For far too long I’ve been treating reading as down time – something to do when everything else is done.
We are the sum of all the moments of our lives and anybody who sits down to write is gonna use the clay of their own mind.— Ethan Hawke, actor
Finally waking up to the fact that everything else will never be done, I’ve been trying to read as much as I can from a wider range of sources.
Today in the gym I caught the first 10 minutes of the movie Before Sunset. Ethan Hawke, who stars as Jesse, is an author at a press conference for his new book and someone asks if it’s autobiographical. He responds, “We are the sum of all the moments of our lives and anybody who sits down to write is gonna use the clay of their own mind… you can’t avoid it.”
I love that! Everything we experience changes us. Everything we read challenges our thinking and fine tunes the way we see the world.
I’ve been collecting beer bottles for a good year now, from my home’s common disposal area. Seeing the bottles sitting in the garbage bins just doesn’t look right.
About once a week I go to the beer store with between $30 to $40 dollars of other people’s empties.
The Beer Store stats are pretty impressive with a recovery rate of about 95%.
Lately I’ve been picking up the chill magazine on my way out because it has a great cross section of articles. Just a few titles from the last issue:
- The Importance of Posture
- Jamie Oliver’s latest cook book
- TV: Then & Now – 1960’s to today
- Après Ski Scene
- How the Canadian Entertainment Industry is Evolving
- Top 45 Photos of 2011
… And tons of other great articles of every length.
This month, I especially enjoyed the editors letter called the Chillosopher’s Rant:
The difference between a good guy and a great guy!
In short, the explanation is:
A good guy will continually make the right decision and retain his title, while looking at the not-so-good guy’s life to put his own in perspective and make it seem more rewarding. Now a great guy, he actually does exactly what the good guy does, however, he refuses to judge, instead accepts and appreciates everyone around him in spite of their social or economic status. He actually empowers everyone around him to feel just as great as he does, irrespective of their (or his) station in life. So the net difference between a good guy and a great guy? He’s your MVP…
Then the above is woven into an article that explores the character that makes up the “Great Guys” of the NFL.
It made me think of my friend ‘Browner’ – a guy who plays on our co-ed soccer team. A guy who always finds the lonely player warming up to talk to, a guy who makes the new players feel welcome and a guy who cheers on the person who ran their heart out rather than the obvious pat-on-the-back person who scored.
Someone who truly accepts, appreciates and empowers everyone around him.
I read this MVP caption while the kettle was boiling before my first cup of instant coffee* and was completely inspired for the rest of the day.
So I say, pick up your EYE Weekly, Metro or NOW Magazine and pop them in your back pack, purse or brief case. Keep the reading material written by people in your community on the ready for when you have 5 minutes to spare. Flip through the stories, ideas and opinions. Find an article that grabs you. Then let it filter through you and carve more detail into all that you know. The more we understand others, the easier it is to appreciate differences rather than judge.
Hopefully we can all flex our MVP muscle more often.
*The first time I drank coffee was when I supply taught. It would take half of recess just to find the staff room! So I acquired a taste for instant and have never looked back.
Change starts with kids.