Disgusted and Exhausted: A Call to Action

I am no one important. I’m just another person in a sea of people just trying to make sense of this wild world we live in. I’m a father of three children with one on the way. I am a husband. I am a blue collar worker. I have likes and dislikes. I’ve made my share of mistakes and have had my share of successes. But ultimately, I am no one in particular. I live a simple life with simple means to a simple end. I want to treat others with love and respect and I expect the same of others. I look around and I think that life should be very simple, but somehow it’s not. And why not? Because I can’t got a day without hearing about and seeing the evils and the absolute travesties of justice that occur on a daily basis.

I have much that weighs upon my heart and I have a lot I want to say about a lot of things, but for now I need to get something off my chest. I know what I say may be hard to hear and will likely fall on many deaf ears, but I believe it needs to be said. This is for your benefit and mine because I’m speaking to myself as much as I’m speaking to you… I can’t be the only one that feels the way that I feel.

How long do we do the same thing expecting a different result?

I’ve thought long and hard about the recent shooting in Texas where innocent lives were lost to an individual with a gun… I am devastated. I am full of sorrow and anger and defeat. Everything in me wishes I could some how go back in time and keep these babies and their teachers safe. I think about how I wish I could give my life so that even one of them could live instead of me. I would gladly give my life to that end. I think about my own children and the absolute devastation I would feel as a father in the same situation… I’ll be honest. I’m afraid. I’m afraid of learning anything new about this awful event because every tiny piece of information is like ripping open the wound of this unspeakable news again and again. I’m afraid that this could happen to any school in America. I’m afraid and in denial that I know. I want to forget about what I’ve heard and go on with my life like nothing has happened, but I can’t. Not anymore. Never again. I must speak out no matter what May result.

We have Failed

I have failed… I have failed to speak out for those who do not have a voice of their own. I have failed to listen to those who are screaming for help. I have failed to act when the way to helping others is clear. I have failed to look beyond my own selfishness and my own interests to advance the wellbeing of others. I have failed to set aside my delusions and preconceptions to recognize that I am wrong. I have failed to protect those who are vulnerable. I have failed to advance the long overdue rights of my fellow citizens… America. I have failed to do much more than complain on the internet about all the shortcomings of our culture… We have failed… Things like rage posting on social media, or squabbling with those around us, or blaming the other side, or superficially pledging support, or sending “thoughts and prayers”. None of these things are activism. None of these things will make even a millimeter of change in the world.

Where we have failed worst of all is trusting in a system of government that constantly feeds us lies on both sides of the aisle as a way to control us. We have failed to recognize that the problem is not the other side, but that both sides, republican and democrat are two sides of the same false dichotomy that we have believed the lies about for generations. We have failed to hold the government and politicians accountable to their station and their responsibilities. What we have as a result is a fat, corrupt and overpaid government that serves its own self interests. Republicans and Democrats we see your failures and we will never forget! It is obvious that you are incapable of working together to the best interest of the American people.

How long do we have to do the same thing over and over and over and over, expecting a different result? How long will it take us before we finally do something about all the frustrating and backward parts of our nation? How many lives will be lost before we decide to protect the vulnerable? How long will we let our own thoughtless nationalism blind ourselves to the failures of our culture?

What we are seeing here with this shooting is just the consequence of many failures by many people all coalescing into this black hole of history. This is just one of hundreds of such shootings that happen all around America on a regular basis. The issue we face with this event is not a stand alone issue. We face many such problems in particular and in general as a culture/nation. When we talk about any issue that faces our nation, but in particular that of mass shootings there are many things at play. As a result we must step back and see the big picture and address all the little pieces that make up the messy pile that is America.

The Last Straw

If you are also like me then this has been the straw that has broken the camels back. It shouldn’t have taken this long to get to this point, but here we are. We have to step back and be honest with ourselves and with others because we can’t know where we are going without first knowing where we have been.

If you are like me then you are sick and tired. In fact, if you are like me then you are more than that. You are disgusted and exhausted… So, that brings me to my question. Again I am a simple nobody from nowhere. What do we do to make a change for the better? Do we make our representatives and leaders lives hell until they finally make a change? I don’t know if I would trust them to do anything meaningful. Do we vote for the other guys? I’m not sure either party knows what they are doing or that they have our interests at heart. Do We March for truth and justice? Yes! Do we start a new movement who has the true interests of the people at heart?

All I know is that we have to do something and we have to do it now. We have to do something different or all we can expect is more of the same and we have to stop waiting for someone else to make the change or it will never happen. Ultimately, whatever you guys want to do I’m on board. I’m just so sick and tired of devastatingly sad news reports about things that seem simple and avoidable. I want to make a change, but we need to work together. So, what do we do? And where do we go? Because if you are like me, you are a nobody who is ready to March to make a difference.

Since writing this four more mass shooting have occurred. My question remains, what are we going to do? I’m not asking what is so and so from whatever group going to do. I’m asking, what are you and I going to do? Please take this as a start of a conversation about how to make a change for the better and not a sounding board to hear more of the same finger pointing we’ve been hearing for years.

It’s OK to Ask for Help

If you are anything like me you are prideful and always believe that you can handle whatever you may have to face each day. When you have questions or challenging circumstances you do your best to handle it on your own. Sometimes we are so prideful that we avoid at all costs looking for help from others. This is often to the detriment of our own progress!


We will all face challenges that may or may not be too much for one person to handle. There will also definitely be a time that you don’t know something. It isn’t a sign of weakness to admit that you don’t know or that you can’t do something alone. In fact, I believe that it takes more courage to admit you need help. Why struggle alone?

“Why waste time, resources and emotional energy on something that others have already been through?”

There isn’t some badge that you get for struggling through until you figure it out. We live in varying degrees of community that offer many benefits. One of the greatest benefits is that we can call upon the experience of others. So why waste time, resources and emotional energy on something that others have already been through? The more you ask for help and help others the broader your own wealth of knowledge will be. Also, the network of assistance you can call upon for the future will be that much deeper. Not only that in my experience people want to help. We all have a sense of accomplishment after assisting others. We all know what it’s like to need help and we don’t want others to feel that way.

Everyone is Hurting

I recently had a conversation with my wife. She told me about many of her friends and coworkers that she was worried about. Many of them seemed to have normal lives and to have everything together. The more wife told me about their life and past the more I realized their lives weren’t as normal as I originally thought. The realization dawned on me… Most people are hurting or have been hurt in ways that I could never know.

Maybe it was my own pride that I assumed other people didn’t have it as bad as me. That my painful past somehow trumped everyone else’s past was just obvious to me. It was these assumptions about how people seemed to be doing well that they had an easy life. Appearances often are not reality. It was unfair of me to assume anything…


If you are like me it is easy to get bogged down in your own past, experiences and hurts that you look past others and their hurts. Everyone is hurting or has been hurt and those experiences play a part in who we become. The more I thought about this the more my heart broke for those around me. As I look around in my daily life at the people I see I wonder to myself where are they today? What I mean by that is what are their circumstances? What season of life are they in right now? I wonder these things in an empathetic way. I want to ‘see’ these people as more than just what they want me to see. I don’t want to pry just to understand. I don’t want to gossip or to see myself as better. I just want to humble myself and meet them where they are.

“What I am saying is understand yourself and be empathetic of others. You never completely know where people are at in their life.”

My encouragement to you is to not assume. Don’t assume your situation is any better or worse than anyone else’s situation. Even if we somehow think we have all the information about another persons situation how they cope with trauma may different than you. I’m not saying excuse people’s behavior. What I am saying is understand yourself and be empathetic of others. You never completely know where people are at in their life. To assume you know is to put your own experiences above others and this dehumanizes people. You are strong, smart and capable and so is everyone else. We all just need to meet each other where we are.

Let’s Be Honest

We have all heard the saying, “Honesty is the best policy!” Just because we have heard this saying doesn’t mean that we believe it. If we are all honest with ourselves when we hear this saying we roll our eyes a little bit. I wonder why that is? What is it about the truth that we are so afraid of? Honesty isn’t a trick, but somehow we treat it like we are the fools for being honest. Honesty isn’t just ratting yourself out. I believe that’s more a matter of responsibility…


I think a big reason why being truly honest is such a challenge is that it requires we make ourselves vulnerable. No one likes to feel vulnerable…If we are genuine we open ourselves up to let someone know how we really feel. Whether we realize it or not we are then worried about if they will disagree or even dislike us for our truth. I’m here to reassure you that you are allowed to feel your feelings and have your opinions as long as your are also willing to examine those feelings critically.

“There are few more fulfilling and freeing feelings than that of being honest and understood by another person.”

When you decide to be honest with others you open yourself up to connecting with others in a deeper more genuine way. You give your real self the opportunity to be heard. There are few more fulfilling and freeing feelings than that of being honest and understood by another person. This doesn’t mean that we should be jerks. Be constructive and empathetic if you have something critical to say. The best part of honesty is that it allows you to be fully and publicly yourself. I don’t know about you but I’d rather be liked for who I am than liked for something I’m pretending to be.

There is peace and happiness in speaking truth in all that you do. I believe that is what is meant by, “The truth will set you free.” It sets you free from pretending to be something you are not. It sets you free from what others think about you. It sets you free from hiding your feelings and hurts. It sets you free to connect with others in a way you have never connected before. It also reconnects yourself to yourself because you don’t have to live a split life between who you are and who you present to others. Do yourself a favor and just be yourself!

Take Your Own Advice

We’re all good at noticing what is wrong with other people’s lives. We often also have great advice to offer them too! There situation would easily be remedied if they just did what we said they should do! If you are like me you have no problem offering snap advice, but when it comes to receiving advice you aren’t so eager. The snap judgements are easy when they don’t affect our own life…


Perspective is important when judging what should be done in any given circumstance. Our perspective can often cloud our judgement. When we aren’t sure how to resolve an issue we have it is probably in our best interest to take a step back and consider “what would someone with a broader perspective say about my situation?” Answering this question will offer you valuable insight into your issue.

“…keep an open mind and take your own advice!”

Why not just ask others for advice? Well if you are also like me you aren’t actually looking for advice when you ask someone else. You are probably just looking for someone to agree with you. That is why change and realizing the gravity of your circumstances requires honest introspection. No amount of help or advice will mean anything if you aren’t open to it. So keep an open mind and take your own advice!

Live in the Moment

Where are you right now? I don’t mean your physical location. In your mind what are you focused on? Where are you headed? What are you thinking about? If you answered that you are anywhere but reading this post then you might struggle with being mindful of your present circumstances. You aren’t alone. I’m guilty of this often as well. There is so much going on in our busy lives that it is all but impossible to be present in any single experience…


By not being present in the moment you put yourself at risk in a few ways. In social situations you can seem distant or uninterested. This can lead to strained or even failed relationships. At work it can make your coworkers and bosses believe that you don’t care about your work. In learning environments it can keep you from absorbing as much information as possible. It can even cause you to miss out on important events/memories.

…if you are so focused on where you are headed you will miss out on the journey.”

It is important to remind yourself that today has enough of its own challenges for you to worry about tomorrow. You could also say that about the next hour or moment. I’m not saying that planning ahead is bad. What I am saying is that if you are so focused on where you are headed you will miss out on the journey. So, take a moment to stop and take in your surroundings every once in a while and appreciate where you are. Whether where you are is good or bad these experiences will inform the rest of your life. You don’t want to miss out on something important because you had already written off your current experience!

Do it Differently

I cannot count the number of times I have mindlessly done the same thing over and over again and expected to somehow get a different result. This is because doing things different from what we have always done doesn’t feel good or safe. I’m stubborn. More than most I don’t like doing things outside of my routine… Do you know what it is called when you always do the same thing over and over expecting different results? That is the definition of insanity…


I’m not saying doing things a certain way every time is wrong. We need routine as creatures and we all have habits. When we get stuck on doing routines or habits for their own sake we are putting ourselves at risk of stagnating. Ask yourself, “why am I doing it this way?” If your answer is that this is the way you have always done it and you aren’t happy with the results anymore it may be time to try something new.

“I have found the best way to learn is through my failures!”

Going outside of your routine can be unsettling. It seems more unsettling to me to mindlessly continue to do something I know isn’t working. If you aren’t sure about trying something new, don’t worry! Worst case scenario you just go back to doing it the way you did before. Don’t lose heart, you may try several new things before you find something that works for you and that’s ok too! I have found the best way to learn is through my failures! Also, don’t be afraid to ask other people what they do in similar situations. Chances are someone else has gone through the same thing.

You are Your Best and Worst Critic

We have all heard the saying that we are our own worst critics. In my own personal journey of self discovery I have found this to be very true. The inner voice often holds me down, holds me back or even just berates me… No one has ever made me feel as bad about myself as my own thoughts. Even when I know it isn’t true there are times I believe my inner negative critic…


I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to take the negative talk from yourself ever again. You wouldn’t tolerate someone else constantly telling you how awful you are so why would you accept that from yourself? Constructive criticism is uncomfortable but is good for helping us grow and improve. If we only allow ourselves to be critical and not be constructive we will only ever end up tearing ourselves down.

“…you are capable, smart, insightful and strong!”

Start from a place of genuine understanding of your worth and let that inform your criticism. Know that you are capable, smart, insightful and strong! Know that whatever area of growth you might have is just a step on the path of becoming the best you. Only then can you give yourself helpful and truly constructive criticism. It’s ok to recognize your worth and seek to improve yourself. It is not ok to constantly beat yourself up without end!

Don’t Be Afraid to Fail!

One of the most paralyzing fears that I face often is the fear of failure. This is especially true when trying something new. Imagine all of the opportunities that people have missed out on simply because they were to afraid to try. I bet the numbers of missed opportunities is incalculable! I have struggled with a paralyzing social anxiety all my life. I know more than most what it is like to miss out on opportunities because I was too afraid that if I spoke up that others might dislike me…


This daily encouragement is as much for myself as it is for anyone else. What you really need to do when facing these uncertainties is ask yourself what is the actual risk? Think about it… what if you fail? Alternatively, what if you succeed! There are two sides to this coin and we often dwell on the negative side of things. What you need to ask yourself is what do I need to do to ensure my success?

“You are much more capable than you will ever give yourself credit for!”

Now let us consider the worst case scenario. What if you fail? Even if you fail at something you now have a great opportunity to learn from your mistake and apply that lesson to the next attempt! Also, consider what did you actually lose in your failed attempt? If all you lose is a little bit of time or a mild embarrassment (which is often a creation of our own mind) then you really aren’t out much!

Some of the skills I rely on every day were forged in the fires of failure. The very fact that I’m here writing this encouragement is a result of a failure that I chose to learn from instead of allow myself to keep me from moving forward. Don’t be afraid to fail! You are much more capable than you will ever give yourself credit for!


Pattern photo created by wirestock – www.freepik.com

It is easy to create excuses to not do something. This is especially true of difficult goals or tasks that take multiple steps. There are a lot of reasons to not start that project that’s been sitting around neglected. There are also a lot of reasons to start that project too…

In this journey of mine both with this website and with streaming on twitch I’ve struggled with how to make these things inherently “me”. By that I mean how do I pursue these ventures in a way that I both enjoy and feel fulfillment from? I think I’ve found the answer to this question and it begins with this post!

I want to focus on speaking and living positivity into the world. I want to do this especially through building relationships and encouraging others. I have plans to incorporate this concept into both this website and my streaming on Twitch! Part of that is a daily brief word of encouragement. That is why I made this feed…


I’m taking my own advice by offering this daily encouragement and that is to take the first step! I know that there are a lot of things holding you back at times. In fact, sometimes it can feel like you will never be in a place that you can achieve your goals… but I’m here to encourage you to take the first step! Don’t wait around anymore to start to pursue your dreams. Find one small thing that you can do to get you started on the path and do that thing. You won’t be able to build an empire in a day. Instead try to do one small thing or just a small part of a bigger goal every day. Even if that’s just asking for help, that’s still a step in the right direction!

Believe me I have plenty to work on myself, but this daily encouragement is my one small thing of today…