“Nothing is original,” someone once told me as we walked beside an expansive lake. As a creative, it was hard to hear that. He wasn’t a creative so maybe that’s why it was announced in a manner so cavalier but as an individual who lives to create, originality is fuel. I want to be original. There is only one me. That man and his pristine eyebrows were right. I may be the only me but there is only one original. No true originality exists apart from origin itself. There is only one beginning and realistically, everything after is just “a copy of a copy of a copy” in that sense Fight Club hit it right in the mouth. What the gritty nineties cult film doesn’t tell the audience is that copies happen when quality is there and each generation needs to be reminded of the original. Copies have their use. Repeated messages, when there is heart involved, keep society flowing and where there is no heart life falls apart. In many instances, copies offer both flattery and functionality. We need others to continue to preach love. We need more people who are brave enough to state the truth. We need to be reminded of how important it is to be compassionate. Messages like that have no limits but our lives are limited so we need somebody, preferably many somebodies, to echo the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We need to keep dreaming. Copying has its pitfalls too because not everything should be repeated. Historical mistakes, abuses of power, acts of arrogance, there are copies of those copies too. The point is not to live to erase wrongdoers and those that follow suit but to defy corruption by making good where there once was evil. Excelsior. People are not made to fight fire with fire but we are here to shine the light. Those are the copies I see. The bright ones.
Copies that have walked before me, holding their torches from which light continues to emit, allowing me, right where I am in history, to see the path I am supposed to travel. A passage made easy to walk through with my head held high because those from generations past dug through the dirt. Where there was once a mound of filth and rock, there is now a clear path. They dug it out for me. I feel the dirt that has been smoothed and formed into walls over the decades beneath my fingers and the flames from others still burning torches enable me to see where I can place my feet. Remnants of rock and soil remain lodged underneath the fingernails of the greats before me and continuing in their work is the only proper thank you.
That is what I see when I notice those like me, announcing messages of hope to the world. Where I once felt threatened and resentful thinking I would lack originality in representing such philosophies and be no more than a copy of a copy, I now feel encouraged and inspired because copies are what we need not to make moves but to create a movement. Copies create momentum. Momentum forms a movement. Movements set the precedent. To love the world into the right space is going to take more than me. It is going to take a team made up of more than one face, positioned in more than one place. This post is based on a message preached by one of this generation’s copies of the greats who have gone before.
Many elements go against a movement for the good. It’s important that we challenge our experiences. The food the media feeds us is made for binge-eating, primarily because it’s endless and readily available but is it true? Does life really look like the picture the news paints? For me, it doesn’t. I don’t see political hate or otherwise divisiveness amongst the people around me. That is not my reality but that is what the media throws at me. Sitting there absorbing more than five minutes of it, one develops a subconscious if not a conscious feeling of dread and the belief that the sky is falling. Why does the media circulate fear? One, it makes money and two, they’re good at it. The desire we have for drama and conflict is exacerbated by social media and it has grown into a habitual addiction that needs to be broken. At this point in the era we live in, it’s not something that can simply be ignored. Individuals have to act against the ever-present antagonist of distraction. In the words of Will Smith who reached this revelation over a year ago, we don’t want to watch the news because it’s irritating and aggravating but then we put it on anyway because we “seek to be disrupted,” the actor said. Suddenly, if it’s too peaceful we get weirded out, we can’t handle it. We get the itch for drama. How do we scratch that itch? We don’t. Getting clean doesn’t happen by doing the same dirty habits. You have to find the antidote. Put in the simplest terms, the antidote is the opposite of the problem. In the case of quenching our thirst for drama, we need to rearrange our appetites. As Smith put it, “we need to cultivate a taste for peace.” Log off, delete, unplug, relax, be. Build good habits to replace the bad and see what you become. Instead of social try reading. Instead of scrolling try meditating. Instead of mindlessly believing try praying. Do it differently because if nothing changes then nothing will change.
Getting clean doesn’t happen by doing the same dirty habits. You have to find the antidote.-Genevieve Rose
Masculinity is Not Toxic
Not changing leaves us stuck thinking about toxic masculinity, misinterpreting it to such a degree that men are bad. Men are not bad. Women are not better than men. Men and women each have their strengths and weaknesses and that is why males and females need to work together, not against. If anything, it’s not so much a Time’s Up season as it is time for women to help men stand up in their rightful place of masculinity just as men should support women in their divine roles of femininity. It is not a competition. If the genders continue to compete for nonsensical reasons, there will be no winners only losers. Challenge your experiences. Fight for men.
Save the Children
If we fought for men then family situations would improve and if family situations improved many lives would be better and if that happened we wouldn’t be so eager to end the lives of the unborn. If we cooked for ourselves rather than being funnel-fed the mystery meat of the media we would be healthier and think clearer. If our mindset cleared we would know it’s time to fight for men and save the children and the most efficient way to do this is to align ourselves with God because when you break the suction that is the vacuum of the world and its mixed messages, you give yourself the gift of time to sit, absorb and apply the advice of the scriptures. Here is where the change is noticeable. Aligning with God, studying what He wrote through the hands of the prophets rearranges the human appetite. It’s not about religion. Religion is another thing poorly perpetuated by the media. It’s about getting to know Jesus. It’s about cultivating that taste for peace that Will Smith was seeking. Jesus was peace itself. He was kind and patient. He was the type of friend that if we allowed ourselves to settle down enough, we know we would like to have. Before you judge Him, get to know Him. Challenge your experiences. Fight for men. Save the children.
Get to know Him
Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone we met came with a manual or at least a backstory? It would be easy to tell if they were worth getting involved with. In the case of Christ, it is like that. We can judge the cover or read His story. It’s our choice. We can learn about creation and how effortless it was for Him. Seriously, we think our elite is something to marvel at but Jesus sneezed and made galaxies. We can read about His parents and the faith that kept Him going. We can read about the job He had in the trades and the peace He was able to keep in hectic situations. The stories of the Bible are a very good, scandalous, dramatic, poetic, and enlightening read. It’s useful for solving current problems. A manual that’s over 2,000 years old can help us deal with toxic masculinity by learning what man was made to be. An old book holds timeless lessons on abortion, childbearing and protecting the innocent. An ancient manuscript offers detailed instructions on how to build a strong, personal bond with the Creator of the universe. Challenge your experiences. Fight for men. Save the children. Align with God.
Being a victim is a status far too many are claiming far too often for far too many different reasons. Even when someone is outright victimized it doesn’t mean they have to pack their bags and move to victimhood. Who says they should? Society? The media? Why do they get to decide? Prominent UFC fighter Ronda Rousey lost a fight after an embarrassing 48-second knockout. She was the victim of somebody else’s attack. She lost her title but that title was the only thing her opponent took. “Being defeated is a choice,” Rousey said. “Everybody has losses in their life but I choose to be undefeated.” If a champion fighter can say that through tears any of us can tattoo that on our hearts. Roll with the punches. Losing is unavoidable, being defeated is optional. Challenge your experiences. Fight for men. Save the children. Align with God. Don’t be a victim.
The world claims to save us while enslaving us. We’ve stopped binging on that lie believing it will be enough to provide and instead we’ve cultivated a taste for peace. We’ve spent time fighting for men to save the children. We’ve been aligning with God and not dwelling on our losses, we’ve moved out of victimhood, now where do we go? We go where the victorious go, wherever they want. “You’re not a victim,” someone said to me once. This was her explanation for the strange impression I was explaining that I seem to leave on people. When I interact with others, it often leaves them stunned. It’s because I come from a place they don’t expect. They assume because I have a physical disability, I must be living in a spacious victim villa when in reality, I’m rehabbing an eighteenth-century victory mansion. My soul resides in victory and it surprises people. Since I inherited this thirty-three bedroom estate I’ve been enjoying it. It is a place of spiritual residence that I could not and did not earn but I am keeping myself there. Caring for it. Repairing it. Inviting others into it. It’s beautiful and it’s mine and I want to share. Come in, have something to eat. My only request is that you moonwalk on the welcome mat before entering and leave your shoes at the door so you don’t dirty up the marble floor. Also, leave your doubts outside, the victory mansion is no place for things like that to reside. In my mansion, believe in yourself to a daring degree. Be as imaginative as you can be. Anything can happen when you stand in victory. Sit with me and I’ll pour you tea while we rejoice in each other’s victories. Anyone can live in a mansion of their own, all that’s required is an application filled with sincerity. Don’t believe me? Choose a room, any one of them, stay awhile and you’ll see how to obtain victory. It’s no more and no less than faith. Work hard, pray harder. Shackle yourself to the bed frame if necessary, whatever it takes to remind yourself that the only victim you are is a victim of victory. We are prisoners of hope. Challenge your experiences. Fight for men. Save the children. Align with God. Don’t be a victim. Live in victory.
”Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.”-Zechariah 9:12
She’s Too Bold
A change in spirit occurs when we stop believing every bit of what we read and awaken to the agenda of control that is the media and the culture it manifests. We can see clearly now. The liberal stain is gone. We know masculinity in and of itself is not toxic. We know we need to fight for men as much as we need to fight for children. We know it’s imperative to align ourselves with God so that victimhood can be left behind and we can choose to live undefeated. When you work hard and pray harder, a change occurs. Where there was weakness there is now strength and strength in a culture of weakness looks aggressive. Strength is not aggression. Aggression is aggression. Strength is power built over time. Strength is lifting up the truth despite the weight of lies. Don’t let others sway your boldness by making you think it’s too much. They might not be strong enough to recognize what it looks like when someone channels their power. A weak culture will by default misinterpret strength. They will label it dangerous. They will be afraid. They will be blind to its value. Is Trump insane or is he simply determined? Is he egregious or is he effective? Is he positively horrendous or is he pointedly hilarious? Never mind feelings, what are the facts? Trump is strong and it’s only a shock because Obama was not. Strength is precisely what a weak culture needs. It would do no good for this nation of freedom to be enslaved by weakness. President Trump is sawing through the chains. It may be unexpected and at times it may be uncomfortable, it may even be scary but we should let the man do his job. Strengthen yourself and support those stronger than you. Recognize bravery in its many forms. Jesus is brave, President Trump is brave, Candace Owens is brave, even Kanye West is brave. You and I can be brave, too. Challenge your experiences. Fight for men. Save the children. Align with God. Don’t be a victim. Live in victory. Work hard, pray harder. Believe in yourself. Be strong and courageous. Remain a prisoner of hope.