Life in Moments

It is said that there are about 2.3 billion ‘moments’ in the average lifetime of a human being. Why that precise? In the average life, there are 2,366,820,000 seconds, 39,450,000 minutes, 657,436 hours, or 27,393 days for those moments to happen. Moments are made every second. They say that someone is experiencing something incredibly significant on the planet at all times.

No video could more accurately appreciate the seconds in this lifetime more than Andre & Markus at “The Beauty of a Second” vimeo channel. Here they really convey how precious the moments that we have in life truly are. Additionally, they prove how tragically and at the same time beautifully fleeting this life really is.

With each of these moments often come memories. Memories that if you search yourself, will have more of an impact than you anticipated. Some memories are bad, but for most the good memories are stored in a special place. The good memories seem to be placed in an area where they can’t be touched, waiting…waiting for you to remember, or access them again. I think this is healthy and keeps us alive, filled with hope for a better time, a happier time. In a project done by Galvea Kelly from Ireland, this director takes on a simple mission. 50 people in Chicago, one question: “What is your favorite memory?”

Moments in life happen all around us, and I wager that we most times are numb to the insignificant ones. Why would we pay attention? In this incredible visual collage of everyday moments, Vitùc shows the viewers that moments are everywhere, and these are some of the “under appreciated” ones that happen right under our noses without us sometimes even noticing them. To quote Vitùc, “the simple things of everyday life.”

Finally, I wish to show you, the readers, an incredible “life art project” in where the filmmakers, musicians, artists, politicians and cats…I’m quoting them on that one…, , come together to create a moment. The video is truly beautiful as they attempt and succeed in creating an artificial environment in an otherwise impossible situation. I like this philosophy. When you have an idea that will make people laugh, scratch their heads, giggle, play around, look like fools, or wonder…then MAKE that moment happen, don’t wait for it to fall into your lap. And that’s exactly what these people do.

All of the stories and moments that you found on this blog post today were originally found at the Incredible website Colossal. I would recommend checking it out and having your mind blown each week.

Additionally, if you want to check out more moments in life, there is an ENTIRE ARMY of people doing this very thing in New York City called “Improv Everywhere.” These people are creating, most times hilarious, life moments every. day. Enjoy.

ORIGINAL CONTENT LINKS:

The Beauty of a Second: https://vimeo.com/thebeautyofasecond

Fifty People, One Question: http://fiftypeopleonequestion.com/

Vitùc: https://vimeo.com/vituc

Kut: https://vimeo.com/kutfilms

Colossal: http://thisiscolossal.com

Improve Everywhere: http://improveverywhere.com/

A Tribute to my Parents: Old Home Videos

Today I want to talk about old family videos. I’m talking about the kind of videos that make you embarrassed to watch after years of maturing. I’m not gonna lie, I was quite the weird child. From ages 0-3 I was the cuttest thing on the planet. Then it all went south as far as my cuteness goes, and my weirdness took full flight. I am not a shameful guy. I take pride that no one can blackmail me with anything because I will just laugh it off. And I have.

But…..ha. There is one home video that to this day is the most embarrassing home video to date involving my sister Nicole (who was 8 or 9 years old), my sister Robyn (4 or 5), and myself (6 or 7), and we are dancing in the living room. “Awwww cute.” No. I’m sorry no. Not even to the viewer, no. You probably wouldn’t stop laughing at how ridiculous we look….me in particular. I won’t say which song, but I was dancing to it….and I was dancing very weird. Some day I will come to grips with this video and get past the awkward dance sequence that only one other soul outside my immediate family has seen…my brother in law Randy.

I was coming home from a long day at the Dominicks Grocery Store, where I worked when I was 15. I open the door to a roar of laughter from the living room. I throw my shoes and coat off to quick see what they are laughing about. As I turn the corner, my stomach drops. It’s the video. THE Video. Worst of all, there is Randy, who wasn’t even family yet…he was just Nicole’s friend at the time. I was horrified. Naturally, I sat on the couch and just let the humiliation wash over me, wave after wave of tasteless dancing and 7-year-old stupidity. It lightened up when the video switched over to my birthday party at the FUnZOne. This thing was decked out with ball pits and cushion slides. McDonalds Playground on growth hormones. This video is Randy’s favorite to this day because it includes a scene of me getting out of the ball pit, sprinting around a corner, and smacking my head on a cushioned horizontal bar that lays me out flat on the ground. I then immediately get up and go into the tunnel like nothing ever happened. It was a scene straight out of America’s Funniest Home Videos.

And yet, the other day I was looking at some of those older home videos, and I had an interesting reaction. I felt closer to my family all of a sudden. For some reason, seeing my parents when they were younger brought perspective once again to how I see them as people now more than ever, rather than just parents. This shift started happening around 2006 when I would come back from college in Michigan to visit my parents and siblings. The parental roles began to dissolve and they began to take on more of a mentor role. They will always be my parents. Always. Russ will always be my Father, and Sharon will always be my Mother. And still, the relationship began to reform, as it should when a child becomes that age.

Hear me out. This is my point:

Over time, you begin to forget that your parents were once 18, 20, 35. That they too were once young and had fun. Watching videos of my parents on the beach, dancing with my newly born, older sister Nicole, was an emotional experience. The look of happiness in my parent’s eyes. Their first child, together. What happiness was in store for them. They were so young. Fast forward to a video of Robyn, no more than a year old, laying belly down on the living room floor playing with her toys. Nicole and I running around the house because our Dad was chasing us with the camera. Laughter fills the hallways. Love fills the house.

It’s a hard thing to explain to a reader the connection I’m talking about. Seeing those old videos connected me to a time removed from now. A timeless place, an eternal place. The feeling I felt was…Love. And the only thing I could think in that moment was this: This is a Love that I want someday, for my kids, for my family. I am so thankful for my parents and how they raised Nicole, Robyn and I. I am in their debt for the blanket of Love that they wrapped our home in day-in and day-out. Your example is what Nicole carries into her marriage and what Robyn carries into hers. This is a tribute to home videos, haha, and most importantly to Parents everywhere who stick it out for their children’s sake. For their future’s sake…so that one day….their children’s lives will become a blessing for their devotion to Love. Thanks Mom & Thanks Dad.

KONY 2012 Explained: An Unbiased Summary

[DISCLAIMER: every blue, underlined text is a link that is an example or reference of what is being discussed]

It was about time to write about this phenomenon that everyone is posting about. You can’t be on facebook without seeing the 30 min. video about Joseph Kony that has gotten 32 million views as traffic in the past THREE days. Not bad.

In the past few days, I have been hearing about KONY from some friends in New Zealand. The discussion was made, but I didn’t know what a KONY was. I asked my friend and he told me that KONY was a name, the last name in fact of a very evil warlord in Africa. My friend’s status on facebook said, “I support KONY 2012.” Naturally I was a bit confused. All of a sudden, I began to get a wave of questions on if I’d seen the KONY video. I then saw the dozens of shares. First it started with one person sharing the video. Then it was three people. Pretty soon it was hard to get away from.

I didn’t watch the film for a while, mainly because I couldn’t spare 30 minutes to watch it. Whether that was true or not is not important. Eventually, I gave in and watched it. I have to admit, the makers did a great job of making the video appealing and informative. I was sold on finding this guy and bringing him to justice. If you want the short version, Joseph Kony is the Leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army or LRA, formerly in Uganda. He kidnaps children from their families, taking the girls to become sex slaves and giving the boys a gun with which to shoot their parents/become child soldiers. The organization Invisible Children, (IC), is trying everything they can to find this man and arrest him. Their goal is to make him famous, “not to celebrate him, but to bring his crimes to the light” (KONY2012 video).

Naturally I wanted this to come about, so I did my part and shared the video, thus lowering the amount of people who didn’t know about him. THEN, I began to hear the other side of the argument…an argument I didn’t even know existed.

People reacted both hot and cold to this video. Critics criticized it’s “one-demential” perspective on the facts and questioned the Invisible Children’s true motives behind the video, bringing their financial records into the open and questionable past. The effort was to create transparency and to inform those that would blindly join a cause without taking the time to research it, to “Think twice“. And boy, there were plenty of people on BOTH sides of this argument.

The issue began to get heated. Either you were: uninformed and sharing the video because sharing the video had now become a meme, or you were being critical of a cause that is trying to promote justice for children being kidnapped, abused, and killed. There didn’t seem to be a middle ground. This went on for about a day or so, until IC issued a statement to the backlash of criticism on behalf of their “movement.” In the statement, the organization touched on many of the issues that people had with the video and IC as a whole. Did they address everything? That is to be determined. I’m sure there will be yet another surge of criticism on the statement given. And one has to ask themselves, “Is this what we should be fighting over? Was this IC’s intention when they made the video?”

It is in my opinion that a controversial issue will get the people talking, no matter where everyone stands. A controversial issue has that kind of unique power. People who have STRONG opinions either way will make their way to the top of the discussion and buzz is created. If getting many people to talk about Joseph Kony was one of IC’s goals, then goal accomplished. But what does talk get us? Will talk change anything? IC believes that it can. Talk plus the advocacy to “culture makers” and “policy makers.” They make it easy to get the voice out there by going to this link to sign a pledge, and to contact those “culture makers” and “policy makers.”

To conclude, it can be just as easy to get excited about a cause as it can be to criticize it. But we should be doing both…just not in that order. We need to be critical and ask questions, research and dig deep. If at the end of it all, you decide this is something you want to get behind, then go do it. You have that right. But in this current age, sharing things is like second nature. They make it so easy…just click the button. Before you click the button, ASK. QUESTION. DECIDE. In the end, don’t be caught standing on the fence.

UPDATES: A video response from a Ugandan towards KONY 2012

Viral video focuses debate on Uganda rebels

The first 7 minutes of this video