Tag Archives: family

The Rebellion of Thanksgiving


Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a time of celebration, a time of counting blessings, a time of family, a time of REBELLION!

Rebellion – resistance to or defiance of any authority, control or tradition.

Sure, we have the tradition of thanksgiving, but we have a much stronger tradition and culture of defending our rights. We have a culture of entitlement. We have a very strong sense of what we “deserve”. Employees deserve certain things from their employer, employers deserve certain things from their employees. We deserve respect. We deserve to have a job. We deserve the products we want. We deserve free shipping. We deserve internet access. WE DESERVE TO BE HAPPY. We “deserve” a lot of things.

I saw an incredible/absurd/comical example of this the other day. I was researching whether or not you can run two YouTube channels from one Google profile. You can’t. In order to have FREE distribution of your videos to the WORLD (on two separate channels), you have to set up two FREE Google profiles. Well, obviously this is an OUTRAGE! As one commenter said (and I quote, emphasis mine) “We DESERVE to have multiple YouTube channels on one account”

You deserve that? Did you invent YouTube? On what possible grounds do you DESERVE that right?

Thanksgiving is the anti-thesis to claiming our rights. Thanksgiving is a recognition and appreciation that this life is a gift.

I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for clean air. I am thankful I get turkey dinner. I am thankful there is a God that loves me. Heck, I’m thankful for YouTube; I deserve none of it.

 

Vive La Revolution

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Captain America & The Berenstain Bears


My kids love the Berenstain Bears. Especially my oldest, it is currently her favourite show; as such my wife and I get to hear/see it sometimes as they watch on Netflix.

Sarah (my wife) pointed something out the other day which gave me pause. She pointed out that  the Berenstain Bears remind her of who we want to be, they challenge her to remember things like family time, or the importance of Dad teaching the kids to build their own kite instead of picking one up at the store. This observation led to a conversation that I would like to invite you all into.
Now I’m not saying The Berenstain’s are without fault (I agree that it’s unfortunate that Papa is generally portrayed as an idiot etc…), however there is a certain goodness there. They live in a family who loves each other, they value their community, they are encouraged to help out the left out kids at school, and I could go on

However these aren’t the kinds of families the media usually puts in front of us, when we think of families from TV we are drawn to The Simpsons, Modern Family, The Family Guy (All of which also feature dolt dad syndrome). Sometimes we get to Everybody loves Raymond etc. which is okay but thrives on dysfunction.

Not often do these examples call us upward.

Now I remember making countless arguments to my parents as a teen that the media I was consuming wouldn’t drag me down, and in large portion I wasn’t totally wrong. What I was saying is that watching “Half Baked” wouldn’t make me start smoking pot, listening to Limp Bizket wouldn’t make me want to “Break Stuff”.  They didn’t, but what about heroes and culture that challenges me to move upward? Not just that I can avoid being pulled down by, but that pulls me up? It’s rare.

It seems that now the majority of our heroes have become so “relatable” that we are pleased just not to stoop to their level. Anyone really look up to Dr. House? How about Jack Bauer, he’s cool but does he challenge you to be a better person? Iron Man?

Captain America has come back into the public consciousness lately thanks to Marvel and DC exploding the comic move market. The Captain is many people’s favourite Avenger. He has the worst powers. Why do people love him? Almost always, because he’s good. He’s a good guy who challenges us to be better, this was the function of heroes; they called us to something higher. If you are unfamiliar with the Captain America storyline the basic story (apologies to comic fans if I screw this up) is that Steve Rodgers was a small weak man, however he always was drawn to fight for the little guy and to stand up to Evil (specifically to join the war effort).  Eventually he is injected with a serum and achieves the peak of human fitness, strength etc. give the guy an indestructible shield and we are off to the races! But at his core he remains a fighter for those weaker than himself, he can make mistakes, but he always tries to do things the right thing. This is who our heroes were.
Berenstain Bears & Captain America
And then came Spider-Man (again apologies to my comic fan friends who know FAR more about the genre than I). In my understanding Spider-Man was created by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko, to reflect a more human super hero. Specifically a more teen relatable super hero. When you read the Spider-Man comics (or watch the movies) you see quickly that Peter Parker is a conflicted guy.  He is still good and makes the unselfish choice more often than not, but there is always a conflict there. If he wasn’t Spider-Man he would be able to get the girl, get better grades, he wrestles with the selfish choice.

This in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. Art is at it’s best when we can identify with it, we all face these conflicts, we connect with characters who are conflicted too.  We want to see how they wrestle through and many (like Spider-Man) come to admirable conclusions. however the trend continues, we keep moving along these lines, making our heroes more and more relatable, more and more conflicted. Pretty soon we are left with the anti-hero, the “hero” driven by revenge, the “hero” who can justify any means, the hero whose brilliance is seemingly fuelled by depression and contempt, the hero whose motivation is rebellion, the hero who we don’t want to be like.

Art should be relatable, we should connect with it, we should connect with the characters especially the protagonist.

But what does it mean when our societies heroes are more tragically flawed than inspiring? What happens when they don’t pull us upward?


Change The World


Last night before bed I read two great blog posts, the first was by Steve Jones who is the author of a business book called “Rock Star Branding” it was about how, “When you do your job with passion and purpose, you change the world” you can read it here. Shortly after I read a post by my friend/family member/fellow blog writer with his name cleverly disguised as “Christhompso”, in it he challenged himself, and by extension me, to really take life and run with it. To fight the power of apathy and so called “realism” that tries to inject its self into our lives. You can read it here.

While I don’t want to blatantly copy either of these writers this morning, their thoughts are strong in my mind. As some of you may know, few things ring in my mind stronger than the ability/responsibility to change the world. Anything less, is well…less.

It takes a certain brashness, a certain incautious spirit, a lack of realism. But it’s what makes life worth living.

I spend a lot of time booking concerts for Mr. Luke Dowler in the long grind of leaving 100 voicemails it can be easy to lose track of why. It can be easy to forget that we are there to change the world.

I also edit a lot of wedding videos, it’s enjoyable work but sometimes, after watching the same 2 minutes of someone’s wedding for the 48th time, it can feel a little tedious. Unless you remember you are there to change the world.

I have 3 kids and they are an unending joy to my wife and I, but when I’m changing the ______th diaper of my life…Unless I remember.

Luke Dowler has an incredible ministry. I have seen his music and his conversations with fans after the shows change lives. He changes the world. That comes after hundreds of phone calls.

I hope and pray that when I edit someone’s wedding video I give them a chance to remember that they promised “forever”. I hope that plays a small part in changing their lives and marriage. That comes by nailing a transition.

When I see my kids, I see promise, I see hope, I see little world changers! But they have the best shot at it if someone, loves them, cares for them, and gives them clean bums.

What are you going to do today? How is it going to change the world? Comment below and let’s get changing the world!

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The art of moving


Well, it’s monday so I owe the world a blog. I have a better one planned out but our family is in the process of moving so… No computer or Internet and its hard to write a decent post from my phone.

That being said Brain Thompson from Thorny Bleeder (if you create art/content and want to spread it, follow him at @thornybleeder so much good advice and great links) has drilled into my head to get consistent, and so on this Monday you get a blog, live from the toilet as I reflect on moving.

The art of moving has several components.

1. Get help – we had been lucky enough to have lots of friends and family helping, that goes a long way! Everything from helping us physically move, to cleaning, to providing food, to letting us crash at their house when exhaustion hit before beds were built, watching our kids, helping us build the beds, get organized…etc. I am so thankful!

2. Avoid stress – At the end of the day you are just porting stuff. Try not to get too stressed, it’s just stuff. Things will scratched, lost and semi-lost. It’s the cost of moving. Stuff is stuff.

3. Can’t remember – kinda tired… Need to keep getting things re-organized.

Mostly don’t stress and get help.

P.s. The help helps avoid the stress.

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