“In a real sense all life is inter-related. All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be, and you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the inter-related structure of reality.” – Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King was really that dude, huh?
You see, I tried working on this blog almost a year ago, but it was a clunky mess. I couldn’t find the right words, so halfway into it, I did what any sensible person does when things get hard. I gave up. Slowly it began to collect dust in my drafts, sinking further into the abyss. But I knew somewhere down the road I wanted to re-work it––better yet, I knew I had to. The timing had to be right, though.
Always wondering if I would ever find the right time to bring justice to this idea, I knew my window was open after reading those words from Mr. King.
And as much as those words got my ass back in this seat trying to get something going, the real idea for this blog started long before that moment. The origin began years ago when I stumbled across a well-known quote from Marianne Williamson:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
These words took their time before they finally hit home. But man, once they did, they rocked me. There was no turning back. It was the first time I truly understood that if I just owned who I was, as much as I could––easier said than done––then that gave people the courage to do the same.
Alone, these two quotes have the power to change your entire perspective on the world as they did for me. Stopping this blog now to let you guys contemplate them for hours on end would be more than enough. That would be the smart thing to do. Instead, I’m going to take you for a ride as I slowly deconstruct this theme––interdependence––because in my eyes, this is the golden ticket.
FEEDING OFF EACHOTHER
“Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world.” – Marianne Williamson
I’m going to paint you a picture with words (guess that’s not really painting if we’re going to be nit-picky assholes) that will hopefully help this blog start to take shape.
Idea: We’re each a link in the chain, so don’t fuck it up, fucker
Every time I sit down to write, I usually listen to one song on repeat for the entire time that I work on a blog. Music has become an anchor that helps me tap into the flow of writing a lot quicker. Shit, while I was working on the roadmap to connection series, I literally listened to Grizs’ How It Ends on repeat over 1,700 hundred times.
Continuing the picture, imagine some random dude Lawrence (your guess is as good as mine when it comes to figuring out where I pull these names from) stumbled upon my “Roadmap series.” And let us also imagine that his thought process after reading the entire series was, “you know what, this guy is a complete bag of shit. I don’t like him. But, some of his nonsense does have a point––sometimes. Perhaps I do need to start holding myself accountable and begin this path inward.”
So maybe, just maybe, that realization eventually lead Lawrence on a path back to school for medicine. And maybe, just maybe, ten years later, he figured out the cure for cancer.
99.9% of the time, is someone going to find the cure for cancer because they read one of my blogs and got inspired? Fuck no. They probably went to go jerk off directly after and forgot all about it. But that’s not the point. The point is, each of those events had the potential––no matter how big or how small––to inspire some form of change. Each one of those events was a link in a chain.
Let’s throw this together in a prolific flow chart with writing abilities rarely ever observed in mankind to drive this home:
Link 1 – Griz makes How It Ends.
Link 2 – How It Ends plays on repeat over 1,700 hundred times being used as fuel by some sick fuck to write a sub-par blog series.
Link 3 – Lawrence somehow stumbles upon said sub-par blog series.
Lawrence realizes he needs to get his shit together and decides to go back to school for medicine. Ten years, three divorces, and seven kids later, Lawrence finds the cure for cancer. (Lawrence is fucked up and has a ton of personal problems, but he discovered the cure for cancer, so he gets a pass).
Link 4 – Lawrence’s cure for cancer leads to Peter’s survival
(Peter enters stage left)
Link 5 – Peter, the G that he is, and now very much alive thanks to Lawrence, goes on to invent time travel (awesome stuff, I know. I’m the one making this up).
Link 6 – Because Peter survived cancer (pause) because Lawrence found the cure (pause) because he got inspired from reading my blog series (pause) where How It Ends was used as fuel (pause) we’re now able to go back in time and see that aliens did indeed (wait for it) help us build the pyramids.
Now, did I reach here? Absolutely. Did I make sense? Debatable. Is this entire scenario plausible? No, not really (obviously), but yeah, kind of (why not?). But! None of this could have been possible if just one link was out of place. It only takes one missing link in a bike chain for the entire thing to become useless.
What other possibilities is the world potentially missing out on because people aren’t working towards what they’re capable of? Are you starting to pick up what I’m putting down? No? Okay, let’s keep going.
NO MATTER HOW BIG OR HOW SMALL, PLAY YOUR ROLE
Clearly, some roles are more significant than others. Our main man Lawrence finding the cure for cancer, pretty fucking big role. I think we can all agree. The dude writing grade-school thought-provoking blogs? He can, for the most part, eat a bag of dicks, but, he’s playing his role, and that’s the magic in this.
There’s a misconception that we tend to get lost in when we think of people playing a role in society. You read those words, and you automatically believe that playing a role means it has to be some grandiose spectacle, or another common thought is “not everyone is meant to do big things. Not everyone is meant to be an Elon Musk.”
If I’m being honest, part of me use to think like that. I was a cynical fuck. But when I look back, my perspective wasn’t where it needed to be.
There’s a documentary called Chasing Coral (phenomenal documentary by the way) out on Netflix that ties this notion together beautifully.
You have a young man (Zack Rago) in that documentary whose world is coral. And as I watched the film for the first time, it occurred to me, here’s a man who’s doing what he is meant to do. Straight up, this guy is playing his role.
How do I know this you ask? Because this guy eats, breathes, shits coral in a way that you only see when someone is genuinely in love with what they do regardless of fame, accolades, or money. He is so obsessed with coral that I am almost positive he would pursue that world if it came at the cost of him becoming a meth addict.
The best part is, global warming and coral bleaching are crucial areas that one could be involved in right now, no question. But when we think about jobs that get us going, I’m sure for 98% of us, coral doesn’t even make the top 50.
You and I aren’t getting into the world of coral anytime soon. Okay, you might be, but I’m not. And no matter how much I could try to contribute to the world of coral, at my core, it’s simply not the direction I am being pulled in. I mean I could give it the old college try! But I would never come close to making an impact the way that the guy who thinks about coral the minute he wakes up makes an impact. Never.
If this seems like a duh moment, that’s because it is. Guy loves coral, guy pursues a job in coral. But how many people out there are genuinely interested in coral, but would never think about pursuing a career in it because chasing coral isn’t as sexy as chasing six figures or “influencer stardom?” How many people are passing up their calling because it doesn’t live up to society’s “success/norm” standards?
These “duh” moments are our intuition. That voice in our head that is tirelessly trying to pull us in the right direction, yet we choose to ignore it week after week, month after month, year after year.
The pull will always be there; it never leaves. And I think most of us do feel this and do want to pursue whatever that pull is. But we’re scared. Or there’s a change that’s required, so clearly fuck that. Or we’re too lazy. Or we play it small. These are nothing but god damn traps. Traps that need to be made aware of because knowing is half the battle to overcome them.
Ego/playing it small – If we jump back to when Marianne Williamson’s speech, the trap of the ego is precisely this; “We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.”
I’ve had moments in my life where, by just being me, I noticed that it made people uncomfortable, which in turn caused me to shrink. I thought I was “being too much” or “doing too much”––which to be fair, probably was the case. I’m a lot sometimes. But for the most part, those moments were nothing more than me being me, and I’m sure you’ve caught yourself in similar situations.
This is what playing it small looks like on a small scale. But what does it look like on a larger scale? Self-doubt; “Who am I to be.” So, we do what humans do best and we find concrete reasons why we could never do “fill in the blank,” or we make up the perfect excuse. “I could never change careers, bro. I’m too old,” says the 27-year-old.
On the flip side, we run into ego. We see someone doing something we would like to do, and instead of congratulating them, we hate on them. We do this because that person challenges our potential. We know we have it somewhere deep within ourselves, we’re just too afraid, and it’s easier to hate than it is to confront your own shadows.
But only when we begin to confront those shadows do we realize that we are made of greatness too.
Fear – I won’t do a deep dive into fear because I already wrote a blog about people not doing the things they want to do out of fear. Moral of the story; fear is not real, should you ever come face to face with it, challenge that shit. Sit with the feeling of fear as best you can and watch what happens. I think you’ll be surprised.
Laziness, however, is very real, and I know some of you are fucking sweating just reading this, so let’s do it.
Laziness – I’m a lazy shitbag. Let me just put that on the table right now. I’m a lazy shitbag who likes to complain from time to time and has been looking for ways out of writing this blog since the moment he started and yes I’m aware that I just switched from first person to third person mid-sentence which I’m sure breaks all grammar rules and I also know that this is one big run-on sentence which used the word ‘and’ too many times, but guess who doesn’t care? Yup, you guessed it––this guy.
I don’t want to do this. Fuck this shit; I’m not even getting paid for it. I’m a moron who rants. Who’s even going to read this? An avocado sounds good right about now. I should really go have an avocado. I’d rather scroll through Instagram for the 100th time. Maybe some porn will help? (2 minutes later) Nope, didn’t help. It’s my break between semesters, and I should be relaxing. You’ll never go anywhere in life, and you’re wasting your time with writing.
Those are all thoughts I have that––hate to say it, more often than not––keep me from putting in the work. But guess what? If you’re reading these words, then it means I won. For now, I beat resistance. I put the time in and overcame my laziness.
Maybe there is some component of vanity melded into putting out a blog or anything significant that someone does. But a vast majority (for me) is knowing that I am doing what I can to help those around me. It may not be much, but at my core, I feel that this is part of what I should be doing with my time here. This does not make me special because everyone has this aspect within themselves. It boils down to a matter of seeing it for one’s self
“But that’s the thing––before you can believe it, I gotta believe it.” – Sekou Andrews
I don’t want you guys to leave here thinking that this blog means you have to go out and be on the grind 24/7 trying to become the Second Coming of Christ. Again, maybe your gift is to be a good father. Or to be a carpenter. Or perhaps it’s to do hair which in turn makes people feel good causing a domino effect. Or maybe your gift isn’t your job, and that’s fine. Maybe you have a job that you enjoy, and it pays the bills, but what really fulfills you is the charity work you do on the side. Or maybe it’s a small company providing services for X, Y, and Z. I don’t know, Jack.
What I do know is––unpopular opinion incoming––maybe for specific periods in our lives, we do need to sacrifice our time for the betterment of others. Plus, it won’t feel like a grind if it’s something you actually enjoy. I won’t even put the “if you love what you do, then you’ll never work a day in your life” quote in here becau––oops.
And I know what you’re thinking, “I don’t have the time; I’m too tired; I won’t even get paid for it; It’s not my job.” Trust me, I feel you. I really do. But just like it’s nobody’s job to take care of the planet, maybe it’s actually everybody’s job to take care of the planet. And maybe, just maybe, we accomplish this when we play our respective roles.
Thank you for reading, I haven’t said that in a while. If you’ve ever taken the time to read my shit, I truly appreciate it. This blog means a lot to me because this topic is something I think about almost daily. We’re living in some strange times right now and they sure aren’t going to get better by re-watching The Office for the 6th time around.
(Gasp) Go fuck yourself, Justin.
Peace out fuckers!
“At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: “I have to go to work — as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for — the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?”
So you were born to feel “nice”? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands?
You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too, and what it demands of you.”―
Edited by: Patrica Hendriks