Being in a tough environment has helped me be tenacious. For example, in another institution several years ago, there were all these committees, councils, and boards that were inmate led. They made decisions and gave input for the general population. When I figured out that the members of most of those committees were not only the same, 90% of them were terrible representation. They were active gang members, drug dealers (active), and prison politicians (meaning they extorted, beat up, raped other inmates for clout and to instill fear). 

One day I was complaining about the unfairness of it all to one of the members who I knew was in there for the right reasons. He was a mentor of mine. He told me something extraordinary that day, “Ya know Jeff, your right, the people in positions of leadership and decision making are horrible people. But, who else has stepped up? Have you? We cant elect who isn’t there.” 

It struck a nerve in me. So I began developing thicker skin and tenacity. I began telling people what my goals were and the more they laughed the more I pushed. Eventually becoming apart of every one of the committees, councils, and boards. My voice was heard in every one of them, I made sure of it. 

A much more valuable lesson was learned though. Tenacity is important. Grit is valuable. But learning to create solutions instead of complaining, well that has created a leader. I figured out that problems still exist because people are largely afraid to solve the problem. We place the burden of leadership on one persons shoulders, that way we have someone other than ourselves to yammer on about. The real problem is you. 

You have a brain. Don’t you understand that you were specially designed to solve problems? Problem: Unwashed vegetables can make you sick. Solution: Wash vegetables. See, we solve problems. That’s what we do as humans, that’s the separation from other species, we think. 

There are a lot of problems in the world, I know. But there are more people than problems. 

Find a cause. Get involved. Your not to busy. Mentor someone, donate things, fundraising, whatever…just participate. Its not the governments job to solve problems…its yours, ours.

I am working on things of my own. I have ideas to end victimization and violence. I also have ideas to end inequality in the LGBT community. And before anyone tells me how impossible it all is…save it. 

Impossible is only for those who believe in the word, if it wasn’t for spell check I would even know how to spell impossible, its an ugly word.

With Love