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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

So Sick of Bullying!

So I watched this video on youtube of a slam poet doing a TED TALK (if you dont know what that is you're missing out on amazing speakers) anyways, after watching the video I just began to spew words into a word document. Here is what came out. Here is the video watch it, I promise you wont regret it.

I see it everyday the dragging of the feet, head hung low. Amazing children so down on themselves that it hurts to smile. Breaks my heart and I just want to reach out and shake their sadness away. Shake away whatever seed of insecurity that has been embedded in their brains and hearts. But shaking isn’t the answer, it never is. Telling them how amazing they are doesn't work either. So I sit up nights worrying about these unique individuals, worrying that maybe the “SEE you tomorrow Mr. Brasil” will be their last. Everyday I drive to work praying they’ll be there. Hoping I get a chance to make them smile, even just a little bit, give them just one baby reason to continue pushing forward. Growing up I was always the fat kid. Never ran the mile faster than anyone, never wore the cool clothes, but luckily for me, I had a great support system both at home and school. They let me be me; they loved me unconditionally. I see some of these kids and I shutter to think what they have to go through every single day of their lives. Being bullied leaves scars; both visible and invisible both bully inflicted and self inflicted. I wonder why it happens. How can I stop it? Realization showers me from head to toe. We focus way too much on the victims. Don't get me wrong, the victims out number the bullies, but we forget that most of these bullies have triggers too. Why do they feel the need to tear these other kids down? Perhaps they know what it’s like to be powerless. Perhaps they want others to feel the same way they do. Perhaps they’re just shitty people (sadly this is a possibility) Whatever the reason, we as a society must address it. What really pisses me off is all these Goddamn anti-bullying campaigns, which begin and end with commercials of celebrities talking about no more bullying. Instead of spending so much money and time on the production of that stupid commercial, and covering up some top-ten hot celebrity’s imperfections (ironic if you ask me) lets take to our schools, and our streets. The power of communication is something we take for granted. These kids, you know the victims and the bullies they have one thing in common. They are both in pain, emotionally, and mentally. They both feel powerless, in a society determined to out power those around them. A society driven by pointless competition. We no longer live up to our own standards; instead we look to our neighbors, our friends, even our families. If they have one car, we want two. If they bought 3 different color lights for their Christmas decorations, we want a fucking Santa, Rudolph, and the three wise men too. We waste our lives competing in these insignificant power struggles, and our kids watch us strive above our means, and stress about never being good enough. BUT THEY ARE GOOD ENOUGH! WE ARE ALL GOOD ENOUGH! Tell you kids that you love them. Not because they are amazing students, or they cleaned their room, not because they ate all their vegetables or quietly read while you watched your favorite show. Tell them you love them because of who they are. We have to start raising our children to cherish their individuality. Bring them up, not shove them down. IF they misbehave, let’s not jump to conclusions, they aren’t bad kids (THOSE DON'T EXIST) they are misunderstood. If we as a society could target why our children behave or act the way they do, then we could understand why little Billy hates himself, and in turn wants the rest of his class to hate themselves too. We could comprehend why princess Jane, you know the one who always stands up for herself, and is clearly the leader of her group, doesn't respect herself. We owe it to our children. As adults we tell our kids to be nice, and to follow the rules, and to work hard. Then we turn around and fight with our loved ones, we break laws, and promises, we take the easy way out, instead of working hard for a better solution. We sit our children in front of the television, computer or ipad, because we don't have the patience to sit across from them and converse. It’s maddening. We are hypocrites. This isn’t going to change over night. To those children struggling with bullying I don't have any answers for you. I don't have an easy fix. The truth is, the experiences you accumulate now good and bad will be with you for the rest of your lives. But slowly, one day at a time, we could begin to change this ridiculous culture that America has built for itself. We could round out the corners, and genuinely be happy for others when they succeed. It starts with us. One person changes, then 2, and before you know it a shift is seen across schools everywhere. We don't need Hollywood to make commercials, or movies. We need parents, and adults to lead the way. Reading through this, it has definitely taken a path of it’s own, and to be honest it’s just ramblings, and rants. For those of you who have read this far, think about it, erase the bullshit (I wrote it, and I know a lot of it is bullshit) There are some points in this giant word vomit of a blog that can change our world. Maybe not America, or the Globe, but our local everyday life can be impacted tremendously by little adjustments. Love yourself! Because every person roaming this Earth has good in them. Every person wants to do the right thing. Leave the cynicism to the unhappy cynics, and give those who need it most, the benefit of the doubt. That tiny gesture can change the life of one bully, and the life of 10 victims. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

You Don't Have To Find Out You're Dying, To Start Living -Zach Sobiech

I watched this youtube video today that really affected me. I think the one thing the whole world could agree on collectively regardless of political or religious views, is that Cancer is a horrible illness.

Personally, I know far too many good people who have passed on because of this monster.

Cancer does not discriminate based on gender, or ethnicity, or race, or age. It affects the young, the middle aged, and the old. It comes into a person’s life and immediately dominates it.

Even those who go into remission are affected for the rest of their lives. They change their perspectives, because Cancer forced them to go through what no person should ever have to.

I watched this video about a 17-year-old boy named Zach. He was diagnosed with a very rare terminal cancer. He was given months to live. But man, did this kid live…

His attitude, outlook, and inspirational life style touched millions of people. Upon watching this video and reading about this kid, I instantly became inspired. The video above brought me to tears several times. It did so because it made me remember some of those in my life who lost their battle with cancer, and also those who are winning.

The tears flowed freely from my eyes because we preach about how short life is; about how we should live life to the fullest. We preach, and waste many breaths speaking these words, but how many of us truly live life to the fullest?

We work far too much, Stress about insignificant things, we fight, and bad mouth the people in our lives, we hold grudges, we say things we don't mean, and hold things we mean inside. We go to sleep angry, and wake up full of regret.

But why do we live this way?

Why don’t we focus our energy on things that make us happy?

This life is far too short to worry about what other people think; Far too short to live to others standards.

As I watched this video, I instantly saw how full of life this kid was. Zach didn't sit around throwing himself pity parties; he didn't use his illness to gain sympathy. He wanted to be treated the same as before he was diagnosed. He looked on the bright side of things. Found the good in every situation.

He says something in the documentary not sure if this is a direct quote or if I’m paraphrasing, but it goes something like this, “You don't have to be dying, to start living.”

This quote jumped out at me, because I agree with it whole-heartedly.
I know some of the cynics are thinking, we begin to die the second we are born; All the more reason to start living.

This blog didn't say much. It had lots of words, but there was no main point. It merely served as a reminder that life is short.

We cant keep saying “I’ll do it tomorrow,” because tomorrow might not get here.

I always say quality of life over quantity. Some of the people I’ve lost truly screamed that definition; QUALITY over QUANTITY.

I also decided to put up this music video that was made for Zach, that the producer of the documentary had arranged; Lots of celebrities giving their time to bring a smile to his face.

If you are able to donate a little something to his foundation for cancer research please do so.

I wasn't able to donate much, but I hope by spreading this message they get something. Our dollars could save a lot of lives in the future.

Zach Sobiech passed away on May 20th, 2013. May he Rest in Peace. May the legacy he left behind continue to shine.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

This world is getting progressively worse

It saddens me to realize how messed up this world really is.

Yesterday in Boston, the world witnessed yet another senseless attack on innocent people.

No matter what reaction our Government deems appropriate, no matter what form of justice is brought to these disgusting excuses for human beings, it will not be enough.

It will never be enough for the families directly affected by this bombing.

How can something like this happen? How can we allow such attacks to be carried out successfully?

The sad part is here in America, we feel safe. We find comfort in knowing we have freedoms, and rights.

What rights did 8-year-old Martin Richards have? His life taken away from him before he could even begin to understand how to live it.

What freedoms will exonerate the pain and sadness embedded in his family’s hearts?

As I spoke to a client’s grandmother today about this, I saw the tears well up in her eyes and her face was flushed with red, as she told me how sick this act made her.

Something she told me, really stuck. She said that people her age, from her generation are terrified of living in today’s world.

She said that she doesn’t know how we do it. How we could live in this world as carefree and fearless as we do.

It got me thinking about my generation, and the things we’ve seen.

When we talk about our grandparents and great grandparents, we always talk about what they have seen in their 80 or 90 years of life. We marvel at the idea of watching the automobile, the t.v. and some other inventions come to fruition. We talk about Pearl Harbor, World War II, Vietnam, Korea, the Cold War etc. etc.

Wow we exclaim to ourselves, they’ve witnessed so much in their lifetime.

Well looking back at my 28 years of life, I realize that I’ve witnessed some crazy things too.

I’ve watched terrorist attack after terrorist attack; both domestic and international.

School shootings, Bombings, Sept. 11, theater shootings, and now marathon bombings. These are but a tiny sample of what my generation has seen.
Watching that grandma wipe her tears, and utter disgust for these animalistic pieces of shit who put us through this yet again.

I realized that, slowly, we are becoming desensitized to these tragic events. Slowly but surely they are affecting us less and less. Maybe we don't realize just the change in our perception, but it’s changing.

It saddens me to think of what my children, and their children and so on will be desensitized to.

This world is getting progressively worse. We hold the power to stop it. But it’s going to take more than a Democrat, or a Republican. More than an American. It’s going to take a world effort. Everyone of the billions and billions of people to stand up and say this is enough!

Keep your personal beliefs about religion where it belongs. There is no need to push your beliefs on others, and put down other peoples beliefs.

If you hate Democrats, or Republicans… Great! You have every right to your opinion, but there is no need to publicly put the other down. This world is great enough and big enough for us all.

Do you hate the western lifestyle? Then I guess you’ll be spending your time in the East.

Do you hate homosexual marriage? Then please for the love of God, don't marry anyone of the same gender as you, but allow those who differ in opinions to do so.

Do you hate your life? That’s your prerogative, ruin your own life, and leave the lives of others the hell alone!

Life could be so simple, if we allowed it to be.

Wars, and power, and greed… Is as Senseless as these attacks.

They don't belong here, they shouldn't be allowed access into our lives.

I look at this world, and I shutter to think how worse it will become in the future.

“Be the change you want to see in the world” –Mahatma Gandhi

Unfortunately, this quote can be swayed either way. Those who attack innocent lives feel like they are being the change they want to see in the world, and those who dedicate their lives to good feel the same.

Goes to show how gray the world really is. So for those of you living in the Black or the White.
Join us in the Gray area, and I promise you that your life will immediately become happier, fuller, and have greater meaning.

If we all do this, then perhaps we could turn this downward spiral our world is going through, and make it good again.

Let’s not always reminisce about the good old days, when life was better. Let’s instead look forward to the future, and warm our hearts knowing our children, and their children will truly have it better. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Live Fast and Die Young! Happy Birthday Primo!

This time a year always has me walking around with a heavy heart. I find myself wondering how different life would be today if you were still here. I find myself imagining how different our lives would be without this pain filled memory of losing you. I go back and forth in my mind picturing our lives. Because I know that life with you in it was a happier, and more satisfying one.

The thing about life is that we learn from tragedies. We gain insight into the meaning of life with the passing of our loved ones. I find myself thinking about all that we’ve learned and gained at the expense of losing you.

We learned that life is not fair. It doesn't even try to be fair.

We learned that tragedy, and pain bring people closer together, and also break people apart.

We learned that losing someone as amazing as you totally turns our outlook on life upside down.

We learned that life is short, and that we should take it by the throat.

We gained a guardian angel.

We gained the peace of mind that you are sitting atop the world waiting for us to come home.

The point I’m making is, it’s not enough Kevin.

What we’ve learned, and what we’ve gained isn’t enough to counter the sense of emptiness we feel without you here.

As this rush of emotion takes over my mind, I think of this quote:

"To live in the hearts of those we love is never to die." -Thomas Campbell

When I first saw this quote, I immediately thought of you. Because it rings true in every single aspect.

Although you are not physically with us Kevin, and believe me when I say I am not the only one who wishes that you still were, your spirit, and your memory, and the lessons you taught us all keep you alive in our minds and in our hearts.

Every day we think of you more than once. I can not speak for everyone, but I think of you often throughout my day. Sometimes it’s just a little joke, or inside saying we had, and I chuckle to myself and continue my day.

Sometimes I see a Silverado, and immediately you come to my mind.

Sometimes it’s a song I hear, and memories, and emotions come rushing in.

Other times you just pop into my head as if to remind me that you’re up there watching.

A thousand words won't bring you back, I know because I've tried; neither will a thousand tears, I know because I've cried.

But I find myself crying less, not because the pain isn’t fresh inside my heart. Not because I don't miss you more than I could ever express in words. Not because I don’t wish you were here with us every single day.

I don't cry as much, because I know you’d hate it. I know it would bother you to know that I cry because of you.

That is one thing we talked about at your house during your rosary and funeral. When we stayed there from morning and through the night. We talked about how mad you’d be knowing we cried because of you.

You brought happiness wherever you went Kevin. You could brighten a room in a second.

Sometimes nothing I say to myself, stops the tears from forming, and running down my face.

But I have come to an understanding with myself. I don’t want to get punched in the face when I get up to heaven, because I cried so much. I know you’ll be waiting for me, and I want to make you proud. I want you to hug me, and tell me I lived a great life, and I did things right. Maybe not crying is just a tiny thing, in the big picture of life, but for me, it’s a huge detail. It’s one thing I can do for you, that I know you’ll appreciate.

I’m going to end this blog with another quote and an explanation, because this quote helps me keep my tears at bay.

"Those we love don't go away, they walk beside us every day.
Unseen, unheard, but always near; still loved, still missed and very dear." -Unknown

You live in us forever Kevin. 50 years from now, we will all still remember April 7th as Kevin James Birthday, and July 17th as the tragic day we lost you. That will never change, we will never forget!

This little message, this little bit of reassurance that I find in this quote, allows me to be strong knowing you’re in my heart Kev.

Knowing that for as long as there is oxygen in my lungs, and my heart is beating you have a permanent resting place within me. Not just within me, within every single person you’ve touched. Family, Friends, and even just Admirers. You left your mark on this world primo, and not many people can truly say the mark they left was a great one.

You are truly one of the greatest people I had the pleasure of knowing. Your 22 years of life, left a lasting impression on the Earth.

The great die young primo, but you will live forever in our memories, and in our hearts.

I love you primo!

Please continue to watch over us all. Not just the good, but the bad. Not just the right, but the wrong. You had the propensity to not judge people based on their mistakes. I try everyday to be a little bit like you in that aspect.

I know that you are the kind of soul, to not hold grudges, and not hate anyone.

That’s what made you so special Kevin. I hope you enjoyed your birthday up there. I’m sure you spent some time with Tio Trajano, my avo velinha, Tia Luzia, your grandparents Tio Mario, and Tia Alzira. And I’m sure you went out and partied a little bit afterwards with Jeff.

I’m sure you guys had a blast.

I miss you and love you primo. Until we meet again, keep shining your light on us.