J&A Portraits 163
I have always made fun of people who speak their mind,
particularly about politics. Usually I would repeat whatever they said in a funny voice followed by a professional sounding “blah, blah, blah.” Then I began to realize that my incessant satire was a cop out, a cop out for a guy who wants to join the conversation but was afraid. I was afraid of being wrong, but even more afraid of what people would think of me. And my fear wasn’t alone; like many, I also felt hopeless in a way. “Things will never change,” “why try?” “it doesn’t matter,” “eh… human nature” are just a couple of  very popular cop outs that I once believed and still hear from many people today. The truth is, deep down, I have always wanted to talk about things that no one really wants to talk about: primarily racism and poverty, but also broader justice and power issues, role of government, corporate greed etc. The reality is, we see the problems and don’t know what to do, so we blame-shift, we get angry and give up, we make fun, we do whatever it takes to avoid the hard work of truly understanding the root issues and doing something about it. As I continued along this path I realized importance in staring this fear and hopelessness in the eye. But even today, I am still scared. I am scared because quite honestly, people are scary. And, i am scared because our global situation is scary. If you’re not scared, you’re not paying attention. But in spite of frightening things,  I have changed. I realized that everyone makes mistakes, and my fear of what other people think and of being wrong is small in comparison to the change that I can make.

I recently married the love of my life Andrea Joy Caldwell, and together we decided we wanted to be the change we want to see (Gandhi): we started by registering for our wedding through a couple of local thrift stores and Etsy.com instead of only registering at Target and other big box stores, we gave up one of our cars, we started doing a good deal of our shopping at a local organic store, I bought a bike for commuting to work, and for now we decided not to get a television and create a culture of conversation and relationship in our apartment rather then mostly entertainment. These actions have catalyzed transformation in us as a couple. We made these decisions because we began to see connections between global social problems and everyday life, and we’re ready to do something about it. We are normal, everyday people, and we wanted to find a way to document and share our stories as we move along life; henceforth (like that word-age? Yea, thought so), I will be writing small blips about whatever I want on this blog in order to face my fear of people and open myself up to critique. Also I will write in order to become a stronger thinker and writer in order to communicate better, and understand deeper. So in a way, this blog is partially selfish, so that I can sharpen my skills and communicate more clearly; however, in a way, I write for anyone out there who also wants to join the conversation and just doesn’t know how.


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