Monday, September 17, 2012

A Common Sense Rant

2012 has not been an easy year for most people I know. Several friends of mine are divorcing, others have lost their homes or their jobs. Personally I've known over a dozen people who passed away since January alone. There have been debilitating illnesses, businesses lost, and dreams shattered. It doesn't matter what political affiliation you align yourself with, times have been tough, but they've also been tough a lot longer than most people will admit to.

But here's a secret that some people don't want to admit to: Things are getting better. And why are things getting better? Because they always do. History is cyclical. It may ebb and flow, but life always goes on. We've had it too easy for too long, and what's worse is we can't even appreciate that fact. Not only do we take our wonderful lives for granted, but the moment we face trouble, and I mean real, tangible trouble, we become whiny, spoiled children.

It's easy to blame others and use scapegoats to make ourselves feel better. It's comforting to blame the weak, the different, or the unknown. No one wants to admit they made a mistake last week or last month or last year that actually have repercussions today. That's Human Nature. But sometimes you have to shut the fuck up and take the hit. Sometimes it is your fault, and that's when its time to stop making excuses and clean up the dirty, ugly mess by getting on your knees and using some damn, simple elbow grease.

I'm frustrated. I'm angry. I'm tired of hearing the blame. I'm tired of hearing the excuses. You are selfish. We all are. More often than not we do what feels good instead of what is right. We choose the comfortable or flashy path instead of the tougher, complicated, healthier one. It happens. All the time. And that's fine, no one is perfect. But none of us are going to make things better by living in fear, hatred, or ignorance. Life isn't always fun and it certainly isn't fair; Life is just a series of random events that you navigate the best way you can. There are no easy answers here, but there are simple ones:

Do what needs to be done, not because someone is watching or forcing you; do it because its what needs to be done. Don't expect a trophy or your own reality show for doing the bare minimum; don't expect applause or even a chuck on the shoulder. Don't wait for someone else to come along, do it because you're the one who got there first.

Times are hard and they will be for a while. But the hard times won't last forever; they never do. Tomorrow the sun will still shine, children will still play, and we'll all be alright. Have a little faith. Have a little confidence. Have a little hope.

Now let's all get to work.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My Comic Book Collection


(Photo: The “COMICS” cover of one of my comic book boxes, illustrated with pen and marker when I was about fourteen years old, along with some of the more important collectibles.) 

Almost everyone from my generation can claim to love Star Wars and comic books, but my brother and I really were those nerdy creative kids that rushed over to the comic store every two weeks or so to pick up the latest issues. We were also those lucky kids who had supportive parents, like our mom who signed us up for the first Star Wars fan club, Bantha Tracks, and made us themed birthday cakes with our favorite Marvel Comics characters. This weekend, after years of my dad bugging me to help clean some of my old boxes out of his garage, I finally decided to look through my old comic collection, the first time in over fifteen years.

Inside the two long boxes were priceless treasures: stories I’d read and lived a thousand times in my youth, whole series that I had all but forgotten, and a few rare collectibles from before my time that I had scrimped and saved up to purchase in my youth and rarely opened. It was a bit overwhelming and I will admit at times a little emotional.


Some people have told me that I should hurry to sell them, that the well-needed funds are easily attained simply by parting with these items I had all but ignored for over a decade now. But I don’t think they were ignored or neglected. As an adult I’ve reflected on the lessons they taught me countless times. The fights against injustice, the need for defining the gray areas between good and evil, doing what is right instead of what you personally desire. I learned about foreign languages, politics, geography, history, religions, and most importantly, human nature. I learned not to judge people simply by how they appeared, I learned about a world much larger than my own.

I think I have some rereading to do.