I love Michael, what he built and his philosophy on life and building things:
“Nice things take time. So, the things that inspire me are things like The Sistine Chapel – four generations to build. However long it takes is how long it’s going to take. And it’s going to be the best that I can build it. It may not be the best that it could ever be, but it’s the best that I can built it. I take a lot of pride in my craftsmanship. And I really try to take the time to create nice things – and take the time to do things right. Because that seems to be a lost art in the world that we live in today. – Michael Leeds”
Just watch it.
Also, check out these photos to get a full appreciation of the work that was involved to create this rolling piece of art!
I don’t want to be defined by what I am against.
The world has become overrun with negative, polarizing and hyperbolic voices. Sometimes I was one of those voices. I’ve often prided (oops) myself throughout my life for being a “straight shooter.” I’m the type of person who says what he thinks, often without thinking. Oh, the irony. As I’ve gotten older I’ve tried to become more contemplative and empathetic. So, I thought it would be helpful to lay out a few ideas on how to accomplish this:
Think before speaking.
Stay silent when necessary.
Encourage the best in everyone.
Keep it simple.
You can help me out by also being an encouragement to everyone, everywhere, all the time.
Create. Do. Learn. Live. Like. Love.
Onward & Upward!
I love you. Thanks for stopping by.
I’m a fan of technology and the internet. Friendster. MySpace. Facebook. Twitter. Path. Instagram. Blogger. WordPress. I’ve used almost all of them at one point or another. I think sometimes we reference social media and the web as if it’s not the real world. I don’t think that’s true. The internet and social space are full of real people. People with thoughts, and emotions and opinions. For better or worse, this is us. If you doubt the power of the internet and social media – just look to the events of Arab Spring with its subsequent revolutions. The web can be used for good and for evil.
Yesterday Whitney Houston died.
I logged on to Twitter to see if it was true and the first two comments I saw were jokes.
So, I went on to Facebook and Twitter and posted…
“If you think when somebody dies (no matter who it is) that it’s a good opportunity to make a joke then we don’t need to be friends.”
I later posted that I thought it also lacked empathy and class.
I still stand by the spirit of what I said. But I also think (as my loving wife pointed out to me) that sometimes I might come across as an elitist or a jerk when I don’t intend to. I think that the essence of what I was really was saying is this: ”If we are ‘friends’ in social (ie. I follow you on Facebook or Twitter) then I am definitely unsubscribing or unfollowing your feed if you are going to make jokes when people die.”
I’ve been trying to filter out the voices of people who say ridiculous things about politicians, religion, etc. from my feeds on Facebook and Twitter for a while now. It just seems like those voices have grown louder and more snarky than ever. I don’t think that all this negativity really brings out the best in anybody. Least of all, me.
It occurs to me that by making such a bold statement that I might have alienated some people. I realize now that perhaps the most loving and appropriate thing to say might have been nothing at all. Even though there were many thoughtful people who ‘liked’ my comment or wholeheartedly agreed with the sentiment.
I still don’t appreciate it when people make jokes at other peoples expense. I’ve had a lot of loss in my life. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to be close to somebody whose life is judged so harshly from the outside. Even worse, to have that person be the butt of jokes because they struggled with addiction and made bad choices.
This morning after I broke up with the internet I read the following devotional with my wife: If I Don’t Express My Anger, I’ll Blow Up And Other Myths About Constructive Criticism by Blaine Smith. Sometimes at the exact moment when I need God to ‘speak’, He does. It’s a long article, but worth the read I think. It was timely for me, that’s for sure.
Rest in peace, Whitney.