Monthly Archives: December 2013

Something to Believe In

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This simple, matter-of-fact tweet crossed into my awareness after my friend Alex tossed a LRT my way on Twitter 3 days ago. And Mr. Billy Baker of the Boston Globe followed through on his promise, as I’ve chronicled below in tweet-by-tweet form so as not to ignore his incredible delivery over the course of 2+ hours.

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Curious about Emmett and the DYC? I was, and if you’re the same, you can read more about them here.

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“Emmett told them there story was important.” UGH. YES. More of this for our young people, please.

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Billy, you have brilliant sentiments to share. Have you ever thought about doing more asset-based community development work? Because we need people who see all of these experiences— all of these RELATIONSHIPS we build through our work— as mutually beneficial and as gifts of presence & teaching.

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To read the article in full, click here.

To watch Lauren‘s video, click here.

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Another UGH from me, the campy, sappy peanut gallery. My heart is bursting at this point…

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(Please excuse my favorites & RTs that may show up on a few tweets; I couldn’t help but earmark them for myself to revisit at a later date.)

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I think about this often, especially when it comes to working with my talented guys at the Cook County Juvenile Detention Center. My job enables me to do so much— for starters, to gain access to a facility and a population of people that I otherwise would never be able to have contact with— but are there restraints on my work and my magis that would look different if I weren’t there because of job responsibilities (read: expectations)? This is one of the biggest ideas I struggle with when contemplating pursuing an MSW.

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This reminds me of the language L’Arche founder Jean Vanier uses, particularly in Becoming Human. He refers to all of us as being broken or having brokenness, and yet we aren’t able to fully love until we recognize others’ brokenness and our own as what it means to be human and what it means to form honest, authentic relationships. They had cracks, that’s all…

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…and in helping them fill their cracks, George & Johnny filled Billy’s, too. Even if those filling processes looked and felt very different.

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Stay on them.

Stay in touch.

Ask questions.

So i did.

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. . . . . . . . .he’s starting to make ME nervous, for God’s sake.

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. . . . . . . . .IS IT FIVE O’CLOCK YET?!?!?!?!

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(I don’t think I need to confirm in writing that the welled-up tears in my eyes are spilling over my lids at this point, do i? Ok, good.)

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OH MY GOD! GEORGE GOT INTO YALE!!!!! I’m dying all over everything. My entire being is electrified at the idea of this kid’s dream (and bloody hard work) propelled him to this point where his dream came true. He’s going to YALE!!!

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Not in the “bootstraps” kind of way, I hope. I’m taking this as a “he helped himself by envisioning what he wanted and working tirelessly in that direction until it WAS his LIFE.” This is about seeing the beauty and truth of a dream and trusting in the workings of the Universe. At least it is for me.

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“It’s a story a bout what’s right when we spend too much time writing about what’s wrong.” And news flash, for people who haven’t noticed it: “writing about” isn’t the only time we focus on what’s wrong. Thinking, talking, sharing, watching, targeting, hypothesizing about. We need to start this shift of staring with what IS working, what IS breeding compassion and success and a stronger, more inclusive society where individuals can bring their ideas to fruition no matter (or perhaps because of) what their story up to that point holds.

You can click here to read more about my thoughts on how often we complain and what we can do to inspect our own behaviors. You can click here to see a gem of a resource my hometown (#CLElove!) uses to spread the good news that combats the horrible image that many other people/places have crafted for us without our say. And/or, you can go spread the good news of your day’s joy(s) to someone nearby who looks like they could use a reminder of goodness that lurks around every corner if only we have the eyes to see it and the heart to celebrate it.

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GEORGE! I love you. You’re adorable. AND YOU ARE A BRILLIANT FUTURE YALIE!

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(Side note: Billy mentions in a tweet at some point that George had no idea he’d been sharing this entire story until he suddenly got TONS of new followers because of this simple RT that Billy added to his timeline. Oh, social media.)

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This is the most normal and awesome grounding fact to throw in there. Both of the day’s events were pretty exciting to George, I’m sure.

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I’m going to use this as another parallel for my JTDC dudes. The other day when we were having our quarterly wrap-up interviews with our young incarcerated composers, one young man said that he would still take a class with us if it were just a keyboard class, and he would even take a BALLET class if that’s what we offered. When we asked why, he said, “It’s just another opportunity. Why not?”

I think I have a few things to learn from these wise sages walking around in teenage bodies.

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A Gust(er) of Fresh Music

I have so much more I can say (always), but right now I’m too busy jamming to non-Christmas live renditions of my boys Guster tearing it apart with the Redacted Symphony.

Gotta go.

You should, too.

Shamelessly plugging the workings of Noisetrade.