I don’t know about y’all, but it’s been one of those weeks. And it’s only Monday. With the aid of hot chocolate and my mom (two of the best things life has to offer), I am picking myself up and dusting myself off. I keep repeating to myself that “it can’t be done; it’s impossible.” But this can’t be true. I am greater than my obstacles. I am the master of my fate and the captain of my soul. I will sound my barbaric yawp across the rooftops. I am capable. It can be done. It is not impossible.
And you can do it too.
We all have our weeks, our moments of weakness. But I urge you, believe in yourself. Believe in the power of you. It’s the first step to fighting any obstacle.
So I may have a slight obsession with college convocation/graduation speeches. It’s most likely the result of the wondrous fertility of higher education and all that it entails, my complete and utter fascination with the passionate future, and my awe and applause for inspiring speakers and story tellers.
Take Brit Marling. She’s a graduate of Georgetown University (a totally groovy school–pardon my 70s jargon), an insanely talented actress, and an unbelievably captivating story teller. One YouTube commenter wrote, “I could listen to her try and find meaning in a phone book.” I gotta say, I don’t usually agree with YouTube comments, but this one hits the nail on the head. As she passionately explains the importance and promise of “a collective,” my mind races with day dreams of my imminent college career. Whether it be at Georgetown, UNC, Brown, or where-have-you, college is the birthplace of a collective. Rejoice in that fact. Rejoice in all that is to come.
I know I am.
It’s difficult. Life. Growing up. Trying to figure out the type of woman people want you to be. Trying to figure out the type of woman you want to be. Being it. It’s difficult. But when it gets too difficult, remember there’s always poetry, and in particular, Sarah Kay’s poetry.
Sarah Kay is an extraordinary spoken word poet who I have fallen head-over-poetry-heels for. You can find out all about Sarah from her website, but more importantly, through her poetry.
After a night of extensive YouTube-ing all of Sarah’s poetry, I found this video of her performing “The Type.” I immediately shared the video on Facebook with the caption, “Here is a poem every woman should hear–and I mean truly hear. Don’t just listen with your ears. Listen with your heart and with your mind.“
Life’s difficult, so just listen.
Want to donate to our Pencils of Promise campaign? Just click this link! Explore the PoP website to find out about the builds and how much you can impact a child or an entire community.
Let’s build a school!
In the first ever TED Talk Tuesday, Ron Gutman, founder and CEO of HealthTap and TEDxSiliconValley organizer, discusses the “hidden power of smiling.” I’m sure you have heard the anecdote that if you smile, you’ll actually trick your brain into believing you’re happy. Well, Ron goes a step further in his 2011 TED talk. This Stanford grad reviews a host of scientific studies about the simple act of smiling, and how it can affect your quality of living.
“When you smile you don’t only appear to be more likable and courteous, you appear to be more competent.” –Ron Gutman, March 2011
Yes, it’s a rather long speech, but the Australian accent makes up for it all (oh, and the speech itself is pretty freaking awesome too).
This article is worth your time. And so are the elephants.
Tonight I watched the film “The East,” a Zal Batmanglij film about an operative and the anarchist eco-terrorism group she spies on. Starring Brit Marling, Ellen Page, and Alexander Skarsgard (yes, that Alexander Skarsgard), “The East” sheds light on environmental malpractice in corrupt oil and pharmaceutical companies. It’s well worth the watch–if not for the purpose of the scholarship of human rights, then for the entertainment of some of the best actors and filmmakers Hollywood can provide.
I’ve always struggled with defining exactly what this blog is about. When people ask me what You Me We Empower is, I immediately want to tell them about the organization, but the original identity of YMWE is, in truth, this blog.
The original purpose for this blog was a way to spread political and social awareness. I wanted to discuss all the extraordinary charities, causes, and movements I was discovering online. So I created You Me We Empower, and I’ve since crafted a more specific area of focus: human rights.
I’ll admit, this blog is somewhat of an emotional outlet. I use it, partially, as a way to work out life’s problems. It is a cathartic process, and an important one at that. It is, in essence, the writings of my pursuit of happiness.
And so, You Me We Empower is about human rights and the pursuit of happiness. It is about empowering yourself, your community, and your world. It will also double as the organization’s (You Me We Empower) website.
So what am I getting at? Basically, if you want to learn about how to make yourself and the world a better place, you’ve stumbled across the right blog.
Take a moment out of life and go someplace that thrills you (in mind, spirit, or body). Look around.
What do you see?
Whatever it is, find the beauty in it. Block everything out until all you get is stillness. Take a deep breath.
Now listen to your heartbeat. Your lifeline. Your soul. The rhythmic beating of your whole self, trapped inside your body. Feel the ground beneath your feet and be rooted to the ground. You are connected with nature. You are one with nature.
Forget limits. They do not exist. You are on the edge of the world, and if you fall, at least you’ll get the thrill of falling.
You are on the verge of something wonderful.
Be brave. Find your passion. See the world. Come alive.