Social Discourse Reborn

Social Discourse Reborn, West Chester

SDR

We live in a time now where people are scared to talk about problematic issues and race. And when we do find the occasions however few with the majority done behind an electronic screen, it sometimes sadly erupts into chaos. Don’t you feel like it is time we brought back social discourse? Don’t you just really want to dive into it headfirst and have these conversations from a place of honesty and authenticity? Don’t you just want to learn and understand others point of view while also sharing your own beliefs?

As a “progressive” society, we are very far from equilibrium. We all walk around as glasses half filled with patches of knowledge that does nothing but create division and hate. We use it as a sword to defend our way of thinking instead of using it as a pencil to potentially write out newly found truths in our open book or even possibly erasing fallacies we hold dear to us which hold us hostage.

Isn’t it time that we seek the truth from one another? Isn’t it time we begin to ask questions and examine all writings from every side? Isn’t it time for us to debate, experiment and discuss ideas in a place which breeds constructive discourse?

In the end, we are all human beings full of vulnerabilities and imperfections which is why it is important for us not to fall into our own biases. We must question our own ideas to avoid falling into prejudice or careless thinking. The only way to achieve this is through honest and authentic communication with your fellow neighbor.

This year has taught me valuable and indispensable lessons. It has brought me clarity about my own biases and how I’ve use my fraction of the truth as a sword rather than a pencil. I want to be part of something where when I leave, I can wholeheartedly say that I’ve learned something new and can ask the question: “If true, how do I apply it?”

Don’t you? If your answer is yes, you’ll be glad to know that I am forming a group called – Social Discourse Reborn, located in West Chester, PA. The intention is to provide a place where people from all walks of life can join regardless of their political, religious, academic beliefs or race. The goal is to not only get ahead of the 2024 election but to also brew a sense of harmony and knowledge sharing within our small community. In person gatherings will be conducted once a week with topics chosen ahead of time from a pool populated by all attendees. Food and drinks will be provided at every gathering. The place of gathering is TBA and will be announced once all emails have been collected.

Let the social discourse and knowledge sharing begin.

Stay tuned.

The continuously lengthy and arduous race to self-improvement.

By now, we are all too familiar with the maxim – The road to hell is paved with good intentions. But, have you ever heard of this aphorism – The road to self-improvement isn’t paved at all. On the contrary, it’s full of gravel of all shapes and sizes.

Alright, you caught me and I can hear you whispering: “That’s not a saying at all. This guy is full of….” Before you finish your thoughts, let’s not get too hostile. Hear me out. Have you ever experienced an epiphany so strong, it naturally moved you to improve a trait or habit which you deemed for so long paralyzing or destructive? Only to conquer that trait or habit and be rudely greeted immediately by another paralyzing or destructive trait or habit you had no idea existed within you. Soon you realize as you continue to trek forward, the road doesn’t get easier. The gravel beneath you begins to increase in size and no amount of money can save you from developing sore feet.

Three years ago, I decided to embark on such a journey after experiencing what I would describe as a life altering moment. To describe my early twenties, it would equate to the famous Joker ride at Six Flags – fun and dangerous. My pride had reached unfathomable levels like the stock market today. My selfishness knew no bounds. Not to get into the nitty gritty but, let’s just say throughout my fun and dangerous moments, I was blessed enough to escape death on one or two occasions. Those eye opening experiences were enough to prompt me to enter the race to self-improvement, not knowing the arduous challenges ahead. One day, I sat in deep thought and realized I had everything I ever needed – food, shelter, clothes, a career, loving people and great health. Yet, I was missing something. Desperate for an answer, I turned to religion for guidance. A bit naïve, I saw it has a cure to all my problems. Following months of studying and spiritual growth I surely believed I was on my way to a better life.

Initially, conquering your first bad trait or habit feels rewarding. However; you slowly notice the toll it takes on your state of mind. Just as I was preparing myself to take along breath of victory, life decided to throw me a curve ball. “Oh you thought you were done?” life said. Without warning, a new challenge sprung forth. “Now fix that!” shouted life. “And this, and that, and umm, don’t forget about this one.”

Naturally, if you’re not mentally strong, self-doubt begins to seep into all the neurons inside of your brain. Inevitably, the pain travels downwards and your feet begin to hurt as you trek on the uncomfortable gravel. “How could I have so many flaws?” you may catch yourself asking. “Why can’t this road be paved already? I just want to be better!” you may shout from within.

I get it. I really do.

Luckily, it doesn’t have to remain that way. By allowing myself to be humble as I can be, to interact and be in the company of people of all ages, old and young, I am now able to see the beauty in this continuously lengthy and arduous race to self-improvement. I am now able to recognize growth, short or long term, and appreciate its worth. I am now able to calm my self-doubts and focus on one gravel at a time. And so can you! Humble yourself. Branch out, meet new people of different cultures, age and backgrounds. Build your knowledge bank. As you interact with those individuals, don’t fall in the trap of comparing yourself to them. Instead, take in the stories they share, draw out the lessons and use them as fuel to keep you going on your continuously lengthy and arduous race to self-improvement. Now is not the time to give up. We may not be able to utterly predict our future, but stay on this lengthy and arduous path to self-improvement and the end result can only be a true masterpiece.

With that said, I leave you with this – Take your eyes away from this screen. Look around you. If you don’t like what you see, then change it. Do not allow them to break your spiritual core as it is the only spark that will set you free!