The Cool Effect

I don’t know what to write, at the moment, but that’s never really been an issue. I normally just have to start down a path and, eventually, something shakes loose. I will say this: I’m really glad that I have nurtured my ability to communicate, in this form. I’ve come across a lot of brilliant minds that have a lot of trouble sharing their thoughts, when their thoughts are the only things occupying this blank canvas. I’ve always enjoyed reading but I’m not even sure as to what made me start drafting. It has always just felt…smooth. I wasn’t always skilled at the production aspect of creative writing, but I have been very fortunate to be able to find the words that I need, in order to express the series of interwoven thoughts that paint the picture of where I want to take readers. I’m pretty sure that, as I progress as a writer, I will look back on these entries and see so many flaws that it will embarrass me to think that I ever viewed these posts as “decent”. For now, however, I like ’em. I have received a few messages from people in different walks of life. Some I had/have a relationship with, and some I did not. All of whom have expressed how much they’ve enjoyed the things that I have written, as well as the manner in which they have been communicated. I truly appreciate it. I never expected anyone to ever like what I write. I never even thought that I would ever let anyone see the things that I decided to write about. I was a shy kid who knew that he had many talents but was afraid to be made fun of, because those talents may not make me “cool”. I’ve never been “cool”, though. With that being said, I’m not sure what I was attempting to hold on to. My entire life has been me, standing on the opposite side of what people think is culturally relevant, and it used to bother me. I thought that it was because I was poor. Then I thought that it was because I wasn’t in the same shape as other folks. Hair, height, affiliations…I looked into it all. You know, just to check it off of the list. Gradually, I came to realize that none of that stuff even mattered. In fact, I started to realize that by embracing myself and being comfortable with the person that I know that I am, deep down inside, I don’t even need to be viewed as anything. I’ve been by myself and I will be by myself. I don’t need to be a “part of something” to validate how I feel about who I am. So, I write. And I do plenty of other things. I also DON’T do certain things. Do I think that I am cool , as a result of it all? Meh, not really. That’s for you to decide. But does it even really matter?

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Foreigner Exchange – Episode 2 (Ben Williams)

Ben4Ben…man…what can I say about Ben? He is quite a character. We struck up a very quick friendship, upon the basis of his efforts to engineer a culture of sharing, within the community. I have a lot of respect for that because, this is a man that is using his valuable time to spark an idea in the minds of others. An idea that shouldn’t be so foreign to us. I know that we all share things with people that we love. You might make dinner for your significant other, or buy your kid a cookie, but what about the people that you have no emotional connection to? Do you have to feel something for someone in order to do a selfless deed? In that case, is it truly selfless? Whatever you believe to be true, Ben is challenging that notion with a picnic blanket and some vegetables, harvested on the farm that he works on. The shit, ain’t elaborate. Nor does it have to be.

 

I make sure to see him every week, on my way back home, and I have seen the growth in his project. Drivers, stuck in traffic, can’t help but watch as cyclists, joggers, and various passers-by stop under the tree, where the vegetables have been set, and start to learn of the idea that Ben is attempting to project to the masses. I see other folks wanting to know what is going on but they are nervous, apprehensive maybe. He understands, and greets everyone with the same warm-hearted smile, regardless of whatever face they make, in his direction. Please take the time to listen to the conversation that we had, in our time together. The idea to share with others definitely isn’t new but, every now and then, we need a bit of a recharge. As Ben shares with us, I share this with you.