Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ten Ways to Win at Life

10.  Don't read list articles.  

  Get back to work, son!  

On #Ferguson

I haven't a clue.  In fact, I just erased a whole blog about it.

I'd just like to say:

Hey friends, I'm listening.  Let's talk.  I swear I won't try to out-meme you on social media.

#Ferguson  #OpenEars

- Josh  

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Under an Empty Sky

The wind blew through the bleak trees, as the practical lights of suburbia lit up an empty sky, reflecting in a sickly pink off the night clouds.  Maybe God was out there, but he sure wasn't reflecting in the two brass keys I used to unlock my house.  "Can't be too safe nowadays."

  I had been thinking about her, seven years ago today, when she was sitting down to do some writing of a different kind.  Maybe it was a day of feeling overwhelmed with a to-do list, but I also suspect the ache of missing her contributed to my grumpy mood as I grumbled through my evening.  It's funny how sadness manifests.  "Sometimes life just sucks" I thought angrily as I dished overcooked pasta into a bowl a friend had made me.

 Seven years ago, her light winked out, her goodbye letter bobbing on a ripple in an ocean of darkness that reached even unsuspecting shores.  I hardly knew her, although we shared a bloodline.  Her choice to depart started a profound look into darkness and light.  But underneath everything, when it's all said and done, and the philosophy has been philosophized, the end answer is:  I miss her dearly, and I don't think anything will ever make that go away.  But, as I see it, there's three things that we can do with darkness:

  Let it swallow us, stumble along blindly, or third, try to light a match.  Last year, a lot of people lit matches with an idea, and we had a bit of a bonfire of goodness.  Let's start another mighty blaze in the night.

The Big Idea 

  Last year, I started something...mostly a crazy idea, but I saw how it caught.  I didn't expect it to do that.   And now, it's time to do it again.  It's time to start a spark.  I'm doing a project, and I hope you'll join me.

  It's called The Kindness Exchange.  The idea is simple:  Do or see something kind, and post it online using the hashtag #KindnessExchange.  I'll see the tagged post, and put it on a lit "beacon tree", literally lighting up the night.  Every single person is invited to create their own beacon tree.  Decorate it with red lights, and light up the night.

  On one hand, it seems incredibly trite, both the idea, and the act of talking about my cousin's suicide and a hashtag in the same blog.  On the other...there was quite a bonfire last year, with light shining out in an unexpectedly bright fashion. So, let's do it again.

...and let's save somebody.

I think we might just be able to.  The little actions add up, and the act of throwing a life preserver is often deceptively simple.

We can at least try.  That seems like a decent place to start.  See you out there.


(to get involved, visit www.JoshUrban.com/Kindness or https://www.facebook.com/groups/KindnessExchange/)