Tag Archives: world

Hashtag First World Problems

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I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t always been the most appreciative person.  When I was in elementary school, I had a tendency of dramatizing my problems and thinking that things like not having all of my friends show up to my birthday party or losing in baseball were the worst things that could happen to me.  I didn’t understand that, although I didn’t have the best situation, I didn’t have the worst either.  However, once my middle school years came along, things got tougher, teaching me a few good lessons that I now try to pass on to others and which I will certainly pass on to my children.  I learned to be more optimistic and appreciate what I do have, what I have experienced, and what I can do.  Now, that I’ve gone through certain situations, it’s hard for me to see people be so ungrateful and so ignorant of the opportunities standing right in front of them that they’re choosing to look past.  It’s frustrating to realize that some people don’t know how blessed they are.  It’s even more frustrating to know that I used to be one of those people and am now trying to open the blind eyes of others to no avail.

I know that I do not have it the worst.  I am grateful for the house I live in, the family I have, the job I work, the love I receive, and the passion I am nurturing, but there are also opportunities that I wish I had who people so close to me take for granted.  One thing I wouldn’t take for granted is having my family near me.  I never had the chance to go to school with my cousins.  I was never able to be at the hospital for the birth of a new addition to the family.  I haven’t been able to see my family whenever I wanted to.  Although living in the states has been one of the best things that could have ever happened to me, unfortunately, I’m miles away from all of my extended family every single day and I miss out on a lot.  I wish I could watch my nephews grow up in person, rather than in pictures.  (It’s honestly a relief that the oldest still remembers who I am.)  I wish I could learn more family recipes every day, which is why when they come to visit I try to learn whatever new dishes I can.  I wish I could say I’ll see you soon to so many of my relatives, but I can’t.  They either live way too far away and the funds aren’t there to make frequent visits or they are simply no longer with us.  That’s the simple truth.  I can’t and it frustrates me to see people who don’t appreciate things like that.

There are so many opportunities I wish I had.  Seeing my family is only one of them, which sparked this little rant of mine, but it truly does bother me to see people live on in such an ignorant fashion.  “Hashtag first world problems” is the best way to sum up their complaints.  I admit that sometimes I get caught up in the little things, but I try to make a conscious effort about what I complain about.  I may think about how frustrating sitting in traffic may be, but I’ll always think “at least I have a car and a job to go to or at least it’s a nice day and my air conditioning is working,” completely stopping me from voicing my miniscule annoyances.  The way I see it is I will always have problems and imperfections in my life.  Yes, I might have it bad sometimes, but there is always someone else who has it worst than me.  Ask my best friend.  I frustrate her to no end when I refuse to admit what’s bothering me because of this mindset, but it’s true.  Someone else may not have shelter, food, or water.  They might be physically abused, unable to graduate, or terminally ill.  I think that somebody always has it worst than me, so I shouldn’t burden others by verbalizing my complaints about the small things.  At the same time, I have to appreciate what I do have.  We all should appreciate what we have because the person next to us doesn’t always have those same things as well.

It might be innate to criticize the imperfections around us, but we have to make it second nature to highlight the positives we experience.  Not everything is so bad, so why make it seem that way?  Instead appreciate what you have, but can’t change and work toward changing the negatives that are in your control.  Don’t let opportunities pass you by because you were too busy focusing on complaining about x, y, and z.  Perhaps, with some more optimism, you won’t notice so many problems in your life.

Thanks World!

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Sometimes
you just gotta follow your intuition.
No questions asked
and aim with precision.
At least that’s how you feel.
That’s what you think.
But, in reality,
who’s to say you won’t sink?
Maybe
you should’ve questioned.
Yeah,
that’s that doubt
everyone forgot to mention.
It all sounds so romantic.
The plan sounds too fantastic.
No one talks about the surrealism.
They just let you gain your wisdom.
Thanks for the heads up world!
Can you taste the sarcasm?
But, seriously though,
I think I’ve grown
more than I can immediately show.
I’ve wised up
more than you’ll ever know.
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Listen to the Music

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Diamonds World Tour

I must admit that when I first heard about the Diamonds World Tour I was excited, but I wasn’t sold.  Yes, I like Rihanna and, yes, I like ASAP Rocky, but I wasn’t sure that I was a ride or die fan just yet.  Was I really willing to throw down money for them?  I didn’t know.  The only way I could solidify my stance as a fan was to do my research.

In the few months leading up to the concert, I satisfied every craving to listen to Rihanna and ASAP to the point that for a good while they were all I listened to.  I inevitably began learning verses and I got to do what most music lovers don’t truly experience.  I had the opportunity to actually listen to the songs.  Past the catchy hooks and the trendy beats, I found the messages within the lyrics that are so often overlooked by fans.  I got to see what Rihanna and ASAP truly represent.

In ASAP, I saw a boy with ambition, who’s an interesting blend of high-class society with trill hood mentality.  Yes, he talks about the traditional topics of drugs, money, and sex, but that’s just part of the package.  Those things are parts of him, so he can’t just ignore them.  Beyond that, he talks about the hustle and the struggle.  He talks about his innovation and the leadership he personifies.  ASAP’s music is honest, which is something I always appreciate, which is probably why I’m so empathetic to his lyrics and style.

At the concert, I was probably one of ten people in our section who was bopping to his melodies, I might be one of the few who could define “trillest,” and I was the only one within my sight actually rapping along with ASAP, but then again that’s just me.  You could say that at this point, I had indisputably become an ASAP Rocky fan.  I’m just grateful to my brother for putting me on to him before anyone else had even heard of the ASAP Mob.

Then, there is Rihanna, who, to the public, she’s a complex character.  Most of her songs embody female strength and independence, yet she is openly back together with the always scandalous Chris Brown, which is still mind-boggling for most.  Some people wonder how she can sing her songs, but not practice what she preaches.  At first, I agreed with the majority, but now that I’ve listened to what Rihanna has to say through her music, I get it.

Rihanna is representing females everywhere.  She is promoting ideas of independence, strength, and confidence within all women, but she is also being herself.  Women are often characterized as being very emotional, which is an aspect of her female identity that Rihanna refuses to (and shouldn’t) let go of.  Her music is most certainly empowering, at times risqué, and always has a tough touch, but it also is emotional and vulnerable.  I look at Rihanna and see a woman with a story.  She has suffered and has made mistakes, but, through that negativity, she’s grown and is beginning to find herself.  Rihanna represents the real woman.  A woman who is not perfect, but can admit it.  She is honest with a voice and isn’t afraid to experiment.

By the end of the night, I was sure that I had made the right decision in going to the concert.  ASAP proved his love for all of his fans, claiming “we’re all purple on the inside,” while Rihanna hosted one of the biggest parties the 1st Mariner Arena has ever seen.  A few months ago, I may not have been sure of where my loyalty stood, but today I can honestly say that I see a lot of myself in both ASAP and Rihanna.  On top of that, I can say with confidence that I look up to Rihanna for so many different reasons.  Say what you want, but I’ll argue that she does make a good role model.  All you have to do is listen to what she really has to say.

Tupac Taught Me to Change the World

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“I’m not saying I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.”

–Tupac Shakur

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I’ve found that creating a meaningful life is one of the most important goals to strive for during your years, but how do we go about doing this?  You do it by contributing something positive to the world.  If you add something to the world that leads to progress, positivity, and enlightenment, then you’ve done your part.  We, personally, have goals for ourselves.  We want to be writers, artists, successful, happy.  And we will be as long as our goal contributes to the well-being of everyone else.

Five years ago, I assure you that I had no idea of this notion.  I didn’t know what having a meaningful life meant and I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life.  Back then, I had never given any thought to bringing the world more positive energy.  I wasn’t a horrible person and I don’t think I didn’t consider this idea because I didn’t want to, but because I thought that the world was too big of a concept for me to understand.  How could my actions influence the world?  What difference could I make?

But then Tupac spoke.  He enlightened me, allowing me to understand that the seemingly small ripples a person makes throughout their lifetime will grow with the years, leaving an impression throughout the entire body of water.

You may not always see who you positively affect.  You may never experience the results of the positive vibes you created so long ago, but trust that they are doing their work.  You have to understand that change is happening and it is accelerating so fast that one day your ripples will be the ones who molded tomorrow’s leaders.  You may never understand this.  You may never be able to grasp the idea that what you do matters, but it does.  You may never be able to wrap your head around the concept that you helped change the world, but it’s true.

Even if you never see it, you’ll feel it as soon as you send that positivity into the world.  You’ll know that you matter and you’ll know that you’ve done your part.  From that point on, the experience of feeling your effect will make you crave for it more and more until your life is filled with meaning and those around you have been given meaning.  Trust that the spark will happen and that you will help change the world.

An Epic Battle of Voices

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Monday night, NBC’s The Voice kicked off its battle rounds and the episode ended with one of the best battles I think the show has ever had.  Powerhouses Judith Hill and Karina Iglesias went head to head using their voices in their own rendition of James Brown’s infamous “It’s a Man’s World.”  Honestly, their performance gave me chills and stirred so many emotions within me.  That is a tough song to sing and it is one of my favorites, so I had very high expectations that both women surpassed.  I love seeing purely good talent and those two women exhibited that on top of their sheer strength and power.  Needless to say, I loved the performance and had to share it with you all.  Enjoy!

Look at the World a Little Differently

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This Coca Cola ad started airing a few months ago and it definitely has a strong, positive message that I think we all can admire.  It really makes you think and, in my case, it helped put a smile on my face.  It certainly earns a spot as one of my favorite commercials!  Hopefully, this way of thinking can help more people view the world in a different, more positive way.  Enjoy!

What’s Our Name?

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Ravens Nation

The whole day was filled with the sounds of the Seven Nation Army chant mixed with the cheering for the new world champions of the NFL.  You could hear Ed Reed singing two tickets to paradise and John Harbaugh asking “what’s our name” to which a crowd of 100,000 plus people yelled in reply “Ravens.”  All you could see, were smiles on the faces of the Superbowl champions and a sea of purple around them.  It was a day where Baltimore came together to celebrate a long-awaited victory.  It was a day of love, joy, pride, and comradery.  This day showed the mutual love and loyalty that the Ravens football team and the city of Baltimore have for each other.  It was certainly a celebration like none other and I am so glad I got to see it in person.  Sitting next to my mom and completely surrounded by my fellow Ravens fans, I was able to enjoy and soak in the pure feelings of joy and pride for my team and my city.  Throughout the past ten plus years of living in the DMV, I never thought I would ever experience such an incredible moment, but I did.  It was truly a beautiful experience and it is something I will never forget.  I’ve always claimed Baltimore in the DMV and I’ve never been more proud to claim it than now.  To see so many people celebrating the same thing in one place with no incidents or problems is amazing and I’m glad I got to be a part of it.  It was awesome to just be surrounded by Ravens in Ravens Nation!