just so you know, vegan girl

you were the girl who made my whole night, on my 8 mile walk
you reminded me that one person can be your whole world, can change your whole experience of life –
damn you for giving me hope –
but it is said we fall in love with shared values, real love
and I know: you has a man
and he seemed a pretty damn solid-dude too,
but I wonder how much he is like your father,
how much he treats you like a child
for you and I spoke like children:
beautifully, purely,
conversing, sharing space –
and it was so nice I could cry a little and imagine a lot
and I hope you see this,
because you gave me some peace tonight – the kind gone awhile –
and I’m taking it to bed w me,
holding onto the optimism I walked away from you with,
until I see you again,
which may be never,
so forever it is

Applying The Rule of 3: Is it true? Is it Necessary? Is it Kind?

I enjoy subscribing to certain questions on Quora.

Today I received an email with a particularly good answer to the question: What is the best advice your father ever gave you?

The answer I received is as follows:

My father told me to follow the rule of 3 in life.
Some of the examples are:

If you want to buy something, ask yourself 3 questions:

    Is it necessary?
    Do I need it right now?
    Is it worth its price?

If answer to all of this is yes then only buy it.

Before you speak anything, ask yourself 3 questions:

    Is it true?
    Is it necessary?
    Is it kind?

If the answer to all of this is yes then only speak.
This has helped me tremendously in my life because I can apply this method to almost everything in my life.

Of course, this is the kind of thing we see posted on social media almost daily – with a myriad of inaccurate sources, and as such, it can be easy to let it go as unnoticed as any of the dozen-or-so quotes you may encounter on a daily basis.

However, what makes this wonderful is that it’s not just a quote, but a paradigm; a lens via which we can look through to gain better clarity before we act.

How many times have we spoken without certainty that something is necessary, true, or kind?

How many times have we purchased something that wasn’t necessary, that we didn’t need right then, or that wasn’t worth the price?

By applying the “rule of 3”, as the answer calls it, we have a simple framework for making better decisions.

Interestingly, upon Googling the quote, it turns out it originates from a Victorian book of poems called “Miscellaneous Poems,” published in 1872 (Source: FakeBuddahQuotes.com). The poem is written by Mary Ann Pietzker and is aptly titled “Is It True? Is It Necessary? Is It Kind?

“Is It True? Is It Necessary? Is It Kind?

Oh! Stay, dear child, one moment stay,
Before a word you speak,
That can do harm in any way
To the poor, or to the weak;
And never say of any one
What you’d not have said of you,
Ere you ask yourself the question,
“Is the accusation true?”

And if ’tis true, for I suppose
You would not tell a lie;
Before the failings you expose
Of friend or enemy:
Yet even then be careful, very;
Pause and your words well weigh,
And ask it it be necessary,
What you’re about to say.

And should it necessary be,
At least you deem it so,
Yet speak not unadvisedly
Of friend or even foe,
Till in your secret soul you seek
For some excuse to find;
And ere the thoughtless word you speak,
Ask yourself, “Is it kind?”

When you have ask’d these questions three—
Ask’d them in all sincerity,
I think that you will find,
It is not hardship to obey
The command of our Blessed Lord,—
No ill of any man to say;
No, not a single word.

May the Rule of 3 serve you well my dear reader – and perhaps as the gentleman’s father had taught him to apply a rule of 3 for purchases, you too can create and apply your own rules of 3 to help you make better decisions in your life; i.e., before you eat, ask yourself “Am I hungry?, do I need to eat something?, and is this healthy?”

This is just an example made up on the fly, and of course life isn’t always that simple, but picking up little tricks along the way like the rule of 3 can help us improve our ability to make healthy and intelligent decisions. As the answer’s author wrote: This has helped me tremendously in my life because I can apply this method to almost everything in my life.

Real Life Inspiration: Prince Ea on The State of The World, Technological Disconnection, and Love

Note: I first want to preface this with the declaration that I do not subscribe to the cult of personality. Particularly, in a day and age where – as Prince Ea says: “Our role models today – sixty years ago would have been examples of what not to be”.

I simply do not believe in placing people on a pedestal (hero worship) because I believe that living things are inherently equal – and while that’s an entirely separate topic, the point I want to drive home to you is that you are as worthy of your love as your heroes are; you are as capable as they are. This is why I occasionally highlight some of my role models under the heading of Real Life Inspiration, because we should not worship people, nor compare ourselves to them, but rather – we should be inspired by their choices and their message, which should empower our own sense of choice and control over our lives. I’d like to think Prince Ea would cosign this message.

Hip-hop artist and poet Prince Ea grew up in St. Louis “I grew up in the worst part of the worst city in the world – statistically; the Eastside of St. Louis”. Having graduated with a degree in anthropology, Prince Ea said he combines anthropology with his music to provide social analysis. His messages are refreshing and they echo insights and truths that lie behind the facade of society – the deeper truths many people don’t see.

Where he is – his internal state and emotional resonance – that’s a beautiful place to be.

After gaining increased exposure with the following video on the state of the world, Prince Ea was recently featured on Glenn Beck, which can be viewed here (the video is completely non-political and focused on Prince Ea’s message of Love). The interview really showcases how grounded Prince Ea is. We can all learn from his messages. Below I’ve included three of Prince Ea’s best video’s to date. Pay attention to what he is saying.

Prince Ea on The State of The World

It’s easy to dismiss this kind of thing as another video designed to go viral, but there are so many things he says that are just completely true. One of my favorite lines might be pride is at an all time high, humility is at an all time low.


Prince Ea on Technological Disconnection

This youtube comment a viewer posted to the video says it all:

It makes me sick to my stomach. Try MeetUp instead. Get out and connect. Touch each other. Look each other in the eye, and pay attention to the other person’s soul. 

We are electric beings that were meant to connect–not connect through electric devices but to each other by touch and proximity.


Prince Ea on Love

The lessons Prince Ea offers on love are brilliant. Many people never discover these truths, or only do after years and years of pain.

See, the truth is, we have forgotten what love is. Our ideas about love come from storybooks, romantic comedies, popular songs, facebook memes – and they all show this fuzzy romantic type of love, and as you are aware, in your own life, these ideas have led to more anxiety and pain then true pleasure [fullfilment] and happiness… because these ideas themselves are flawed, they are based on ownership and selfishness “You are my bae, my boo, my sweetheart; I love you – but only if you’re with me”. That’s a possessive type of love, that’s a love with strings attached, that’s an impure type of love.

Ask yourself this question: who do you hate? It’s probably somebody you used to love right.

Thinking that somebody can fix you or that you can fix somebody else is just plain wrong. See, love is an inside job. In order to love others we must first love ourselves. We have to mature in a way that we can take care of our own emotional needs –  we can help ourselves – and that way, we accept the flaws in our partner because we have already accepted the flaws in ourselves.

There’s no more anger or controlling clinginess in this type of love, there’s a relaxed acceptance, there’s kindness, there’s tenderness, there’s vulnerability.

And when you are reflecting your true self, your true soul, you’re no longer reflecting anger, pain, your past failures, and your ego – that’s when love can blossom because the souls only expression is pure love.

And I think when two people, when two souls come to this understanding – that’s rare, that’s beautiful, and that’s something we should all strive for

So word to the wise, if you don’t know how to love, you will ultimately destroy it.


Sage, sage words. This is one of those instances where I get a strange sense of reassurance at the fact that someone else has independently arrived at the same conclusions I have. If you watched the Glenn Beck interview with Prince Ea, you’ll have seen Glen Beck ask Prince Ea, ‘Where is this coming from?’, to which Prince Ea answered:

It comes from inside, it comes from me looking inside of myself… It just comes from me sitting alone, and looking inward at what is the solution, what makes me happy, looking at the world, what makes me happy, and it’s love it’s peace it’s compassion, the most basic idea that permeate all religions – but not a lot of people seem to adopt; it came from me looking inside, from introspection. 

In my own relationship with inner peace and unconditional, abundant love, I too found this truth looking inward.

Be sure to follow Prince Ea on facebook and carry his message forward in your life. Be the love that you are – the love you wish to see in the world.

I’ll leave you with two more soundbites from Prince Ea (via Glenn Beck):

I’m an artist that wants to connect with people’s hearts because I think the individual is everything. If you want to change – if you’re in a movie theater and you don’t like the movie, you don’t go up to the movie and start beating up the projection on the screen – you go and change the film. So I believe that in order to have external peace, we have to have internal; peace in ourselves before any change is possible.

I honestly think that – that within everyone – that pure love, that pure consciousness is who we really are. I think that finding out who you really are is the key.


A Golden Brick in The Road: Steve Roggenbuck

Have you ever encountered someone who makes you feel like a blind-drunk imitating a master ballet dancer?

I have.

The resulting feelings are thus:

I’m breathless and deflated and rising like a balloon excreting it’s worth and I’m bleeding with all of the oozing of a soul that’s just seen itself in the full chiaroscuro of a hand held in front of the bright light that makes everything in the dark take a new shape.

Backing up a thousand days for a moment. I’m a tech entrepreneur with a background in journalism-lite and a pedigree of sweet-and-sour romances. The successes and failures in each of these has shaped me much in the way that the wind shapes the desert. I’m a product of my environment and my experiences and now I’m typing this because as an artist I’ve come to a Golden Brick in The Road.

A golden brick in the road is that thing/person/book/idea that you come across and upon finding it you’re never the same. It’s spiritual alchemy. Real world meaning – understanding given to feeling, feeling given to ideas, new ideas, new understandings, new questions; answers to unasked questions having lurked too long in the recesses of your heart. A golden brick in the road is a pirate’s telescope for the soul. We experience it and we see distant lands and possibilities that quiver in the wind like palms on the shore of our dreams.

Tonight, taking a break from menial computer labor [coding and design], I saw a post on facebook by The New Yorker highlighting a one Steve Roggenbuck.

As someone who writes poetry – and who pretentiously likes to believe I have the soul of a poet – I was intrigued by this self-described ‘internet poet’ because personally I tend to feel that I was born in the wrong era as far as being an artist; as I recently wrote as part of a short story I am working on:

There was no place in the world for men born in the wrong era. Troubled men, men with confused consciences and selfish empathies. Impulsive men, men with vices and opinions which caused suffering in equal measures to themselves and those foolish enough to love the idealistic fools, the artists; the reckless intellectuals.

Admittedly this was relatively biographical and while I’m sure I may end up regretting that admission, I just have to claim it because lately my identity as an artist has been wrapped up in the dark and brooding misery that almost all artists surely experience at one time or another. And it’s the misery of not feeling able to communicate the inadmissible truths: the Jungian loneliness of being full of feeling and having little medium to express it in a manner that others in turn relate to and validate.

Because how the fuck can I express myself with the full double rainbow of my tears and my fears and my hopes and my dreams in 2014 – how is that possible today outside of journals and academia and people who actively seek out and read literature? How will this be appreciated beyond the posterity of my potential progeny reading this in the year 2153?

Then tonight, as I watched this video suddenly all of that complex and frustrated emotion became rather illusory:

And watching another video of his, the impasse within me continued to dissolve:

What can I say, I mean, I think the characteristic quality of this golden brick in the road was that, like all golden bricks in life, it expanded my idea of what was possible. Particularly what I felt was possible with art – and while I may not be quite as Andy Milonakis / Lil B as some of Steve Roggenbuck’s art is, I’d like to think I’ve got a sort of David Foster Wallace / Phillip K. Dick / Hemingway / Terry Gilliam / whoknowswhothefuck vibe to my writing, but the truth is, I’m as unique and bizarre, and average, and different as you are, and I’m definitely full blown ENFP as far as personality types go – but the point is, that in a world where we have to have so many schemas for interacting with life (i.e., ‘who we are’ at work, ‘who we are’ at a bar with our friends, ‘who we are’ with strangers) it’s especially trying as an artist to try and create your art and to cultivate yourself as an artist in a manner that balances authenticity with integrity; because the danger isn’t in failing to create but in creating in a manner that fails to communicate who you are and what you want to say. If you fail to do that, you’ve failed as an artist.

What I found so endearing about the work of Steve Roggenbuck is that it felt fearless and to me that’s where real authenticity in art exists, in the ability of the artist to express himself honestly – despite expectations and styles and rules. That’s what makes Roggenbuck original; that’s what slapped me in the face tonight: the fear of my own failure to do so. Because the truth is, that like you, I want to be liked, I want to be accepted, but the real truth is, that in life, that’s simply not living; that’s being a puddle sitting in a pothole in the road and thinking the world was made just for you – and it wasn’t made for you to conform to, it was made for you to shape. So… what are you going to do? Be you.

The risk is not in the wrong people not liking you. The risk is in the right people not loving you.

Thank you Steve Roggenbuck for helping me see what it means to be a poet today.


Check out Steve Rogenbuck’s website to follow him on social media and across the web.