Old Skool Cafe.

Over the last few years I have thought a lot about sustainable non-profit programs that serve local communities. Every once in a while I come across an idea or an organization that is really doing effective work in their local community. Today’s post is about Old Skool Cafe, a youth run restaurant in San Francisco. Old Skool offers kids the opportunity to learn skills in business, service and entertaining that can help them be successful in life. Watch the video below to learn about their story and how this organization is transforming lives.

#ManlyMonday | Intensity

Intensity has a lot of different meanings in our culture today. Some meanings have a negative connotation such as being overly or hyper strong or extreme. Other meanings are more favorable such as having “great energy, strength, concentration, vehemence, etc., as of activity, thought, or feeling” as dictionary.com defines it. Today, I want to talk about intensity as a virtue of masculinity. Young men have an aptitude for intensity that is often times killed by “growing up.” Work, bills and other responsibilities start to weigh on men as they step from schooling into adulthood. Men get so caught in the day to day routine that they lose their intensity for life. Men are meant to be intense. I don’t mean this in the Full Metal Jacket drill-sergeant-who-sucks-life-out-of-people-to-get-what-he-wants kind of intense. I mean men are meant to be intense about the things in life that matter. They are meant to have “great energy” towards their relationships, careers and hobbies. Great intensity fosters a life that leaves people changed for the better. How are you becoming a man of intensity? Who do you see around you that is changing the lives of others for the better because of their intensity? Share your thoughts and experiences with us. Let us know where you see the value of intensity in life.

Friday Links | June 22

Jarred

One of the best first hunt stories I’ve ever seen. An incredible piece by Jonathan Miles.

Glen Hansard + NPR = an awesome Tiny Desk Concert

My soccer fix has been getting filled via Euro 2012. Check out Grantland’s quarterfinal preview. (I know it’s a day late but worth the read still!)

The Best Time to Buy Anything – a brief guide by Men’s Health

Jordan

Treat yourself to something nice for July 4th.

I am mixing it up this week. Here is a list of blogs that are written by a few close friends. I always enjoy hearing their voice as they write and seeing their passions displayed.

I see you.

It doesn’t take going on many running adventures to realize runners have their own top secret language. If you’re around a runner for more than 5 minutes you’re bound to hear some crazy jargon: fartlek, PR, 5k, bonk, goo, onomatopoeia(?). If I were to create another blog it would be focused on working out. I would write about and all the humorous situations and different jargon that is specific to each sport. Too bad one of my closest friends Spencer Cope beat me to it (After all…If you’re not an Ironman, you’re not an Ironman).

One of my favorite things about running is a little something I like to call the I see you wave. This is the little wave that athletes trade as they cross paths on the road (usually paired with a simultaneous head nod). The wave is typically a mixture of acknowledgement and encouragement. I’ve discovered this wave can be versatile and mean any of the following:

  • I see you and I like your Oakleys.”
  • I see you and you’re struggling? Okay good that makes two of us.”
  • I see you and I respect that you’re out here”
  • I see you and I can tell you’re working hard”
  • I see you and I have those Nike shorts”
  • I see you keep up the good work”
  • I see you and your hard work encourages me to work harder”

I can’t help but wonder what it would look like if we transfered this wave into everyday situations. Could we create a secret wave for when we see a person doing something we like or respect? For example, what if I see someone at Panera reading a book I’ve read? What can I do when I see an older woman investing in and discipling a group of high school girls at Starbucks? How do I acknowledge the guy who picks up trash at the park? What about when I am serving tables and one guy in a group of ten encourages his friends to stop drinking because they all have to drive home?

Is there some sort of wave or head nod that I can pass just to say I see you?

Continue reading

Connected, but alone?

I recently watched a TED talk, which I borrowed my title from, concerning the affect of social media on community and relationships. In this talk Sherry Turkle explores how the technologies we use are changing how we interact with each other and creating a world where we are connected more than ever but also alone more than ever. The talk is linked below but I want to focus on one quote from her talk in particular. While speaking with teenage students one boy told Turkle, “someday, someday, but certainly not now, I would like to learn to have a conversation…”

This simple statement makes me fearful of what our future may hold. As Turkle puts it, we participate in  “The illusion of companionship without the demands of friendship.” The simple art of holding a conversation is apparently now something that teenagers have to learn. I’m sure the same teenager and millions of more like him can text, tweet and facebook without restraint but rarely hold a conversation. Don’t get me wrong, as a macbook and iphone using consumer I love technology but at what cost is it becoming integrated into our daily lives? In college it wasn’t uncommon for a couple of my friends to exclaim, “Be here!” whenever someone whipped out their cell phone to check facebook/twitter/other social media forums. That’s the cry of this post. Be where you are. Talk to the people in the room with you without your phone or computer in between. Invest in them by conversing. Who knows what could happen?

Let’s start the conversation. How do you navigate the use of technology while maintaining relationships? What do you do to actively forgo technology in order to be present where you’re at?