(Diary 67) The Beauty of Ignorance

Why are we so quick to silence the ignorant?

In all reality, a democracy needs them. Being offended can set in so quickly sometimes that many of us miss the amazing learning opportunity from the ignorant.

Before wisdom can thrive, ignorance is required.

No one starts off being wise. A democracy is built on the intelligence of the people, so ignorance is the most proper judge of the current state of one.

Ignorance is not lack of intelligence, it is being misinformed. Honestly some of the most intelligent people I have ever met have been ignorant.

So who validates what is intelligent? That particular individual does.  Who validates what is ignorant? The majority does.

So to an ignorant man, it is he who is intelligent, and the world around him ignorant. And any man who makes up their mind on their own is an intelligent one. What he makes his mind up on makes him good or evil. Both are necessary for growth of a democracy. Once the ignorant are silenced the entire world goes quiet, because we are all of the same nature.

We all are broken. We all have judged prematurely. We all have looked at someone who is homeless and attributed that individual’s situation to work ethic or lack of ambition, or seen an obese person and done the same. How is that any different than a man who sees someone’s skin color and casts judgment?

So should we all be silenced?

The only way to become wise is to hear, appreciate, and learn from ignorance, not to silence it. By silencing what we deem as ignorant, we immediately limit our own wisdom.

The ignorant are necessary, and are a proper judge of the current state of a democracy. Silence is a shadow that we all will wither and die under.

Free speech is necessary.

To silence the voice of the ignorant is to lethally inject the democracy. There will always be ignorant people in this planet. Always.

Honestly if we weren’t taught better all of us would be racists, bigots, thieves, murderers and anything else our nature cultivates.

Our world is a petri dish for what we allow our souls to grow, and what is nurtured quickly becomes reality.

Without the interjection of wisdom, human nature is the most dangerous drug one can indulge in.

Ignorance is a human condition, not a political one. Why do we preach tolerance while living in opposition? There can never be progress, until people standing in the face of ignorance accept their fellow broken ones, and disagree respectfully without returning ignorance with ignorance of their own.

Truth be told, we all suck. A whole lot.

Instead of trying to fix everybody else around me I’ve realized that by fixing myself first, I can begin to help others fix themselves. I respect those who stand and say, “yes I’m racist.” Do I agree?

No.

But I would rather hang out with one hundred outspoken racists than a thousand who conceal it. I would rather dance with snakes than tango with chameleons. Snakes attract snakes. And chameleons attract chameleons.  The bad end up with the bad, but the camouflaged cause the most havoc because these creatures walk between both intelligence and ignorance, casting a shadow over truth. They are the most dangerous because they will change into whatever form best fits their chances of survival. But a snake is a snake, and a snake will die a snake.

A snake will not change color.

So I respect the snakes, and avoid the chameleons.

That’s why tolerance is important. Not so that the intelligent or the ignorant can prevail, but simply to allow people to know a truth that they decide upon and improve upon their flawed condition.

Good and evil are very real, and both a necessity. And the truth is, we are all the same. We are all flawed. We are all broken. My goal isn’t to silence an ignorant man; my goal is to change his mind, not by words but by actions. Not by fixing him, but by fixing myself.

Blessings,

 

Baron

Posted 5 months ago

 

(Diary 66) The B Code

I think one of the most important things in life, especially for those my age, is to know what you know and why you know it.  The more I think about that, the more I realize that my entire life journey is one based around finding out what is most true and living by it, while sharing that with anyone who will listen to me speak, read what I write, or appreciate the things that I make with my hands. Some of these things I have been taught by a pastor, sometimes friends or family, and in many cases life circumstances. However, some of the most important things that I learn are through prayer. They come when I just sit in silence with no distractions and think about the clockwork of the world.

 

And if you sit long enough, stay quiet enough, and think hard enough, you can hear the world tick. I’m frequently asked to speak to others essentially about things that I have learned, and I’ve just realized that I have never necessarily spoken about some of these things. So I want to share a few. I guess you could call this my order of operations.

 

Now, this is not me telling you how to live. That is your journey. This is a list of some of the things that I have learned that have helped me to.  I believe everyone has their own code that they operate by, and this is mine.

 

It’s something like…. “The B Code.”

 

1.) Search. No matter how much humans know, we will always search. Our minds will always wander for what is more, for what is bigger. We will always be thirsty for the unknown. Acknowledging this as human nature is the beginning to chasing anything worthwhile. Once you quit searching, you quit living.

 

2.) Believe in something bigger than yourself.  No one can deny that everyone wants to find his or her purpose in life. Maybe it’s to be the President, or possibly to be a father. Both are equally as important. Humans need a purpose. This is why we are what we are. We are relational beings that need communion with one another. But more importantly, we need the intangible thing that sparks our souls.  To believe in “Purpose” is to believe in something bigger than yourself.

 

3.) Be tough. We are stronger than we give ourselves credit for. You have no idea what you can sustain until you are required to. Then you have the option to do one of two things: you win, or you lose. And typically toughness is the judge. I have stopped using the phrase, “I could never go through that” because of this reason.

 

4.) Compete. No one can ever be their best self if they aren’t competitive. Competition is the most beautiful thing on this earth. I don’t believe in the, “I’m just not competitive” phrase, because if that were the case you wouldn’t exist. Everyone had to beat quite a few other little speed racers to their mother’s egg.  Before any of us even took a breath, we had already won our first race. Everyone is competitive. Everyone needs to compete with others. But the most important thing of all is competing with yourself. To know more, to be more, and to live more.  And at the end of the day by competing relentlessly at life, you make it impossible to lose.

 

5.) Know who you are and what you are capable of. The truth is that you are the best person to ever walk the earth and the worst, and because you are human, you are capable. I try and remember that truly I am awful and capable of the worst of things. And knowing this is true keeps me from them. Knowing that I am bad makes me good. Knowing my worst is never far off propels me to be my best.

 

6.) You can and will lose. No one likes saying this in today’s world where everyone gets a medal.  But I do. I love being a winner. I love victory, but only because I love to compete. The secret to it all is learning to love when you lose just as much. It’s knowing that losses are really what created victory in the first place. If you cant learn from losses, you cannot truly compete. And if you can’t compete, you probably aren’t tough. And chances are that if you aren’t tough, you probably don’t believe in your purpose as much as you think you do. Because the truth is that “Purpose” can be the heaviest thing that anyone can carry.

 

7.) Condition. Train your mind daily. Think of the things that no one does that are beneficial to success, and do them. Condition and prepare a successful mind. Make your norm the abnormal, and make the abnormal successful. You will stand out to everyone as a conditioned traveler, while onlookers will acknowledge that they would have grown weary and never made it to where you stand.

 

8.) Diversify. Surround yourself with people who are different from you. Most of my friends are much older than I. Some of my peers find that strange, but in reality I have learned more by simply surrounding myself with people who have lived longer, than from anything else. I have also avoided pitfalls from listening to those who fell. Learn to see both sides of an argument instead of bickering, then find out what you believe based on what you have deduced from either side’s perspective. Know what you know and why you know it.

 

9.) Converse. Talk with others about what they think and believe. Put the cell phones down at the dinner table and talk. Enjoy other people’s company while you have it. Use conversations as a learning experience, not a filler.

 

10.) Test everything. I try never to blindly believe anything. I think that is foolish. At the end of the day you are the captain of your ship, responsible for its safekeeping. No one else should steer it. In the end you leave alone, believing what only you believe and knowing what only you know to be true.

 

11.) Zero ego.  I learned this from one of my coaches. He would tell me that to be my best I have to throw my ego out of the door. Once I began to live by this, a few things changed. First I began seeing everything that previously offended me as an opportunity to see my own faults and flaws.  No one should ever feel offended, only disrespected. Being offended is like a mirror. There is always a reason that lies within you that makes you weak enough to allow someone to control your emotions. Taking offense is revealing a crack in your armor. Don’t be foolish enough to think that others won’t abuse it once they see it. This is something that I work on daily and at which I can never be good enough. Have zero ego. Become less, and then you can become more.

I hope that a few of these things can be used by those who read this. Before any of you take any of my words and put them into action, I implore you to doubt it all, test it, try it, and if anything proves worthy, please take it.

Blessings,

Baron

Posted 6 months ago

 

Diary 65 (Ideas that knock)

Lately I have developed a different relationship with my Ideas. They have become more personable, more attractive, and more real.

And they speak.

Our conversations are always beneficial, and they happen quite often. But lately… lately it has been different.

Lately I try and stay quiet when my Ideas present themselves to me. I try not to converse with them as much. Maybe because I’m too scared that the Idea is actually too good of one, and I would be crazy not to pursue it. And I know that by speaking to it at all, I will only dismiss it as illogical or just a crazy thought.

So I just try to just listen and hear them out.

And what I have learned has quickly changed the way I perceive my own ideas; especially the ones that I know are good.

Being an entrepreneur is awesome, but it’s a strange thought that my value comes in the form of my ideas. They come in the form of art concepts or marketing strategies or dreams while I’m sleeping. They knock during the day, gaining my attention through the things I see.

They can be dressed as trees along the side of the road, or disguised as a weird shape in the clouds. They have been the intricacy of butterfly wings, and they have been conversations with friends over coffee.

Before recently, my interactions with my ideas were much different. I saw myself as bigger and better than them. I looked down on them. I deemed them as either good or not.

But what if it was the other way around? What if your Ideas chose you based on the level of skill or work ethic you had at that particular moment in time? What if they chose a person based on their likeliness to bring them to fruition?

What if Ideas could speak audibly to the masses and recruit the best candidates to work for them?

Would you be worthy of your own ideas? Or would you doubt your own work ethic, skill or devotion, and dismiss an opportunity because you actually don’t think you are worthy?

But that idea knocked on your door. Not your neighbor’s. Not the kid down the street who wrapped your house in toilet paper last Halloween.

It came to your door.
If a billionaire came to your home and asked you to work for them, it would be easy to accept. It would be a no brainer. You would weigh the risk versus the reward and come to the conclusion that the reward is greater.

When the risk of failure is low, it is quite likely because you are operating under someone else’s Idea. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all. There’s nothing wrong with working for a great company or helping others build their ideas.

But what if your own Idea knocked on the door and recruited you to work for it. Not only work for it, but be the CEO.
To own it.
To grow it.
To nurture it.
To love it.
And then at the very end, leave it to care for others once you are gone.

Never neglect the power of your own Ideas.

They are realities that only you can construct.

They are precious, and they are a direct indicator of our own level of readiness. They are hooked into the flesh of Courage itself, and that is why the biggest of ideas takes the most.

So lately I try and stay quiet when my Ideas come knocking. I open the door and invite them in, and try and learn as much from them as possible.

I can’t help but wonder how many Ideas have I have aborted because deep down I thought I wasn’t adequate.

But they knocked on my door.

They recruited me.

Because they knew I was ready, and they pulled on my courage.

If you value your ideas for what they really are, you will never be unemployed.

Blessings,

Baron

Posted 7 months ago

 

Diary 64 (The Blame Game)

People really like to talk about what they are going to do. Hang on. Let me say that again.

People really like to talk about what they are going to do.

My friend Chad brought up a great point the other day while we were heading to lunch.

“People really love to talk about things they are going to do. It’s almost like they get as much satisfaction from talking about it as they do actually doing it. It’s almost like they convince themselves they actually have done whatever it is before they have even started,” he said.

Pretty profound statement by Chad, huh?

But guys! Who is to blame? Why do people do this?

“Maybe it’s social media that is to blame?”

“Maybe it’s bad parenting?”

“Maybe it’s the school system?”

“Oh, no, wait, it’s for sure Obama.”

“Oh, never mind, I heard it’s the global warming!”

“No, no, no, it’s because people club the baby seals.”

“Yeah, right! Everyone knows it’s the oil prices.”

“No, it’s the liberals. Wait … I think I meant conservatives? Hang on, which one is the color blue? I’m on their side! I love blue.”

“Yeah, me too! The blue goes well with my new Jordans.”

“No. Like y’all are all so just, umm, like dumb, like it’s common scientifical knowledge. I read the facts on Buzzfeed from a Facebook link to a column written by like this really cute college boy who writes about stuff, like, online. And he said that the price of yoga pants is rising because … and guys … this is like a direct quote, OK. He said, the price of yoga pants is rising because … girls … like … yoga pants. Gawww, I just love Buzzfeed.”

Hang on … what? What were we even talking about?

And that’s how it happens.

Blame.

Blame is the ultimate smokescreen. It is the veil that all con artists, liars, manipulators, thieves, crooks and goons use to become successful.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Blame can make you successful. There’s no doubt about that.

But blame will keep you from being your best person.

Blame will keep you from happiness.

Blame will blacken your soul.

The very instant you blame someone for something, you lose power because you are willingly giving another person the power to control you.

Control you how?

By keeping you stationary, of course. By distracting you from progress.

Imagine it like this.

Blame is a two-way mirror in an interrogation room the size of eternity. The person who is blaming stands behind the thick glass like a detective with a room full of witnesses to crimes. This room is enormous and stretches back until the eyes fade to black.

On the other side of the glass there is a sea of suspects. They clamor over each other like ants to get in front of the mirror so they can be cleared, exonerated and released from the prison. And upon being blamed, they exit the prison and return proudly as either a witness or prosecutor.

This causes the prosecutors and witnesses to stay put forever. Because blame never ends.

It’s forever.

As long as there are people, there will be blame. If blame keeps you stationary and keeps you from being your best person, then why do it?

Maybe it’s because many of us have misconstrued the difference in meaning and purpose behind “blame” and “responsibility.”

For example: “I blame that man right there for stealing my Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone.”

“The man right there is responsible for stealing my Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone.”

The difference is that blame is mutually binding. It is not a one-way street. It’s a two-way mirror that binds you to the accused.

Now, let’s be real for a minute and agree that no one is going to steal a Samsung Galaxy Note.

I think our society is so ingrained in the blame game we don’t even recognize it anymore. And even worse, we don’t see it as something that can hold us back and keep us from progressing.

Blame is everywhere. It is branded and fed to us to sell products. It is wrapped in commercials we see daily. It is the poisonous lie that tells little boys and girls they are not good enough and they should be fixed.

Blame is the gigantic seventh-grader who has flunked multiple grades and loves to bully, but cries to his mother once he has eaten the last of his Twinkies, and then blames it on his little brother.

Blame is less than a coward. Even a coward or someone who is afraid can own their actions.

It’s not the wolf in sheep’s clothing. Blame is the sheep’s old clothes that they outgrew.

It’s useless thread that stitches together useless pockets that hold useless things that make us heavy and cumbersome, and eventually useless.

Blame is politically correct.

Truth is responsible.

What if everyone was simply responsible?

No, no, no. Not like responsible responsible.

Just simply responsible. Accountable.

Hands tattooed with glowing ink that stated one’s works.

What if our actions were all that spoke to others, and we had no voices to blame?

What if by your actions you were admired or prosecuted accordingly?

And by your mistakes others made you responsible so you could repair your flaws quickly and continue to progress to success, instead of blaming so that they themselves can take a shortcut and reach success before you do.

I’m confident there is enough success in the world to go around, and then some, for those who responsibly work toward it.

Then again, I guess blame is just part of life. But it shouldn’t be.

Ha! No, I got it. Maybe it’s blame’s fault?

Blaming blame — the ironic paradox.

Crazy to think blame is the solution to most problems as well as the cause. Like a wheel that never stops, but never rolls with progress.

To me, it’s how I imagine hell.

Being in a place you don’t desire, all the while blaming everyone else for making you be there.

Blame never moves. Not because it can’t, but because blame does not think movement is its responsibility.

And sadly the responsible sit back and watch from a distance because it isn’t their problem, they aren’t the ones to blame.

You see, blame steals a hero’s cape. The very presence of it robs a human of his or her power, and places it in someone else’s hands. Blaming is admitting defeat while you believe you have won a war.

But truth moves, because truth knows that blame is not real.

Because truth can only be responsible.

People really like talking about what they are going to do, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Being excited about what you have going on is awesome!

But if you’re just going to talk about it, you better not have to blame something or someone as to why you haven’t done it yet.

I know it’s tempting to blame something. It’s human nature to find fault in everything else before we look in the mirror. Things like timing, finances, mistakes of others, etc.

Don’t.

Just don’t. Make up your mind you are bigger than that.

Words are important because they allow us to describe our world.

Actions are important because they allow us to build that world.

Talk is cheap, and actions are loud.

But more importantly, the price of yoga pants is rising.

“I read that on a link I saw on Facebook that sent me to this Buzzfeed column. This really cute girl writes this column for them, and it’s really awesome because it’s on the Internet, and I hear when she writes, she wears her yoga pants. She also writes about how women should feel empowered and not be looked at as pieces of meat. I totally agree with that, too. I don’t think women should be looked at in such a negative manner.”

“But dang, these girls do look good in some yoga pants! It’s not my fault that they wear ’em though. Seriously guys I could sit around and look at girls in yoga pants all day long without moving, and that’s not my fault. So yeah, yoga pants are crazy expensive these days. That stinks for the girls who wear them I guess.”

“And this interrogation room is pretty nice. I think I like it here. And on the other side of that two-way mirror, girls in yoga pants are just fighting for my attention!”

“And I guess my cape can wait. Someone else can be responsible for once.”

“It’s not my job. My hands are clean! I’m really not responsible!”

Clean hands can hold the most blame. And filthy paws can eat at the king’s table.

And truth is responsible.

 

Blessings,

Baron

Posted 8 months ago