I’m Going to Change the World

explodingdog on The Daily Dot
explodingdog on The Daily Dot

As some of you may know I recently graduated with my second Associates degree. While I may not be a truly qualified to ride a dinosaur (sorry to burst anyone’s bubble) I have decided that I am going to change the world.

I haven’t worked out all the details yet but I do know that I am committed to at least in some small way changing the world. I know that if I set out with this goal in mind great things can happen.

Just so we’re clear, I’m not so naïve to think that it’s going to be easy or so egotistical that I think I can do it alone. This is why I’m asking you, yes you, to join me.  We likely all have a different idea about what a changed world looks like. I think that is great, it means we can all focus on a small part, work together and create waves.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s change the world. Together.

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“Come on, be honest with yourself, at some point in our lives we all wanna be a superhero.” — Kick-Ass

These past few days I’ve been watching a lot of superhero movies. No, not the classic Batman, Spiderman, or Superman movies. No, the lesser known superhero movies, the ones about the little guy; I mean the tiny guy. The guy without a chance to be a successful superhero. I’ve been watching movies like Super, Kick-Ass, and Blankman. These movies all have the same premise, average people who decide to fight crime and enforce the law. The Crimson Bolt in Super said it this way, “You don’t butt in line! You don’t steal! You don’t molest little children! You don’t deal drugs! The rules haven’t changed!”

I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for these underdogs I want good to win over evil, crime to stop, injustice to be destroyed. To be honest I think the world needs more superheroes. More people fighting for the good of all. Let me pause here to clarify; I’m not talking about people running around wearing mask and capes. You see, there are flaws with this type of superhero. They always tend to work alone or with the occasional side kick. They feel they are above the law or maybe it’s that they are the law. This list could go on but I’ll stop there.

I am talking about the everyday superheroes, the teachers, the policeman, the non-profit employees. The people who are willing to fight for what they believe in. The people who risk it all to protect, to educate, and help those in need.  In a world where everything is broken we need more individuals, more groups, more action, we need to stand up and fight. Think about what we can accomplish together.

I am not a Brand.

“People matter. This includes you. Stop trying to sell everything about yourself to everyone. Don’t just hammer away and repeat and talk at people — talk TO people.” – Maureen Johnson

With keeping with my New Year resolution I’ve been reading more. In my reading I came across an article written by Maureen Johnson entitled “Manifesto: I Am Not a Brand.” She writes about how often on the Internet people feel that they have to brand themselves to get their message out. She writes her thoughts from a social networking point of view.

This got me thinking how in other areas of life people will turn themselves into brands. Think Steve Jobs and you think Apple, think Bill Gates and you think Microsoft think pop music and you may think of Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson or Brittany Spears, the list could go on for sports, TV, movies many people spend their lives to get noticed, rich/and or famous. Myself, I refuse to sell out to become a brand. I strive to be an individual who is out to create a better world who listens and cares about others not someone who is out to have the loudest voice.

Thoughts On Love

It’s no secret that today, February 14th, is Valentine’s Day. I have to be honest; I’m not a big fan of Hallmark holidays. Society telling us what love is and what we need to do to show it. Roses, candy, cards, and fancy dinners are naturally the only way to show someone you love them, right?

Wrong. I’ll admit gifts are fun to give and receive and are a way to show love. However, they aren’t the only and might the best way though. We’ve all heard the phrase “actions speak louder than words”, I believe this wholeheartedly.  Using the same logic we could say, “Love is more than gifts, cards, flowers, etc”.  Let’s back up, I don’t these things are necessarily bad or wrong. Maybe we should start by defining love.

What a loaded question, “What is love?” People have been trying since the dawn of time to define love. According to dictionary.com there are over 20 definitions for the word “love”. It’s both a noun and a verb. These are not including biblical, theological, pop culture and societal definitions of love. To me there are many types of love.  We love everything from intimate objects to being in love and maintaining intimate relationships.  Love is something that everyone longs for and needs.

One of my favorite ways to look at love is to take a look at the Bibles take on love. By looking at 1st Corinthians 13 we learn that without love we are nothing. Not just the intimate type either. I would like to challenge you to show a partner, a friend, a stranger, the world love. Let’s go beyond flowers and gifts and let our acts of love be known not only on Valentine’s Day but every day.

Have you shown your love lately? Tell me in the comments.

Conan O’Brian and Earthquakes

NBC Photo: Timothy White

I wanted to take a moment and deviate from the normal format of this blog and talk about a few recent events. I’ll start by expressing my thoughts on Conan O’Brian’s resignation from the host of NBC’s The Tonight Show. I might be bias as Conan has always been my favorite late night talk show host, growing up I remember waiting for David Letterman to end over so I could switch over to NBC and watch Conan. For the record: I am not, never was, and never will be a Jay Leno fan.

It saddens me to watch Conan walk away as host, however, I’m very proud that he was able to take a stand for what he believed in and walk away with such thankfulness and pride for all he’s been given over the last 20 years. One thing that really inspired me was night after night, after the jokes about his future, late night, and us current events he would have a serious moment and say something along the lines of “Look what I do is silly, it’s Hollywood, I’m a talk show host,  there are real people dying in Haiti right now who need our help.”

The two organizations Mr. Brian announced on air were Ben Stiller’s StillerStrong.org and George Clooney’s HopeForHaitiNow.org (which is also supported by Tom Hanks and Robin Williams and I’m sure a slew of other stars.)  Sure you can argue that a lot of stars are doing what they can to help in this time of need for Haiti, which is true, yet to me it the way a man who just lost his job (sure there was a 40 million settlement in it for him and his staff) to still be supportive and care about people just spoke to me. His letter to the Press and Farewell speech both spoke to me in a way in which lends him my support for years to come. To put it in a way that you, the internet will understand: I’m on Team COCO.

© Matthew McDermott / Polaris / eyevine

I also wanted to personally urge you to do something to help out the people of Haiti. I have to admit that I’m often guilty of turning the TV off or avoiding the news for a few days waiting for the whole thing to “blow over” but with tens of thousands dead and missing. According to sources ((http://www.nowpublic.com/world/haiti-earthquake-death-statistics-update-eu-says-200-000-dead-2559557.html)) over 1.5 million are homeless.  Even if all you can do is give a few dollars every bit helps. You may also want to read the The DOs and DON’Ts of Disaster Donations. I  truly believe it is our duty as one of the richest nations to help out.

There are many organizations you can support here are just a few:

World Vision – http://www.worldvision.org

Red Cross (Text HAITI at 90999 to donate $10) – http://www.redcross.org

Hope For Haiti Now – http://hopeforhaitinow.org

Stiller Strong – http://stillerstrong.org

Clinton-Bush Haiti Relief Fund— http://clintonbushhaitifund.org

Supporting an organization you wish to share or have something to say? Leave it in the comments.

The Soundtrack

I know what you’re thinking, no I didn’t put my media player on shuffle to answer a list of questions about my life. I have come to realize that I relate a lot of life to music. It seems to me for every moment in life there is a song written about it. Sure, sometimes the song doesn’t match perfectly but it does prove that somewhere out there someone had a similar thought, idea, or experience.

So with out any further ado here is the (current) soundtrack of my life:

  1. Tear Me Down from Hedwig and the Angry Inch
    I have fallen in love with Hedwig and the Angry Inch and this upbeat song seems to be the one which speaks to me the most.
    (Listen | Lyrics)
  2. Work by Jars of Clay – Good Monsters
    This song reminds me that living is hard and requires work. It also reminds me to never give up.
    (Listen | Lyrics)
  3. Chem 6a by Switchfoot – The Legend of Chin
    It’s all wrong, but it’s alright” these are the words that constantly resonate in my head as I think about the life I live. How much of life do we put off and not care.
    (Listen | Lyrics)
  4. Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid
    Just as Ariel longed to be part of the human race I feel that I long to part of the world as well.
    (Listen | Lyrics)
  5. Gloria by Brave Saint Saturn – So Far From Home
    I often feel that in my Spiritual walk that I need a reminder that God is truly there. This song reminds me that God is more than words but is truly there.
    (Listen | Lyrics)
  6. Apathetic Way To Be by Relient K – Apathetic EP
    Apathy may be one of, if not my biggest, pet-peeves, at times it might be okay but I don’t like the idea of brushing off life with this not caring attitude.
    (Listen | Lyrics)
  7. Lost? by Coldplay – Viva La Vida
    This number, reminds me that just because I’m losing doesn’t make me a loser, and that just because I’m hurting it doesn’t mean I’m hurt.
    (Listen | Lyrics)
  8. Born A Girl by Manic Street Preachers – This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours
    Need I explain? I heard this song and it instantly spoke to me. I would be curious about the story behind why Manic Street Preachers chose to write this song and what it means to them.
    (Listen | Lyrics)
  9. Hello Seattle by Owl City – Ocean Eyes
    As soon as I moved to Seattle I was in love with it. Why yes, I know this song is over played, don’t judge.
    (Listen | Lyrics)
  10. Mirrors & Smoke by Jars of Clay – Good Monsters
    Love requires action, love is a risk, love can cause pain. These are the themes I see in this song. We need to learn that love is an important aspect of living.
    (Listen | Lyrics)
  11. Love is All I Need by Kristian Leontiou – Some Day Soon
    Love isn’t ALL we need but it is definitely a major part of what we need. This song is so beautiful it makes me smile.
    (Listen | Lyrics)

Have suggestions of other songs, thought on these songs? Leave thoughts in the comments.

Note: sorry about the crappy YouTube videos and ad filled lyric sites

Thanks for Hanging Out

Recently after hanging out with a friend they turned to me and said “thanks for hanging out.” Which is a seemingly harmless statement, which, for some reason, provoked a firework display of thoughts in my brain. The main thing it reminded me of was of myself a year ago when I said that very same phrase to a friend. Their response was quite enlightening: “Brooke, you know you shouldn’t have to thank me each time we hang out, I hang out with you because I want to not because I have to.”

I could just over thinking this comment, but after this response I have stopped thanking people for hanging out. Yet, should we thank people for hanging out? They are taking their time, energy and often time resources to invest time in our lives. Is this “thank you” just an implied non-verbal thing that we never say but we should assume people are saying to us? Shouldn’t we show gratitude for the people we have in your lives?

I may just be bias as I think that we have become an over grateful society, apologizes and thanks run so rapid they seem to mean nothing. I am thankful for each and everyone of my friends if I say it or not. The key is finding the balance between fake and genuine .