There's a Buddhist proverb I aim to live by, with varying degrees of success: "There is nothing noble about being superior to another person. The true greatness is in being superior to your previous self."
That quote has motivated me to be a better cook, better son, a more compassionate partner, a more engaging host, a stronger writer. But it's too glib to say I've had an easy road to self-improvement. I still sometimes ignore the first part of that proverb; too often I look at others my age and think, "Damn. I should own property by now. I should have those 2.5 kids by now...right? Right?"
I then stiff-arm that negative nelly voice, instead focusing energies on things I can change right now: my health, my poetry writing, my day-to-day happiness.
I've always felt in tune with that quote because it told me to be better than I was yesterday; to keep pushing. To not be happy with status quo. When we grow up out of our 20s and reach a deeper maturity in our 30s, our sense of accomplishments evolve. New goals give us pleasure. We aren't just reaching for that hedonism any longer, or at least not as chaotically as before.
I began producing Toronto Poetry Slam because I wanted to improve my city's artistic range and showcase the talents that were inspiring me on the regular. I'm incredibly proud of how I've lived up to the Buddhist proverb with TPS, in part thanks to a city that has wholeheartedly embraced this brand of spoken word funnery. And I'm itching to do something beyond TPS to better support other communities, even if that stretches me thin. That's the kind of stretching I don't mind doing (sorry, yoga).
I have a few ideas in mind that may develop into full-blown projects by year's end, and you'll be the first to hear about their initial blueprints once I get them off the ground. Stay tuned!
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