Archive for 2010
I had a conversation with a friend and her mom recently and her mom stated that it doesn’t matter that you say you love someone if you don’t show it.
Say it with your actions
Say it in the way you touch
And the things that you do for us
I don’t wanna be mean
But when it comes to this love
Saying it ain’t enough
No more “I’m sorry”
“I love you”
I need proof
Baby boy it’s all in what you do
(no more)I love you
If it’s true baby boy
It’s all in what you do
- What You Do, Chrisette Michele
In love and in all things, words count but actions speak louder. If our actions never quite match up with our words, disappointment, miscommunication and frustration are sure to follow. On the other hand, if all you do is act but never verbally express your feelings that can also cause insecurity or frustration within relationships.
For instance on this season of The Biggest Loser, Ada’s relationship with her parents struggles because of the cultural barriers between herself and her parents. Her parents are Asian immigrants and were very stern and harsh with her, but she was raised in America so she saw her friends get affection and verbal encouragement from their parents, that of which she never received. Because of this she felt like her parents didn’t love her therefore, she struggled to find love and worth within herself. When she went back home before the season finale, she sat down and finally got to air out her issues with her parents and their point was that they’ve provided for her and sacrificed immensely to give her what she needed and wanted. They assumed that she would understand and interpret these actions as love. Finally her dad comes out with the words “I love you very much” and that was the key in the discussion to help them build their relationship as a family.
I say that all to say that it’s not enough just to say that you love someone but it’s also not enough to only express your love through material things, physical affection, time or deeds. Both are necessary and both work together.
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
- 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NLT)
I recently watched Jay-Z’s conversation with Charlie Rose at the Brooklyn Museum on his recently released book, Decoded (which is amazing, by the way). His responses were articulate and thoughtful, humorous and poised. Jay-Z expressed great humility, passion and intelligence during the interview and I felt like I got a glimpse into the man behind the music and the stage persona. A man who’s grown and developed not just financially or socially but emotionally and lyrically. It felt like I got a look into who Shawn is.
The interview was refreshing and it was nice to get a deeper perspective of the context and content included in his book. A lot of his statements took me by surprise, some made me chuckle and some ofthem made me think on a philosophical level (for those of you who don’t know majored in philosophy during college). One segment of the interview that really struck me was his stance on art:
“At its core [music] is just about human emotion. It’s about passion, it’s about pain, it’s about fear, it’s about aspiration. We’re all basically the same. We’re all human beings, we all have the same struggles and the same dreams and that’s what music does it connects to that emotion. When they say ‘music is the universal language’ it’s because it’s really about emotion it’s not about the words. It’s about the emotion and once you get to that emotion you can be successful at whatever music you’re playing.”
“Rap needs to get back to love.”
My interpretation of what he said was that artists (musicians, in this case) should make art simply for the sake of it and for the love of it. People that make art with an agenda in mind aren’t creating art. For instance, someone working on an album should make album of strictly club songs or love songs or ballads because he or she is thinking about it and trying to be successful when it should just be organic.
Obviously art does take a certain amount of thought and planning but I guess maybe it should not be something that is not calculated because art is supposed to be emotional. One’s art tends to be a window into the heart, mind and soul of the artist, a window looking out into the artist’s imagination, environment and a view of life and the people/things around him/her. So if a piece is too calculated or solely brought about with money or popularity in mind, the beauty and artistic essence of it can get dulled. Or maybe it’s not anyone’s place to label what does or does not qualify as art, maybe “true art” is based solely on individual preference.
What do you think?
Do you find that doing something strictly for the love of it makes it better or purer?
The new millennium has been named “The Information Age” because of the advances made in technology, research and how easily accessible nearly every type of information is to individuals. When discussing a topic with friends and a question comes up or a disagreement occurs, one can simply check the Internet on one’s laptop or smartphone to clear things up on the spot. We have the dictionary, fun facts and world news instantly at our fingertips. We can even tap into the “personal” worlds of our favorite celebrities through their Twitter accounts. Just about anything we want to know can be found on TV, the Internet or in books.
While this is a great thing in some ways it can also be “information overload” in other ways.More and more people are getting addicted to the Internet and others can’t bear to put down (or dare I say, turn off) their cell phones. Accidents on the road are increasing because people continue to text and drive simultaneously.
I had a revelation the other day that I was becoming one of those people attached to their phones, constantly checking Twitter or BBM or email. I was starting to lose focus on more important things in life like my relationship with God and personal goals. I also noticed that sometimes instead of giving someone my undivided attention I would get distracted by my phone or something on TV.
It made me wonder whether all of this technology and information is necessary? What would happen if I didn’t check my Facebook for a whole day or didn’t watch the latest episode of The Real Housewives of Atlanta? What would happen if I actually sat down and focused on the task at hand without constantly checking my phone to see if someone called or texted me? Would my world crumble?
The answer was obviously no. I mean, what did we do before answering machines, voicemail existed? We accepted we could reach the person and called back at a later time. What did we do before social networks existed? We actually called people on the phone. We actually visited them at their homes or did something fun outside the home.
Not only do I think our relationships are suffering and getting watered down by this “Information Age” but I also think the new era is providing us with a plethora of distractions keeping us from dealing with reality, keeping us from being as productive as possible.
I challenge you (and myself) this week to:
- call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while to catch up with them
- visit someone you haven’t seen in a while and spend time with them
- spend your time studying, reading or working without constantly checking your email or phone and focus on getting the job done free of distractions
- have a Twitter-free day or a TV-free day
“Being realistic is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity.” – Will Smith
I discovered this quote when watching a video on YouTube and it really resonates with me.
I have a lot of dreams and ideas swirling around in my head (some of them are written). Whether they have to do with writing, organizations I want to start or everyday goals I want to accomplish, sometimes I question if these ideas and dreams are too far-fetched. And sometimes when I’ve disclosed an idea or goal to someone else they’ve told me I was crazy or that “it could never happen.”
Yet I find comfort in this statement. It reminds me that anything is possible and that life is not about being “realistic.” Instead of believing a dream is too outrageous to come true, we should work toward making it happen. We should release the limits and barriers we place on ourselves by being realistic and follow our hearts.
How many tools and concepts would be out of our reach if Barack Obama, George Washington Carver, Thomas Edison or Steve Jobs decided to be “realistic”? What would our lives be like?
What can our lives become if we decide NOT to be realistic and go along with the norm?
Lesson: Be nice to yourself!
We have enough people being hard on us and life gives us enough obstacles to get through to get where we would like to go. Instead of beating ourselves up about what we could have done differently or should not have done, let’s be a little kinder to ourselves. Instead of focusing on what’s wrong with our lives, the parts of bodies we’re not happy with or aspects of our personalities we wish were better, instead of adding fuel to the fire, we need to be the encouragement we need and often seek from others.
Here are some ways we can be nicer to ourselves physically and emotionally:
- Affirm your strengths and believe in yourself.
- Be aware of things that need to be improved but rather than obsess over those things, we need to take action to either accept those things or consciously fix them.
- In the meantime, acknowledge what’s going right, embrace who you are and how far you have come.
- Focus on the positive!
- Find at least one thing you do like about yourself and embrace that.
- Pamper yourself: treat yourself to a massage or that book you’ve been wanting to read.
- Find (then do) what you love and are great at.
So brush aside any discouragement or negativity coming at you and work on accepting positivity, constructive criticism and learn from the disappointments of life. It may seem easier said than done but the more you work at it, the easier this can become over time.