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Who needs a commencement address?

For those that only know me from the internet, you may not know I have a younger brother who is in his senior year of High School. Yesterday he posted the following on Facebook:

“OKAY! WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH!!! Gas Strike March 10th! This worked once before…let’s try it again. On March 10 if everyone does not buy gas for one day, it will hurt the oil companies. It’s time we stood up to them. We CAN have a voice…REMEMBER “MARCH” 10th DO NOT BUY GAS! Please repost this to as many people as you can…it is urgent that this spreads like wildfire!”

After going back and forth with him and giving him some light-humored crap about it one of his friend’s jumped in to back him up after I told him to start riding his bike instead of complaining about gas prices. So, I decided to let it sit for a while and posted the following response this morning. This may not be the best advice or the most well written, and there’s no good reason to post this here I guess. Hopefully, though, it’ll be a reminder down the road to not only him, but myself, that I am a direct result of the world I live in and the world I live in is a direct result of me.

Kyle, if you want to become socially active and responsible, I think it’s a great thing. But don’t do it by becoming a sheep. The sheep doesn’t direct the herd, the shepherd does. Take the time to come up with legitimate ideas and plans that can benefit the world around you.

Using the excuse that you have all these places to be as a reason you “have” to drive a car is not a good argument. You “have” to use a car because you were raised in a world that enables and emphasizes that necessity. What if you were raised without cars? Would you still have all these places you would need to be?

What I mean is that you either change the core of your beliefs/way of living in order to change the world you live in. Or you accept the world as it is, the way it has molded you and your lifestyle and the consequences that come with it.

There’s a guy I run with that rides his bike everywhere. Could I do the same? Definitely, but I don’t b/c I’m lazy and still working on making that core change to my lifestyle. Because of this I have no right to complain about the cost of gas as long as I’m going to keep consuming it.

Weigh your priorities and whatever they come out to be, build your life around them. Keep them at the forefront of your decision making and you’ll be able to live in the world you want.

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2 responses

  1. Jay

    Paul,

    I disagree respectfully. One of the greatest privileges we as Americans have is to ineptly raise our fists in the air for irrational and illogical reasons. Its what the Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Tea Partiers do every day!

    In fact, the only party that doesn’t, is the Green party… then seem to love everything as a result of being stoned 24/7/365.

    March 14, 2011 at 8:27 am

  2. Jay

    Your brother might have a career in politics… we shall see

    March 14, 2011 at 8:28 am

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