Black Lives Matter, Here’s Why

They matter because no one should ever have to explain to their child that their father isn’t coming home tonight because he was killed by a cop.


They matter because they contribute to our country. Without Black History, where would we be today? What would our culture miss out on?


They matter because they are alive and they are human. They bleed red, just like you do.


They matter, not more than you, just as much as you. We are all equal. Or at least we should be.


They matter because at the end of the day, everyone is just trying to live their lives peacefully. We are all just trying to define and find our own happiness.


They matter because even if you don’t believe in conspiracies, there are definitely coincidences. Whether it is subconscious or not, the main reason there is so much strife right now is because the negative coincidences we see everyday skew towards one group of people.


There has been progress but, the situation won’t get better until everyone in this country can leave their home without having to fear for their life.


We are a first-world nation, we need to act better.


“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” ― James Baldwin


Image credit: Unsplash



You don’t know when’s the last day

There will be a last day, and we just don’t know when it will happen. It can happen in 5 years or in 8 months, we just can’t know. Think about the time you spend with your family as already fleeting, gone.


We can appreciate the time we spend with the people we love more, when we realize that the time is limited. About 90% of the time you will spend with your parents is already gone once you’re done with school. Extended family is often visited only twice a year, if you’re generous with your attention.


We have to take stock of what’s important, so that when the time is over and we don’t another chance to see our family members again—we at least have good memories to hold onto.


“When you look at that reality, you realize that despite not being at the end of your life, you may very well be nearing the end of your time with some of the most important people in your life.”Tim Urban


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What Will We Tell Our Children?

You’re creating a narrative

How did we respond when the virus started in Wuhan, China? How did we prepare once it spread?


Depending on your country of residence at the time, each answer will be different. Some of us ignored the problem until it was too late. Others will say that their government overreacted and although people are safe, there were unknown effects on the economy that we didn’t see coming.


Regardless of what will happen, we will all share one common answer. We continued to live.


Things changed after the virus, but that didn’t stop us from living our lives in the pursuit of happiness. The little details of how we continued our lives will also matter because our children will want to know. It’s important to keep this in mind as we go throughout our new routines—some of which may end up becoming permanent.


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There Are Moments When You Shouldn’t Engage

At least 1% of your audience is comprised of people who don’t like your work

When you find yourself surrounded by people who only praise you, you have an inaccurate view of the world. There are also people in the world that will, for whatever reason, not like you. It’s okay for people to not enjoy your content. Some of them will take offense to any polarizing opinions you may have and will see you as a lesser version than your competition. This is okay.


These people aren’t your true fans, your true customers. You want to find and cultivate relationships with people who not only praise you but, also provide honest feedback. Don’t trust the naysayers and don’t trust those who hop on the bandwagon during the times of your success. Try to pull from both ends—take in what others are saying but, also keep things in perspective.


If you find it hard to have a completely objective opinion of who you are and the quality of your skills, seek regular feedback from a trusted (and small) group of knowledgeable peers. And if you find yourself having a visceral reaction to the public’s opinion of you and your work—don’t respond, don’t engage. These opinions tend to fade faster than you’d expect. Public opinion quickly shifts to the next shiny thing in a matter of minutes.


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The “Friend-Zone” is Your Friend

I am not an expert in relationships, so to make this more digestible I decided to make this post a letter to myself at the age of 13. This was my first year of high school and it was during this time that I first heard of the term “friend-zone.”


Dear Kenny,


Don’t be a jerk. Your friends are going to tell you that women like jerks but, please don’t listen. In the long run, they will all be wrong.


It is acceptable to be friends with women. Contrary to what you will believe during high school, girls are going to like you. However, constantly expecting something in return for being kind to women will backfire. Be nice because you’re nice. The biggest assholes are those who expect something in return for being polite. No one owes you anything.


This doesn’t mean that you should not express your feelings. If you’re attracted to someone and see through your friendship that things may work out in a more intimate setting, shoot your shot. Just learn how to be friends with a woman even after they reject you.


This is something you’ll still struggle with even during college but, you’ll eventually see the benefits. One example would be that women oftentimes are great at introducing you to other women. The best way to meet a potential partner is by being introduced by a mutual friend.


The friend-zone should be the very thing you seek. It makes no sense to avoid friendship with anyone, especially someone you like. The friend-zone is the best place to get to know someone and see if you enjoy their company. Even if the friendship never evolves to anything else, having friends of the opposite sex helps you gain a bigger perspective on life.


Try to take the advice from your male friends with a grain of salt. Yes, you should never be taken for granted and you should know your worth. And yes, you shouldn’t waste your time pursuing someone who does not like you or see you for what you are worth. However, don’t cut someone off from your life either — just because they don’t want to date you.


In the future, you will meet some amazing women who you will actually prefer to keep as friends. This approach will be the best for you, as having deep connections with women will be more important than following the competitive race to be the “ladies man” that your other friends will pursue. That race is exhausting and not for you.


Through the friend-zone, you will meet the love of your life. You will see her for all that she is because there won’t be the initial filters set in place when you are meeting someone for the first time and immediately start dating. There is a certain intimacy that you share with someone that can only be gained by building a strong friendship first. We often create images of ourselves that aren’t real when we are dating a stranger.


When you are friends with someone, you see them for who they are and can make a better prediction of how a potential relationship will turn out.


Don’t be a jerk. Be a friend. The quality of your life will change drastically when you stop chasing women and simply live your life being a friendly and kind man. It makes almost all of your interactions with women lighter; there’s less pressure.


Also, not being constantly focused on trying to be in a relationship someone will deepen the one you have with yourself. That relationship should take top priority more than anything else. And when you have a strong relationship with yourself, you’ll get the added benefit of becoming more attractive to others.


Enjoy the friend-zone, some of the best memories are made there.


If you’ve read this far, thank you. I often don’t publish the letters I write to myself in fear of criticism but, with the encouragement of my girlfriend and because of a quote I recently read (see below) I decided this was worth sharing.


“Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.”
Cyril Connolly
New Statesman, February 25, 1933


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