Monday, March 19, 2012

Just One of Those Days

Today is just one of those days that brings so much nostalgia back.

When I was younger, this type of weather was the perfect setting to watch Saturday morning cartoons, play video games, and pig out on snacks while doing so with the blinds and windows open. They say nostalgia is triggered by smell. I believe so. As soon as I stepped out into my balcony, I got trucked with nostalgia. Good times.

Days like this would be perfect for after school football or basketball at the park. Afterwards we'd go to a friends house and play games, have bonfires, and cookouts. High school was a place full of drama and stress. Nowadays, I laugh at it. Nonetheless good company and good memories were created in that phase of my life.

Just last year, it was spring break around this time. I remember going to turning stone and making like $40. I remember vividly how beautiful the weather was that week of spring break. Campus felt so nice and empty. There was a mysterious yet welcoming atmosphere in the student-deserted place. Just a handful of people walking on by disrupted the near perfect Syracuse spring scenery.

Today is another wonderful day. Waking up with the sun shining on my face (literally). Wasn't pleasant at that instant but positivity always triumphs over negativity (sooner or later). Just one of those days where I feel blessed to breathe this nostalgic air again. 

(Insert sigh here), its a nice day to turn 23. Minus the sigh, no sarcasm intended.


Bible Progress - 1 Sam 27

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

#Kony2012 #StopKony

Most recently I have seen the potential that social media has in the world. I've known for a while that social media can cause and uproar in the world but I never knew how fast word can travel via internet. As most of you know there is the whole #kony2012 movement going on and if you haven't heard of it, you need to check out this video. I first heard of it two days ago because it showed up on my youtube channel as a recommended video. Honestly though I didn't click it then simply because it had a youtube defying length of 30 min. However yesterday it started to appear here and there on my facebook newsfeed with comments like "OMG you HAVE to see this", "damn powerful stuff", "Speechless...". My rule of thumb is (probably everyone elses' rule as well), if at least 3 people share the same video, and they have no knowledge of each other, and post a "must see" tagline as well, then I watch. I ended up watching all 30minutes of it.

What'd I do next, I tweeted, facebook statused, and now I'm blogging about it. Interesting fact though is that when I saw the video on youtube, it had roughly about 50,000 views. This was like 1am last night. I wake up and its nearing 2 mil. Its true, a simple idea can go a long way to change the world. I have great respect for the Kony2012 team who gave many years of dedication, hardwork, and basically let everyone know that this world is not what the mainstream media says it is. There are good people in this world doing great things, not just your regular news con-artist or murderer. Its a whole other story of how much I can't stand mainstream news for broadcasting 90% negative, 5% propaganda, and 5% positive things in the world. My hats off to you Kony team for basically taking an idea and bringing it into fruition.

Like many others, I'm sitting here wondering wthail I can do. Honestly though, the fact that you tweeted, shared, statused, linked, pinned?, reblogged, blah blah blah, its already got the news spreading like wild fire. I know people you don't know and vice versa. Odds are at least one of your friends are gonna share it as well. I'm always happy to hear stories of people who do whatever they can to make the world a better place. It doesn't necessarily have to be on a global scale, maybe even as small as your community or even smaller, in your classroom. In the video, the father wants to leave behind a better world for his son to grow up in. Admirable, but even more admirable is he actually gets up and does something about it. I mentioned something like this in a post many a time back but, I won't believe you until you can walk while talking. Too many times I hear people complaining about the world being a crumby place, how evil it is, how much hatred exists, and how much human beings don't care for each other. I don't care if you don't start the next #kony2012 like movement, at least change yourself. How can you expect a better world when you're the one that exemplifies all the negativity of the world. Doesn't mean be a perfect human, means at make an honest attempt to bring joy and happiness to other people. It could simple as holding a door for a stranger or if you want to take it a step further, you can try DTD (Drive-Thru-Difference). A simple idea can shake the world. I've always loved Ghandi's one simple idea: "Be the change you want to see in the world".


Bible Progress - Judges 12

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

1 Minute Convo

I'm pretty sure everyone has had this experience. Say you walk into a building and the Janitor is there mopping the floor and you wait for your elevator. The Janitor says a warm hello and you reply back. Sometimes you carry the conversation a little longer to "how was your day" or "great weather right?". Then your elevator comes and you he tells you to have a great day. I personally always thought these conversations were "awkward" and sort of unnecessary.

Today I realized the humbling fact that these people who do a simple greeting wave or start up a 1 min convo are the people who make my day. Everyday I go into work I meet two people: Mr. Garage man and Nina the security guard. My first week was nothing out of the usual-ready-to-take-on-the-world young adult and proudly walking into the office. I run into Mr. Garage man every morning when I park my car and he always greets me with a "hey buddy!". Secondly I meet Nina the security guard whose name I didn't know til last month. My first week she always greeted me with a smile and a genuine interest to wish me a great day. I tried to avoid both as much as possible. I sometimes timed my entry into the building so it would coincide with another person so I could slip on by without stirring up the default greetings. Same with Mr. Garage man. I always tried to sneak on by, play it off like I'm checking something super important on my phone which in reality was staring at chubs picture on my lock screen. After a month I kind of gave in and just let the daily passbys happen naturally.

Nina asked me what my name was. Shocked at first but I replied. She told me her name and how it was a "pleasure to meet you". The next few times were indeed a blessing. The commute to work was the most stressful thing I've done in a while. DC, like any inner city, gets too hectic during rush hours. Its a horrible way to start a day but you gotta do what you gotta do. I would park my car and Mr. Garageman would wave me off with a smile and as soon as I enter the building I would have my 1 min convo with Nina. We started to expand upon the usual "have a great day" and started adding stuff like " a Pats or Giants fan" and "plans for weekend?" She was really easy to talk to. I don't know why I missed out on these two brief moments. Every time they bring my spirits back up and I walk up to my office and say "its gonna be a great day".

Sadly though today was the last day I could see both of them. It didn't hit me but I realized there would be no more pick me ups in the mornings anymore. It never occurred to me that Mr. Garage man is not just Mr. Garage man and Nina is not just a security guard, they're dedicated, selfless people who do their best to get your spirits up for the work day. I think I was legitimately sad that today would be the last day we'd cross paths. Nina and I had a 5 minute convo and a good bye hug and Mr. Garage man (he never told me his name) and I acknowledged each others company. As I drove out I did the "hi beam greeting" and he did the "honk honk greeting". That was it. That is the last time I'll run into those two. They're the reason why going to work was that much better. It just started as a simple "hello" but turned into a beautiful relationship between two human beings. I felt so blessed looking back and recalling all the 1 minute convos we've had. I have very high respect for Nina and Mr. Garage man. Even though their jobs may seem "mundane" and "unsophisticated" to society, I'm forever more grateful to them then the other "sophisticated people" who're just too damn prideful to even say "good morning" in the same building. Get off your imaginary pedestals please.

Dear Mr. Garage man and Nina,
You are truly respectable people. Thanks and God bless.


Bible Progress - Deut 2

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Why Can't I Be In Their Shoes Again, Final

Yep, the title is back, recycled, reused, and abused. Don't worry, this was meant to be a trilogy ;)

Call me a sad, sad child but I've been waiting for the Grove Winter Retreat ever since I graduated. I just wanted to relive the college experience all over again. The time leading up to the retreat felt like ages, but the time at retreat felt like a blink of an eye. But thats life. Everything you enjoy goes by in a flash while everything you stress about continues to carve out the Grand Canyon. I think the anticipation and the hype we created amongst ourselves made it that much quicker, but that much better. Me, chubs, and Wayne took off early from work to get to Long Point before 10pm. We got there exactly at 10pm and already it felt like college never ended. Only thing different was the fact that everyone was greeting you and hugging you like you have seen each other in ages. Good times.

There was nothing especially different about this retreat in comparison to the past four I've been to but this one just felt unique. One, its the first I've attended where I could actually sit in the congregation section, and two, we're "young adults". Retreat in general is a time where you refresh, renew, and reinvigorate yourself for God. Check, check, and check. I've also experienced the college life again. Check. However, I've also realized something else. Aside from the challenge Pastor Lisa left with us, I've also got a sense of being alive. Not just breathing but a sense that this is what I live for. Its like not having a bowl of pho for a week and finally being able to down two large bowls, soup and all. To no surprise I longed to be amongst my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, to worship and praise together, to pray and heal each other, to share Christ's love with each other. It was this very moment that I looked forward to all year long. Its over now but for the time being, it was a nice glimpse of heaven.

On the way back from the blessed time, we got to talking about our current positions in life, our jobs, and how we still wished we were back in college. Bare truth is I still dread Mondays and I'm not excited about the work I do. It doesn't get my adrenaline kicking, it doesn't make me feel alive. On a pessimistic view, I probably won't be pumped for whatever I do next. As much as I've doubted I now know for a fact that my passion lies in praise. Nothing gets my heart pumping and stomach butterflying like being part of praise. Whether it'd be playing on the team or just throwing my arms up in the air, its officially my passion, I can't find any other excuse now. What was it that drove me to tears the first morning worship session we had? A missing link finally found, a longing fulfilled, a thirst quenched. Praising by myself and alongside fellow brothers and sisters is a totally different experience. For this reason I wish to devote myself to the current praise team that I've been given the privilege to serve on and lead.

I live for these moments and sadly I've become too dependent on fellowship to brave out into the new world. I know I'll never be in their shoes again but I realize its never a bad thing to relive certain moments of your life. They're worth reliving for a reason. Quite honestly, this week has been a long long week. Exhaustion from retreat coupled with work stress is never good. Luckily I've always got my 2 hrs of commuting to digest it all and have time to think. The more I think, the more I can't express my thanks in words. College, no, the Grove was an awesome, life-changing chapter of my life. I'll forever be thankful for the memories and the lessons learned but I can't let it hold me back. Gotta take off my old shoes for a brand new pair. Been wearing them too long now that its been slowing me down. So here's to my "official" first step into the real world. My old shoes I shall place in my case for forever long preserving, like my blue jacket.

Memoirs of a Syracuse Grovian Alum, class of 2011.


Bible Progress - Exodus 38

Monday, January 16, 2012

I'm Number 1!

A very delayed happy new years to you!

I've been slacking with the blogging but hopefully I'll get on it asap and stay on top of my routine.

So 2012 has finally come and personally I feel that this is the year where my life will start to forge its own path. Its been over a month since I've been employed and I have to say, thanks God. He answered my prayers exactly on the dot. Maybe I should've prayed for an earlier employment date rather than "by the end of the year." Many if not all of you probably have your own resolutions for the coming year and likewise, I have mine. As you know I have successfully finished reading the bible last year. This year I have a new set of resolutions that I hope I can keep along with my 50 year bible plan (which I've creatively dubbed The 5-0 Plan). With the numerous resolutions I came up with I just chose to stick with one.

This is the year to be humble and thankful. Cliche? Yes. But this is the year where I will be thankful more so for what I have. With this whole 99/1% junk and occupy this and occupy that, I nearly hopped on the bandwagon for the 99%. Then I actually sat and thought about it. No matter how much of a "financially difficult" situation I was in, I've always had health, food, water, and shelter. That in itself is more than enough to be considered "rich" but I've also had great company wherever I went, I now have a job, and a family in good health. What more do I want? I asked myself that over and over and when I sat down and actually thought about it, all I've been doing is complaining about the luxuries I didn't have. In the near future I'll probably never have my dream car, an ipad, an imac, excess cash to fulfill my oh so greedy heart, nor enough to go on a dream vacation. I literally sat down and wrote out a list of these things then later trashed it cause it was obscene. Here's the dumbed down version: luxury, luxury, luxury, money to pay off loans, luxury, luxury. Yep, I'm shallow. My entire list was full of useless, meaningless stuff for personal momentary pleasure. I've also come to the realization that I do consider myself part of the "1%". In my honest opinion, I think that whole 99/1% debate is all cognition. How do you perceive your own quality of life? I have an amazing one, just not the luxuries that the 99% so desire. I consider myself rich for never has a day gone by where I starved, fell ill of disease, or slept against the elements. Oh, did I mention that I'm typing this up on a macbook pro while tweeting on my iphone? I guess because I own Apple products I'm automatically part of the 1%.

On that note I really do wish these "99%" can settle down. I do sympathize with the "real 99%ers" and not your average jack and jill who tweet and share "occupy" all over the place to go with the trend. I have a serious pet peeve for bandwagoners. I just don't know how to deal with all the same facebook updates and tweets about x and y when I know for a fact that they had no clue as to who or what x and y were before. Not gonna lie, I'm guilty of it as well. Judge me if you so desire. Greed will only get you so far in life. Even if the 1% controls all the wealth, there are those that probably worked their asses off to get there. They just reaped the fruits of their intensive labor. Why would you want to steal that away? Respect. On the other hand if they're up there because of exploitation, fraud, or other gimmickry, He gives and takes away in due time. In the end, the world could use a big slice of humble pie right about now. I'd like mine blueberry flavored.


Bible Progress - Exodus 5