I want to be a professional role model (and the reason I bought an iPhone)

This is the main reason I bought an iPhone today.

"Role Models" - after William Wegman

When I was in high school I didn’t think caring was cool.

I didn’t think it was cool to not eat animals. I didn’t think it was cool to stand up for those who cannot speak for themselves. I didn’t think it was cool to eat vegetables. I didn’t think it was cool to drink green juice, or eat salad or kale. I didn’t think it was cool to be different. I didn’t think it was cool to dig through the trash looking for recycling to save. I didn’t think it was cool to say “no plastic straw please”. I didn’t think it was cool to bring my own water bottle, or my own lunch. I didn’t think it was cool to ride a bicycle. I didn’t think it was cool to hug other people or tell them how much I loved them. I didn’t think it was cool to be friends with my parents. I didn’t think it was cool to smile at people on the bus. I didn’t think it was cool to not have any enemies. I didn’t think it was cool to talk to the “weird” kids. I didn’t think it was cool to be weird! I didn’t think it was cool for everyone to make their own choices about drugs and alcohol. I didn’t think it was cool to take action to change the things that I didn’t like about the world. I didn’t think it was cool to ask where things came from and how they were made. I didn’t think it was cool to buy second hand clothes. I didn’t think it was cool to refuse to buy clothes made in sweatshops. I didn’t think it was cool to think about the big picture.

Or maybe I did. In hindsight my vision of myself is cloudy.. (after all everything in the past is a fantasy). Maybe I thought these things were cool but I was scared that other people didn’t think they were cool.

I know that right now, at this moment…

I want to make it cool to care. I want to make it cool to empower other people. I want to make it cool to value heath. I want to make it cool to care about the environment. I want to make it cool to ride a bike. I want to make it cool to grow plants. I want to make it cool to love animals and not hurt them. I want to make it cool to be vegan. I want to make it cool to show compassion to other beings. I want to make it cool to do whatever it takes to better the world. I want to make it cool to leave each place better than I found it, and each person as well. I want to make it cool to learn things. I want to make it cool to go to school. I want to make it cool to practice lifelong learning. I want to make it cool to pick up trash on the street. I want to make it cool to reduce, reuse, recycle and refuse. I want to make it cool to question everything and challenge the now. I want to make it cool to say hi to people and smile at them. I want to make it cool to appreciate others. I want to make it cool to say please and thank you. I want to make it cool to apologize and be humble. I want to make it cool to forgive people. I want to make it cool to love unconditionally.

I think I want to be a professional role model.

I am looking forward to tweeting, photo-blogging, tumbling and more!

Along this vein of thought, someone told me to check out philanthropy – that might be how I spend my life. Time to get started! Yay!

Also, I know Apple has recieved lots of criticism lately about human rights relating to the conditions in their Foxconn factories. Also though, they are the only tech company (that I know of) that actually puts of a report and is investigating the standards in the factories. I am currently doing a paper on this topic so hopefully that will add to this conversation.

So my plan is to use my powers for good and make the best of this.

PS: I also watched the movie Role Models. I laughed a lot! Cool stuff.

25 HRS of Silence for 25 YRS of Conflict!

 

Wanna shut me up? Pledge me! I’ll be silent for 25 hours on APRIL 25th! I’ll also be accepting donations in person. Awesome, totally transparent cause!

All proceeds go to find the Invisible Children Protection Plan. BE THE CHANGE. Join me in going silent!

GO HERE!

Books You Should Read!

Recently Yoko Ono posted some reading recommendations and it inspired me to do the same. I was quite surprised that I have read one of the books on her list (Skinny Bitch) and heard about many others. I would definitely recommend a trip to your local library for these beauties.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

This is the most hauntingly beautiful novel I have ever read. It is one of those books where you just sit and cry for a long time, but it is okay. Very sad but very touching and powerful. It’s been made into a movie that I still have to see. Soon…

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

This has been one of my favorite bedtime stories. It took me quite a while to get through it because I don’t always have time to devote to reading but it makes some interesting statements about society and the world. The author has a blog and did an interesting TED Talk I had to watch for one of my courses.

Paper Towns by John Green

I am a huge fan of John Green. His books and his youtube channel have developed a large internet following, and rightly so. He is a funny, engaging author and this was his first novel that I read. It was been optioned to become a movie so watch for it in the coming years!

Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin

This is a bit of a diet book (although it feels more like a magazine) but it is all about modern veganism and health. I love their witty writing style. The book had me laughing out loud several times. I am glad that both Yoko and I are recommending this one.


The Education of Everyone

I have come to the conclusion that:

Teaching=Directing=Parenting

Teaching is about helping people come to their own conclusions.

“Teacher’s open the door, but you must enter by yourself,”

– Chinese Proverb, ancient wisdom via beingtricia‘s RT of RainbeauMars

This seams to put the power in the hands of the students. How can you teach someone that is unwilling to learn? But then as a teacher/director/parent sometimes you have to persevere and keep trying if you really care about your student/actor/child and want them to learn. That said, there is a fine line between being an unbiased teacher and indoctrinating your students. I think that you have to lead people in the right direction but ultimately you have to let them figure it out for themselves. There are a few ways to do this but I think the most effective are as follows.

Asking Questions: When you word things open endedly you leave room for people to think about them and respond. I think this is especially relevant in advice-type situations or when you are trying to help someone with something. For example, I can tell you what to do or I can ask you what you think you should do…

Leading by Example: This is very important. When you are trying to shape people and help them grow modeling proper behavior is essential. For example, I have a friend who is a bit younger that I am trying to instill more kindness in. I could lecture this friend about manners and compassion but that would not have much lasting impact, in fact they may just get annoyed with me. I think instead I am going to try to be especially kind and polite towards this person (despite how rude they may act towards me). Then maybe they will say way in which they can reach out to others through my example.

Personally, i’ve come to a point in life where I can recognize the lessons others have tried to teach me in the past. I had to figure most of the things out by myself in order for them to have any relevance in my life. It’s really to bad in some respects, if I had just listened to these people then I could of begun living a life as fulfilling as the one I have now much sooner. Sometimes the journey is just as important as the destination though.

“Ain’t about how fast I get there

Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side

It’s the climb”

– Miley Cyrus, The Climb

I really like mentoring and helping others but I am still having trouble finding the best way to do that. Perhaps balance is the key.

What do you think? How do you “learn your lessons well”?