This is the only life we will ever know. All those individuals who work extremely hard to challenge themselves daily, to push to the cusp of failure only to be surprised by the outcome should be celebrated for their bravery. Great sacrifices are made every day in order to provide for our families, to become better humans, to create a more diverse world, or to achieve our goals. If you are the type who morphed from a sheep into someone seeking exhilarating experiences or simply a path that provides genuine happiness, my ten gallon hat is tipped to you. For those who are too apprehensive about breaking free, you can do anything you believe you can do. Start small, take steps, fail intelligently, prosper enormously.
"We clean your garbage while you roam well-groomed. For the crime of cleaning, you named me scavenger. When you step into rain water, does that change your caste? We are stabbed at street corners. Our lives end in hard labor."
Imagine yourself peering at a landscape so vast that the image portrayed through your eyes is just a big mirage. As you walk toward it, its distance never seems to get closer. All you know is that two thousand sheep, goats and a handful of camels are somewhere in front of you and your job is to track them, being sure they are moving in the correct direction. Sometimes your dogs are properly escorting these animals, but whose to say they know the route? You jump off the horse, remove a monocular from beneath your deel and calmly verify the whereabouts of your lifeline. You do this repeatedly. In some cases for up to thirty days, two times a year. Your goal is to find the best grazing land for your animals because without them you cannot eat, you cannot make a living. During this month of travel across the desolate steppe you sleep on the bare ground at night. Finally, at the end of this epic journey you have traveled six hundred miles in combination of horseback and on foot delivering your livestock to mother nature's most impressive landscape, Mongolia.
We sit captivated, once again. Some of us silently wondering where we came from, how we got here, and where we are going. Others, understanding or not that "power never changed on its own you got to make it,"¹ vociferously attack the opposition. These protests stressing that their point of view is the best often times comes from a fanatical viewpoint; one unwilling to acknowledge that perhaps even bits of the counter argument may have validity.
I am often struck with inspiration in unusual ways. Watching one of my favorite shows, America's Test Kitchen, on WTTW is a great example of this when an interesting corollary between the culinary world and the world crossed me. When the segment of the show called 'Equipment Corner' aired, it was revisiting a past comparison test of the best blenders
Proponents of mainstream hip/hop may have never heard of the “the only hip-hop show to ever be peer reviewed,” as I have heard it said, let alone understand the ideas being throw at its audience so swiftly those with the proper background can hardly grasp.
“The most obvious important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about,” opens David Foster Wallace in his commencement speech given to the 2005 graduating class of Kenyon College in Ohio. In this contemporary society, we are inundated by mediums to express our individuality- television has created a market placing captivatingly quirky characters at the top of entertainment, social media gives all with the means to access the World Wide Web a space to stand up, loudly professing, “Look at me, I’m important.” Blogging crystallizes this idea of self-centeredness where people are free to share thoughts, express ideas, and stand out from the rest.
Preempting nearly every conversation with someone I meet the question comes up. It is inevitable. And asking this is like chartering a plane to the sun just to ask if its surface is hot. It’s pointless, it does not matter. Nonetheless, a lull in conversation leads to, “What do you do?” The meaning is universal. Perhaps asking this is the animal instinct showcasing itself as a way to judge the opponent, to see where on the pecking order each fall.
Oppression is present throughout the world. Its occurrence might be more openly admitted in the developing world- extreme poverty, destitution, lack of resources, high prevalence of disease and premature death, but human struggle in the worst forms takes place in every crevice of our lives. Apply a little effort and you will uncover someone being exploited for sex, forced to work in horrid conditions for little or no pay, or coerced into something that turns out to be anything but the anticipated, placing them in unimaginable positions.
Traveling, the art of connecting with people of other cultures, dismantles my sense of personal awareness. Their problems, concerns, joys, and happiness create a feeling that each person is not a singular individual, rather, we stand on planet Earth together with each separate action affecting everyone else.