Living authentically

My oldest son Matt is the most authentic individual I know.

Even though he lives with me – we rarely see each other. I try to stay tuned to what’s going on with him by reading his livejournal. And this entry today made me weep with joy at who he has become.

First, Matt has never, ever been a material kind of kid. He’s painfully idealistic and always true to himself. I truly admire him – most of the time.

He does have a tendency toward self-centered behavior – especially when it involves his film work. It is something I’m afraid he will always struggle with.

Obviously, his heart is in the right place.

This is his livejournal entry from today.

I was offered to instruct two more youth programs with 911 media arts center. Initially I was a bit turned off by the idea. I sat down with the education director, and she proceeded to tell me how much of a difference I have made with these programs. They had been trying, all through 2006, to run a program from beginning to start. Each instructor they found had dropped out. Or the students couldn’t relate to, and hence dropped out. The program earlier this year that I had run, was the only one to successfully make it to completion. This is also with only 8 youth completing it with a finished project. I felt like a failure much of the time, but the reality I guess, was that these kids felt like they understood what I said, and enjoyed it. When I went to L.A. earlier this year, the program 911 had set up for the summer, fell through, because they couldn’t find a suitable instructor. They had two people come in, and neither saw it through.

I look at some of these kids, and I can’t believe how disadvantaged they are. They have no critical thinking skills. No media literacy skills. No hope of learning these things that I take for granted. Indeed these are the people that advertisers dupe into repeatedly parting with their meager but hard earned dollars. These are the stupid people, or the ones that the people at the top of the food chain hope, for their sake, remain stupid.

It made me feel so good to teach them. To make friends with them, and share what knowledge I could.

I was told that this time would be different. I would have full reign over what was taught, and it is indeed, up to me what these kids learn.

I feel honored. A bit intimidated. I had other ideas about next year. Perhaps finally finding a good gig where I can be a normal consuming member of American society. I feel this is more important.

I shall be the head instructor of two separate youth programs next year. In conjunction with 911 media arts center, and the Seattle office of arts and cultural affairs.

Again, I will be paid off of grants that come into the media center. So I wont see any of the money until the middle of next year.

This scares me. But deep down I know what is important.

I told Tess the other night that I was not afraid to die, and I have been thinking about it. I am not. I feel I am living authentically. That is the source of my strength, and my peace. I cannot deny what is inside, and what I want to do.

Teaching young people who do not know things I have been lucky enough to learn at a very young age is more important then whatever I would end up doing in a monetary driven mindset.

Time for BJJ.

“BJJ” is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu – that is his other passion.

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