Hope In Love

30 in 30

Posted on: April 4, 2014

I am 30 years old. I am old. I am wise. Heed my words. :)

Jokes…sort of. Anyway, this is the obligatory “30 lessons in 30 years” post. Basically it’s lessons that I have learned from the past and want to carry into the future…just thought I’d put them down in written form…easier to remember/revisit.

1) know thyself…your likes, dislikes, desires, and most importantly your worth.

2) life is so much easier when you accept who you are and stop trying to be other people.

3) not everyone will get you, that’s okay.

4) some will stay even though they don’t get you…they are keepers

5) when it’s all said and done, it will be the people in your life who mean the most…start appreciating them now…make time for them now…”if you live life there’s no society, in the end there won’t be”

6) don’t settle

7) you don’t have to play by THEIR rules – get married, don’t get married, have kids, get a puppy instead, a cat even…do you!

8) not everyone has the same goals, dreams, desires, and financial lanes. stick to yours and you’ll do fine.

9) money might change your circumstances, but it won’t necessarily make you happy.

10) some people will stick around just to watch you fall…

11) if you do fall, fall in style, and get back up again

12) placing people on too high a pedestal will only lead to them letting you down…no one is perfect.

13) surround yourself with friends and acquaintances who are better than you in the areas you want to improve yourself in and let them be your motivation

14) have role models/mentors…people in whom you see traits you aspire to, but understand that they are also fallible humans.

15) listen to the wisdom of the old…i know in the moment it seems like no one could possibly understand what you’re going through, but trust me, they’ve also been there before

16) when someone lets you down, remember they were only ever human…the perfection you saw in them was your own projection…learn to see it and build it in yourself

17) let them label you if they must, but don’t let the labels restrict/define you

18) life is too short, and there are no do-overs. find what you love and do that…even if it’s part-time/weekend hobby, “find what you love and let it kill you”

19) read – it’s the cheapest way to experience what is beyond your means/resources

20) laugh! laugh! laugh! after all, laughter is the best medicine

21) your gift is yours; use it! don’t dim your light, others need it

22) hindsight is in 20/20. if you knew then what you know now, you may have done things differently, but you didn’t, and you can’t go back and re-do it. learn from your mistakes, mend the relationships, then move on.

23) stay as young as possible for as long as possible…you have enough time ahead to grow up

24) it hurts now, and it seems like the hurt will never end, but it will…

25) “question religion, question it all. question existence until them questions is solved” doubting/questioning/seeking is not the opposite of faith

26) there is no instruction manual, no right and wrong, no perfection, just what works for you

27) the rain falls on the good and the evil alike. sometimes bad people prosper and good people fail…do good anyway…

28) do good to others. do unto others as you would have them do unto you. not for a reward, sometimes it will go unseen, but you’ll be a blessing unto yourself

29) forgiveness is very healing. forgiving others releases you from the pain of hate and baggage of unforgiveness

30) love is good. love is beautiful. love!

I found these from 3 posts by Neil Gaiman. They are my wishes for myself as I step into my 31st year of life:

From 2004
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May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.

From  2008
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I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be,  be wise, and that you will always be kind

From 2011
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I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.
Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.
Make your mistakes, next year and forever.
It’s been a great 30 years. Lots of mistakes, lots of learning, lots of tears, and joy and pain and love and so much life.
Here’s to an even better 30 years to come.

The last couple of weeks, South Africa has been chaos, especially on the political side. Meanwhile, we the people, in order to form a more sane union (that was stupid sorry…if you didn’t catch it don’t worry, it was stupid…) laughed our way through it. I love that about South Africans, we laugh through it all, and keep on rebuilding.

Yesterday I came across a video that made me so happy. Today I came across a few more. I’ll share the links in a bit…

I’m sure by now you’ve heard about NekNominations. If you haven’t, be glad.

The next few videos show South Africans putting an awesome spin on NekNominations…I’m so proud to call these people “my people.” I’m so happy these are the people I get to share my country with.

Thanks for renewing my hope in humanity once again, fellow South Africans.

The one that started it all: by Brent Lindesque

Another one: by Andrew Donkin

And Another one: by Danny Acuff

A different spin on things: by Andrew Ross

One by an uber cool guy I know: by Howard Fyvie

#ChangeOneThing #ChangeEverything

Yesterday was National Reconciliation Day in South Africa. 

It was also the first day post mourning period for the death of President Mandela.

Nelson Rholihlahla Mandela died on Thursday, December 5th, 2013 at the age of 95. 27 of those 95 years were spent behind bars. His crime: fighting the unjust laws of the Apartheid regime in South Africa.

Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment on June 12th,1964, after a 90 day trial.

During the trial, Mandela uttered these words: 

“During my lifetime I have dedicated my life to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal for which I hope to live for and to see realized. But, My Lord, if it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

 

Mandela walked out of jail on February 11th, 1990. He walked out to a very different South Africa. The Apartheid system was crumbling, and in it’s wake it left behind a lot of pain and anger…understandably so. The people of South Africa had long been persecuted and denied their rights, and they wanted vengeance. The country was on the brink of a civil war…until Mandela stood up and reminded us that, if we rose up and killed off our persecutors, we would be no different from them. Their system had taught us to hate and to hold on to anger, in order to beat their system, we had to turn it around with love and forgiveness.

Mandela shocked, not only the nation, but the whole world…forgive? How could he possibly expect us to forgive? However, this was the man who had spent a huge chunk of his life in prison in the struggle for our freedom – he who had sacrificed his own freedom for ours. If he could forgive, surely we could as well. And we did.

Since then, a lot has happened in South Africa…many changes – for one, Mandela became the first democratically elected president of South Africa. However, for some the changes have been too slow. Racism is still very real in this country. The economic gap is still very much racially divided. While it is not enforced by law anymore, residential areas are still very much racially divided. There is progress, but it is very slow. Which means that old anger has started to rear its head again. People are tired of waiting for change. People are tired of feeling like second class citizens. 

On the other side of the fence, there are those who I believe are intentionally provoking the divisions. Those who cry “white oppression” and “reverse racism” in South Africa, throwing fuel onto the fire. 

I watched the movie “Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom” a few days after Mandela’s death, and the thing that stood out most for me is how that anger and hate fueled his then wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, to fight…to keep the struggle alive while Mandela was in prison…to make the country ungovernable under the Apartheid system, and thereby causing change. At the same time, the anger and hate changed her, hardened her, and in the process of fighting, she lost some of her humanity. It was heartbreaking to see.

More than Mandela’s words, or his willingness to forgive, it was seeing what unforgiveness did to Mam’Winnie that has replanted the seed of forgiveness in my heart. The passing away of Nelson Mandela has provoked in me a desire to continue his walk, his fight, for “a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities”, one in which love rules…where love trumps out all anger and unforgiveness.

I want to dedicate my life towards this ideal. 

I get to see Russell Brand’s comedy live in a few weeks, so thought I should jot down some of my favorite quotes of his…enjoy.

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“Turns out it was mostly a lie. But, at least for a short while, it was a beautiful one.” – Russell Brand

“I regret that I didn’t realize that actually they’ve got no power over you at school — it’s all just a trick to indoctrinate you into being a conditioned, tame, placid citizen. Rebel, children, I urge you, fight the turgid slick of conformity with which they seek to smother your glory.” – Russell Brand

“Perhaps if we could popularise through the techniques of branding and consumerism, a different idea, a different narrative, perhaps the world can change. After all it changes constantly and incessantly, it’s just the perceptions that we have are governed by people with self-interest and are not inalignment with the health and safety of us as individuals or as a planet.” – Russell Brand

“God is in the mountains. Impassive, immovable, jagged giants, separating the celestial from the terrestrial with eternal diagonal certainty. As if silently monitoring the beating heart of the creator from the universe’s perfect birth. Stood in the thin air and the awe, one inhales God, involuntarily acknowledging that we are but fragments of a whole, a higher thing. The mountains remind me of my place, as a servant to truth and wonder. Yes, God is in the mountains. Perhaps the pulpit too and even in the piety of an atheist’s sigh. I don’t know; but I feel him in the mountains.” – Russell Brand

“If love is something you cherish, it is hard to glean much joy from death, even in one’s enemies.” – Russell Brand

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