Monday, January 30, 2017

Possibilities of the Human Soul

"Imagine if you will being on your death bed – And standing around your bed – the ghosts of the ideas, the dreams, the abilities, the talents given to you by life.
And that you for whatever reason, you never acted on those ideas, you never pursued that dream, you never used those talents, we never saw your leadership, you never used your voice, you never wrote that book.

And there they are standing around your bed looking at you with large angry eyes saying we came to you, and only you could have given us life! Now we must die with you forever.

The question is – if you die today what ideas, what dreams, what abilities, what talents, what gifts, would die with you?"
– Les Brown


Internal Battle;

What is my potential?

 What am I holding back?

Why am I holding back?

External Battle;

What future genius just killed himself due to bullying?

What artist just gave up their passion because a teacher mocked them?

What is this world missing out on without you?

My Battle;

I don't care what researchers say;

Don't give a child video games.

Don't hand them a phone.

Don't give them the TV remote.

Don't give them empty, meaningless time fillers.


Hand them the world.

See what happens.

See what they can do.


"The possibilities in one human soul will never be found in another"

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Dedicated to the Inwards

"We love the mystics for their inward,
not their outward life;
because they lift us up above the world,
not because they make us have faith in it."


Why must we lay such high regard upon the outward?
Upon what a person wears, how they style their hair, the way they walk and talk and wear makeup?
These are all aspects and details of what the eye beholds,
and I just don't care.
These things are not who they are.

The fire hidden within their eyes,
The depth of their laughter.
The callouses on their hands.
The way they say what's on their mind.
The ways in which their emotions overflow.
The way they believe in everything, unwavering.

Those passions are contagious, those are what draw me in and make me believe in you and me and this life in this universe. A lecture won't work, it won't reach my soul the way your fire does.

Cobblestones and Fields of Green

Two weeks in Ireland is not enough.
Two eyes for the sights are not enough.
One heart for the culture is not enough.
One round trip ticket is not enough.
One blog post will never be enough.
Pictures...will do for now.

Friday, January 27, 2017


"Truly speaking,
it is not instruction, 
but provocation
that I can receive 
from another soul.
What he announces, 
I must find true in me,
or wholly reject."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have you ever tried to hold a conversation with a person and had them completely dominate it? Feeling stuck in a vicious cycle of "nod and smile", all the while your brain is flashing neon signs bright and loud to get out! 

As a whole, we humans have forgotten how to successfully communicate...more specifically, how to listen. 
We all listen with the intent of responding. 
We listen carelessly while we build our own opinion in our mind. 
We listen without hearing because "we've heard enough" and are formulating ways to disprove them. 
We listen while only waiting and fixating on what response we have prepared. 
We listen with our own agenda. 

For a change, why don't we listen just to listen. To absorb the information. To accept the information. To respect that this is what that person truly believes. Then, we build on it! Don't waste time arguing and battling and debating who is more right. Instead, listen to them and use every word they say to transform your own thoughts. Listen with the intent to understand.

After all, every person you meet does, in fact, know something that you do not.

Roads for Traveling Souls

"To know the universe itself as a road,
as many roads,
 as roads for traveling souls"
-Walt Whitman

Is it not mind blowing and awe-inspiring that different souls may take the same road to different places? Or even so, many different roads leading to the same place? 1 million humans can look at one road, 
but want to walk it for 1 million different reasons. 

We have developed an obsession with knowledge. We insist on naming this universe, mapping and sizing its masses, and dissecting all of it's beautiful and mysterious components until they are no longer beautiful and mysterious. They now lack that luster that came with it's "newness". This expectation has left us unsatisfied and continues to do so.

Today, we must have a name for everything, an understanding of it's inner workings, its colors, sizes, inhabitants, design, habits...why? Why must everything be so concrete? So boring? So limited? So permanent?

What a waste of language.

Instead, is it too much to ask that upon experiencing not react. 
Rather, Accept it. Absorb it. Embrace it. Reflect upon it.
Then, quietly take it with you on your road. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

What is at the Heart of Intellectual Pursuit?

What do we see that drives us forward in education?
What is there?
In life?
In love?
In knowledge?

Some of us go to college because that is what society expects.
A few of us go because it is what our family places pride upon.
Bragging rights.
A collection of hopefuls go because it will be the stepping stone into a lifetime career.
A majority go because they see it as a guaranteed job and paycheck after graduation.


Not good enough.


Not one of those reasons is good enough. What is at the heart of it all? No one considers this concept any longer, our world does not allow that kind of thinking. We are raised to focus on the goal, the light at the end of the tunnel....but why? Why can't we be here, now, and in love with this moment and what we do? When did the journey become dry and forgotten? The pursuit of happiness has been blindly redirected by the "American Dream", what even is that dream? 

At the heart of intellectual pursuit should not lie a single object that we can hold with our bare hands.It shouldn't be a job, a career, a big house, a picket fence, a paycheck, or a shiny toy in the driveway.

At the heart of intellectual pursuit should be the filling of your heart, mind, and soul with;
Raw Knowledge

Friday, January 20, 2017

If You Build It, They Will Come

"Back in the day...."

From 2010-2013 I played a strong role in CCSU's Habitat for Humanity collegiate affiliation.
The most rewarding of this opportunity was always planning, coordinating, and leading our builds.
As President I had full control of where we would go and this was truly an exhilarating feeling.

I led trips to North Carolina, and to Florida twice.
Each trip bringing a minimum of 10 college students.
We stayed in Boy Scout meeting houses, Church provided homes, and even Habitat built homes.
We spent the week building and working on anywhere from 3 to 5 homes at a time.
We prayed with the soon-to-be homeowners.
We befriended the neighbors and our leading construction workers.
We worked as a single unit.
Relentless efforts to bring someone else's dream to life.
Have you ever bled, calloused your hands, and sunburned your shoulders just to see a complete strangers dream come to life? Given someone a roof to live under? Provided hope for a new and improved tomorrow?

If you haven' should try it sometime.
There are some things in this world that words can't come to explain.
Simply embrace these things.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Taste of Freedom

Everyone knows the saying, "The grass is always greener on the other side". Yet, if you look beyond the surface and delve deeper into the roots and reality of are almost always surprised.
In 2011 I left the comfort of the US border for the first time, and it has changed me indefinitely. I am a person of many words and little emotions, so this blog is quite challenging for me. Bare with me world!

Day 1- Excitement
Upon arrival my heart is full, my mind is open, and my feet are ready to go the distance.
Vendors on the beach are kind souls, who will trade souvenirs and shells for food.
This is something my sheltered childhood has not seen before.
The land is beautiful. The people are beautiful. The poverty is overwhelming.
Realization; Beauty does not mean perfection.

Day 2- Tourism
Doctor's Cave Beach will heal your mind, body, and soul.
Shopping for souvenirs is a touristy thing to do. Embrace it for one hour max.
Vendors are selling treasures at the resort, what they can craft with their own two hands is stunning.

Day 3- Claustrophobia
Volunteer, Observe, and Visit Catherine Hall Primary School in Montego Bay.
1st Grade classroom = 53 students
Walls do not exist, bars separate the students and classes.
My heart exploded during lunch break, when the students and I played and bonded.

Met with the Principal of Sam Sharpe's Teacher College.
Discussed personal experiences, personal opportunities, and compared them to those of locals.

Day 4- Outlook
Volunteer, Observe, and Visit Montego Bay High School.
Humor can help you learn and get through the rough times.

Volunteer, Observe, and Visit Herbert Morrison Technical High School.

In need of me time.
When you consistently put your heart into every experience you have,
you need time to refuel and replenish.
I went kayaking over the coral reef with a glass bottom kayak.
This is bittersweet because today, only 6 years later, 93% of the coral reef is damaged.

This worlds needs more altruism.

Day 5- Light
Volunteer, Observe, and Visit John Rollins Success Primary School.
This school is particularly known for there dance program.
Which was mind-blowing when the students performed for us.
Truly, talent knows no limits or age.

Visited the first (and oldest) church in Jamaica,
which still holds mass every Sunday!

The Outameni Experience.
Not a place you visit, but a place you experience the full history of Jamaica.
You live this place.
You are greeted by Peacocks and the beautify of the culture.

Day 6- Resourcefulness
Volunteer, Observe, and Visit Granville All Age School.
The day was spent in two 1st Grade classrooms and three 4th Grade classrooms.
The skills these students have are beyond there years.
The resources these teachers utilize are bottle caps for counting and songs for memorization.

Perfect example of "life is what you make it".

Day 7- Gated
Volunteer, Observe, and Visit Bayside Shift School.
A "shift school" is where there is a new group of students every few hours.
We arrived between shifts so I spent my time at the gate, talking with the next shift kids.

This is where I learned of the true, unmasked poverty.
Of students getting burned by there parents for misbehaving.
Of having nothing and wanted education because it is a way out.
Yet, through it all....they have endless hope.

Upon return I spent the afternoon jet skiing and snorkeling with the locals.
I spent a lot of my time with the locals, come to think of it.

Day 8- Patois
Today we traveled to Ochos Rios for Dunn's River Falls,
a 967 foot waterfall that we would hike, swim, and slide through.
Our guide was Big Toe, and him and I lead the group as he taught me Patois and cultural songs.

Next we traveled to Dolphin's Cove,
where we were immersed in the animal life of Jamaica.
I held lizards, birds, and creatures in there natural habitat.
I swam with sharks, dolphins, and manta rays.

Day 9- Irie
I don't want to leave.
I want to teach here.
I want to make a difference.
I want the kindness I have experienced here to be universal.
I want this plane to turn around.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Purpose Gives Meaning Gives Life

This blog poses as a release for all the hovering, harassing, and hectic thoughts that can't find a way out of my brain.

 These posts are simply my thoughts, let them be as
and illogical as possible.

It's called being vulnerable.
In the end I have no cares if 1 person reads this or 1,000,000 read this.
It's for me.

If it ends up being for you, then so be it.


Maybe They Were Born With It

Maybe they're born with it

*This is a prime example of the spontaneity of my brain.

What if at birth a human was fully equipped with the abilities to read and write?
Honestly, take a minute to think about it;

We spend the first 13 years of our life learning to walk, talk, express ourselves, and most applicably to this blog... to read and write.

But what if this skill was already achieved?

We could be spending more time becoming more aware of ourselves.
We could be mastering the skill of sport or art.
We could be learning trade skills.
We could be learning inclusion.
We could be learning compassion and independence.
We could be strengthening our faith and body.
We could be learning from experience.
We could be learning a new passion.

So I am curious.
If you were born with these skills innately,
what would you aim to achieve in their place?

Remember, it's a big world...who would you become?