I Smuggle Circus People

Week two is here! As before, check out the link below to see this week’s YouTube vlog.

So I’ll admit it—that was definitely an embarrassing video to make. Being stuck on a boat and having the world see your singing “skills”? Let’s call it a double whammy.

Regardless of who we are, I tend to think that embarrassing situations happen to everyone. Sometimes we feel comfortable enough to throw them online (especially if they come with Gotye background singing), while most of the time we hide them away for nobody to see.

While some situations are funny in nature, though, one fact will always remain—we all “mess up” on a regular basis.

At school: We forget to do everything.
At home: We don’t do the “right” thing.
With friends: We say the wrong things.

And what is our natural reaction to most every mistake we make? Simple– we make A LOT of excuses.

Whether it’s blaming someone else, placing the responsibility on a situation outside of our control, or even telling on our pets, excuses seem to be an easy way out of an otherwise compromising and embarrassing situation.

And what’s the very best part? They are EASY.

Think about it—excuses rarely hurt others, take little effort to come up with, and are always at our disposal.

But what would life look like if we decided to stop? Instead of constantly making excuses for our actions, what if we decided to take a tad bit of responsibility for them? Something tells me our pattern would start looking like this:

At school: We get what we deserve and deserve what we get.
At home: We do what we can, and choose to get better when we can’t.
With friends: We say what we truly believe, NOT what seems funny at the time.

My challenge to you this week is simple: resist the temptation.

Yes, it’s hard to take responsibility and admit when we’ve made a mistake. But if we decide to take the small steps in being “OK” with our actions, we can slowly begin to create a version of ourselves that we’re never ashamed of.

Until next week, friends.

Stop Pulling my Peach

We are finally underway! If you haven’t already, please check out the YouTube precursor to this blog.  This video will serve as the basis for this entry, as will the vast majority of others that follow on this page:

Can you think of any phrases that confuse you or drive you a little crazy? As I travel around the country and speak at schools, I hear hundreds of different variations of these sayings. While some are fairly funny (as seen in the video), others aren’t quite as entertaining.

Along with the sayings in the clip, here are some other phrases I hear constantly around schools–

“That’s gay.”
“Nobody cares.”
“Shut your mouth.”
“Pussy.”
“Sack up.”
“What a bitch.”

If you work with students (or even are one at a school around the US), you know these are as common as “how are you” and “how was your weekend?” Is it wrong? Of course. Does it stop people? Rarely.

Here’s my point: whether we’re talking about something funny or whether we’re talking about something serious, the problem with these phrases is the same—we say them without understanding their meaning or effects.

What if we started using purpose as our motivation for speech instead of ease? What if laughter came from true creativity instead of a low-grade insults that make everyone look bad?

In order to stop these negative patterns from starting, we must gain the courage to respond with something other than hate. Sure, asking someone “Why?” after they say something like “You’re gay” might seem embarrassing, but it could end up being a learning experience for everyone involved.

Let’s start thinking before we speak. Better yet, let’s start speaking with some care.

Until next time =)