I Have Learned / I Believe...

January 1, 2015


1. I have learned that when your wife annoys you while you’re taking a shower, spraying her with the shower nozzle is not the best way to communicate your frustrations.


2. I have learned that removing light bulbs from the light fixtures in your home so you can ambush your roommate every night as he comes home from work by throwing a stack of corn tortillas at him in the dark can eventually hurt his feelings. I now realise that. I'm sorry Michael.


3. I have learned that raw red meat is the best way to surprise your friends during a snowball fight.


4. I believe my children will be the greatest mischief I will have ever concocted.


5. I have learned that insight is the crowning achievement of every human being, but worthless without action.


6. I have learned that my strength is solely in me and is not derived by the numbers of others.


7. I have learned that abuse is an infectious cycle and when loved ones do not sever ties from that environment or the abuser, the mindset and the iniquities of that act are then passed on.


8. I have learned that families are an institution, no different than a school or a church. If either is guilty of hiding any form of #abuse to protect its reputation, both the institution and the abuser have to be named.


9. I have learned that what binds and connects us with one another, are not the things we show off in our lives. It’s the other stuff we most often keep hidden.


10. I have learned that my wife is sometimes funnier than me. Sometimes.


11. I believe there is not a musician out there in the world that can hold a guitar and stand on stage next to Prince.


12. I have learned that too many of us carry a mindset that unconsciously protects a rape culture.


13. I have learned that too often in our religious communities and in our families, we use “unity” as a weapon against justice and truth.


14. I believe our world has a chance and the children we bring into it are its very agents of change.


15. I have learned that self-respect is mandatory, never to be compromised or negotiated with.


16. I believe music is the greatest Time Machine we have available to us.


17. I have learned that my wife is always right. This is why I call her “The General.”


18. I have learned that love is the greatest source of my power.


19. I believe it was photography that opened the aperture of my heart.


20. I have learned that neither family, culture, nor religion should persuade us from showing our fellow human being the respect, compassion, dignity and justice they are owed.


21. I have learned that it is our responsibility as men in this day to stand and defend women against the sexist beliefs we have inherited from our forefathers, as is the responsibility of Whites to use their privilege and become allies with people of colour against the legacy of racism.


22. I believe Bass Zanjani to be an intelligent man with a great character but he should be forced to roam the earth with a distinct mark on his brow, which would indicate that it was he who suggested the voice of Prince be removed from all his music and be replaced by the voice of Bryan Adams.


23. I believe ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬, especially in a country that has yet to come to terms with the post traumatic effects that slavery has had on Black lives and the White psyche; where an institutionalised legacy of violence is constantly reinforced through concurrent membership in organisations such as law enforcement and the Ku Klux Klan.


24. I believe comedy, which contains profanity, is the greatest nutrition for my soul.


25. I believe ‪#‎EducationIsNotACrime‬ and the Iranian government should be ashamed and held accountable for systematically depriving Baha’i students their right to an education based on religious beliefs.


26. I have learned that statute of limitations relating to sexual assault and abuse exist to financially protect some of the greater institutions within the United States from bankruptcy.


27. I have learned that throughout my life I have always taken a strong stance against racism but never recognised the misogyny that existed in the music I listened to or the films I watched.


28. I have learned that if you sit in silence, no one else will stand for you.


29. I have learned that family is what is created, not what you are born into.


30. I believe that every night should be a movie night with Domily.


31. I have learned that what makes me strong, impenetrable and beautiful as a person are the cracks, the scars and imperfections that I once believed were wrong with me and kept hidden from the world.


32. I have learned that transparency in my life allows me to receive grace from others.


33. I have learned that my friends are my greatest source of oxygen. Thank you.


34. I have learned that my experiences in life have caused me to see the world through who I am, rather than for what it is.


35. I have learned that far too many of us are going through the same thing.


36. I believe ‪#‎AdnanSyed‬ should be free.


37. I believe in the purifying powers of Lake Minnetonka.


38. I believe, which is why I have survived.


39. I believe in the power of storytelling.


40. I believe I am still finding it hard to accept that my wife is sometimes funnier than me. Sometimes.

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