Sport to Life

Coach Mike Preston once told me that I’ll never be as good as I can be, until I take it upon myself to put in the wok on my own. Mike Preston was my prep school basketball coach, who also accompanied me to my first college, as an Assistant Coach.

In college, I had to work on my jump shot accuracy and consistency. Over the years, a player will learn certain drills and believe in them blindly, as if that’s all a player can do to improve on those areas of their basketball game. That was me. I thought I was hard working and motivated–and I may have been compared to those closest to me, but I needed to do more. Bear in mind that there is always someone somewhere working. Getting better when you aren’t.

Working with this coach was an exercise in expanding my mind and approach to what it was to master a skill and become great. “It” has to come from within. A person will only be as good as they can be when they start making themselves take those 200 extra shots; or going to run; or hitting the library or writing without being told by an authority figure. It creates ability or skill, and confidence in yourself.

The greatest theories or innovations in art, philosophy, sports, and the like are not made or formed in a classroom or during a team regulated practice for the most part. The real discoveries of self-ability are found when doing one’s own experiments–although maybe based on classroom teachings, furthering the groundwork laid by individuals in a person’s environment.

I got exponentially better at basketball when I decided that I didn’t need a coach to put me through a workout. I found a way to challenge myself. As this relates to the rest of the world, I know that self-starters or those who go above and beyond the call of duty are those improving at the greatest rate of change.

Improvement is a core feature of living, in my estimation, such as adaptability is essential to survival. You can reference Darwin and other theorists of evolution if you feel otherwise.

I guess the teaching my parents gave me for being accountable or responsible for my own actions was driven home by a basketball coach, by seeing it applied in a more discrete venue. My room was never as clean as the time I wanted it clean. The same way my jump shot was never as accurate until I took it upon myself to never want to miss, or think every shot was going in the basket.

I found new ways to perfect shooting; or made new moves to help me get by a defender; or imagined making shots with a defender guarding me. When I was using my imagination the results were greater. I believe that is applicable to all things.

Being mindful that rules and laws set a baseline, the imagination in conjunction with hard work is here to expand that baseline; thus giving us more. Sports are a microcosm of life in general, but certainly as sports pertain to improvement.

The New Civil Rights Movement

Gay marriage or gay rights is not the new civil rights movement as compared to that of African Americans and other minorities that fought levels of injustice in decades gone by. Gary rights are a real and pertinent issue, but it’s the 99% that is the New Civil Rights Movement. And, has precedent in the history of our world. The most of us are getting the worst of it. We’re most affected by this American socioeconomic structure, built on a faulty foundation, with remedial treatment of patchwork which is faulty too; perpetuated by those educated in its environment, who don’t seem to know better, or desire to create an America they weren’t given. It’s income inequality. It’s profiting from another’s pain, then turning a blind eye wondering why everyone else is as “hardworking” or “skilled.” While never considering it’s purely dumb luck and the sweat of their forefather’s brow, which was most likely also built on pain of another.

It’s the Occupy Movement. Gay rights? Sure. But, there is a bigger issue that affects everyone that is blind to “minorities” although disproportionately affecting most minorities. There are legal mechanisms such as making a will, creating a power of attorney in your partner; and, simply loving and cherishing the one you love. Fuck what a politician says and mothafuck a Church that bases its beliefs from a time when they thought the Earth was the center of the universe and flat, while having it’s operators infamously engage in pedophilia-homosexual activities, and there’s no telling what else. Why demand a handout from hypocrites, when you can forge your own future with your own belief system, that will undoubtedly accept you as you are.

The new civil rights movement is dealing with being bled financially, while not being able to receive a just compensation for work done. We’re worried about the legality of universal healthcare, but it’s what we need since we do NOT have livable wages to pay to care for ourselves; or the education or access to care for ourselves.

Speaking of education, it is no longer the ladder up. It could be a rope, but physical education has been removed from academia literally and figuratively. We don’t learn what is important and if we do go to attain higher education you will be paying it back for years, without having gained any substantive skills during college to get the jobs or career that can repay the effort. And, those with the hiring or managing power say that “you need experience.” Well give it to me. We aren’t scared of it. We want it. Also an example of how the pain is perpetuated by ourselves with weak-knee excuses such as that to dismiss an applicant or a person from being promoted.

The rent is too damn high, property taxes, income taxes, parking tickets, speeding tickets, cost of necessities such as food and utilities. And, we are all a part of over-pricing services in order to keep our heads above water. We are doing it to ourselves as a result of legislation, policies, and social norms or culture. It also comes as ┬áresult of our class-ism and racism. Many viable living areas exist, but they aren’t desirable, therefore creating landowners to charge a premium for property, which leads to the best schools and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

People judge you by where you live, where you went to school, the job you have, the clothes you wear, and your “attractiveness” among other things. Where’s the substance? Isn’t there more to life? Aren’t capable of more depth and more effort?

Our civil rights movement is to be able to live without being in debt; without having to rob Peter to pay Paul; without needing a government handout; or having to save for years before you can enjoy your one go-round, as we know it so far, on this planet. Too many want to join those they can’t beat, hoping to change it from the other side, but end up getting lost in it. This is all so a small minority can live nice and comfy. No different than surfs and turfs, or how kingdoms operated.

People are dying from curable diseases because they can’t pay for treatment. Or, dying because they can’t pay for the right foods to put in their bodies. But, we can stay high on various drugs and play on the Internet and smart phones (this is written on one). We play a role in this pain too. We’re inflicting pain to ourselves hoping to reduce the hurt caused by others.

Our civil rights are aligned with those in Iran, Pakistan, Rwanda, Liberia, Egypt, Greece, etc. We are all interconnected, if the Internet is any evidence. We live in a global market, therefore problems in China, France, or wherever affect us all. A market where bleeding the people for products they believe they need and giving them debt in return with underpaying jobs is the mission. We are all working in a version of a sweatshop. And, we are all a part of the puzzle, in some capacity. Can’t get more civilly unjust than this.

“We the People…”

We are what makes life special. “We” meaning every single person on earth. There’s no telling who the next pioneer is; or, who will have the right combination of skill, environment, and chance to help redefine living and further our understanding. Which is why is it is so unbelievable that we have created so many “isms” (racism, sexism, classism , etc) and taken on a plethora of self-destructive behavior. These behaviors are systematically plaguing progression. We have to support and love one another. We’re all the same.

How much talent has been lost in the streets of Chicago? How much talent has been lost because we think we still have to approach life as humans as “only the strong survive?” People go hungry when there is a surplus of food? But violence in general is a killer of talent. And “isms” are a killer of confidence. A person has to believe in themselves in order to achieve, but that’s stripped away when people are confronted with hatred or resentment about something that’s meaningless. But it seems so real.

People are our greatest resource. We established domestication, airplanes, the Internet, space travel and the international space station, highways, satellites, music, artistry, and so much more. And even if that was “God’s doing,” God acted through us. God’s brilliance comes from all kinds of people. Therefore, we have to cultivate that resource that is us. There’s so much unknown about the possibilities of this universe and the possibilities of people here on Earth.

Finding Infinity

Infinity….
Infinity….
Your Quran, Bible, Zen and Torah….
Can’t explain the pain
Infinitely…pained by infinity
The Holy Trinity….
has yet to make sense of and make it make sense to me what it is that is…..
Infinity….

My mind can’t get beyond the pain or the grain…of sand on beach that is the Sun’s equivalence…
No truer sense of pain is my insignificance….
That floats through unremembered, unthought of, uncared for, and unnoticed…..
in infinity….
Infinitely Infinite infinity.

Billionaire!

“Fuck it I want a trillion,” says Jay-z. I feel you, and I hope you get it. “Good luck with that, bruh.” Seriously, I hope he and we all get what we want. More than that I hope we go for Image

what it is that we really want. Me!? I just want peace of mind. Young people who were always told what to do and how to do it, while seeking the approval of those telling them, turn into old people who need to be told what to do and how to do it while seeking the approval of others. Nah…I’m good off that. But I was that young person.

Kinda borrowing the swag of Cee-lo/Gnarls Barkley, most of my heroes had the heart to live out on a limb, doing what it is they thought was right. (Not trying to discuss right or wrong; or, good vs. evil.) And hopefully you do whatever it is that you do for more than fleeting things like money, but for something deeper. Although, bills, mortgages, living costs, etc. are real concerns. It’s well-known that you need to be a valuable and contributing member of society, somehow or just valuable. Meaning you earn a living.

It’s never too late so, go chase your dreams and fail–or succeed. Just go find out. It’ll teach you more in the process than any teacher or professor from any institution could ever try to, even if you dream of being a teacher or professor. A professor can’t teach you to do something they cant or haven’t done, so Dream Big. Little black kids need to dream big, knowing the world is their oyster too, and that they can be Neil Degrasse Tyson, Anton Thomas, PhD, or Jay-z. There’s more to life than shoes and entertainment. You can transform footwear and be a billionaire or trillionaire and give it all away. It’s clear that we’ve been miseducated about how to approach and go through life.

Jaden Smith was clearly high as fuck, when he said the world would be better if there weren’t schools, because our Education teaches us to be dumb or stifles thought, or something like that. Then went on to say, babies would be the smartest beings if they Imagecould convey it by speaking. He has a good point, in that our Education system needs to get better and change the concept for what it is to teach. But, babies are pretty much blank slates, unless you theorize that they are born into the world with all the answers, or have a cognitive function that is higher until they are forced to learn. Shit maybe. haha. It’s interesting and problematic that I even know Jaden said this.

ImageInstagram, Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook are setting peoples’ expectations and defining success, cool, and whatever else by way of instapics, 140 characters, reblogs, and status updates. It’s kinda sick. We’re all little homogeneous beings lacking the drive and spirit to do more. All programmed the same. Maybe we can’t get mad that the large corporations run everything and Banks are getting too bigger* to fail. We are all buying into the same mode of thinking and way of living. There are people fixated with being a part of the conglomerate and having what they see via various media outlets, including relationships.

Girls want to get married, find love, have a family and have the perfect man that can help create it all for them. Men just do all that is required to get the affection of women, until one gets him. And, hopefully he acts right. Remember he’s been pushing for success to gain the attention of a woman his entire life. People love what Jay-z and Beyonce have, Angelina Jolie and Brad, Will and Jada, Barack and Michelle, Tom Cruz and wait…um… Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow, Tom Brady and Giselle, etc. I can guarantee they have defined happiness for themselves or they really aren’t happy; and that their relationships aren’t what you would want for yourself. Unless of course you want a relationship where money and fame is the call of the day, and getting strange sex from another with as much to lose as you, because that is the best plan of attack for getting some ass since your wife or man is off in another country or place for…days, weeks, months at a time. But, you don’t want to have it all come crashing down because of a TMZ report. Basically, you have to find what it is that makes you happy. It’s something that can’t be taught to you. You’re most likely to find out what that is when you have peace of mind.

Therefore, social media, your parents, friends, and social media, should not define your happiness. Moreover,those celebrity relationships should be the LAST to teach or set expectations for a relationship (if that’s what you want to make you happy). You have to blaze your own trail to leave a mark.

Well, I postulate that once you reach your Billionaire status, or you’ve done everything that it is that your parents, friends, and society thinks is great, you will finally be able to have peace of mind and do the things that you really want to do. You will finally be able to see what it is to enjoy the little things. So until then, another day, another dollar, another social media view to inspire, depress, or empower you to reach the point where you gain higher ground in this rat race. “I Gotta Find Peace of Mind”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brWmS8As9Wk

We Should Feel Stupid!

In years to come, there will be technological advancements that will shame our greatest advancement, in 2013. I’ve seen such advancements in technology with cars and gaming systems in my own lifetime, not to mention medical, aeronautical, information tech, etc. So, I can only imagine what the following generations will come up with. And, I hope to not be that old guy saying “well, back in my day…”

In the years to come, we should feel even worse about our social policies and norms than about our progress regarding technological innovation.

1) Marriage should just be marriage. Love who you love.

2) We spend more money on war than education and food. But, money that goes into funding war does fund food supply, housing, transportation, and clothing for our soldiers. Basically, people shouldn’t look to the military as being their career because it creates a decent lifestyle. Warfare is welfare that soldiers earn with their lives.

3) Drugs. How do we decide what is legal and what’s illegal? Because it certainly is not based on the harm created to the users (i.e., marijuana v. alcohol). Certain drugs are dangerous and killers, but laws aren’t stopping people nor are drug enforcement regulations or policies. Basically, we need to re-think a lot of stuff.

4) The American education system is super antiquated; even at the graduate level. Denver University creating a combined law and undergrad degree should be the trend of the nation. The LSAT and three years of law school is not what makes a good lawyer. Doctors spending four years in med school; then many more in residency, where they learn by trial and error is STUPID. But, smart people are running it? Not to mention the money wasted and student loan debt created. Fuck tradition.

4)(a) Our lives and future are inextricably linked to the internet. Therefore, C++ and other coding classes should be a part of our primary education.

5) Private Prisons? HUH!? The thought of privately owned prisons leads my next thoughts to corruption. “Let’s pay people to fill up our jails! Money talks!?”

6) The most influential people are a version of actor (rappers, singers, actors, politicians, etc.). The FUCK!?

7) Tax regs and an unregulated Wall Street. They’re Killing us in concert!

8) Social media, blogging (ha!) and smart phones. There will have to be a new DSM edition just to incorporate all the mental anguish and issues that result from the usage of those items.

9) The food we eat, how much of it we eat, and the easy access to it

I’m probably wrong about most of this stuff. It’s just my perspective.