Being mean won’t make you cool, being rich won’t make you cool, and having the right clothes, while it may help, won’t make you cool.  It’s cool to be kind.  It’s cool to be weird.  It’s cool to be honest and to be secure with yourself. 

Sophia Amoruso, CEO of Nasty Gal


Realization in Taipei

I’m visiting a friend in Taipei.   This morning I was getting ready to meet her when I realized my dad’s greatest gift to me.  It wasn’t anything material or monetary.  It was the gift of forcing me to become independent.  When I was young he informed me he would leave no money for his children.  He told me making a social impact is more important than money.  When I needed a car he fronted the down payment, but when I couldn’t find a job to make the monthly payments, he informed me that the car was no longer mine.  When I went to grad school he told me he wouldn’t be paying for it.

My dad could have offered some support but he didn’t.  I always thought this was unfair, but I’ve realized by his restraint he has helped me to stand on my own two feet.

Smile today

A smile costs nothing, but gives much.  It enriches those who receive, without making poorer those who give.  It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.  None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it, and none is so poor but that he can be made rich by it.  A smile creates happiness in the home, fosters goodwill in business, and is the countersign of friendship.  It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and it nature’s best antidote for trouble, yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen.  For it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away.  Some people are too tired to give you a smile.  Give them one of yours, as none needs a smile so much as he who has no more to give.

-Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch, excerpt from Smile: The Astonishing Powers of a Simple Act by Ron Gutman.


Never Forget You

Let the record reflect the records we set
Best foot forward with every step
And let’s push towards it, never regress
And let’s remember, if ever we get
Down, the places that we came from ’round
And all the good times on the bad side of town
The upside of bad, flip it upside down
Came from the bottom but we up high now
Believe, and from this view we achieved
We looked back at the rules we received
And how we broke those, dismantled and rewrote those
And the ghost still alive in the photos
Sounds of the summer, day and go wise
Cold wind blowin’ through a city on fire
Moments of the past, came here to find you
Not to relive them, just to remind you

-Lupe Fiasco