Have fun when you can. Think all the time.

Music, Trees, Environment, BBC, Hardwood floors, Storytelling, Adventures, International development, Learning new things, Getting new perspectives, Writing essays, Water, Road trips, Photography, Spaghetti squash, Art, Books, Getting involved, Gingerbread lattes,(Not)Sleeping, Reading, Poetry, Falling leaves, Aging, Monologues, Prickly pear tea, Making lists, Politics, New ideas, Exploring, Traveling, Dinosaurs, Killer whales, Sushi, Pop Culture, Meeting new people, Barbequing with friends, Tubing down the river, Waking up early, Discovering new things, Trees, Empathy, Believing in the Power of Love

December 13, 2012

Gratitude (with intention)

Like my most recent post on Volunteerim this post has been in my Drafts section collecting cobwebs and dust for quite some time and events of the day have inspired me to finish it and also provided some very useful self reflection.

It is finals time for students attending post -secondary education (PSE), which means my Facebook, and Twitter has been riddled with students venting their frustrations and expressing their excitement for the “freedom” that awaits in the future if only they can get past the “torture” of studying and exams. Reading the status updates stating “10 days until Freedom,” “Can’t wait until this torture is over,” “3 exams until Freedom” and many others didn’t sit well with me. I mulled it over and decided to post my own food for thought trying to aptly articulate my frustration with the lack of gratitude with having the ability to pursued PSE. I posted:

“Why are people complaining about how exams are impeding their "freedom"? Yes, studying and exams are stressful, but obtaining a post-secondary education is a choice (and an investment in your future) that you (or your parents) pay to be able to participate in, and an opportunity that many are not fortunate to have. Unless your professors are locking you in cages or taking away your ability to speak or think...then maybe, just maybe your "freedom" is in question. The fact that you have the ability to pursue a post-secondary education in something that you have chosen is in itself something to be grateful for.”

What then occurred is an interesting experiment of sorts in social media, as well as an opportunity for me to reflect on my own personal approach and strategies that I employ to get messages which I am passionate about across to others. In a short half hour my post, which I did not foresee to be overly contentious received a significant amount of attention resulting in 70 “likes” and several wide-ranging comments. Some echoed my sentiment with the and some encouraged more discussion.

One commenter stated, “I get you. It's hard to argue that studying and / or paper-writing constitute true losses of freedom, when you spend any time at all around people who spend the better part of their days locked in a jail cell (more or less for the crime of being poor and racialized) BUT, I will say that I am guilty of making "freedom" comments sometimes, and I will say that I think there is a little more validity to them than you give credit for.

Freedom isn't the right word to use. Fair criticism, but when you spend years of your life, toiling away writing papers for profs who probably don't care if you learn anything, and go thousands of dollars into debt, only to discover that you can earn a higher wage working at a restaurant, than taking the research job the requires your degree; it's kind of hard to blame people if they don't always see their education as life greatest privilege.

Of course, this doesn't change the fact that education IS a privilege.”

To which I responded, “Ultimately whether you choose to pursue a post-secondary education or not is your choice. If you feel that your professors don't care if you learn anything and the debt you choose to go into as a result of pursuing education are other issues but at the end of the day you are making the choice to pursue a post-secondary education because it has value to you which outweighs those other things. Education is a privilege, but it shouldn’t be. Education should be a right that everyone regardless of background, socioeconomic status or life circumstances should have access to, but until that happens we need to be especially mindful that we have choices and options and comparing University exams to "torture" or loss of "freedom" trivializes those that do not have the opportunity to pursue an institutional education is something that they choose.

I have been a student for many years (and likely will be again) and I realize that its stressful, challenging, difficult, and frustrating but it is a choice, and not the only way to become educated (and also often doesn't result in a higher paying job depending on what you choose to study) but one that many people choose to participate in because they place value on it.”

I attempted to reiterate that my intent was not to shame students for their personal feelings and experiences in academia, but more so my intent was that sometimes we (myself included) need to be reminded of how lucky we are so that we can be grateful for the opportunities we do have rather than focus on how hard, frustrating, challenging or “tortuous’ it feels at the time. Gratitude is not something that comes easy or naturally and it is certainly not something I have mastered. It is something that I personally need to be reminded of every day, multiple times, and is also something that requires effort and a shift in perspective.

It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day and forget about what really matters to you. It’s easy to loose perspective. Its easy to lose sight of those things and focus on how awful it frustrating it feels to be stuck in traffic on the way to work, how difficult it feels to focus on writing a paper when you aren’t sure if your professor cares if you write it or not, and how disheartening it feels when you feel isolated, insignificant or alone.

We ended our “discussion” agreeing to disagree. With the content of my post and also with the methods that I employed to get my message across which gave me the opportunity for a lot of reflection. Reflection that will continue long after I publish this post. Reflection that will force me to confront what I said, what I could have said, and how I articulate my thoughts and present myself. I am always pushing myself to be better, to learn more, to hone skills that I place a priority on. To listen to others, to try to see how my actions, words and behaviours effect them, and then to think about how that in turn has an effect on me.

I am grateful that I have the opportunity to explore. To push myself. To grow and develop. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to learn and grow both in and out of academic institutions and from talented and inspiring role models. I want to express gratitude for so much, for I have many things to be grateful for. Hopefully I will remember that tomorrow.

With intention,
Delaney C.

December 5, 2012

Volunteerism (as a life value)

This post has been a long time in the making events that took place yesterday have finally given me the 'push' I need to get my act together and write down some of my thoughts.

I've been thinking a lot about volunteering and volunteerism in the last few months as it has always been a very important part of my life. I work for a non-profit organization (Big Brothers and Big Sisters) that works with volunteers, matching them with mentees to provide 1:1 support, guidance and friendships for children who may not receive those things elsewhere. I am lucky to have found a job doing something I am so passionate about and really believe in and that keeps me learning and on my toes each and every day.

This summer I spent some time volunteering for various festivals in Winnipeg and had a great time participating in the Fringe Festival, Jazz Festival, and Kids Fest. For me getting involved in my local community, sharing things that I'm excited about, and being part of something have always been priorities. I've most recently got involved volunteering with the Elizabeth Fry Society of Manitoba and have been blown away by the variety of programing offered and how much I have enjoyed my two very different volunteer positions (Women for Change, and Recording Stories) which I will talk about in a future post.

Yesterday morning I had the opportunity to spend some time at Siloam Mission volunteering with a few of my co-workers at their breakfast drop-in program. We had decided that as the holiday season approaches instead of giving gifts we wanted to spend some time together getting involved in our local community. I shared my excitement on my Twitter account, and much to my surprise was asked to speak about my experience this morning on CJOB with Karen Black. Social media for the win! Go to 7:45am and you will be able to hear me speak with Karen Black from CJOB about volunteerism, and my experience with Siloam Mission. Why I Volunteer?

For me volunteering is all about connecting with other people on the basic human level. It’s about being a part of something, getting involved in my city and my local community, and giving back. It’s about recognizing that I am so blessed to have had the opportunities in my life to pursue my dreams, to think about what makes me happy and drives me, and to go for it, and about the gratitude I have for the world. I am always blown away by how many amazing organizations exist in my little city (let alone the rest of the world) and how much they depend on volunteers to do what they do, and I am always excited to become a part of it. Why Volunteer?

1) Meet likeminded people. I've mentioned it jokingly to some of my friends, but if I was not already in a committed, supportive and satisfying relationship with someone I am lucky enough to have in my life I would meet people volunteering. Meeting someone volunteering helps you figure out some of the stuff that you can’t if you're looking online, meeting at the bar, or through mutual friends. You'll have similar interests, similar values and as a bonus most volunteer organizations typically have some sort of screening process.
2) If you have a roof over your heard, can eat three meals a day, an education, and a caring support made up of friends and or family members you have a lot (A LOT) to be thankful for and happy about. Volunteering is a great way to ‘pay it forward.’
3) Its a low cost/no cost way to spend time with your loved ones and get engaged with an organization you care about.
4) It helps build a community of support and pride within the city/community/neighbourhood/world that you live in.
5) Growth and learning. Develop your personal ability to be a leader, develop new skills and fine tune the skill set you already have, receive training and guidance, develop interpersonal skills be a part of a team, build confidence, and put your passion in to practice.

And it’s FUN! I could go on and on...and on...and on about how influential volunteering has been in my life, about all of the lessons and values I have been able to take away, about how empowered I feel, how I have been able to get practical experience developing my skills and about how I have met so many inspiring and powerful role models over the years both here in Winnipeg, across Canada, and across the world but perhaps I will save that for another post.

I'll be so bold to say that if you give yourself 6 weeks to commit fully to an organization that you are interested in you will not be disappointed. Volunteering has a way of getting under your skin, into your blood, and once you start I doubt you'll be able to stop :) Often all it takes is 1 hour a week, which we all have!

If your interest is working with children, the environment, the immigrant population, animals, policy based or hands on, local, or global the opportunity (and the need) is there to get involved.

I'm rooting for you Winnipeg,
Delaney C.

Here are the links to some of the organizations currently close to my heart:

http://www.lutheranworld.org/lwf(Honduras and El Salvador)
Environmental Movement of Olancho (MAO) (Honduras)

December 3, 2012

Here and Now

"and after they had explored all of the stars in the universe and all of the planets around each sun they realized they were alone, and they were glad, for they now realized that they would have to become all of the things they had hoped to find."

-Lanford Wilson

August 23, 2012

Lessons from The Velveteen Rabbit

The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive.

But the Skin Horse only smiled.

August 17, 2012

In Love

"It was in love I was created,
and in love is how I hope I die"

-Paolo Nutini

August 2, 2012

A Favourite

“with your name on my mouth
and a kiss that never
broke away from yours.”

― Pablo Neruda

Forca Portugal!

"In 9 days I leave for Portugal with my entire immediate family. I am very excited for this trip for a plethora of reasons. Firstly, although I've never been there Portugal is a very special place to me as it's where my father, uncle, and grandparents were born and grew up."

I’m a little (okay, okay, a lot) over due on this post. In March, I travelled with my family to where my father was born and raised. Portugal. Travelling with my family made me a bit nervous, as the majority of my travelling has been done solo, which offers its own challenges, but allows you to do what you want when you want, without asking the group for their thoughts or opinions. My family also hasn’t been on a ‘trip’ since I was 13 and we stayed at an all-inclusive resort in Dominican Republic and Sierra was only 4 ½ (she’s 16 now), so it would prove to be...interesting.

This would be a much different trip. 14 days of my family of 6, in a giant rental van, driving all over Portugal to visit relatives I’d never met, beaches on the coast, ruins, historical sites, Fado clubs, and the small village my father grew up in without running water or electricity. On paper it sounds like equal parts disaster waiting to happen, and an adventure I certainly couldn’t wait to partake in.

After a layover in Ottawa and a delayed flight (which everyone took with stride) we were off! When we landed in Lisbon, Portugal I had the weirdest feeling of ‘being home’ considering I had never been there before, and never before had Portugal been on my radar of places I wanted to visit.

Throughout the entire trip I felt like things began to make sense. Pieces of the puzzle began to fit together and I started to understand myself better. Why my grandparents were the way they are, certain mannerisms that my father had passed on to me, even my fathers specific way of interacting with people. I saw people that looked like me, people that behaved like me, and everything became clearer. I didn’t realize, until I was there, how much could be answered by just being in a certain place.

One of the most emotional moments of our trip, was meeting our family still living in the village my Grandmother raised my father and uncle while my Grandfather worked in South America and Europe to provide for them. People in the community that hadn’t seen my father in 8 years (since he had been back to the village, and 30 years before that!) recognized him, they embraced each other and openly cried. Family welcomed us into their homes, sharing so much love for us that it was hard to believe it was our first reunion. Jao, and his family live in a 2 story home, made of particle board, heated by a wood stove, with no electricity and no running water. The village is slowly becoming a ghost town, as a nearby mill was shut down and the economic situation has forced many people to leave the area in order to provide for themselves and their families. Every second or third home is empty, abandoned by families who now only come to visit once a year. The village is surrounded by mountains and forests, and the fog rolled in, creeping over the hills making our joyous reunion feel somber and chilling.

We walked around the town, playing soccer in the streets with our young cousins unable to communicate verbally, they took us to the local hang out spot where we drank espresso and Super Bock, played pool, and visited the school my father attended until he left for Canada. Jao and his family cooked us the most delicious rabbit stew, and the homemade wine didn’t stop flowing until late into the night.

My Grandmother has always been ‘hard.’ I’ve found it hard to have a friendly relationship with her, and although I love her, I’ve often found myself jealous of my friends who have a personal connection with their grandparents. Seeing where she raised by Dad and Uncle, alone, apart from my Grandfather, seeing the fields she worked in the day after giving birth to my dad, because it had to get done, and being able to get a glimpse of what her life was many years ago has given me perspective to why she is the way she is. Why she had to be ‘hard’ to survive. Why she always wanted the best for us, but couldn’t necessarily articulate how much she loved us in a way that we could understand.

All in all, the trip was amazing. Portugal has been added the ever growing list of places and people that own a little bit of my heart, and I know that I will be back, to visit family, to spend more time, to explore, to (hopefully) learn the language, and to explore more of my culture as well.

While the rest of my family stayed in Portugal and travelled North, to Porto for an additional week, Brady and I started our 27 hour journey back to Canada. We had an overnight layover in Frankfurt, and decided to forgo going to sleep early and resting up for our last leg, and headed downtown to have some of the best beer Germany has to offer (why not!)

We were sitting in the most ‘German’ looking tavern, having ‘German’ sized beers, and feeling pretty good about life and about ourselves for choosing adventure over R&R, when we were approached by a local, saying that he had overheard us speaking English. He then asked us if we believed in God. What an odd way to start a conversation with two complete strangers. When we both answered that we believed in something, but weren’t quite sure what he seemed delighted. Apparently we passed the test. He congratulated us on “not being American,” and we went on to have a somewhat philosophical conversation about religion, Americans, and relationships. He then invited us on a walking pub crawl to give them an opportunity to welcome us to Frankfurt, because "we were his guests." Brady and I looked at each other, and immediately accepted the invite. What a better way to spend out 12 hours in Germany.

We had one drink at each place, and went from a smoky, laser filled electronic club where we had fermented apple juice (a German specialty I’m told, sour for the men, sweet for the women), playing ‘Crocodile Dentist” drinking games with the barkeep in a tavern and drinking cheery liquor, to a ‘beer fest’ type venue playing German metal, and lots of chest bumping. Our last stop was a club, where our 5$ cover got us entry and a beer, and the song that greeted us was “Barbie Girl” by Aqua. Brady got ‘roughed’ up by someone who recognized his Jet’s jersey and wanted to give him a hard time which ended in laughter, we danced, had some Jager, and hoped back into a cab so we could pack and rest for an hour before heading for the airport. After some minibar snacks (nowhere was selling food at the time we got downtown, so our adventure took place on an empty stomach), and some brother-sister bonding, we were woken up by our wakeup call 45 minutes later.

The rest of the trip was not my most enjoyable time spent on a plane, but well worth the fun and new found friends we made in Frankfurt.

With more pieces to the puzzle and a few good times later,
Delaney C.

“Someday, somewhere - anywhere, unfailingly, you'll find yourself, and that, and only that, can be the happiest or bitterest hour of your life.” (Pablo Neruda)

Me, at “Cabo da Roca” (a cape which forms the westernmost extent of mainland Portugal and continental Europe)


There is a German word, Fernweh, which means "crave for travel; being homesick for a place you've never been." What a beautiful word that so accurately describes how I find myself feeling more often than not these days, and have for the majority of my life.

Even as a young child I was inquisitive, thoughtful, always thinking and always imagining what was happening in other people lives, in other places, in other cultures, and how exciting it was to catch just a glimpse. I’ve been so lucky in my short 24 years to be able to have seen and experienced some of the things that I have. To have had the opportunities to travel to corners of the earth not plagued by mainstream tourism, to speak with locals about serious issues effecting their livelihoods, to work and collaborate with respected local organizations working with people in the area to change the future of their own countries, and to be able to focus on the moment at hand.

A year ago I decided that I would try something new. I would put down some roots, make some commitments, take some chances, not go anywhere for a while, and see what would happen. A grand experiment with my life so to speak. It’s been challenging, more challenging than I first expected to ‘stay put.” I find my mind wandering constantly, to the next adventure, to the next far away place, back to the places I’ve been, and the friend’s I’ve made.

I re-signed a lease on an apartment for the first time, meaning I’ve made a commitment to ‘stay put’ for at least another year, and while on one hand its comforting knowing that I have a place to lay my head, a stable long term job that I love, and a circle of friends that add so much my life I can’t help but feel that part of me (a very important part of me) lays dormant and in wait for the next time I can dust off my backpack and jump into the unknown.

I’m happiest when I am pushed out of my comfort zone. When I’m forced to try to make sense of what’s going on and have been given very little clues. I love the rush that comes from trying to figure out new surroundings, new people, trying new foods with names you can’t pronounce, overhearing new languages, new scents, and new environments.

I’ve been trying to keep busy in Winnipeg. Volunteering with community events (Jazz Festival, Fringe Festival) and community organizations (Elizabeth Fry Society) which has kept my monsters at bay as there is always something going on, something new to learn, and something new to see, however it hasn’t helped me find a balance, and I feel that as soon as I stop packing every day with excitement and high energy activity I’ll book a one way plane ticket to Istanbul and not look back (for at least 6 months anyways).

In the next year, I will become more comfortable with what is familiar. With what I know. With routine. I will work on finding a balance, on slowing down, on appreciating ‘down time.’ I will continue to actively participate in my community, to learn the finer nuances of my job, and to find ways to explore and adventure in my own back yard.

"If you learn to love, you might love life"
Delaney C

March 8, 2012

Kony2012 and the 'Social Media Activism' Boom

I'm happy that people are becoming aware of an issue. It might be a starting point, but before 'starting' anything, be critical, get the facts, make a thoughtful educated decision, and then do more than share a video that's gone viral, do more than put up posters or tell your friends, just do more. Explore more issues, and make sure that you're paying attention to what's happening in Canada, in our own country, and across the world as well, not just when its 'trending' but every day, because when the KONY2012 videos stop being posted it doesn't mean the situation is over, or the cause no longer worth while, it just means that people have gotten bored.

Like I said, I'm all up for people getting aware, getting involved, getting passionate, and wanting to make a difference. I would never shame someone for wanting to start, everyone has their own starting points after all, and I've been involved with some programs, and donated money to some agencies, that I would chose not to given the information and experience I have now. However sometimes 'starting' something without knowing all the facts can be extremely detrimental. I don't have a better answer, I don't have a solution. But just because I don't, doesn't mean that you should support KONY 2012 just because it's something else or something better. Something isn't always better than nothing. Sometimes it's worse.

I've debated the idea of 'social media activism' the importance of raising awareness and what amazing and popularized tools (twitter, tumblr, facebook, youtube, THE INTERNET) my generation has at our fingertips to be connected across the world instantly and how we typically use these amazing, and powerful tools to gossip about the Kardashian's, complain about having to work late, or follow the newest trends, and don't even come close to tapping into its full potential as a tool that can quite possibly change the world as we know it.

My friend Rayannah Kroeker summed up my feelings pretty well when she posted her comments on Facebook, the very place that this video http://vimeo.com/37119711 has exploded over the last two days, going viral and eliciting many different responses from my varied Facebook friends.

"I have never seen my newsfeed so covered with a social justice issue before. People care. People are learning about the LRA. And I know that those who are posting about KONY are doing it with good intentions. And those intentions give me hope.

I would love to feel that this campaign will lead to a Uganda where every person young or old can find opportunity, or better yet, create it.... I'd love to feel that this is going to drive real and lasting change.

But I don't.

Instead, I feel that this campaign is offering a simple feel-good solution to an extremely complicated and deep-rooted conflict. I am afraid that this solution may do more harm than good. I worry that people sitting at home on their computers have a greater say in what the solution should be than those who live in Uganda. I worry that the voices are being wrongly weighted. I worry that this sort of simple feel-good approach will dominate the way in which people participate in social justice.

I feel that this campaign is distracting. Distracting from the real challenges and progress going on in Uganda today. Distracting from other current atrocities whose propaganda machine is not so well oiled.

I feel this campaign is wasteful. From the mass production of propaganda materials which on April 21st will litter the streets of North-America, to the money of Invisible Children's revenue which is spent on its staff's salaries and travel expenses.

I feel. I feel. I feel. This campaign focuses on the way we feel and react to the horrific information presented to us in the film rather than truly trying to empathize with, represent and understand those enduring these horrors in Norther Uganda.

I feel that this campaign repeatedly shows us the face of an adorable five year old american boy and gives us only one Ugandan voice - a uni-dimensional victim.

I am glad people are being moved by the story of someone born half a world away. But does that story have to be sensationally exaggerated for us to pay attention? Do the facts have to be skewed? Does it have to be packaged with easy solutions? Does it have to come in HD? Does it have to make us feel as though we made a massive difference with nothing but the click of a button? Does it have to offer us a homogenous Africa(is not a country)? Does it have to be in storybook format with bad guys, heros and victims?"

I have no doubt that the people sharing this video, getting excited about social justice and making change have their hearts in the right place. It might be the first time that these people have been made aware of the atrocities going on in the world, and it is great that a dialogue has begun and that people are talking about it...but its not good enough. That's not the pessimist in me speaking, that's the realist. Its simply not enough to share a viral video, put up posters, donate your profile picture, or twitter feed.

Be critical, act with perseverance, realize that easy answers aren't always the best (if they were, we would solve a lot more global issues), be motivated, think outside and whatever you do.....ALWAYS learn two (both, all, as many as you can) sides of the story, it will help you make educated decisions, come up with more complete and holistic suggestions of solutions, act with innovation and think outside of the box.

I don't have the answers. I've made that clear, and I don't claim to have them. What I do have is questions, roughly a million of them, and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. A hope that I'll be able to live in a place, in a world where people are aware and care about each other in their own countries and across the world. Where we use technology to connect the world and make positive social change rather than find out whose dating who in Hollywood. Where apathy is a thing of the past and where critical thought is not only encouraged but expected.

Two of my cents,
Delaney C.

January 6, 2012

Well would you look at that!

"I'm a philanthropist."

When I first heard someone say that I was confused. Surely you cant just be a philanthropist....you studied business at school, so you must be a business women, or work on marketing, or or or.....something. But you cant just be a philanthropist. That's something secondary, that comes after what you do....right?

And then, after about five minutes of internal struggle and identity crisis, it made sense...all too much sense. I studied political science but I am by no means a political scientist. I work for a non-profit organization but I'm not a social worker or a program coordinator. I'm no longer a student, in the traditional sense anyways, and what happens if I lose my job...do I become nothing? Why have I, for too long, associated what takes up most of my time (job, school, ect.) as who I am.

I'm a lot of things. And what is at the bottom of all of those things that make up me......the love of humanity. Philanthropy etymologically means "the love of humanity"—love in the sense of caring for, nourishing, developing, or enhancing; humanity in the sense of "what it is to be human," or "human potential."

Silly me, still so many things to learn. Something so simple has radically shifted my mindset, and outlook on not only my present life but how I perceive my future. No matter what career path I venture down, or choices I make, philanthropy, and my love of humanity, my desire to nourish, develop and care for what it is that makes us all human, and our greatest potentials will be right there with me.

The classical view of philanthropy—that the "love of what it is to be human" is the essential nature and purpose of humanity, culture and civilization—is intrinsically philosophical, containing both metaphysics and ethics. It asserts that our nature and purpose in life is educational—to make ourselves more fully humane through self-development, pursuing excellence (arete) of body, mind and spirit. Isn't that kind of the end goal, to seek out self-development, to pursue excellence in however you choose to define it and to continue to love humans with all of their strengths and weaknesses.

Simply put, people are amazing. I feel like a broken record but people never cease to amaze me. Their amazing qualities and not so great ones. People are such complex and interesting beings, that I love to interact with anyone and everyone. Looking for new perspectives, insights, and other people's life stories of things I'll never be able to experience because I've been given just one. Isn't that what makes us so special? That we are given only one life to live but allowed to experience snipets of someone else's if they are so generous to let us. That's what keeps me going, gets me excited and keeps me inspired.

Always in awe,
Delaney C.