very beautiful one at that. For about the first four years I tried to immitate what he and other great bass players played while learning how to play. It’s a good road to take for a self taught musician but there comes a point where you have to find your own voice. He showed me that and I have my own voice today. He was the first to show me that my expression of the arts is unique to me, so no matter how I play, how I express, no one can call it their own. That’s an important lesson that all artists should learn. He taught me to just groove.

Thank U Vic!

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Combating the stereotype habit is just like any other tendency, or addiction. First you should understand how habits are constructed. Habits are just patterns followed repeatedly enough to where it’s almost second nature. It takes three characteristics to make up a habit; knowing how, knowing why, and having the drive to do so. If you can eliminate any one of these traits, you eliminate the habit.

If someone knows why people stereotype and wants to stereotype people, but doesn’t know how to stereotype, it’s not a habit.

If someone knows how to stereotype and wants to stereotype people, but doesn’t know why the do it, it’s not a habit.

If someone knows how and why they stereotype people, but they don’t want to, it’s not a habit.

I will be the first to admit that this is much more easily said than it is done. It is very hard to break people from the habit of stereotyping, just as it is for any other habit because it’s about reconditioning the mind to do something that took years to discipline itself into doing. However it is this simple and you can go about breaking the habit in different ways. You can counter any of the three with a new habit. Having to re-consider why something is done is an easy approach. Commonly, when people are exposed to new reasoning on “why”, they soon loose the drive to do something as well. The how and drive are the hard characteristics to topple, particularly the drive.

Even more, how do you break the habit of an entire nation and society? One theory that has proven effective is disaster. When 9/11 happened most people lost sight of what they saw in groups of people. Everyone lent a helping hand and pulled through the catastrophe. Most people lost sight of why and for a moment in history (until the blame game) people were united in an effort to help their fellow man and woman regardless of what they looked like. As beautiful as it was, it’s just not practical. We cannot have a catastrophe every month until the American people are conditioned. By then there simply wouldn’t be enough people to care.

In my opinion a more practicul start to the solution is attacking advertisers and the media. It sounds so rebellious but when you look at it, they play off the most stereotypes just to push what they’re offering on groups of people. Television networks like BET, Mtv, and LMN play on groups of people of race, age, and gender. Products and advertisers use ways to market toward people all the time. Is it me or is every product marketed towards African-Americans playing urban music in the background? It’s funny and holds some truth, like stereotypes, but look at how serious it is and it’s effectivness. I really hope I have shed some light on the subject and the small steps we can take toward helping the issue. It’s a shame America has so far to go in this struggle. My search for understanding on this subject is far from complete and if you feel I’m lacking in some of things I say, feel free to tell me.  Next time you have a chance, think of an ethnicity and what first comes to mind when you think of it, then talk to someone of the descent. It’s cool to see what you have in common in contrast to what you may already be conditioned to thinking.