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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Social Media Without Consent...

Yesterday, I posted what you see in the image above on my Facebook page because it is entirely true.  I have not been to a concert or any sort of performance in the past five years or so when there was not a sea of people in front of me watching the entire event through the screen of their smart phone.  Actually, if I am being honest, I have been going to concerts for well over a decade and remember the days when every ticket had "Photography and Video Prohibited" printed across the bottom.  Back then, smart phones did not really exist and mass-market digital cameras took lower quality pictures than the current iPhone.  
Why are we raising the next generation to do crap like this?
Why are we not teaching them to live in the moment instead of missing it completely by trying to capture it as a means of showing off on social media?

I will be the first to say that social media is not bad, and I wrote a blog explaining my reasoning for that here.  The random junk I post on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram keeps the human aspect within reach of my readers and subscribers, as well as being an outside business tool.  Honestly, if not for this blog, I would have ditched Facebook months ago (as I have done before), but it is a necessary evil for Drewcoustic.com to successfully exist.  I promised to be honest with my readers and I am throwing that out there right off the bat to be certain I am doing so.  The biggest concern I have though is not with the teenagers and twenty-somethings posting horrific, blurry concert videos, but with the upbringing of the children growing up behind them.  

When I was a kid, I hated having my picture taken and am not all that keen on it today either because I am not a photogenic person.  Most people I know who were like me as children hold the same feelings into adulthood.  You know how that one person is always walking around a birthday party taking pictures (sometimes drunkenly) and you see certain people holding their hand out to allude the "photographer"?  Those are the people I am talking about.  Would I go as far as holding my hand out in avoidance?  No, because I am a little more mature than that, but anyone who knows me well enough to care knows that being in pictures is not really my thing, which is why you rarely see any new images of me on social media (that and I really do not like "selfies").  I will be in a picture for the sake of a memory, but anything that will get lost in a jumble of others on social media or eventually deleted from a memory card does not matter in the long run.  Does that makes sense?

Why did I bring that up?
Because I am about to make some people really angry.

I fear for them right now - from the most recently born kid, and all the way to pre-teen ages, and I do not even particularly like children.   

There has been this running joke on television shows, in movies, and whatever else for years now about courting couples "meeting the parents" and them bringing out the baby book of embarrassing photos for their significant other to see and laugh at.  Most people my age have one of these laying around their parents' house, and generally they do not contain anything out of the ordinary aside from awkward photographs of your life growing up, but I always treated it as something somewhat sacred.  Baby and childhood pictures are the things only my grandparents, some aunts and uncles, or some of my mom and dad's close friends have seen (or a significant other if I ever have one).  My growing up was something shared with family and the people directly experienced with it and I am thankful for those times.  But we are losing the close-knit and family-specific moments in this most recent generation. 


 I read an article a while back which I cannot find, but will link to it here if I come across it again that was written by a mom with two young children.  When this mom started a Facebook account, she did the typical thing that many parents do of continually posting pictures of her children and captioning those images with little stories about what was happening.  After a few years of doing this and noticing her eldest daughter shying away from her iPhone camera while trying to capture little life moments she was sharing with the world, she thought a bit.  Her pondering led her to the realization that her daughter had been growing up with an iPhone camera in her face for a few years and was now of the cognition to understand what was happening.  She then asked her daughter if she wanted her to take pictures of her and put them on Facebook. 
Guess what her daughter said?  
Anytime from that point forward that this mother wanted to take a picture of her daughter, she asked first and also asked if putting that picture online was okay, and most of the time she still said "no".  

Now, should your kid tell you what to do?
Absolutely not, but I do believe children should have a choice in the matter before parents go on about putting hundreds or thousands of pictures of their children online for strangers to see.  If the children are not of age or mental capacity to give consent, the parents should probably think a little bit harder about what they are doing.  
"But I only have close friends and family members on my Facebook."
Extended family, distant cousins, church friends, high school or college "friends" you have not spoken to in over a decade, friends from where you moved from before you had children...  
Need I continue?
I am twenty-seven years old and every time someone in my family dies, I get pulled into this vortex at the funeral parlor of my parents or a relative motioning me over to someone who says:
"I haven't seen you in twenty years!  You were this big *motions* when I last saw you!  Do you remember me?"
Nope, and there is no way I can step out of that one-sided, irrelevant conversation without being awkward or rude toward you, because faking a smile takes more effort than being honest.

That person?  The person I had not seen in twenty years and probably will not again before one of us dies? (I'm being honest.)  That person has no business knowing the first time I used the bathroom by myself, has no business knowing how much I cried when given a vaccination at the age of nine, and has absolutely no business being able to know every milestone I have gone through in life if I have no actual relationship when them.  That is not me saying those people are irrelevant to the world or bad in nature, but them knowing so much about me when we never, ever see each other is weird and really an invasion of privacy.  Had my parents posted the chronology of my life online for a few hundred, a few thousand, or the entire world to read without my consent, I would be livid with them and probably very bitter for a very long time. 

I have read similar photo captions of children on Facebook:
"He didn't want his picture taken. LOL!"
Then, here is a tip:  Do not post it online.

Look, I do not have children, nor do I have plans to have any at this moment.  You can say all you want that:
"You'll understand when you have kids."
But I value privacy, so I will never understand exposure without consent.  Even on this blog, I do not post names of anyone I have mentioned (good or bad) and I do not use a text message screen-cap or any other image without asking consent of anyone involved.  I never will.  I talk about many things on here that have to do with my life, but there are many things I do not talk about that this blog will never know about. Privacy is huge with me, because remember, nothing on the internet is "private" no matter what your settings on social media say.  No IT technician I know posts anything considered private on social media, because they know that everything on the internet is saved in multiple places every time you click "send" or "upload" and that anything you "delete" is never actually removed from the internet.

If you want to take a picture of yourself holding your kid and use it as your profile picture, that's fine!  But a chronology of your child's life in vivid detail when they cannot give consent is probably not going to work out very well as they get older and more informed about what is going on.  
Then again, they are your children to raise in any way you see fit to do so.

Pictures and images intended for few can be sent by email so they are not seen by many instead.

I just wanted to give everyone something to think about.
"You wouldn't say any of that to my face."
I do not post anything on my blog that I am unwilling to say in person.
Try me.

Grace and Peace,

 -Add me.  Stalk me.  Tweet me.  I really don't mind.-
Personal Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/drew.silvers
Blog Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/drewcoustic
Email:  drewcoustic@gmail.com
Twitter:  @JDrewSilvers
Instagram:  http://www.instagram.com/jdrewsilvers

Sunday, October 27, 2013

What's The Deal With Being Famous, Anyway?

Tiffany thinks she's famous...
Admiration can be a bit tricky and something that varies between people's opinion as much as their skin tone, nationality or religious stance.  What I mean by saying that is how people react to different forms of celebrity and how they allow those people to impact them whether they have met them in person or not.  Some of these actions make no sense to me, but I will get into that shortly.

When I worked for my previous employer, I met quite a few people whom many would consider to be famous, including current and former Braves baseball players, a few professional musicians, professional golfers, NFL stars, and some prominent business figures - but I never cared, because to me, people are people.  I remember once, a coworker approached me and said:
"Hey man, did you see Ed Reed?!"
"Ed Reed, man!  Plays for the Ravens!  Come on, man."
Nope, and he seemed a little offended about that.  I had no idea who he was, but later found out that the man in question and I had spoken briefly prior to being told that information.  Some other coworkers of mine were on the same boat as the first one, even though most of them did not pay attention to football and would have passed him on the street any given day without a second thought;  but as soon as they were told of his prominence, the swooning became pretty fierce.  That sort of reaction really confuses me.  

The thing is, I do not really follow sports, so I could cross paths with most iconic athletes and have no idea who they were.  Even people I could pick out of a crowd as having some form of popular culture significance do not really matter to me as far as my nerves and emotions are concerned.  Dave Matthews is my favorite musician, by far, but I would like to think that meeting him would not make me act like a belligerent air-head, though thanking him for his music and shaking his hand would not be out of the question at all.  I just see people as people - end of story.

Do not for one minute take this as me saying that having an admiration for someone who has made an impact in your life is a bad thing, because it is not at all.  If someone seemingly untouchable and admired by you is close enough that you have the chance to thank, them, I hope you can one day.   Maybe I think on a different plane than most, but really, the only "famous" person I have met and given a second thought to was Arthur Blank and that admiration has nothing to do with sports, but personal achievement on his part.  I admire business and artistic brilliance more than anything else, and he personifies what being successful in business is all about.  A few years ago, he knew me by name, but I still never saw him as anyone better than me or felt the need to give him anymore attention than someone else who crossed my path.  That is not to say I would turn down an opportunity to pick his brain a bit and have a good conversation beyond casual small-talk, but you know what I mean.  

As I said before:  I must be on a different plane than most people because I have never "freaked out" or become nervous around anyone who is famous, yet I have seen so many others do exactly that for reasons I cannot seem to understand.  The world I worked in a few years ago had upper-management and partners within the company running around, telling anyone below them to suck up to anyone of certain fame and to treat them more prominently than anyone else who walked in the door, but instead of doing so, I would often just stay away.  Anyone, even "celebrities" know when someone is putting on a fake smile or being unrealistically nice, and them having a title of fame is not enough for me to act like that.  Maybe I am missing something here, but I still do not see the point.

I guess the thing about me is that I find value in different places than most and do not pay attention to the facets of who "should" be famous, according to mainstream media or sports agendas.  I would much rather admire the people I can actually spend time with and those who allow me to invest in them the same way they invest in me.  The real value I see in life has everything to do with real, tangible relationships, and has nothing to do with what I see on television or in movies.  

I admire my parents and my sister because we have a family bond that has never been questioned and never been broken.  We are a solid unit which is rare as so many other families are completely broken, unfortunately.

I admire the few, real friends I have, because they understand me more than any celebrity would ever take the time to.  

I admire my best friend because she has been through quite a bit in her life and always emerged as the most beautiful, intelligent, and driven woman I have ever met.  There is something more special about her than anyone else I have had the honor of knowing.

I would choose spending time with any of the people above as opposed to someone famous who would most likely soon forget me.  That is the real and honest truth, and I hope you believe me.

"But, Drew, you always say that music speaks to you and helps you through life.  You're telling me none of those great musicians you speak so highly of would phase you if you were given a chance to meet them?"

I would love to meet any musician who has made an impact on me because of my love for music, but music is about the composition and the emotions it creates within me.  Music is one of the few things in life which can catch you in the moment.  Meeting someone on that level whom I respect would be great, but is not at all necessary for me to keep enjoying their music.  

Sometimes you can listen to a song you have heard in the past many times at just the right moment so that it creates an entirely new emotion within you which you had never experienced before.  I appreciate the person behind creating that moment and admire their brilliance, yet they are all just normal people like everyone else - but given a great and respected gift.  

At the end of it all, while music gives you moments of perspective, clarity, and emotion, I have a small group of people I love who I can live those experiences with on a daily basis, without question, without expectation, while the moments spent in the presence of anyone famous will be brief and most likely not all that enthusing once the initial shock value wears off.

Where was I going with this?  
I do not know.  Just live the things which are most important.
Value beauty in every single day.

Grace and Peace,

 -Add me.  Stalk me.  Tweet me.  I really don't mind.-
Personal Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/drew.silvers
Blog Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/drewcoustic
Email:  drewcoustic@gmail.com
Twitter:  @JDrewSilvers
Instagram:  http://www.instagram.com/jdrewsilvers

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I am self-admittedly one of those people who has a stubborn streak of irrelevant stupidity concerning problem solving.  What I mean by saying such a thing is that I will try whatever I can to avoid having someone fix an issue for me.  This happens in my personal life as well as in the random, stupid instances which cannot be readily controlled.  There are exceptions to this idea because I try very hard to only allow myself to be impacted by this mindset.  The last thing I want to do is irritate another person because of my own lack of internal reasoning. Case in point? Car tires.  Specifically, one car tire.
Dead-center, you can see a gouge in the tread of this otherwise solid Toyo tire that was on the front of the Thunderbird.  What did I run over?  I have no idea, but there is a slit big enough to shove a penny through which made it unusable.

Back in March of this year, I bought a cheap tire plug kit and tried to remedy the problem as I have done a few times in the past.  The plug held for about two days and then blew out in Atlanta when the car was sitting in a parking lot.  Strike one.

"Go get a new tire, Drew."
No, not yet, because I am a stubborn idiot.

I am also one of those car guys who completely hates space-saver donut-type spare tires you get in every car these days, so I keep a full-size spare in the trunk on a rim that does not match the others on the car, but is still the proper size (that awful factory spare doesn't match anyways). Running on a mismatched rim that had a good tire on it never bothered me, but still, every now and then I would go back to that perfectly good tire and try to mend its only blemish - that rather large gash. Because, again, I am an idiot.

A few months, a few more attempts at plugging the gash, some rubber adhesives, and a bottle of "Slime Brand" tire sealant (For the love of God, NEVER put that stuff in a car tire.  I knew better, but did it anyway.) I made the decision to take the tire off the rim to patch it from the inside as you are supposed to do in the first place.  I took auto shop in high school, so I have changed my fair share of tires, but with the proper machine, of course.  Breaking down a car tire without that magical machine though?  Never.  But instead of paying a few bucks to a tire shop, I grabbed some patches from the parts store and, well...
Yep, with my dad's help as a second hand to hold the thing down, we took the tire off the rim (for the record, he told me to take it to a shop, but being his offspring, he is well-versed in my occasionally questionable decisions).  The tire was full of that Slime sealant also, but I spent some time cleaning all of that useless crap out of there and did not take any pictures - probably because I was covered in the nasty, green goo.
That is an internal, radial tire patch kit.  This meant I was finally going to get this thing fixed and the stupid hole would be mended as I triumphantly conquered an issue I should not be conquering myself in the first place.  But, thrice now, I am an idiot.
See that?  Can you see it?  Patches installed after roughing the surface with a wire wheel on a drill.  I used two patches because there was another small hole, which was no big deal, but, when in Rome, patch a tire?  Right?
After a few choice words, we had the tire stretched back into place. 
And also seated the bead "properly", meaning someone nearly lost a finger.  Bazinga.

It held air!  The patch worked and all was well!  I drove home after work fully aware that my stupid car tire issue which I had allowed to consume random intervals of my spare time and resulted in many unnecessary roadside tire changes had been addressed and remedied.  Such an accomplishment.  With a little effort and...
It went flat.
My patch gave out in less than twenty-four hours. Sometimes I try too hard and take the most difficult path in life that I can just for the challenge, because I thrive on silly things that most people find annoying.  I see all of this from a viewpoint of principal and personal resilience, while others see it as stupid and unnecessary.  I was testing my own patience through it all and was determined to not be shown up by a tire of all things. Yet, in the end, I put my tail between my legs and bought a new Bridgestone tire over the weekend...
The old tire with the hole in it?  It is in my garage right now.  I am no hoarder, but I will not be satisfied until I find a solution to the problem. Again, because for the fourth time now, I am an admittedly stubborn, stupid, unnecessarily resilient idiot.  

For the record, this is the only time I have not yet succeeded in an automotive repair endeavor.  If I can convert a car from an automatic to a manual transmission, rebuild an engine, and build a fully-functioning race car in my garage, this stupid tire will not prevail...

Grace and Peace,

 -Add me.  Stalk me.  Tweet me.  I really don't mind.-
Personal Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/drew.silvers
Blog Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/drewcoustic
Email:  drewcoustic@gmail.com
Twitter:  @JDrewSilvers
Instagram:  http://www.instagram.com/jdrewsilvers

Monday, October 14, 2013

Religion & Politics - Explained By An Idiot...

I needed a picture for this blog. This one sort of fits into the topic...Maybe...

Were there ever two topics I steer fairly clear from concerning my blog, they have always been religious opinion and political opinion.  I majored in Theology (that's another story) so imagine the people from my past who have sent me messages saying how I should focus this blog on religion and "convert" people - or the sneers I get from some I knew growing up when I tell them I do not belong to a church and have not in over two years.  Imagine, if you will, the same principal applying to my political opinion, because that also happens far more often than it should.  The reason I stay away is not for the sake of controversy considering how I often express the extent that my generation has become more dependent, entitled, and enabled than any before us.  With all of that said, one can easily see I do not care who I offend with the truth as I see it, but I am also well aware of how damaging sparking a religious or political discussion can actually be.  Behind my entire idea lies certain evidence pointing to one, solid truth: most of us do not read enough to hold the opinions we have and if we do read, we prevent ourselves from being allowed the self-education and application to form any solid basis of thought as we should.

Nobody wants to be the statistic, but everyone wants to be the exception. Within the rest of this blog, think of yourself as the statistic, meaning the person I am describing while staying away from thinking you are "so much different" from everyone else.  Got it?  No, really, for the rest of this blog, you are within the majority of the population.

Being entirely real with you, most of us do not read and educate ourselves enough.  I am not speaking on a scale of formal education because we have more college graduates now than we ever have when comparing population to formal education percentages.  What I am making reference to is based around the way we look at the world and what shapes our thought patterns because what I see is our lack of being able to think for ourselves.  Why are there more Republicans and Baptists in the southern half of the United States than in the north?  Environment.  Many of us simply become what it is we know as children and do not allow ourselves to branch outside of what we were raised within.  Comfort zones can be dangerous, but there is a bigger issue here.

Even those who have been "highly educated" formally grasp onto becoming whatever their environment displays for them, which is an ever shrinking entity thanks to technology.  Do you have any idea how many supposedly smart people I see on Facebook or through email blasts who post, send, and share incorrect information with everyone they know because their emotions overpowered their logic?  Without taking so much as a five minute window to research the validity of the content they are exposing to the world, they do damage and spread rumors which are often untrue or completely inaccurate.  Why?

Living in a time with information at our fingertips and everything we could ever possibly need to know right in front of us, but lacking the motivation to use our brains is a scary thing to consider.  Something as simple as getting emotionally involved with a lie that spread a few months ago about the cast of "Duck Dynasty" being persecuted because of their faith went viral, sending Christians into an uproar and many of my Facebook friends re-posted the same information.  I typed that into Google after first seeing it and nearly instantly found that someone had fabricated the whole story - it never happened.  Politics work the same way and the process will never stop because we cannot be bothered to learn the truth behind anything.  We would much rather simply believe what we are told and draw others into the fire of ignorance right along with us.  

Do you need more proof?  Take a look at this article:
Nothing about the article has anything to do with religion or politics, but has everything to do with our perception of truth.  This person is telling the world that healthy communication with another person is dependent upon mind games?  What?  The same mind games we play with ourselves and adopt into the relationships he is speaking of because such is considered "normal" instead of being upfront and honest with people.  I just wonder who has read his article without consulting other outlets to answer his question and walked away with the mindset of dishonesty and prejudice as being socially acceptable.  The scary thing is that I am fairly certain lies and deception are "the norm" for us currently.  Many, many people subscribe to askmen.com and have surrounded themselves with the information within that site so often that they believe the first thing they see, hear, or read is fact without testing any of it against other information.  I think that is insane, but I also trust very few people for that very reason.

All I am saying is that as a generation and as people in general, we really need to stop believing everything we are exposed to.  We have an obligation of real self-education to our future generations.  In the same way that you cannot write a high school or college-level research paper based on one source, we also cannot live our lives effectively with that lack of understanding. 

Research does not mean our opinions must change, but enlightenment is key to survival, and education is key to advancement within anything of importance. 

I am very far from perfect, but...

Do I have a political opinion?  Absolutely, but I have spent more time than most people I know developing it in a way that makes sense to me and is not at all based upon the mainstream media.  As such, I probably will not discuss it with you because of what my independent research has shown me. Politics get you nowhere.  Period.

Do I have religious opinion?
Yes, and I am still a Christian.  The thing is, I have both the formal and informal education to back up my beliefs and most other people who claim to be a Christian have minimal knowledge of what that means at best.  Call me critical, but I am being very critical and am well aware of that fact.  But after spending some time away from the church, I see the outside perspective and just how insane Christians look to those who are not within that demographic.  Me being like the majority of them only makes me look hypocritical and closes off my circle even more than I have it set up to be now.  

Do you see what I mean?
Research everything before forming an opinion.  
Look at every angle and never assume you know all the facts about anything by paying attention to only one source of information.
The worst thing we can do is allow the next generation to be as closed-minded and disconnected to facts and opinion as is the majority of our current generation.

Grace and Peace,

 -Add me.  Stalk me.  Tweet me.  I really don't mind.-
Twitter:  @JDrewSilvers

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Learning Things Without Intending To Do So...

I have been trying to figure out what to do with this for the better part of a week and have just now had the brilliant idea to start the writing process as I am struggling to keep my eyes open.  Today has been a long one for me, but I learned about how easily thought patterns become lost if not acted upon a few years ago, and have yet to let anything else slip from my conscience for the sake of laziness.

When viewing my blog on a computer or tablet (sorry smartphone readers) for the past few months, you will have noticed a little button on the top-right of your screen, sort of tucked away among my RSS, Facebook, and Twitter buttons, which looks like this:
That is a logo for a non-profit organization, which I mentioned a few months ago when I wrote a photo blog about my grandparents here  and the main website of the organization can be found here.

Caring Together In Hope hosted an event with a guest speaker/author/caregiver and I was invited to attend - which was also the first public event hosted by the organization.
Now, do I have any relevant experience dealing directly with Alzheimer's or Dementia?  Not that I can imagine, no.  However, anyone who knows me (or reads about me - shout out to my new Danish subscribers, by the way) is well aware of my thoughts on self-education and the importance I place upon learning anything and everything possible.
When you stop learning, you stop growing.
What you are learning does not matter quite as much as the fact that you are taking the time to live a new experience and have more knowledge floating around in your brain.  I went to this event because I believe in the cause of my best friend's family, and also because I wanted to have more education about the motives behind their message and purpose, but what I took away from the event was much greater than I anticipated.

The person who was speaking at the event is oddly not what I am going to address here, (but click this if you're curious) though she is a very motivated and intelligent communicator.  What I took away from the event was actually based more upon the family both behind the scenes and at the forefront of the cause.  You see, for the past year or so, my best friend and I have been talking on and off about Caring Together In Hope and we, in some way, always landed on the same topic of it being family-based.  The thing is, everyone within their family who were compelled to be involved did so and this first event they hosted brought in family from out of state to back up the cause - all for a few small hours in a conference-style environment.

I can tell you measurements and angles in carpentry, I can balance a budget, and I can also read automotive engine blueprints pretty competently, but estimating crowd size is something I cannot do because I lack the "eye" for such a thing, so keep that in mind.  The first CTH event attracted well over one-hundred people, by my shoddy guessing abilities and I imagine most of them were patient caregivers in some capacity or another, which is the basis of the entire non-profit.  Considering this organization did not exist a little over a year ago and this being their first public gathering, I would call that a huge success.
A success unreachable without people who feel passionate about the cause.
A success in this instance which would not have been possible without family.

The reason I mention this at all is because I understand the family demographic and my background is in working with the public.  With those years of experience, I can easily say that most families are pretty skewed and disconnected in pretty horrible ways.  Seeing this family and the way they came together to create something designed to help others in a stressful and taxing situation they know and understand, though?  Saying such is rare would be quite the understatement.  This worked though, and people are being reached in a positive way, just as their family intended when the idea first arose.

I come from a family (duh?) and we disagree with all sorts of things.  Actually, I am in business with my family, so the head-butting in some situations is inevitable, but nothing we are not able to get through.  Those instances are how certain relationships and all families are built by design or naturally, if you will.  Putting a few people into a room to discuss anything can be met with all sorts of opposition or points of view, but within those rare, caring families, there is always an opportunity for a good common-ground and big things can be achieved with enough focus.  This shows strength for a common passion and purpose and at the end of the day is what actually matters.  Maybe everyone does somehow get along though and everything goes off perfectly?  Well, I doubt that, but it is a compelling thought.

Have you ever seen a group of people who join together to use their individual strengths for a common purpose so well that you can almost see their personal motivation preceding them?  I did at the CTH event.
Those are the rare moments we should probably pay a little more attention to when they happen to us as individuals or anyone surrounding us.  We tend to be a little too distracted to notice smaller details like that these days and maybe we are missing some pretty great moments.

All I know is that regardless of the main focus of the event I attended, the reasons I admire my best friend's family so much were made even more relevant and solidified in my mind that night.
At the end of it all, people were reached, a message was shared, and a purpose was served.

This is why I admire them.
This is why I respect them.
This is why I will always have a link to their organization on this blog.

I believe in family.
Sometimes family goes far beyond blood.
That night, I learned about Alzheimer's and Dementia as well as taking in a little more about what it means to be passionate for a cause.
We can all use our individual strengths to create something with purpose bigger than us.
What are you doing to achieve that?

Grace and Peace,

 -Add me.  Stalk me.  Tweet me.  I really don't mind.-
Twitter:  @JDrewSilvers

Friday, October 4, 2013

A Short And Simple Friday...

The following is not a criticism, nor a judgment, but facts which we have had the unfortunate experience of allowing ourselves to fall into.  Maybe I think a little too much, or maybe my values are skewed in general, but you can take any of this or leave it by the wayside as your own choice and opinion - this is up to you.  

We live in a crazy era of high expectations, but low frequencies of execution.  What I mean by this is the same thing I have been saying for months, which I speak about clearly because I was a part of this backwards progression for far too many years and am still far from perfect.  As not only a generation, but as a people, we have lost a bit of the push, as well as most of the edge those before us spent so much time trying to instill in our minds with values.  

Sure, everyone wants to be smart and educated, but we sell ourselves short and instead of trying to educate ourselves to the point of actual intelligence, we fail.
How so?
-By stringing together supposedly enlightening sentences compounded with large words and seemingly extensive vocabulary while lacking any real meaning behind the prose.
-By making half-hearted attempts of being creative just so we obtain the social approval of others.
-By continually clinging to one side of any story without first doing any research before forming a well-rounded opinion.
-By arguing and pushing issues after being made well aware of how wrong we are.
-By allowing gender bias to have an effect on the way we perceive the same or the opposite sex.
-By claiming devotion to people, passions, or religion, while allowing ourselves to push any of those things to the side for any reason which seems better in the moment.

There are so many people in this generation who say 
"Live while you're young and worry about work when you're older."
What do I say?
Life is a job which requires continual work, unrivaled devotion, and a never-ending pursuit to leave something meaningful behind you while having both feet firmly planted on a solid foundation.

Is life easy?  No way, it was never intended to happen easily.
As I have said before, if you do not have real struggle in your life, ask yourself "why" and find one.
If your struggle is real, do whatever you can to conquer it and move onto the next one.

We all fall at some point - but the only person who can pick you back up is yourself.

Never slip.  Not once.
Always tell people they are beautiful.

Grace and Peace,

 -Add me.  Stalk me.  Tweet me.  I really don't mind.-
Personal Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/drew.silvers
Blog Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/drewcoustic
Email:  drewcoustic@gmail.com
Twitter:  @JDrewSilvers
Instagram:  http://www.instagram.com/jdrewsilvers

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

This Is Why I Am Single: Part Two

This came from the Instagram of a local radio personality.

My fourth most popular blog, as evidenced from my home page is titled:
"This Is Why I Am Single" 
and is something I wrote when questioned about why I am at this age and not married, or whatever.  While I spent a great deal of time writing that blog, I have been thinking things over for a few days and realized I am missing a few bits to that puzzle.  

A few nights ago, I went to my favorite restaurant and one of the hostesses I had not seen in a while was there.  She is a high school girl (don't get any stupid ideas) and extremely sarcastic.  Somehow, after a little casual banter, I made a comment about writing everyday after work and how living alone is a big help in that department since my distractions are pretty limited.  
Then she said it:
"You'll find a girl someday and won't have to live alone anymore."
Hey,  I cannot blame her for saying that, because for most people (admittedly or not) that is the standard practice of life, and I have no problem with her saying so - but it is not where I am right now.  The truth is, I do not "have" to live alone by any means and if I wanted a girlfriend, scrounging one up probably would not be all that difficult because there are heaps of women out there desperate enough to date me (joke) and we could collectively make our lives miserable after rushing into something (not a joke).

I am not into the whole "Every waking hour." concept at the moment.  What I mean by this is the need to have someone latched onto me at all times, which is what seriously threw me off in the beginning of my last relationship.  She wanted to see me everyday after work and also weekends, which is fine if you both are into the idea, and I always thought I would be; but no.  I spent quite a few years wanting exactly what I had going on at the time, but when it was finally standing in front of me, I became more and more indifferent about what was happening.  This had nothing to do with me not caring or wanting to be around her at all or do fun and interesting things, but had everything to do with not having much space to just be me and do my own thing.  Time together is great, do not get me wrong on that front, but going from being pretty content and solitary in my ways to immediately flipping a switch, throwing me into a world I thought I wanted but did not was rather shocking and disconcerting.  This worked for a month or so, because I assumed it to be normal, but after a while things started to fall apart for many reasons, one of which was that I did not need to be around her continually.

When she neglected her friends, I told her to go see them and not have me tag along every time.  Girls night?  Go for it.  An event I was not very interested in?  I would go if she wanted me to, but I was just fine with her taking someone else who would enjoy said event a bit more.  Again, none of that was because I did not care and none of that is saying I did not want to see her - however, I did not want to see her all the time - we were not at that point.  

The truth is, she and I were not meant to be together for more reasons than me not wanting to be attached to her arm continually, but the idea was a contributor.  She, like so many other people out there, sought out the type of person who relished in the manufactured jealousy of her companion, which showed me her confidence needed moments like that to stay in check - that was not me.

What I mean by "manufactured jealousy" is how in the beginning, she would not hang around other guys without me and when she finally did, expected me to take issue with it.  Had they done anything questionable to her, I would have handled the situation, but who am I to say who she could or could not be around? 
She hated every bit of that because, apparently, if I did not get emotionally charged when she talked to another guy, I was not doing my job or serving my purpose; which makes no sense to me at all.
Again, we broke things off for many more reasons than the "Every waking hour." factor but because of this, she became more distant on her own over time and spent more of her free hours with others to spite me, but that was the beginning of the end anyway and people are free to live their own lives.  There were much bigger issues happening between us, though my lack of such a typical trait probably aided in the momentum of a few of those issues.

Did I cry when it ended?  Nope.  I saw it coming with a running start.  Actually, we never even fought about anything at all until over a month after we broke up and the only reason that hilarity came to be was because I refused to communicate with her.  She was pretty determined and worked her way under my skin enough that I countered her anger once and have not spoken to her since, though she has tried twice from that day to make amends and be "friends".  No thank you.  I do not care for the drama which would inevitably come around had I accepted the offer.
Attempting to have a tainted friendship is never worth wasting time upon - trust me.

My vow to erase drama works both ways with me and I have more than one witness I can use to back up the fact that I do exactly what I am about to tell you.  Use any of this as a point of reference, because I am not giving advice, but this is something I came up with which works for me.

I have business cards for my blog and they look like this:
The blurry part is my phone number that I smudged because I do not want it plastered on the internet. 

Considering most people seem fairly non-repulsive at first introduction, handing them a card to check out my blog is no big deal - with one exception:  boyfriends and husbands.  

The very first person I gave one of those cards to was a young woman who works at the same restaurant I mentioned before.  She is in her twenties, very attractive, and that day was the first time we had ever met.  We talked as I ate dinner and she at one point mentioned her boyfriend she had been with for a while.  I wanted her to read my blog since she seemed interested enough, but before handing her a card, I said:
"I'm going to give you this, but just so it doesn't seem weird, I'm going to do something to it first."
I then took out my pen and scribbled over my phone number before handing it to her.  This showed her that I was not at all trying to pick her up, nor trying to cause any sort of drama with her boyfriend, should he somehow happen to run across my card (that crap unnecessarily follows me around like the plague anyways).  This is a small step I take to stay out of places I should not be.
Drama sucks.  Having someone hate me for no reason does not bother me, but why allow something so stupid to happen if you can easily avoid it?
What the heck does all of this mean?  
"You probably want to be alone for the rest of your life, Drew."
That is not true, because being alone can get pretty boring.  I just tend not to follow the same ideals as most whom I come across, which keeps me happy and away from the variety of complicated stress I would rather not deal with.  

"But you make it more complicated, by not compromising."
Let me tell you something, the shit stank long before I stepped in it.  
Games are something I have sworn off in any degree and have no desire to revert to.  Just as I have written about over a very large span of time and practiced in my own reality, life should be simplified in the ways we are able to control it - for me, that means letting go of the silly little instances involved in our mating practices (sounds weird when you use that term, huh?) and just being real with everything while still having fun and growing.

Realistically, I have a huge compassion for people who put value in life and if you are important to me, this holds even more true.  I do like the closeness of being with someone and I do like the feeling of being important to that person as well as them being important to me, but at the end of the day, we allow silly "obligations", expectations, and intentions to plague our relationships far too often for my liking.  If you thrive on the mushy-squishy, public displays of affection, jealousy, and identification, that is fine and I wish you the most success in your bond with whomever meshes with you solidly - be yourself.

That is not me though.
At least not now.
People define comfort and security in different and unique ways.
I am not afraid of relationships - I just want one that matters.
I am not afraid of marriage - I just want security and no pressure.
I am not afraid of love - But it takes work and time to love someone because it is not easy.

Beauty is a different concept for everyone, but if you find beauty in someone, tell them with no intentions nor expectations.  
Respect creates honor, and in honor we find happiness.
Do not define your relationship.  Live it together instead - not like everyone else.

Grace and Peace,

 -Add me.  Stalk me.  Tweet me.  I really don't mind.-
Personal Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/drew.silvers
Blog Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/drewcoustic
Email:  drewcoustic@gmail.com
Twitter:  @JDrewSilvers
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