The story of a man who decided to completely unplug.
What did he find when he did this…Life. It’s amazing where life takes us when we get our head out of our phones, out laptops, and our own little social world. Suddenly….life is at our front door and we can do so much!!
Is this only because of our plugged in society…no. This is an example of our continued view that the only way to live is the way everyone else is living.
What if we changed that?
What if we decided that we didn’t have to live like everyone else?
What if we decided we would be there for everyone and be a person who helped everyone, rather than asking what’s in it for me?
What would happen if we actually took the time to meet our neighbors, talk to the people walking their dog, and say hi to complete strangers?
Could we literally change the world? Yes.
But I can promise we would change our world for the better!
What could you do differently to change your little world for the better?
I’m a big believer that if you are going somewhere you need a drink. Therefore, whenever my family and I are going on a trip..the first stop is a cheap beverage place.
As you have probably guessed from the blog, or if you have heard me speak, I work toward spreading positivity and joy to everyone I meet. I make sure that everyone that passes my path is welcomed, inspired, and happy.
As I stood in line waiting to pay for my drinks I noticed the picture above on a gentleman’s shirt. I asked him about this, and he proceeded to explain that at a local boardwalk…they have just put up this memorial to all the fisherman who are lost at sea.
I told him I thought that was a very worthy cause to be part of, and I thanked him for wearing the shirt. The man had sea blue eyes stained with pain of the past, and a face worn by years of salt and sun. His sea blue eyes began to water and tears streamed down his face. He smiled at me and was aghast that I would thank him for this. He was thanking the people who put it up, by wearing the shirt so that others would know about it. Because his mom and dad went out on their monthly fishing tour. Not a bad work they had, 24 hours of fishing, once a month, and they spent the rest of the month with their kids. 1 day of month work. This day the fish were biting, the fisherman were bringing home stories of full hulls of fish. He was 20, his brother was 18. They never came back.
I asked him if I could write about this memorial…and he begin to cry again. Yes was his answer. Yes because of his parents. Yes because of their parents. Yes, because of all the children and parents that have been lost to the sea.
This is another example of a great cause to help and get behind. This is a great cause to collect a donation for, create an office giving group, or even just a neighborhood rec center donation drop. This is just one of the many great causes that we can help and begin to change the world.
So…for all those men and women lost at sea…please visit
Florida Fisherman Lost at Sea and remember the many people who have helped not only shape and create our country, but who have graced our homes and community…that are now below the waves.
Yes, there will be a collection of short inspirational stories. Here’s just a sample of what you will see:
Enjoy the writing.
Signs to the world
I don’t think I ever knew what I was really doing. I never thought it was that grand of an idea. Now, a mere 5 years later they’re saying things I can’t believe. They’re saying that I revolutionized the way people think. I was in a book store the other day and saw a book titled: Jaime Brim, the man who created the new world. My own face was looking back at me. That man I see in the mirror everyday isn’t the man everyone sees me as. People have talked, lectured, written, and wrote speech about those days. I’ve been on so many TV shows I don’t know whose desk I’m sitting in front of anymore. They ask the same questions that I don’t have answers for. So I decided, since everyone is so eager to know, I’ll stop the speculating. I’ll give you my thoughts and opinions first hand. I’ll actually tell you what happened, so people will stop asking and stop guessing. Sometimes though I believe, the guesses sound better than the truth. I wish I was the Jamie Brim of the books and articles, but I’m just Jame.
I was chasing the last of my lemonade across the bottom of a glass on a boring Sunday afternoon. I was trying to avoid the stuff that I had brought home from work, and the wife was finishing a book she had been putting off for months. In essence, I was bored. I finally slurped that last drop up, much to the annoyance of my wife downstairs who yelled at me for slurping. I knew I needed to busy myself. I looked over the stacks of proposals, and watched my son play with his friends. The boys threw a football around while the girls stood on the side lines asking to play, and hating the ball they would learn to hate in different ways once they got older.
I walked downstairs and lured as many neighborhood kids as I could with promises of ice cream and doughnuts. I piled them into my constant reminder of suburban mediocrity, the mini-van, and drove to the art store. I didn’t know what I was doing, or why I was going there. I had dreams of a pollockesque paint fiasco in my front driveway, with all the kids painted head to toe. The mere sight made me chuckle, and that was enough for me to keep driving with the yells and giggles of a child packed mini-van. I let them run rampant through the store to the horror and disgust of the old women and shop keepers. They pulled, yelled, bumped, and destroyed everything they came in contact with. This type of anarchy was exactly what my boredom soaked mind needed. After 20 minutes of watching 15 rampaging 6-8 year olds, I suddenly found myself in front of the poster boards section.
Poster boards have fascinated me since my high-school days. I was always the kid in the group that never did his work and slyly dated a group member so that they wouldn’t be pissed. I would sit, guilt soaked, as far under my desk as I could push myself, and marvel at the pristine glorious picture that erupted into the classroom from these adolescent masterpieces created with nothing but poster board and washable markers. As these visions drown out the yells and screams of the kids I looked at the virgin white boards and decided I must have them. I bought the entire lot of the biggest boards I could. I rounded up the menagerie and arrived in the driveway faster than you could say play date.
I told all of the kids to run and get every kid they could find and every marker they could get their hands on. With 5 bowls of leftover Halloween candy, markers, poster boards, and sugar induced hyper activity I started drawing letters on the boards. The kids colored them with a creativity that any good hyped up junkie or future Disney executive would respect, and we worked into the day. By the time the street light alarm clock that said everyone had to be in their houses arrived, we sat in the middle of a cluster of poster boards any school teacher would be proud to see covering their floor after group day. As the kids left and I stacked the boards up, my son asked what it spelled. I barely knew myself, but then again, it was the plan. I was told by an old English teacher; if you’re going to write something out of your own head, might as well make it say something worthwhile; so I did. I told my son I’d tell him in the morning, and I did what every other parent in the neighborhood did that night; forced my kid into a bath he didn’t want, to clean off all of the washable markers. Too bad they weren’t all markers.
Sunday came around; my wife saw the huge stack of poster boards sitting in the garage and complained about the mess. In all honesty, I don’t blame her. Who would want mounds of markers, poster boards, and colored walls decorating her pristine suburban house? Many of you right brainers out there are raising your hand, but I’ll bet your spouse isn’t. I called all of the parents and asked them if they would let their kids come over, and told them that there would be a neighborhood parade. They all loved the idea, and even the kids who didn’t help wanted to be in the parade.
By 9 am, twice as many kids had showed up. Now, my house sits at the end of a cul de sac. There’s a short road that leads to the main road in the track and that road leads to the highway. I only say this so you’ll understand the way the parade was planned. At the expense of all of the minutes in my shared cell phone plan, I asked all the parents to line up at the end of the cul de sac, and their children would walk pass them in their entire half washed marker splendor. We put the final touches on the boards, I lined them up, and we started walking.
Let me pause here for a moment to tell you a few things that I did not know was going on while this was all happening. Remember, I was avoiding work and bored out of my mind, so I thought a messy, crazy weekend with the kids was a perfect excuse. The whole parade thing was an idea to keep the kids busy for another day, because my son wouldn’t stop asking what we were going to do with all of the posters. In reality, I was done after Saturday. But, kids like to be the center of attention; so why not do something cool for them and their parents. And maybe, I could avoid work and boredom for another day. Unbeknownst to me, there was a woman at the end of the culdesac that was a copy editor for the local paper. The man that lived on the corner of my street that I barely exchanged waves with rushing late to work, was having an interview with a nationwide news channel because of some Tupperware stuff he had created. If this wasn’t enough, there happened to be a really bad wreck on the highway just off of our road so there were 3 news choppers in the air. My little boredom induced parade had the ability to become the most publicized event this side of the presidential speech. So, with these wheels spinning within the wheels of the neighborhood, about 80 pairs of parents including my wife, 100 or so friends of the families, and the other 50 neighbors packed the end of the road to watch their little bundles of joy walk by holding a poster board that they may or may not have colored.
I took the lead, and away we marched into history. Within minutes, more neighbors and cars arrived. In 10 more minutes we were half way down my street and crowds were forming on my well manicured deed restricted neighbors’ lawns craning their necks to see the kids with posters. The children smiled, yelled, hooted, giggled, and hollered. By the time we hit the crowd at the end of the road a mere 15 minutes later, 4 news vans, 3 helicopters, a dozen reporters, and every proud parent watched us make, what has now been called, the most revolutionary statement in the history of our country. We stopped at the highway and put down our signs. I began collecting boards 35 minutes after we left the house. The crowds descended on us like locust. First the parents, then the bystanders, and finally the paparazzi. We had no idea what we did, but the kids took every piece of attention they could.
Sitting at home that night watching the commentators of CNN talk about my plea to the governments of the world, I laughed and guffawed like I have never before. My wife was irate that I would be so daft to not take this seriously, but in reality, I had no idea that it was that serious. To me, it was myself and a bunch of kids with poster boards trying to escape the boredom of the summer. Who would have thought that a bunch of kids, a bored corporate worker, some markers, and some white paper could do so much. I mean really, are these that strong of words:
Please stop the fighting. Just be nice. Just try to get along. If not for the earth, for us.
I guess they are. Since I’m sitting here talking to you, it seems they are.
We choose how our world will operate. Too often the youth of the world, believe they can’t do anything. So many times all the pre-18 group hears is – NO. Sadly, the pre-18 group has a lot of AWESOME ideas. Why do they have these ideas…because they haven’t been tainted by all of the rejections yet. Therefore, they can and will let their ideas flow uninhibited. Every great person in the history of the world had great ideas as a child or a teen, but had to wait till they had “experience” or “a name” to actually bring it to the forefront of history, and then change it.
We need to stop silencing our young people with the stench and putrid carrion of ageism.
Think about what we tell the future inheritors of this world:
You have to do what the adults do, what they say, and learn to be more like adults. Learn to be more like Adults? Aren’t they the ones that put us in this predicament in the first place?
Being younger means that you have fresh ideas, fresh thoughts, and fresh views of the world.
However, one must decide what is good and bad for THEM. They must decide what their going to opt 4. Of course young people need guidance and structure, but they also need room to grow, experiment, and truly believe they can change this world.
Remember, no matter the age – You are the person who can and will change your world. Do you like the name calling going on in your world? Do you like the bullying? Do you realize that every piece of violence imprints on every one of our brains…adults and us. Do you like all the violence you see around you? Do you like all the violence you see on screens (TV, movie, video games, etc)?
What else bothers you, gets under your skin, or simply is just “wrong”? Do something about it. Now more than ever, pre-18 year olds are changing our world. I mean look at our social media – Facebook, twitter, linkdin, words with friends, etc, etc…all created by a pre-20 person.
There have been kids that talked back to a bully, stopped a town from using plastic bags, reinvented how a national magazine does things, and even gave their life for gender equality. The pre-18 group are already doing amazing things, let’s help them recreate the world that is theirs in the first place.
How can you help a pre-18 group or person in your community do something amazing to change the world or at least their part of it?
It’s amazing what happens when you make things fun. When you make things fun, they turn into neat, amazing, cool things to do. We are taught as little children that:
and then we were taught that:
Speak to any child, these equations make perfect sense to them. Then you ask what fun is.They will tell you that fun is running, playing, playing with _____(there’s a lot of things that kids can insert into this space – so I’ll let them or you the reader do that), and anything that makes you happy. Then they will tell you work is everything you don’t want to do, and everything that is just horrible. When you ask them to pin those things down, they start to talk about work and school and things that they don’t want to do.
Not only does this show us that disservice we are doing to our children in the realm of education, but it also shows us that children, like ourselves, do not want to do things that aren’t fun.
What’s the number 1 reason that people don’t recycle and people don’t do things to help the earth – it’s an inconvenience, it’s not part f the normal day, and it’s not FUN.
What if you made it fun? There are many ideas to make recycling fun. Take the recycling bin out of the recesses of the house where it has been ostracized to, you know over there with the garbage cans. Then put a hoop over it. You can either make the hoop, get the kids to make the hoop, or get a real basketball hoop. Then suddenly, recycling becomes a game. Especially if you write the family’s score on the fridge or the board above the hoop. It becomes fun, and family competition.
Also, go out and pick up trash with your family. Take a leisurely walk…yes you have time, it fits in there where TV or Facebook is taking up your time. Then grab a grocery bag and head out. As you see trash, pick it up. If you have little ones, see who can get the most trash. This not only cleans the world and our hoods up, but it also gets you out seeing your neighbors. Then to add the cherry on the top….you get family time. If you make this a normal thing, this could be family time where you hear about awesome things from your kids, your partner, or just a moment to walk in silence by yourself(depending on what your life is like).
Helping the earth and our home is very easy, and it is so very easy to be fun. Here is what a group of Swedes did to make recycling fun…may this and this video inspire you.
When I go out to speak to people, i work towards motivating and inspiring positive change. The whole point is to give people tools, inspiration, motivation, and ideas to go out and change the world in a positive way.
I can give people ways to help all sorts of causes every minute.
actually, if you have just heard me speak – you probably have more ideas and thoughts than you know what to do with.
BUT – one topic, which is very dear to my heart, is domestic violence. A horrible disease in our world that is TOTALLY preventable. Because, how do you prevent it – DON’T DO IT.
What an easy solution!
But then people ask, but how do I motivate others, what can I do to stop Dv, what can I do to help the Dv community and all of the victims out there, what can I do to make a change?
I’m always stopped right there because Dv is such a controversial and hard cause. Ask most people how to prevent and end Dv and they will say – Stop hitting people or worse they blame the victim (AUGH!!)
Here is a comprehensive list of some things that we can all do
1. Donate to a domestic violence center.
Volunteer at a domestic violence center.
- . Speak at your children’s school about preventing domestic violence.
- 4. Start a blog of your own speaking out to prevent domestic violence.
- 5. Like DV prevention pages on Facebook.
- 6. Post DV prevention messages on facebook.
- 7. Be a positive role-model, exercise fairness, and reinforce positive behavior.
- 8. Address inappropriate and disrespectful behavior immediately.
- 9. Encourage and foster safe and respectful relationships in everyone.
- 10. DON’T REMAIN SILENT !!!
- 11. Do not laugh at or make jokes about violence against women or men. because they are not funny, EVER!
- 12. Write letters/emails to companies that use sexism as ways to sell things.
- 13. Write letters to congress/senate/etc. about how they should vote.
- 14. Speak at your church/civic group/book club/etc.
- 15. Become part of the solution! Attend programs, take courses, watch films, and read articles and books about the prevention actions that are being taken. Educate yourself and others about how larger social forces affect the conflicts between individual men and women.
- 16. Don’t fund sexism. Refuse to purchase any magazine, rent any video, subscribe to any Web site, or buy any music that portrays girls or women in a sexually degrading or abusive manner. Protest sexism in the media
(Sorry about the numbering situation)
The awesome part….EVERYONE can take part in this! From 2-99 we are all able to work toward preventing this!
When we motivate for positive change…there are certain people you see as an ally. One of those people are men of the cloth.
But what happens when a man of the cloth thinks it’s ok to do something horrible against someone? Shouldn’t they be a person helping the world in a positive way – YES!
Then we have to ask the big questions:
When will Domestic Violence end?
When will the abuse stop?
These are questions asked by victim again and again. They endure the pain, they endure the abuse, they endure the shame…and then they do it again and again and again and again! After the bruises and the pain starts to heal they ask:
When will the domestic violence end?
When will the abuse stop?
These are questions asked by our DV shelters and prevention professionals. When is this all going to stop? when will this end? We take tons of people in every day. The ratio of 1 in every 4 women are in an abusive relationship has been found in multiple studies and data information…but what is really going on? Why do the number keep happening?
A big reason is people like this priest in Italy:
When a person decides to make comments that it is the victims fault…
When a person decides to make comments that a woman’s role in the abuse she suffers is how she takes care of the abuser…
When we want the finger to pointed at the victim…
When we are telling the abuser that what they did is right, but what the victim did was wrong….
When we say that the way a person acts will cause people to hurt them…
We are increasing the likelihood of this happening again. We are taking the blame of the “violent one”. We are deciding that the victim is always at fault. This can’t happen!!!
Then to add these statements to the mouth of a respected church official…it is coming from the pulpit. Essentially coming from “god”. Really people? We can’t do this!
God does not say beat people up, hurt people, abuse people….those are actions of mortals and men. Those are actions that are not condoned in any way shape or form.
when we start publicly blaming the victim of abusive crimes…we tell the abusers that their actions are ok.
Are we seriously telling the abusers that their actions are ok? What do you think?
On this day you have only 1 gift to give, and it’s one of the most important gifts you can give someone.
Give yourself as that gift.
there are so many people who would simply love to see you. That’s all they want. A grandmother, a mother, an aunt, or even a nephew and a niece…they don’t want the gifts and the stuff…they merely want you.
If you can’t get to them…figure out a time and a way you can skype or facetime them. There are so many people I talk to and they tell me that the one gift they want is to be able to see someone…a son in the war or somewhere else, a daughter too busy with her own family, a friend who has lost touch. Give these people that gift of you on their doorstep.
I started this journey to help and motivate people to do amazing things. Since that moment, I have been invited to speak and talk to 1000’s of people. In my travels, I gave the gift to each person i spoke to of being there at that moment. I gave them that clip of time…and hopefully the information that i shared helped them in some way.
In the end…I quote a 14 year old young lady: The reason it’s so cool when you come here is because you bring smiles with you. It’s nice to be in a room full of smiles.
That’s the gift of being positive, smiling, and be the happier and more positive you!
I could wish you a happy holidays, but that’s so finite. So instead:
Have a happy day…everyday.
I look forward to coming to visit your group, organization, or class and show everyone how they can reinvent the world and create positive change!
2 days left…it’s Christmas eve.
This is the day when kids sleep early, reindeer fly, and elves pack up a sleigh.
Counting today…you have 2 days left.
We all have to eat. We all eat food. Some people have dietary restrictions…but in reality we all eat!
Ever though about going shopping for someone? Go shopping and pick out necessities that every house needs, and necessities your friends need. Spaghetti, noodles, sauces, cereal, coffee, frozen veggies, ice cream, bathroom tissue, paper towels, windex, etc, etc. there are certain staples that won’t go bad that you can buy for someone. Wrap up an entire grocery list and probably only spend $10-25. Wow!!!
Can you imagine not having to go shopping because someone else did? What a great gift!
When you give something like this, you’re not giving just a present you’re actually thinking about them as a person.