What cause do you stand for?

We all have a part to play in this world. Some choose to play a positive role, some choose negative, and some prefer to be indifferent. That will always be the case so long as we have free will. To those who want to make this world a better place, I thank you. We all come from different backgrounds, and we all have had different events, experiences, and people affect us. It is an amazing thing that no two people are exactly alike in every way. There is always something that separates us, something that makes us unique, and we should embrace that. Our differences should be things we learn and grow from, not fight and bicker about constantly.

Technology and social media has allowed us to spread our beliefs and opinion across the world in a matter of seconds. In minutes, thousands can rally to a cause and provide much needed support for those in need or bring awareness to an issue that’s been swept under a rug too long.

What is painful to see are the people who rally and target others who do not share the same level of drive and passion as they do. “You don’t care about this cause? You’re heartless and you’re a horrible person” is the general concept. Just because someone doesn’t pour their entire being into something you believe, it doesn’t make them a bad person.

You support a cause that fights to get rid of domestic violence? That’s great and your efforts should be commended. And what about the person who is pouring the same amount of effort into a cause that’s directed at stopping pollution that is killing our food and water supply? Or the person that fights for gay rights? Or the person who wants to see a world where animals are no longer abused and left for dead? What about the person who hopes to see a cancer free world? And the person who wants a better education for the future generations? Or how about those who never want children to go hungry? And what of the person who does all he/she can to support our troops?  ALL of these causes have one thing in common: to make the world a better place.

Each of us will gravitate toward certain causes based upon our own life experiences. Personally, I want to see every dog in a happy home, a place where they don’t have to fear being left behind or tortured or beaten. I want families who have children diagnosed with terminal illness to be able to afford treatment. I want men to stop beating the women in their lives. I want bullies to be held responsible for the treatment they have bestowed upon others. I want misogyny to stop. I want women to be fearless when chasing their dreams. I want people who have suicidal thoughts to know they are not alone. I want my gay friends to be just as happy as anyone else.

Is a cause you stand for not in my personal list? Do you believe I am a bad person for not sharing your passion? Just because I may not have the same drive for something as you do, it doesn’t mean we both cannot work together to improve the state of our world. More than anything, I want people to have empathy. I want someone to be able to step back, look at my list, and apply some thought as to why these items are important to me. You may learn something, not just about me, but possibly of yourself as well.

Everyone has something they want to fight for. It is impossible to devote all of one’s energy and life to everything in this world that needs improvement. Exert your energy to the cause you want to see become a reality. No one fight is better than the other when the goal is the same. We may be on different teams, but we have the same dream. Let’s make this world a better place than when we first arrived, shall we?

Obligatory Thanksgiving post, but seriously… thank you for being in my life and ultimately saving it

Cliche opening statement: IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN!

Many of us Americans celebrate today differently. Some of us get the old Christmas tree out of storage and set it up, some of us begin cooking for family and friends at 6AM, others prefer to be alone on this holiday, and some of us are camped outside retail stores to get their hands on the best deals. To non Americans, this is just another Thursday.

So for those of us who are enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday, I do want to ask you, do you spend the rest of the year being as grateful as you are today? I think it’s safe to say that I’ve hit the midpoint of my life, and there is one thing that I have been determined to do: to leave a legacy. Now making an impact in the world doesn’t mean you have to be someone who has won a Nobel Prize or become CEO of a Fortune 500 company. While that influence is amazing, you can change the world slowly in your everyday life.  Think about your decisions, how you affect people. Your existence has a very far reach whether you realize it or not. Every word you say, every gesture you make, every interaction you have influences people. As today is Thanksgiving, I want you to think about the following:

The people you are currently texting and reaching out to on Facebook/Twitter/other social media platforms… when was the last time you really had a conversation with them? Has it been a while? Why not take some time to catch up after the holidays?

How are you treating strangers?

Are you more focused on presents or people?

Are you more focused on money or family?

What are you most thankful for at this moment in life? Is it different than last year? Why?

Lots to think about, and you don’t have to comment or answer here. Those are questions I hope you take with you through not only today but every day of your life. I have come to a realization in my recent years and I have accepted the nature of my being. I am most happy when the people in my life are happy. The feeling you have now, being incredibly thankful for all that you have, please don’t lose that after the holiday season. Feel that way every day. Don’t take the people in your life for granted; don’t take what you have for granted. Feel this way every day for the rest of your life and you will feel that much more fulfilled.

And I won’t lie, going down this path is not without its hardships. It can be difficult, especially if it is not reciprocated, but trust me when I say that you personally are rewarding yourself to the fullest. Be a good person, be grateful, treat others as you would want to be treated, and be the change you want to see in this world. When you are gone (and we all will be one day), what will your legacy be? What influence will you leave behind in this world? Me, personally? I hope that I will have taught future generations empathy because my personal belief is that the world will be a much better place with it around.

I have met so many people in the last few years, and I cannot imagine my life without them. My life is enriched, it’s more fun, it’s become less empty. I have had many low days and without any regard for themselves, the people in my life have lifted me up. That bond is so precious to me and I will never be able to fully express how thankful I am for it. You guys ARE my life. So thank you.

May you always give thanks, may you always be thanked, and may you always lead a fulfilling life.

Cheers.

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Confucius Jackie #1

Be the change you want to see in the world are words that I try to live by every day. Some days, I’m quite lazy, and I don’t get much done (staycations are awesome), but when I am active, I try to be the best influence on others I can be.

I received an email from a recently made friend, and it was very touching to me even though that was not the intended purpose of said email. I asked very simple questions about this person because we are collaborating on a project together. “Why this project?” and “what motivated you to start it?” I learned quite a bit about this person and what struck me the most was how seemingly random events tied together to bring us to where we are today. A lot of this was possible because people simply love helping others.

Be kind. Be generous. Be helpful. Be influential. That’s what I took from this email. The first part begins with you. YOU need to go out and ask for help. Nothing can be accomplished unless you take the initiative. But don’t worry when you do. There are others, people who have more experience in whatever field you choose to explore, that are willing to help you. It’s true that some “veterans” won’t bother with a level 1 n00b, but you will be surprised by how helpful and generous others will be. These people love to see newcomers thrive and bloom into their own all because they share the same love.

I love creative people. I love talking to them, collaborating with them, sharing ideas, basking in the love of making something out of nothing. And I will always try to help people who ask for my assistance. Even if I’m not personally able to help, I can hopefully point you in the right direction. The world is crappy enough as it is. Why not focus on the beautiful things we can create? There’s a lot of knowledge out there.

Even if your name is not widely known, you can still influence the people in your life. You may be great at something that someone else is not, and if they ask for your help, share your knowledge with them. Don’t degrade or belittle them because what they don’t know is common knowledge to you. Coach them, guide them, be a constructive and positive force. It can be anything. Perhaps you want to learn how to crochet or change a flat tire, or you want to write a book or start a webseries. Whatever your passion is, whatever it is you want to learn, be happy that there are people out there that want to see you succeed. You just have to make the first step and go for it.

The project I am working on with my friend mentioned earlier will be amazing. And I cannot wait to share it with you guys. And it all started because he had an idea, sought help to make it a reality, built a team, and refuses to see it fail. Those are the kind of people that make life awesome.