Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cold War on the Body of Christ

Recently, I've noticed some disturbing changes in the world. The changes were all taking place, however, within the Church. I took a mental inventory, as I often do for various topics, and I started measuring the changes in the dynamics of our church attendance. I focused especially on people who were once regular attendees, who became less visible, then invisible. Being open minded to different things that can happen to people, I gathered from all available information that there are people who were either now working during most or all services, going to school in the same kind or who had been in military service. I was humbled, though, to learn that some were absent while they were simply choosing to privately battle illnesses. I am thinking of one sister in particular, one whom I care for deeply, that I used to talk to in great length about vision, purpose and ministry. A few years back, I was having my mind blown as she spoke about different things she wanted to. I was delighted because, unlike many others, I just knew that she could get these things done. She was just that driven. Fast forward to this past Sunday, I was shocked as I scanned the crowd (I operate the video cameras for broadcast) and saw her face. I was hoping to catch her afterwards and catch up, but I missed. Her story is now very common to me. I was once a person who didn't care to be around church much, but, being the closet narcissist that I am, appreciate the warm reception I'd get here and there from the saints. Now I am in a similar position. Now I'm one of the ones on the battlefield (read: present as nothing else is requiring so much of a commitment at this time) wondering where all these forerunners have gone.

I never want to paint a picture about anyone without remaining transparent. I've uttered how much I've hated church more than once in the past two years. After reflecting later, I realized that it wasn't church I hated, it was not having that feeling. Now, I had no idea what "it" (the feeling) really is, but I will describe to you what I think it looks like as I have seen it on other people. From the various auxiliaries in which I participate, I tend to spend a great deal of time watching other people. From video, I see, and often hear, most of what happens within the four walls of the house. I have often, slyly and openly, explained to people that technology shrinks an atmosphere, and a random comment, at just the right moment, angle and pitch can sink a battleship. Oh, come on, you churchgoers know the moment: when that sister who is anointed to preach suddenly, being "led by the spirit" decided to sing. The long winded storyteller decides to recite the Gettysburg Address instead of just telling briefly of God's goodness (hence the necessary time limit for such a thing). When these, and the other hilarious things happen in service, there are chuckles, but there are also outbursts and statements made that can, in an instant, be heard around the world (we are literally an international ministry). While doing deacon and security work, which have quietly merged recently, I have found myself totally engrossed by the daunting task of caring for a soul in worship while simultaneously keeping an eye out for a villain who chooses this opportunity to plunder. But over time, I have noticed that the labor of love has felt a lot more like labor and a lot less like love. See, I had blamed it on the working in ministry for the longest time (well, since I started grumbling, anyway). I blamed the pastor for preaching too long, thus ensuring addition minutes or hours needed in which I'd be needed to serve. I blamed the saints for not clearing out within 3 minutes of the benediction (though I still don't understand the desire of some to have the sermon end fast, only to spend 45 minutes chatting about nothingness afterward. Weird.). I even blamed the "lazy" saints for not working in ministry, which is code for: 'join up so I won't have to do as much'.

What I've found is that I was the problem. More to the point: I was looking for the passion for this thing! I see the preacher go hard in the pulpit, the musicians burn the place down, the choir concuss our skulls with the heavenly refrain, and I'm over here fumbling with this tripod trying to keep the shot centered! I will state, humbly intended, that I am very good at what I do, but it was a gut check moment when I realized that all of works of the past five years may very well burn up in the presence of the Messiah. Without my heart being in it, I've literally been taking up space. Now, to draw this all into my thesis, this is all what Adrian was doing while still making a conscious and deliberate effort to come and work at least four times a week. I have noticed that many of those who started out with me, for whatever reason, are not. My challenge isn't at all in their attendance; it's literally the most irrelevant issue. My issue is in the state our decisions to come in and out of faithfulness does to the rest of the body. I don't need to state here what the world has to offer us saints who want to slide back into the world and buck the church. What is not being talked about at length is what happens to us "house saints" when our counterparts start doing their own thing. It's a brilliant act of war commenced by Hell against us. Satan has successfully countered us on two fronts: greasing the path of the backslider for an instant re-immersion in sin, and caused the heart and mind of the somewhat stable saint to struggle for authority. Most of the arguments that I see in the Body of Christ stem from an offense that could have been ignored, but is exacerbated by the offender who would rather go to the altar for forgiveness than to face the fleshly victim they left in their wake. Bonus win for the devil: the offender is now covered by plenary indulgence, but the offender has to struggle with the offense. You know how it is: you fight to get the strength to continue speaking with the person and NOT blast them on social media, or you just jaw about them to close friends. That sinful act is the 2-for-1 in Satan's eyes.

I hope in my ranting, I haven't varied too far from my point. My sincere hope is that Christians decide that we are going to strive for better by doing better and expecting better of each other. I hope we choose to follow that litany of scripture that demands we cover each other in love, admonishing, but protecting our brothers and sisters from secular mindsets that condemn us without mercy. That last statement is for all the Bishop Eddie Long haters out there; read Galatians 6, then come back and talk to me.

Thank you.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Science says Black Women are ugly

PLEASE SEE ORIGINAL LINK FOR PICTURES, SUPPORTING DIAGRAMS: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-scientific-fundamentalist/201105/why-are-black-women-less-physically-attractive-other-women&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

Why Are Black Women Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?
Why black women, but not black men?
Published on May 15, 2011 by Satoshi Kanazawa in The Scientific Fundamentalist

There are marked race differences in physical attractiveness among women, but not among men. Why?
Add Health measures the physical attractiveness of its respondents both objectively and subjectively. At the end of each interview, the interviewer rates the physical attractiveness of the respondent objectively on the following five-point scale: 1 = very unattractive, 2 = unattractive, 3 = about average, 4 = attractive, 5 = very attractive. The physical attractiveness of each Add Health respondent is measured three times by three different interviewers over seven years.
From these three scores, I can compute the latent "physical attractiveness factor" by a statistical procedure called factor analysis. Factor analysis has the added advantage of eliminating all random measurement errors that are inherent in any scientific measurement. The latent physical attractiveness factor has a mean of 0 and a standard deviation of 1.

Recall that women on average are more physically attractive than men. So women of all races are on average more physically attractive than the "average" Add Health respondent, except for black women. As the following graph shows, black women are statistically no different from the "average" Add Health respondent, and far less attractive than white, Asian, and Native American women.
In contrast, races do not differ in physical attractiveness among men, as the following graph shows. Men of all races are more or less equally less physically attractive than the "average" Add Health respondent.
This sex difference in the race differences in physical attractiveness – where physical attractiveness varies significantly by race among women, but not among men – is replicated at each Add Health wave (except that the race differences among men are statistically significant, albeit substantively very small, in Wave III). In each wave, black women are significantly less physically attractive than women of other races.
It is very interesting to note that, even though black women are objectively less physically attractive than other women, black women (and men) subjectively consider themselves to be far more physically attractive than others. In Wave III, Add Health asks its respondents to rate their own physical attractiveness subjectively on the following four-point scale: 1 = not at all, 2 = slightly, 3 = moderately, 4 = very. As you can see in the following graphs, both black women and black men rate themselves to be far more physically attractive than individuals of other races.
What accounts for the markedly lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women? Black women are on average much heavier than nonblack women. The mean body-mass index (BMI) at Wave III is 28.5 among black women and 26.1 among nonblack women. (Black and nonblack men do not differ in BMI: 27.0 vs. 26.9.) However, this is not the reason black women are less physically attractive than nonblack women. Black women have lower average level of physical attractiveness net of BMI. Nor can the race difference in intelligence (and the positive association between intelligence and physical attractiveness) account for the race difference in physical attractiveness among women. Black women are still less physically attractive than nonblack women net of BMI and intelligence. Net of intelligence, black men are significantly more physically attractive than nonblack men.
There are many biological and genetic differences between the races. However, such race differences usually exist in equal measure for both men and women. For example, because they have existed much longer in human evolutionary history, Africans have more mutations in their genomes than other races. And the mutation loads significantly decrease physical attractiveness (because physical attractiveness is a measure of genetic and developmental health). But since both black women and black men have higher mutation loads, it cannot explain why only black women are less physically attractive, while black men are, if anything, more attractive.
The only thing I can think of that might potentially explain the lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women is testosterone. Africans on average have higher levels of testosterone than other races, and testosterone, being an androgen (male hormone), affects the physical attractiveness of men and women differently. Men with higher levels of testosterone have more masculine features and are therefore more physically attractive. In contrast, women with higher levels of testosterone also have more masculine features and are therefore less physically attractive. The race differences in the level of testosterone can therefore potentially explain why black women are less physically attractive than women of other races, while (net of intelligence) black men are more physically attractive than men of other races.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

bin Laden's will: Told his kids not be like him? (SOURCE: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/03/bin-laden-will-wives-children)

(I DID NOT WRITE THIS STORY; PLEASE VISIT: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/may/03/bin-laden-will-wives-children)

Osama Bin Laden's last wish, according to his will, was that his wives not remarry and his children not join al-Qaida.
Al-Anbaa, a Kuwaiti newspaper, reported on Tuesday that the will, marked "private and confidential" was dated 14 December 2001, three months after the 9/11 attacks when US forces were hunting him in Afghanistan.
The four-page document, written on a computer and signed by "your brother Abu Abdullah Osama Muhammad Bin Laden", predicted that he would be killed by the "treachery" of those around him.
Al-Anbaa does not reveal how it obtained the will or how it was able to authenticate it.
In the document, Bin Laden lists the assault on New York's twin towers in a sequence beginning with the suicide bombing attack on US marines in Lebanon in 1983, the killing of 19 US marines serving as UN peacekeepers in Somalia in 1993, and the bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi in 1998.

Friday, April 8, 2011

In Case Of Fire, Close Yosemite Park

Over the past few years, the news has been littered with reports of entire households being murdered by one individual. The perpetrator wasn’t a stranger, but a parent in the household. In these cases, one adult, of sound mind and body, decides that the financial outlook for the entire span of time is so bad that everyone is better off dead. Instead of getting a loan, begging, borrowing, stealing, seeking government aid or getting a third shift night watchman job, they chose to kill their families instead. Upsetting? It should be. Have we seen the last of it? It’s doubtful, and the next spate of tragedies may be sparked by our own government. As I type this, we are a scant 12 hours away from a government shutdown. As ominous as the term is, we aren’t in any danger of anarchy, martial law or nuclear disaster. (Our thoughts and prayers remain with our brothers and sisters in Japan.) The shutdown, in actuality, is more akin to a breakup left on a voicemail. True, it’s easier to rid yourself of an unwanted relationship that way, avoiding the awkward facial, vocal, and possibly physical response from the ex. Like a cowardly boyfriend or girlfriend, the government’s meandering procedure avoids a great deal of responsibility. It says that making faithful, but somehow non-essential, employees take involuntary, unpaid vacations is the most viable solution to coerce an opponent into action. This tactic, while not new, further underscores a fundamental flaw in our political system. It’s Democrats versus Republicans, liberals versus conservatives, when it should be our government versus the debt (or poverty, or discrimination, or drugs, or violence et. Al.) . Cutting off hard working citizens and small businesses contracted to perform services for government is the equivalent of burning down your house so no one ever tries to break in. Not only does “ridding ourselves of these non-essentials” do nothing to reduce the burden, it will in fact add an unnecessary strain to the already beleaguered morale of our country. We don’t have time for stubborn, uninventive people to stand their ground about the issue so long that everyone loses as a whole. President Obama is much underrated, and it’s because he keeps his hands relatively clean. The problem there is that American society has become so cynical that we only trust certain people when we have a disagreeable past to which they can be compared. However, being slow to anger and slow to speak, though encouraged in the Bible, has side effects. Take it how you like, but because Obama appears to be weak to some people, that misperception has empowered a movement against him. Introducing today’s GOP, or as I’ve dubbed them: the “Change Backs”. Despite their press releases and sound bites, my beloved Republican Party, of whom I am a registered member, are fighting President Obama is every way possible except for the correct way. To unseat an incumbent President is not impossible, but there is a reason why we’ve had two consecutive two-term Commanders-In-Chief. People are happy when change occurs and it betters their lives. Though it is important, it is very hard for Americans to wrap their minds around doing their part to reduce national debt, when they can’t even get their personal debt under control. The HAMP program was and is successful, but the elements aren’t understood by all, and we all know that when someone or something isn’t clear, the ignorant tend to deem it evil. So-called Obamacare has some significant costs with it, but the main cost I support is the $100 less per pay period that Aetna gets to take out of my check. I have not yet heard if they will have to do massive layoffs or borrow from the government to keep their doors open. Democrats did fail to settle on a budget last year, and that has now carried over into the 2nd quarter of 2011. Republicans can pounce on this screw up and put themselves in a better position to take over the White House, the House and the Senate. Or, and I like this idea better, they can come up with a viable, bipartisan solution, and actually solve the issue. But such as it is – if nothing happens by midnight, our troops don’t get paid. Hey, Pvt. Johnson, we need you to move out with your unit! We have an urgent need for reinforcements! Okay, Commander, just looking at this email from my wife: “Hi honey! Sorry to bother you while you are off defending our ideals and battling terrorists, but the car just got repossessed and the house is in foreclosure! All the checks I wrote bounced because your paycheck didn’t post into the checking account! On the plus side, the government is saving $25,000 a week because the national parks are closed! Yay for democracy!” (While satirical in nature, this is potentially what can happen to our soldiers.)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

New Tactics?

I was phoned recently by some random third-party collector. She spoke seriously about an old debt that she claims has fallen off of my credit report, but could still adversely affect me. Apparently, when certain debts are charged-off (or rendered uncollectable), the business can send the IRS a 1099-c. This is a form used to report a settled (discharged) debt, and the government can tax it as earned income. There are conditions for which you can reduce or avoid this impact altogher. Please visit the following website from the IRS for more information:

Friday, March 4, 2011

2011 Fast and Consecration - Day 6

Today was the day of judgement. A day of absolution. I declared that as long as I made it to this morning that literally could stop me, and nothing did. I face quite a few challenges today, but I got quite a bit accomplished. I guess my astonishment is not just that I made it through the entire fast for the first time successfully, but that I don't have to consider it as indentured servitude. I honestly admit that, quite often, so much of what I do go unrecognized, that I assume that it's me reaping what I have sown. I was very incorrect in that mindset. God was just setting me up for another level in Him. Now all I have to do is stop being a wuss and starting being a king. And I really don't have anything profound on top of that to say! I thank God for His goodness and mercy, and I fully embrace this new level of holiness in Him!

Now, to some chicken salad and He-Man (and I hope to have a conversation with my wife *inside joke*)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

2011 Fast and Consecration - Day 5

To live every minute of every day is ideal, but it is ultimately challenging. I have felt every minute of every day for the past five days. I wasn't "allowed" any of my usual vices; the things I told myself was just to kill time, but were really killing me. I lived this week, and will be all the more powerful for it. Do we take the time to live? We slave for these employers, and then they toss us a small stipend. We sacrifice and dedicate time and effort and energy for our families, but it's mostly habit, and a lot of times is fruitless and unheralded. We are faithful in ministry, attending every service possible, being on post, fasting, studying, worshipping. I ask you again - - do we take the time to live? When do we realize that a certain amount of time was appointed to us, and we can't spend it getting ready to try to do anything. I love the rant in Ecclesiastes about how fleeting life is, and how everything has its season, and, my fave line of all (to paraphrase): "eat, drink and be merry". I'm sad when I hear about other married couples having problems, especially when they are young just like my wife and I. I mean, really, what problems could you have? Most of the couples are childless, so you KNOW what that means for the household (wink, wink). Most of the couples in mind have multiple incomes in the household, so unless one is frugal and one is anti-frugal, still no real issue. I suspect, without knowing or caring to snoop into their business, that the real problem is not living. I have been homeless twice in the past two years, and saving is a hard subject to tackle. But I'll be a monkey's uncle if I refuse to find a way to show the love of my life a good time. I'm using coupons, discounts, friends of friends -- whatever it may take in godliness and honesty-- to let her know that the struggle is the struggle, BUT IT IS NOT OUR LIFE!

So with that sentiment (which I literally just spilled, this, nor any of my writings are ever pre-planned) I suggest that we cheat, steal and lie: cheat death of victory, steal more moments to thoroughly enjoy our loved ones and lie aside every burden and lift up hope instead. Now, that line has been used different ways, but, eh, I liked mine better! Victory is nigh!

24 hours....

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

2011 Fast and Consecration - Day 4

The closer I get to the inevitability of a thing, I feel this amazing surge of power. And not just excitement, I literally feel like I can take on and do anything that I desire! Nevertheless, Day 4 was brutal. I was pulled in my flesh, I was pulled in my tummy, I was pulled on my attitude not once but twice by work related drama. But I believed that I behaved the best way possible, and my reward is at hand. I care to reach people, and I do so in a way that I know that that will be changed after the fact. I see so, so many people, many at church, many at work, who are literally shells of themselves from letting life beat them up so much. Now, some put on the facade of strength, a mask of vitriol and smugness, hiding the scared child inside. Others refrain from speaking, seem surprised by intimate contact, and speak either very low or very fast (or both).

I am going to pull a "Neo" on people. I am going to wake them up out of their secular media-induced comas, and realize that we've but only a few more sunsets left on Earth. I want to let them know that they have souls that can be lost, and it would behoove them not to live through Hell on Earth, only to spend eternity there as well. I want them to see beyond the boundaries of their right now; whether it be the rich man becoming more philanthropic and humble; or the beggar who needs to put down the sign and pick up a trade. But that is what I want, and I am truly a Gethsemane saint -- one who says, "God, nevertheless, thy will be done!" I refused to give up on this fast because I need Him to do something deeper in me. I am so sick and tired of living up to people's accolades of me when I know I have truly not done anything at all. That's why I love the Soul Seekers/Marvin Winans track "It's All God". More than half the time I exist using mathematical calculations and projections, estimating that a certain thing can only happen a certain number of times, and more often that not, I am successful at literally guessing. I want something more authentic than that. I don't want to gamble the rest of my life, constantly retreading and rebuilding. I am ready to build up, stay up, and then die, or rapture. Or die.

48 hours.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

2011 Fast and Consecration - Day 3

I declare that I love listening to the K.D. Bowe Morning Show (broadcast locally on AM 1400). His thought of the day stemmed around care in how you receive words. Paraphrasing him: "Words are like seeds, and they can grow in your life; receiving a bad seed can yield a bad harvest in your life". I thought it was a tight piece, so I took it and kept. I returned to work today after an impromptu vacation. As usual, someone had a complaint about management and their expectation. Now, normally, though very much saved, I fall into this trap when I love the sound of my own logic so much that I love to throw my bosses under the bus. I had a different response today. I surmised that, no matter how bad leadership really is, it was up to me to perform all the more exceptionally, and exceed the expectation of the least skilled of management. Thank God for a future, and a vision.

So that was work. After work, I had to the chance to be in the atmosphere of a church goer. Once my wife shared about the details of this week's services, her (the church goer) "spirit" went into overdrive. She proceeded to misquote Matthew 6:16-17, which does NOT at all state that fasting should be kept a secret, it clearly states that fasting should not be done in order to draw attention. But since I didn't respond, I guess she had more ammunition. She went on to state how: you can fast from other things than just food (this is a common excuse used by people who aren't that disciplined; likened to a former co-worker who is convinced that the 10% tithe God demands is not strictly financial. Both of these assumptions are incorrect.) She wrapped up her spiel on fasting by attempting to correct another person who called her out for her obvious lack of previous fasting, by stating she fasted from a certain time until a certain time. It is a successful practice, but as Pastor Williams teaches, if it isn't stirring up your spirit, you just basically dieting. I so love my pastor.

She is one of the people for whom I am believing God for a change in heart. I am glad that I didn't react or respond, and I see it as proof that I have grown some. There is much more work to do, but I'm not dead yet, so clearly I'm going to win this race. Be careful of what is said around you, and be mindful of the things you say. Sometimes, before you say them, let it play out in your mind and check the spirit from which the statement comes. I'm just telling you what I already practice; though, even things I say currently still seem to affect people. If only they knew the unabridged version of my true feelings sometimes. God, mold my heart.

Monday, February 28, 2011

2011 Fast and Consecration - Day 2

So, today was a challenge. It was very hard to even remain active at one point. I popped in SpongeBob for Collin and drifted. I kept picturing the goal in my mind: a deeper relationship. See, for all my most recent fasting, my main goal had been to get through it. In my maturity, I've found that success should be less derived by a mere conclusion, and more from introspection. It's nice to be able to say "I did it!"; there are famous T-shirts from events and places that bear that record. Afterwards, this task (usually something very mundane in retrospect) is reflected upon as something that must never be faced again. Hollywood really has screwed us up. Purposely withholding food and secular materials from oneself isn't a paramount goal. Anorexics go on starvation binges, and they can no more cast out a devil than an actor portraying a priest. Furthermore, some religious circles, some of which strongly claim Christian roots, abstain from secular media all the time, but have yet to tap into anything greater than the Sabbath day rituals.

No, I look at this differently now. I see it as the last quiz before the final exam. After this is over, I can't spend too much time wrapped up in celebrating over Waffle House waffles (God has blessed that franchise, by the way), because my spirit has been readied for bigger battles. I can look back over where God has brought me and bless Him for doing so. I must maintain focus, though, because tougher battles are ahead. The fasting and the consecration are about building endurance. This week is easy, because I know that hundreds ( I hope) of other people are doing it along with me, and we are having nightly services that are empowering. The final exam, for this level anyway, is not going to come during a fast. It won't catch me in the middle of a spirit-filled service either. It will come once I've walked in the abundance produced from this sacrifice. Satan will wait until he thinks that I am too consumed by my newly acquired wealth and status, just to see if I love God, or His goodness. I can't flunk this test, because I don't know if it will be repeated in this same season, and I don't have 37 more years to wait to see if I can make it in the pool after the angel troubles the waters.

Ah, the third day beckons.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

2011 Fast and Consecration - Day 1

What a short year it has been. When it comes to sacrifice of any kind, something as ubiquitous as time always seems exaggerated. Days seem to be endless, tasks appear to take much longer than before, and nightfall (oh, the sweet escape of nightfall) always seem to take 24 hours to come. In recent years, I concluded that anticipation can severely alter one's perception of time. For example: you ever notice how that 6-7 week period from before Thanksgiving to after the New Year always takes FOREVER to come, but then instantly become a memory? Similarly, I used to dread this week every year, because instead of the impending taste of macaroni, greens, yams, corn bread, turkey, ham, et. al, or the mystery of gifts, I knew to look forward to no food, TV or sex for at least 6 days. YAY! (*rolls eyes*)

I, of course, now look at this week very differently. Whereas I won't even attempt to deceive you that fasting is a cakewalk (mmm, cake), I have come to thoroughly enjoy torturing my flesh. I'm not a sadist, but understanding how my flesh, in an almost Venom-like fashion, seeks to reign over my existence, I stand in protest to that. I don't want to be able to do whatever I want to do and still be called a Christian. I realize there are standards, and I will continue to strive to live up to them. Whether or not a person cares to ever fast or consecrate is up to them. Not completing one or both of these is not a hell-worthy trespass, and you can still access Heaven's gate having never voluntarily abstained from food or acquired even a moment of pure sanctification. The problem I have with that logic is what it means about my mindset. I complain about my co-workers, and have done so for many years. I always look in wonder at fully grown and functional adults who do all that they can to get out of being the best possible workers on the job. The excuses are endless, repetitive, and flat out silly, but the behavior is universal. The mantra of these people is simple: I want to do the least amount of work possible, while hoping for the highest benefit. I see the same shame befall some Christians. We know for a fact that there is a God, we know that He walked among us in the person of Jesus Christ, and all this Bible stuff sounds really good from the pulpit! But when it comes to the walk, we rest. I define the "walk" as the "condition of existence in this physical world with a spiritual guide, using secular tools to achieve a divine promise". Proverbs 3:5-6 say to trust in God and acknowledge him in this walk, but seem to have misinterpreted walking as carry me. We forget that we have to put forth effort in all things in order for God to do any work in our lives.

I don't want to get lost in intangibles, so my thought is simply this: do all you can. Doing all you can lets God know that you are willing to put forth the very best effort, and that you can be trusted with greatness. When it hurts, when it is hard, when it is seemingly impossible, and especially, when everyone else tells you that you can't or you shouldn't, go above and beyond.

Just some thoughts on paper.