What’s your Inspiration?

First time I came to Thailand, I was put in such a crazy, uncomfortable position. Seeing green rivers covered in days/weeks/months old trash, the way people were looking at me (which ended up being a huge foreshadow of things to come); nevertheless, I saw the ultra-gorgeous, lush green vegetation towering over turquoise waters down below.

Was this inspiration? Not necessarily, but this was the beginning of my journey.

Vietnam – 2016

After visiting the Remnants War Museum in HCMC, I saw the absolutely destruction of what the United States Military did to Vietnamese people, also known as “communists.” I stood next to a Chinook (ironically named after a tribe of Native American Indians — a group which that was wiped out by the colonizers), and then switched to a heavy-artillery propeller. A plaque read, “this machine causes mass damage and casualties in Vietnam.” I then glanced up and said, “you’ve killed so many people.”

I took a step back, clicked on the photos app in my phone and deleted all the militaristic garbage from my phone. When I went inside and went up 5 floors of anguish and hell, it caused so much grief. I saw my friend tearing up, who was Vietnamese, and all my life I’ve been told to respect a military.

Not anymore.

I was going to @ Borack Obama and all United States military channels and berate them words of hell. Never again have I saluted, represented or mention the military anymore and I never will again.

Innocent people in Laos are still dying today because the bombs that were dropped 45 years ago.

Americans would say, “look at the brightside,” I would say, “well, with how pooly you treated blacks, and with the Native American genocide, you’re now depicting us as the monsters….but in fact, no one knows about what you’ve done.”

I didn’t make it a mission to expose anglo-America/Europe for their genocides that wreaked havoc around the world, but I did want to give back. Seeing the children, the photos of my friend teaching at poor schools in the war-torn, ravaged middle of Vietnam…..I found my inspiration.

No one deserved to have anyone come in their house and kill them, but in saying all of that, Vietnamese people of BOTH SIDES came together after the war and has coexisted to this day. What I saw was an inspiration for me to give back — to come back to Vietnam, and to help people who desperately need help.

Laos – 2018

I was approached by an amazing manager of a hotel who had sent me a number of whatsapp messages, wanting to know about my arrival. I arranged a taxi and a few other services with the hotel. It delivered (although loud from music), but the hospitality was amazing compared to other places. The manager of the hotel invited me for drinks at night and took me to a wonderful noodle shop before my flight.

He invited me to come back and to volunteer at a poor school about 1.5 hours outside of the main city.

This was my dream. This brings more happiness then making 5k-10k per month. This is true fulfillment.

Finding my inspiration. It dealt with a lot. Seeing poverty, seeing death, but also seeing my soul open up to the masses out there. People need my voice, and that’s why I created it.

Ramble of Positivity: 5th Anniversary In Thailand

It’s been an unbelievable 5 years.  Wow, how can I even put it into context. I will try highlighting this through pictures.

First Three Years

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You understand where my focus was, right? 2013-2015 were the rough years with lots of racial influences, advertisements, and me focusing on “what I didn’t want.” I had a woman from Thai Airways threaten my life, stating that she would get dangerous people to kick my face in.  I got the “ewww black man! Low-class! Pimp!” comments from lots of women.  I was denied jobs for being black.  My language center (New Education World if you must know the name) denied me dozens of jobs stating, “ohhh, they want a white teacher.”  All of these culminated for three years (and even well into this year after cutting off the unknowledgeable job)…..until the beginning of 2016.

Then this happened…..

Last Two Years

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And just like that, within two years time, I was able to overcome all of the ignorance — ignorance that I saturated myself in.  Let’s look back at the years that transformed me into the influential figure I am.  It’s time for the ramble!

My first photo, which was taken at a night safari deep in some forest in Bali, is possibly the best trip I’ve ever had in my life.  Bali, an alluring island that’s tucked away in the bottom of Indonesia, was one of those chips that changed me as a human being.  It should’ve been the trip that made me quit my current job, but it never crossed my mind.  This island is inhabited with white sandy beaches, quiet beachside fronts, jungles, monkeys, and a rich history.  The indigenous people there are full of smiles, big round eyes, and possess such a wonderful heart.

The second Spartan Race, which took place in Chon Buri, Thailand, was a memorable WALK.  I’m kidding.  However, I’m not kidding about it just being a long walk.  Regardless of laziness and the willingness to push yourself, this was one of my favorite runs because the amount of smiles and people pushing each other.

Maldives.  I’m laughing while writing this because this was a country that featured no currency.  That’s right.  I went there with Thai currency, only to be turned away and had no means of getting any currency while I was there.  Until I was met with the most incredible gesture anyone has ever given me.  This trip, which could’ve been a hell of a lot better, taught me a lot about myself in general.

Ho Chi Mihn City – the city of beautiful souls.  Well, not all.  I got cussed out roadside by a Vietnamese boy who was soliciting me for services *curling eyes*.  Going inside the remnants war museum and seeing the pure destruction the USA Army unleashed upon all Vietnamese crippled me inside.  Not only that, but it made me realize how strong-willed the Vietnamese are.

First Spartan Race in Malaysia (and the one just two weeks ago) were FUN! Wait, I’ll take that back. The first Spartan race SUCKED.  Ok, yes….it was near public transportation (versus the last one that was in the middle of a damn jungle), but there weren’t comedians or anyone cheering each other on – on the course.  Get what I’m saying? But a Sprint and Super have been achieved.  It’s time for the BEAST!

Moving into my new condo and leaving a place that was killing my insides…was a monumental feature.  I believe I brought all the pain from the beginning of the years to my last job and it held me down.  I took the leap of faith, left, and I could finally breathe again.

Anyways, enough of that.  How about checking some things off my list! Sheraton Hotel, which is a five-star hotel in KL, was put on my 101 goals list in 2015 — ACHIEVED! It wasn’t the only one to join the “checking” list with several others being highlighted.

And last but not least, the trip back to Arizona — a place I haven’t been in years.  I competed in a Tough Mudder after fighting off food poisoning (courtesy of Singapore Airlines – Thank You!).

All in all, when I was looking in my camera roll on my iPhone, I began to tear up.  How was I able to overcome all of it?

Personal development, of course.  5 years in Thailand and I still go through the craziness of it all.  So, I want to just say THANK YOU to no only my loyal followers and supporters, but the fact that I never gave up.

Stoic Mask: Part I

At some point and time in life I always dreamed of becoming a hero.  It wasn’t when I got older when I knew what heroes were….or what society perceived them to be.  Police officers (debatable compared to what’s happening now in America), firefighters (especially after the events of September 11th – when I was only 13 years old), doctors, nurses, etc.

I didn’t really sit-down and think about the military being heroes, although there was a lot going on in the early 00’s.  When I visited the remnants war museum in Ho Chi Minh City, my opinion of the military quickly changed.  After doing real research on ‘little boy’ and ‘fat man,’ I’m appalled by my findings to this day and even more amazed that people clap and say “thank you for protecting us.”  This could be a long story in it’s own, and a lot of people may have friends in the military (no disrespect intended), but my friends have been through divorces after being abused by them, they’re shooting up churches, open-firing on their own Air Force bases and a lot of them that come back from war can no longer adapt to life — suffering from PTSD.

So, who was my hero? My mother was an iconic figure, but who was it that steered me in the right direction? He came by the name of Al Travis – a very well disciplined man with a massive heart that came into my life in the most pivotal moments.  There wasn’t any flaunting of money, egoism like my mother’s last boyfriend (the strong “alpha”), or demanding – he was simply a man trying to be a father figure to a group of children, one especially in desperate need of one (my brother).

Al was like a warrior.  He was one that didn’t believe the media and the opinions of others.  He had the best communication skills I’ve ever seen of any other human being to this date, and could have a group of people erupt into laughter in seconds just by making a presence.  He never hid behind a mask….he was exactly who he’s always been — a charismatic and loving individual.

“Sometimes it’s not just the women in your life or your family whom you lock out when you hide behind this mask of strength and unflappability. Sometimes it is the entire world you lock out, and what you are keeping from them is your true, authentic self. The real you.”

Excerpt From: Lewis Howes. “The Mask of Masculinity.” iBooks.

When I was able to pour out and tell him my feelings, that was the first time in my life that I had someone “hear” me.  The exposure to a “father” figure I never had.  If I wasn’t able to do this, I, too, would’ve been hiding behind a Stoic Mask. Taking off this mask shows true vulnerability, but when you show the world what’s behind it….you show them exactly who you are.  I love Les Brown’s quote of Mr. Washington, “son, when you open your mouth, I want you to tell the world who you are.”  Raw.  He was born in an abandoned building; my father just so happened to drop my siblings and I off at the front door of a home.  Am I ashamed of it? Absolutely not.

There are people in the world who are coming out as “gay,” too.  The most notable figure that came out as gay was Michael Sam — potential NFL DE.  The unbelievable amount of hateful rhetoric following his NFL appearance was unbelievable.  One commenter said, “he kissed his boyfriend on national TV. Unreal.”  This is the hate that people are terrified of receiving from society.  Hell, writing about this, even about the military, could possibly have potential backlash….but you see — I busted the brakes, windows, and torn off the foundation of the door already.  The world knows who I am.  Do you know who you are?

Podcast

https://www.spreaker.com/user/thearseniobuckshow/the-stoic-mask-introduction