Kill a Word: Why Choice Still Matters

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Image via Lauren Tingle article on CMT.com

Important Week

This week there has been a lot of discussion about many really important topics. From a national (United States) perspective, we had the State of the Union Address. Personally, I didn’t watch it live – but soon after had the ability to understand a several distilled versions of what points and counter-points were – thank you, Internet.

Although difficult in practice, in 2018 we’re fortunate to live in a world that you have the luxury of choice. We have options on where we listen to others points of view – and don’t confuse it, luxury is the right adjective. An important element here is that you chose where you go for such updates and conversation.

The decision about where you elect to go is your choice. Your self-determined destination. Be it online, or offline.

Once there, that is a different story – but that isn’t the topic for this time.

An important (and tactical) element is the concept around the choice of words. Words build sentences, which then build paragraphs. Those paragraphs come together ultimately to tell a story. So then the question is what story are you choosing to read. For those expressing viewpoints (in any capacity), it is your responsibility to be selective and thoughtful about the words you ultimately chose. Those cascading choices come together to convey the message you’re putting into the world.

With Choice, You Have Responsibility

So with that, the challenge for all of us is to Kill A Word.

Take a few seconds. Re-read that and truly think about what Kill A Word means. If preferred, check out what Eric Church Band and Eric directly have to say about it.

“To me, it’s an important song…as I hear it, and I hear what’s going on – not just in country music, but in music – umm, there’s a few songs on this album, but specifically this one that I think it’s important. I think it is important to be out there and for people to hear…and attach to their lives.” – Eric Church (via YouTube on March 28th, 2016)

What’s the Point?

Take the time you’re alotted and think before you put something out for others. Do not take that level of self-control for granted. That choice is one of few basic human and self-determining actions we all have in our toolkit.

Best,
Brooks

Check out the performance Live at Red Rocks performance of Kill A Word here

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#KillAWord

Memento mori | Holly Butcher: 1990 – 2018

To start, know that in my mind this post was not going to exist. Not yet at least. There was a rough outline of a plan on what the cadence would look like, because despite any perceptions – I am not here to stand on a (mini) soapbox.

But then again, life happens…

After a personally ‘big’ day for reasons that are not relevant to others – today was important. Returning home and taking a short nap, I woke to link that had been shared with me by someone important in my life.

Upon reading, after only a few paragraphs in – I stopped. It hit me really hard. But not for the sadness of the story that undoubtedly followed further down the page – for the inspiration and purpose it displayed.

While living in NYC, I decided to finally get a (small) tattoo. There were two elements and it is in a fairly hidden place on the inside of my left arm. One of the elements had been on my mind for well over a year after having come across it – the idea of Memento mori.

…In other words, “remember death” or “remember that you will die”

The concept is about perspective and the value in practice of reflection upon one’s mortality. See it in the right light, and it can be a source of nearly boundless ability to focus on the things that are important.

Whether or not you choose to read Holly’s post is somewhat irrelevant. Thinking about things, and valuing yourself and your time have left is relevant.

That said, I would strongly encourage to make it all the way through – even if it is piece by piece. Because ultimately, that is the point.

..’Til we meet again.

– Holly Butcher

Sources

Featured

‘Record Year’: Why 2018 Will Be Great…

Welcome To The Future

It is officially 2018, whether you like it or not. So now you have some choices, which is incredibly important to understand and sit with. Here are three reasons:

  1. You are not dead | [barring some Elon Musk-ish, Matrix-like time-travel AI operating model]
  2. You have the option to control much of your environment | [though, it takes courage]
  3. You have the ability to reach… anyone[like seriously, anyone – anywhere]

Described to two others today, I mentioned in passing the tendency to, “not think A, b, c …can’t help but do the reverse and go Z, y, z …” and in reality that is just a high degree of paranoia. And frankly insecurity. But, made peace with that in 2017.

So now it is January 1st, 2018 and everyone all over has made their New Year’s Resolutions (that most will break within a matter of months, weeks – even days) and are moving forward.

The hard part is not the idea of having a resolution. The open challenge is how to stay committed to a resolution in the face of everything (and everyone) else. That takes the aforementioned Courage.

But thankfully, because of the three points mentioned, one can elect to make it a…well, a ‘Record Year’.

So without standing even higher on this (very tiny) soapbox, that is the open challenge.

Why ‘Record Year’?

  • Music has always been around growing up…

  • Fortune prevailed with whom and where the ‘growing up’ occurred…

  • Age has not (yet) taken all the memories associated with those fortunate series of events…

Super basic, but really that is all of it – albeit heavily distilled. And with that, also the feeling that others can (and have) said it more articulately:

“I just want to say, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for a very special night here in Chattanooga, Tennessee . . . Every night, EVERY NIGHT, when I sing this song – doesn’t matter, I’ve sang it a thousand times, but…I still remember my first amphitheater concert – ahh, I was sixteen years old. Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Charolette, North Carolina. And…I remember…I remember the way the grass smelled…I remember the way the sky looked. I remember…the taste of the beer from the older couple that we stole it from, just down the lawn. [Ha] I had a melody connected self with a memory that night, and that’s what this song’s about. It’s about something that…we’re gonna remember for a long, long time…and, uhhh – if you’re indulge me. Um, I’m gonna connect…I’m gonna connect a melody, in a memory…right now…
– Eric Church’s Caught in the Act: Live (2013)

What’s The Point?

So as 2017 came to a close in what (in hindsight) should have been expected dramatic fashion, the idea is to accept that and be present. Today (2018), being present means taking in lessons, sitting with them – no matter the discomfort you have in that moment – and being thoughtful about the next step. No matter how small, just be mindful. That again is easy to say, hard to do in practice.

Thinking about this first post did not happen in a vacuum: be it yesterday, the previous month, or even the previous year.

That’s why 2018 has the opportunity to be a ‘Record Year‘ by taking thoughtful steps to navigate both the short term reality and the (reliably predictable, but at times scary) future.

Be selective of those you chose to lean on when the unavoidable challenging times arise. They will help you stand firm. That truly is all there is, and those who are outside of that circle have little to no incentive to care why you’re standing – wherever you elect to stand.

So with that, chose to act in such a way in order to make it a Record Year.

Note: Images above (sources below) are from live version of ‘Record Year’ stumbled upon today from a live Eric Church performance on January 20th, 2017 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Best,

brooks

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Updates

Update1 & Update2 – TypoFix: ‘Described to a two other’s today…’

Sources

Additional specific sources for this post included but are not limited to: