Necessary

NECESSARY

I think I’ll write a poem that speaks epic truth, tonight
It doesn’t matter if you tend to lean left or lean right
Politics aren’t helping us, the gap is greater in-between
We need to stop fixating on whose King or who is Queen

We need to shift the focus to what matters, that’s for real
We need to stop the spinning and start breaking culture’s wheel
Martin wasn’t joking when he wrote that brilliant line
The story’s great, sure, but a grander message lies behind

Nothing’s stronger than a thread that’s woven one and all
But if you try to weave it on your own you’ll sadly fall
History has proven this, it’s not news to anyone
The ink in this here pen I wield weighs more than your big gun

Every life we live is shaped by minds that can run free
And if we came together just imagine what could be
Forgiveness, empathy, this is what we need
And we ever grasp these things our whole planet will be freed

Fire doesn’t put out fire, its ego you should bury
Someone had to say it, right? These words are necessary.

My Hands

Never idle, on the move, ink pours on the page

The force that drives, a needed guide, is with me on this stage

I try to be an optimist, but sometimes I’m consumed by rage

Thinking of how things are done and how they could so quickly change

Yes all the world’s a stage you know, it’s something that you shan’t forget

The sun and stars would get along if only they’d shake hands and met

Humanity could follow suit, we’ve got the tech but somehow, yet

We manage to exacerbate the very things we should forget

Fossil fuels and everything, you know that it’s all temporary

But tell me more of how it works, and how mining isn’t mercenary

If you truly want to change the world into a gilded sanctuary

Then play the long game not the short, and hire you an actuary

Maybe they can run the numbers, project a truth that you won’t like

Their findings likely point to truth like human beings should take a hike

Sure, we all know that we need to build that interstate or that turnpike

Yet as we do this trees are cut, it’s like the land of the Third Reich

Yes it’s so, the world’s a stage, it’s just a game of checkers, chess

We put our pieces on the board, where we think they’ll help us best

And when we find a new chance to establish ourselves, let me guess

You want to build a military presence just to clean the mess

Sure my man, come on down, bring your gadgets and your tech

Cause I don’t really care what happens as long as I get that big check

You see this is why the world is wasted, all it’s countries are a wreck

We let the people be in charge that only care for their own neck

Maybe one day you’ll wake up, realize that this dream of yours

Doesn’t have to happen this way and you won’t be on all fours

Rising up and taking charge, you’ll fight and finely take these lands

Until then I’ll try my best, just writing with my moving hands

Forward

It’s often that i see this

If truth were to be told

Despite the goal: inspire

It turns warmth to bitter cold

If ever you are struggling

If ever you are down

Remember they don’t matter

And that words can’t bring you down

For often will you hear, when

You are looking far ahead

That all your dreams are fiction

Come and fit the mold, instead

Be strong, my friend, for as we

Chase our dreams and live as one

Your calling will come one day

That it’s justified, your run

Don’t ever tell yourself “no”

It just simply can’t be done

Instead get up, get grinding

Until that day has fine’ly come

Our time on Earth has limits

It’s too short for stress and strife

Just find what makes you happy

And live your dream, this life

Survive

What fire burns, deep within

When darkness falls, and days are grim

What ember lives, while others wain

Choked in silence, succumbed to pain

What force shall hold, as others die

Stuck, complacent, teethe and writhe

What echo sounds, when others fade

Like leaves of autumn, drift away

What branch grows old, as others fall

With hardened bark, it reaches tall

What ship still sails, as seas pour in

Through thunderous channels, deafening wind

What castle stands, its flag unharmed

Though battles fought, and pyres warmed

The weak shall fall, the strong remain

What left have I, to give but name

Unsung Heroes: Our Black Brothers & Sisters

In the midst of another era of racial and socioeconomic tension, America finds itself yet again divided. Its still to be decided as to how things will play out, but if one thing is for certain, its this: things must change. Folks are going to have to start getting along, or these violent riots and protests are going to rip our nation apart.

There is something lingering, however, that I think needs to be addressed. In my discussions with people on all sides of these issues, I’ve noticed that there is a certain degree of doubt as to how much our society and culture has truly benefited from the contributions of black Americans (and other minorities). While most people I speak to don’t come from the standpoint of looking down on minorities, many do seem to neglect certain contributions they have made, whether intentionally or not.

In light of this, I have decided to put together a list of some great people of color who, throughout our history, have impacted us all in a positive way. Some you may not have heard of, and some you may know quite dearly. The point is to illustrate how important we ALL are in our human quest to create a loving, inclusive society. There is no shortage of white characters who have received recognition, we all know that. So hopefully, by highlighting some of the others, the folks who still seem to foster the “white supremacy” opinion will take a harder look at the reality of this world we share. We’re all trying, people. Love each other – it shouldn’t be that hard, right?

GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER

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Many people don’t know this, but GWC, a freed slave turned brilliant scientist, was a monumental influence on Vice President Henry Wallace. Wallace, a farmer from Iowa, used GWC’s ideas to enormously boost corn production during World War II, filling increasing needs of our exploding economy.

BASS REEVES

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Bass was the first black US deputy Marshall West of the Mississippi. He basically destroyed outlaws and was an overall bad-ass, for want of a better term. He caught all the bad guys, and even killed 14 people in self defense. Keepin’ all them white folk safe!

BUFFALO SOLDIERS

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The Buffalo Soldiers was a term used for many regiments of black American soldiers who fought in many wars, originating in the 10th Cavalry Regiment of the US Army in 1866. The term came from Native Americans, who thought their hair resembled that of Buffalo hair. They contributed to many great American victories, and served valiantly for their country. The term was used loosely by some to describe all black soldiers, but the history here is important to know. Many of our victories would never have been possible without the brave efforts of what many referred to as the “Negros Cavalry”.

TUSKEGEE AIRMEN

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Many have probably heard of these fellas, as there is now a big Hollywood movie about them. These guys were the first African American Air Unit in WWII, and went on many selfless missions to fight the good fight. Lot of great sub stories in these guys ranks, too. Check em out!

JOHN ALBERT BURR

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Anyone know a guy who owns a landscaping company? I sure do. Lots. And they can all thank Mr. John Albert Burr for pretty much inventing modern lawn mowing and paving the way for profits! That’s right, you’re looking at the man who invented the rotary lawn mowing blade – U.S. patent #624,749.

PERCY JULIAN

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Percy Julian was one of the most important scientists of the 20th century, making great discoveries in the fields of healthcare, with a focus on synthetic compounds. His work far exceeds my intellectual prowess, but folks should know that many of the compounds we enjoy today in the field of medicine were made possible by him.

ELIJAH MCCOY

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Elijah McCoy was an inventor. A thinker. An innovator. Throughout his life, he made trains more efficient,  improved oil rigs, and even honed steam engines. He was a brilliant man, capable of some of the most efficient thought from an engineering perspective. He even invented a movable ironing board to help make ironing-on-the-go easier. You’re welcome, ladies.

LEWIS LATIMER

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Lewis Latimer was paramount in further perfecting the light bulb. He led efforts installing electric plants in cities such as Philadelphia and Montreal. Without him, the incandescent bulb might not be what it is today. Thanks Lewis!

ROSA PARKS

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Rosa needs no introduction. The only thing I want to say here is that I bet she made the best neighbor EVER. You know, the one who’s always making sure the kids are behaving and aren’t doing anything stupid? Making sure they all got their homework done and came in before dinner time. I imagine that’s how Rosa was. A sweet, nice, lady who stood up (or in this case sat down) for what’s right. We need more of her.

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Now, I could go on and on and on and on with this, but this is the point, in case anyone’s missed it. All of these people did things for the greater good, not for one side or the other. They never berated other people, they just uplifted folks. That’s the direction we need to be moving, everyone. Forward. Up. Not backwards, or down.

A good question to ask yourself if you’re considering making a move in this game of life: what direction will this push people in?

The Other Side

Oh my freakin’ God, guys

Here we go again

Just throw the leather ball, dude

My team – it needs a win

You really aren’t oppressed, guys

And my moneys on the line 

So if you don’t deliver, then

I’m trading you next time

Leave politics to them, bro

‘Cause no one really cares

Just score and make my team win

Leave out the thoughts upstairs
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Now hang on one damn second, man

You haven’t heard my side

I’ve put up with all this bullshit

For my whole entire life

I’m sick of all the judgment 

When I walk into the store

And how so many hate us

Except for when we score

I’m more than that, my brother

I’m a human, after all 

And treating me as you are 

It drives us up the wall

So please, my man, just stop it

We want all to get along

You’ll win your league, I promise

When you know that we belong

Love & Loss: 10

They’re coming.

We don’t know when, but we know. The Germans are launching a counter offensive. We’ve been expecting this for weeks, as it’s crucial that we maintain control of the supply lines. Sicily is too valuable a target, and we should have known they would defend it to the very last man.

Our intelligence officer has intercepted a telegram that we are to be assaulted in the coming days.

My time in this war has given me so much perspective. Some of the things I’ve seen are nightmarishly horrific. Seeing the atrocious ways a human being can treat another human being when under the guise of war is the most terrifying observation I’ve had. This isn’t a world that anyone deserves. I feel the heaviest weight on my heart when I see a little girl be saved from debris, only to find her parents dead from shelling. I feel the weight of the farmers who are being forced to provide rations to the Nazis against their will.

It hurts to think about these things. I must protect Adalasia. That’s the only thing I can hold on to in this world of chaos. She gives me purpose. I love her for that.

Why am I fighting this war? That was a question searing in my head for the longest time. But now I know. I’m fighting this war to preserve the short glimmers of happiness that my Adalasia provides. It’s what were all fighting for.

I love her so much.

The Guide To Getting Along

Hello friends! Matt here.

Okay. So it seems we might have reached somewhat of an impasse, wouldn’t you agree? Let’s take a look at things from its highest level.

In its most basic form, we have the left versus the right. Now, that’s the general description. Mind you, some people believe in right stuff and maybe a left thing or two and vice versa, but ultimately, you get the point. SO! Knowing that we all have different stances on one thing or the other, let’s take into consideration the concept of perspective. This is probably going to sound like elementary to some of you, but this is literally what is apparently being required. So don’t blame me.

Now, let’s start with the fundamentals. There are three sides to everything in life. They are:

  • Side 1: Your side.
  • Side 2: Their side.
  • Side 3: Reality.

Let’s review. Every argument ever will have two opposing sides, both of which will try to articulate why they are correct.

Now, your thoughts and beliefs on what is “right” and what is “wrong” may differ from that of your opponent’s. Let’s take abortion, for example. Some of you think aborting a fetus is killing a soul. Some of you believe it is not, and it is merely a few pieces of biological tissue. So there are your two sides. The truth is, we do not know. That is reality. We don’t know if there is a soul in that fetus, just like we don’t know there is a God. It is a faith based system. This is not sacrilege, this is common sense. Any Christian will tell you that their religion is based on faith, not proof. I chose this example because its the best to dictate the point here: there is a Side 1, a Side 2, and a reality. A reality which we cannot fully, 100% say is true or false.

So, back to the getting along part. In order for anyone, anywhere, ever, to get along – you must remove yourself from being offended by people who believe in Side 2 (Their side). You must be okay that other people do not think the same way as you, and thus must respect their “perspective”. This post should serve as the perfect exercise, since so many people become “offended” when you even consider the fact that we might be alone. Believe me, I don’t want that to be the case. In fact that would quite literally terrify me. But I’m confident enough in my convictions and beliefs to the point where if someone else tries to explain their point of view and how it conflicts with mine…I wouldn’t get offended. I can honestly say I perfectly respect people who truly think Gays shouldn’t marry. I can respect the ones who say abortion should be legal. Because I know that we live in an imperfect world, and my opinion will never be the absolute necessary one to apply to reality.

This stuff is very simple. It really, really, is. Just stop getting offended. Talk about your point of view with the acknowledgement that the other person might think differently, and if they do, you are still going to live. Don’t feel compelled to control the minds of other people. Don’t disrespect them for having their own beliefs. Now, will someone find a way to read this and say well X is why we can’t get along? Yes, that is going to happen. Unfortunately. But again, that is going to be due to their inability to simply be okay with a conflicting perspective.

Anyway, this is a very simple system. And it should be most easy to follow. If, of course, we allow ourselves to.

I hope you enjoyed The Guide to Getting Along.

Well, This is Going to be Interesting

Relief. Fear. Excitement. Disappointment. Intrigue.

Just when we thought we’d reached a boiling point, emotions (and with them, tensions) are at an all-time high in this country of ours. The entire world looks to us as it wonders what we will do next as a nation which has historically set the example of how industrialized society should conduct itself. It is difficult to argue that the United States has, over time, carved itself into the role of older brother to the rest of its peers – the innovator, experimenter, and deviant who paves the way for others to follow. It’s economic, cultural, and military influence has long dominated the planet, creating a massive responsibility for itself of upholding the core values upon which it was founded.

For those in my generation, we have witnessed a very depressed version of The American Dream – as our only perception of society since entering the work force has dealt with near-unprecedented economic decline, political corruption, and heightened social tensions. We’ve witnessed mass murders on a frequency never before seen. We saw the financial collapse of ’08 just as we graduated college. We experienced millions having their homes helplessly stripped away during the housing & mortgage crises. We watched as civilians were killed at the hands of those sworn to protect, simultaneously begging the question of whether these incidents were simply exacerbated by a cruel and manipulative media seeking to create a distraction. Heck, one of our first adult memories was 9/11.

Perhaps those reading this will think I’m being too harsh. Regardless, one thing is true: people my age have never been fortunate enough to experience the America our parents told us about. Our narrative has been dominated by violence, divisiveness, and the greatest wealth gap in our history.

Yes, it’s suffice to say that we could all use a break.

Thankfully, our country is vehemently fighting a crucial battle of tipping the scales; one that will quite literally dictate life as we know it in the coming years and likely decades. This “we’ve had enough” mentality, for better or worse, just resulted in what I daresay was one of the greatest political upsets in the history of the world. For once, no amount of money, power, or corruption could subdue the voice that the masses so loudly cried. You may not support the president-elect, but any respectable person has to agree that those who hold high society in contempt have finally gotten what they asked for – someone they believe will fight for them. And soon, as the world looks on in both frightened & hopeful anticipation, we will discover if that historically muffled voice will be heard.

Its going to go one of two ways. The man will rise above the hate, pushing the doubts aside and become one of our greatest leaders ever – or he will epically stumble and fall. Regarding his journey of overcoming unbelievable odds, I can’t help but be reminded of the metaphorical dog who finally catches that car he’s spent a lifetime chasing; that moment of now what? Donald Trump has at last caught the one position with which he’s spent a lifetime flirting, and only time will tell what he does with it.

I, for one, am hopeful. Maybe it’s my mother’s optimism shining through. Perhaps it’s childish naïveté. In any case, hope is all we can cling to as we ride this wave into the unpredictable waters ahead. As citizens, however, it’s incumbent upon us to give the man a chance. If we shut down, cross our arms like children and refuse, then we embody the exact judgmental attitude that we all claim to despise. It’s imperative that we maintain open minds if we expect this place to get any better.

I think we can all agree that one thing is true, no matter where we stand.

There has never been a more important time for us to stick together.

The Next America

One day, the millennial generation will inherit the planet. 

If we take a step back and look at the world in a high level view, there are some things that become clear. There seems to be a generational disconnect on how things should work. Almost like the old, and the new. It’s like the world is struggling to adjust to the monumental leaps we’ve made as a society, and government is a particular subject of these growing pains. 

We are approaching a point where the relevance of title, birth, and class are increasingly irrelevant. Anyone can make it in a world supported by capitalism. This societal mobility can also be attributed to globalism and the internet. Instant access to information, the quickness of physical travel, and other technological achievements have had enormous social repercussions. The chains of the masses have essentially been unshackled, and the majority finally has access to real information and opportunity, allowing anyone and everyone to reach their full potential. There is still a ways to go in parts of the world, but it’s a start.

The important thing is that we are gradually leveling the playing field, which is something the higher ups do not want. That’s what we’re seeing today. We’re seeing the liberation of the majority. And it’s beautiful. 

To be perfectly honest, I think that’s one reason we see the establishment fighting tooth and nail to hold on to the antiquated policies and ways of doing things. That’s why we’re seeing so much Trump bashing and Hillary baiting by the media. The interests of much of Americas corporate, public, and privates sectors lie together, and they cunningly take care of each other. Of course you can’t really blame them – they’re used to their way of life and this evolution is a threat to it. But this enormous surge of Trumpers seems to reflect the American mentality that they’re sick of being treated as lesser individuals.

But that seems to be the state of things. I suppose people will keep pushing until it doesn’t matter who you are, what you look like or where you were born – you have all the rights and say as anyone else.  From what I can tell, my generation seems to agree that there is a certain degree of universal equality. There are outliers of course, but I think that will be sorted out in time as popular opinion takes its course. 

When It’s Over: After the Election

Everyone feels the tension. There’s an inescapable, lingering stress that our country won’t shed until this election season is over and all ballots have been cast and counted. 

Regardless of where you stand politically, there is one, transcendant requirement that we all must bear in mind – at our core, we are one. 

Now obviously, there will be winners and there will be losers. That’s the nature of our political system. But for us, the people, we need to be aware that division is precisely what gives power to those that hold it. On November 9th, we mustn’t let ourselves bicker and fight. The winners should be humble and the losers respectful. Because ultimately we all have the same goal, and that is to live in a country which fosters opportunity, freedom of choice, and liberty. 

I’ll keep this brief. My point is this: please don’t let the outcome of this election adversely affect your relationships. We all have friends and family each with unique perspectives. 

I’m Proud to be an American

At the moment, I have an average life.

I work, I play, I doodle sometimes, what have you. I have a life. Just like all of you guys.

You know what’s cool about that? The fact that I’m sitting here writing about whatever I want. Did you know that if you happened to be born in North Korea, you might be killed for doing what I’m doing right now? Expressing your views. Crazy, right?

Those places exist.

And people fought a HELL of a battle to make it better for us. There were people that actually got tortured and killed just so you could be reading this in a free world. Their sacrifices literally shaped the reality you enjoy today.

This, my friends, is why we should respect America. Today I had the pleasure of serving the firefighters from my hometown. Apparently there’s an event in Nashville every year on 9/11 where they take the names of every firefighter who passed in the attacks, and tape it to another firefighter who participates in the event. Then they suit up, climb the dozens and dozens of stairs to the top of a skyscraper, and climb back down. Just like the people theyre representing would have done on that treacherous day. That, no matter how you look at it, is awesome. These people deserve to be talked about.

So during a time where people are trying to decide what this country means, I say let’s remember that were all in this together. Please don’t let the powers that be divide us any more than they’ve already done.