"A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them. They then dwell in the house next door, and at any moment a flame may dart out and set fire to his own house. Whenever we give up, leave behind, and forget too much, there is always the danger that the thing we have neglected will return with added force."

—Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections

“Our souls as well as our bodies are composed of individual elements which were all already present in the ranks of our ancestors. The “newness” in the individual psyche is an endlessly varied recombination of age-old components. Body and soul therefore have an intensely historical character and find no proper place in what is new, in things that have just come into being. That is to say, our ancestral components are only partly at home in such things.

We are very far from having finished completely with the Middle Ages, classical antiquity, and primitivity, as our modern psyches pretend. Nevertheless, we have plunged down a cataract of progress which sweeps us on into the future with ever wilder violence the farther it takes us from our roots. Once the past has been breached, it is usually annihilated, and there is no stopping the forward motion. But it is precisely the loss of connection with the past, our uprootedness, which has given rise to the “discontents” of civilization and to such a flurry and haste that we live more in the future and its chimerical promises of a golden age than in the present, with which our whole evolutionary background has not yet caught up. We rush impetuously into novelty, driven by a mounting sense of insufficiency, dissatisfaction, and restlessness.

We no longer live on what we have, but on promises, no longer in the light of the present day, but in the darkness of the future, which, we expect, will at last bring the proper sunrise. We refuse to recognize that everything better is purchased at the price of something worse; that, for example, the hope of greater freedom is canceled out by increased enslavement to the state, not to speak of the terrible perils to which the most brilliant discoveries of science expose is. The less we understand of what our fathers and forefathers sought, the less we understand ourselves, and thus we help with all our might to rob the individual of his roots and guiding instincts, so that he becomes a particle in the mass, ruled only by what Nietzsche called the spirit of gravity.

Reforms by advances, that is, by new methods or gadgets, are of course impressive at first, but in the long run they are dubious and in any case dearly paid for. They by no means increase the contentment or happiness of people on the whole. Mostly, they are deceptive sweetening of existence, like speedier communications which unpleasantly accelerate the tempo of life and leave us with less time than before. Omnis festinatio ex parts diaboli est—all haste is of the devil, as the old masters used to say."

—C.G. Jung; Memories, Dreams, Reflections.

KE

 

There are two kinds of energies—potential and kinetic. Potential is a measure for the capacity to do work. Kinetic is energy in motion. Kinetic energy is potential energy put in action.  

Kinetic energy, abbreviated as KE, is energy in motion. 
KE = 1/2mv(^2), where m is mass, and v is speed. 
KE = energy in motion.

 

Jeffrey to ATL

 

This past weekend my not-so-little brother moved to Atlanta, to start his first full-time job. 

Today is his first day on the job and it's a little bittersweet: Jeffrey, it's going to be tough getting used to you not being around, but that is eclipsed by how proud and happy I am for you.

Good luck today and all the days following—I'll be cheering for you from the Mitten 👊🏾

 

Free Intelligent Conversation Gallery

 

Whenever sharing about Free Intelligent Conversation, particularly the part around holding signs on a sidewalk and inviting strangers to talk, the question we get asked the most is "Do people ACTUALLY stop and talk to you guys?!"

To help us answer this questions, we've recently added a gallery page to our website: www.FreeIC.org/gallery

Here we've uploaded photos of the thousands of people who were once strangers, who've stopped and shared ideas, stories, and laughs with us in various cities. 

So yesssssss—people REALLY do stop and talk with us.

They'll stop and talk to you too! Get your own sign and join the movement at www.FreeIC.org.

 

 

“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

Please don't let it take me, or another black person that you are comfortable with, dying before harkening and speaking up on the severity of this systemic racial conditioning, that often cost the lives of black people. 

Situations like Alston Sterlings and Philando Castile, thanks to recent technology, are the ones we are fortunate to capture on camera. 

Black communities continue to be and have been filled with these horror stories—Our barbershops, churches, and family gatherings are saturated with personal accounts of unlawful police aggression and brutality.

Please don't wait until our judicial system acknowledges and accepts fault or for all the evidence to add up before personally speaking out against this broken system. 

Not all police encounters are racially charged, not every cop is guilty for the actions of few, and there is no quick-fix, but please do your part. 

While you muster up the courage to speaks up, we muster up the courage to leave our homes. And if you're not intentional about finding this courage, by the time you do a lot of us will be dead. 

‪#‎AltonSterling‬
‪#‎PhilandoCastile‬
‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬

 

Happy 21st Birthday Jeffrey

 
image.jpg

Since we were children, Mom taught me to always keep a watchful eye on you.

What at first seemed like a chore, evolved into a duty, until I realized it had been a gift all along—because watching you, Jeffrey, has been incredible.

I'm proud of who you've become, and who you're still growing to be. Know that I'll never be too far, because I'll always be watching you, little brother.

Happy 21st Birthday.

 

Free Intelligent Conversation | TEDxAndrewsUniversity

 

Not too long ago I had the incredible opportunity to speak about Free Intelligent Conversation at a TEDx event hosted by Andrews University Students Association. 
I'm still taken back by the whole thing—I'm super grateful to even be in a position to share about something this important to me, on this stage. 
Thank you to everyone who's supported and still supporting us. We're looking forward to whatever the future has in store for FreeIC.

 

 
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
 

Eric Dees is off to the Army.

 

Eric Dees is off to the Army. 

The first friend I made when I moved to Berrien Springs, 15 years ago. One of the few people I’ve spoken to everyday, plus-or-minus, since.

Anyone will tell you that, Dees has the uncanny ability to make everyone feel welcomed and comfortable. And a miraculous type of charm, that still doesn’t make sense to me. (Seriously)

Dees, you've always been about service—Incredibly unselfish with your time. So wiling to help, that most of the time I have to make sure not to mention any problems/situations going on. 

I know you’ll be handling your business, so I’ll make sure to handle mine.

I’m not even in the slightest worried about you, I know you have what it takes to excel.

More than anything it’s just tough to see you go. 

I knew this time was coming—You’ve been talking about doing this since the 8th grade. I’ve just been spoiled and will have to adjust to not having the luxury of you always being around. 

Thank you for always being there to celebrate the highs. Thank you for just keeping me company through the lows. 

Thank you for your service.

 

Happy Birthday Jeffrey

 

Jeffrey,

Being your big brother has been both easy and difficult. 

On one hand I’ve had to do very little guidance because you're smart enough to have figured it out in your own. On the other hand, because no older brother wants to be out done by their little brother, I always have to stay at the top of my game. 

It’s been thrilling watching you play the drums and develop as a photographer. It's been inspiring to see how hard you work and your commitment to being a better person. 

Whether it was moving to Michigan, backyard basketball, eating spaghetti for what seemed like everyday in the summer, or fighting as often as we used to—we’ve been through the best and worst of times and there’s nobody else I would have rather gone through it with. 

It's a privilege and honor to share the same goal of wanting the best for Mom and trying to make her proud.

I’ve had a front row seat to the first 19 years of your remarkable life. Our best years are ahead of us and I look forward to sharing them with you. 

Know that I love you, and that you are one of the very few people I'd put my own life down for. 

Happy 20th birthday.

Your super proud older brother,
Kyle

 

Be The King

 

This is a painting by Jean-Michel Basqiat. It's my Facebook cover photo and Twitter header.

Basquait was a street artist from Brooklyn who was at a point of his life where he felt there was no hope for him.

At the time, popular culture denied Basquiat’s work as art. It was considered graffiti and not worthy of being in the MoMa.

Basquiat decided that what he was doing was art, whether anyone ever chose to acknowledge it or not.

The painting is really gritty and messy. Basquiat starts by writing some of the terrible things people were saying about him and his work. Next he begins to write his personal insecurities and self-loathing thoughts.

He then starts scratching-out some of the things he’s just written, as a way of saying to himself that those thing aren’t true and that he doesn’t have to believe them. Finally, he finishes the painting by putting a crown over everything.

What the crown represents is freedom from those thoughts. He chooses to believe that he is the king, regardless of what his situation or everyone else is telling him.

For Basquiat, being the king was a way of thinking, not a position of power—It was about how you chose to perceive yourself.

You could be homeless, abandoned, and left for dead and still wear the crown.

Because it isn't about being perfect or being liked. It's about always picking yourself up and always trying to be and do better, not just for you but for the people around you.

It's knowing that you're going to fall. It’s knowing that it's ok to experience pain and self-doubt. It’s learning to find comfort within your own insecurities.

Knowing that it’s better to move forward and grow through that pain than to just sit there.

So it doesn't matter what anyone else is saying. 
It doesn't matter if at times you feel terrible about yourself. 
It doesn't matter if you're "messing up" to everyone else's standards.

As long as you are honest with yourself and you're trying your best to grow and move forward—you are the king.

You’re going to find yourself doing things that you never thought you would and in places you never thought you’d be. The trap is thinking "I guess I'm this kind of person now.”

The temptation is to just give up and indulge in the lie you start believing about yourself. After this repeats long enough, you find yourself thinking that you are a hopeless mess.

Don't fall for that trap. Always keep fighting.

Do your best.
Be the best.
Be the king.

 

Memes

The internet has given us many things, one of those things are the little pictures you find on your Facebook timeline: Memes. You know, the pictures with text written on top of them that either make you laugh or say “wow.”

Memes are an important by-product of the internet in regards to how we relate to one another. The effect that memes have had on our culture is overlooked and underestimated. Memes do more than provide temporary nostalgia and a quick laugh. With the help of the internet, Meme’s have helped us rethink the way we interact and understand one another.

Non-verbal communication is essential, as we’ve been told, a picture is worth a thousand words. It’s tough to accurately communicate to the perplexed look on your face, or the heavy-breathed sigh you just let out using only words. A meme is able to capture an entire moment/story with a picture and two lines.

Seeing that someone has made meme that you can relate to, and seeing other people like and share a meme on social media, non-verbally communicates that these things happen to others as well.

You can look at a meme, like the ones above, and say “Oh, I’m not the only person that has that problem/experience!” And suddenly “The Big Bad World” with all its “evil inhabitants” are, for a moment, not so evil. In that slight moment they too are human, and you realize that despite our differences in gender, race, social-economic status; many of us experience the same minor inconveniences and situations in our everyday lives.

When looking at a meme you are not empathizing with a specific person, but with human-beings in general. Thanks to the vast variety of memes displaying the situations many humans find themselves in, the paranoia and mystery of “other people” tones down. We are realizing that these “other people” are actually just like us. And our fears of “The Big Bad World,” are being reduced, simply because we are better able to understand and relate to each other.

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.

Marie Curie

The lack of understanding that we’ve had towards people stems from mystery. We don’t know what other people do or what they’re like, and that breeds anxiety and suspicion. When someone shares or likes a meme, it gives you a glimpse into that persons life that you may have not had before. It humanizes them, and the mystery and paranoia you had towards a person, or group of people begins to be neutralized.

Despite how minor it is, it is important that these baby-steps towards understanding other people happen. We fear what we don’t understand, and it is important that we find grounds to begin understanding one another, even if it’s through memes.

It is quite clear that between love and understanding there is a very close link…He who loves understands, and he who understands loves. One who feels understood feels loved, and one who feels loved feels sure of being understood.

Paul Tournier

Of course, not all memes are bringing us closer together. Some memes are just flat-out hilarious. But the next time you see a meme appreciate it for more than it’s face value. With the help of the Philosoraptor, Success kid, and Bad Luck Brian, we are learning that we are more alike than we are different.

Toast to the guy who never stops posting memes on your Facebook timeline, he gets it.

Feyoncé

 

As an assignment for Intro To Digital Media, I was required to make a movie poster that included myself. 

*SPOILER ALERT*

In this movie I play a happy young man who meets a girl named Beyoncé. She immediately falls in love with me and proposes. Despite my hesitation, I accept. Unknown to me, she is obsessed in making sure that girls run the world. During the day she is a delightful fiancé, but at night she puts me under a spell which turns me into a 3 headed ravaging monster. As a result, I go looking for male fiancés to murder every night and return to my human form at sunrise. Eventually I meet a pastor who introduces me to Jesus and I am cured.