Life & Living

The most amazing phenomenon about LIFE is that we all start LIVING and dying the instant we are born; you can’t have one with out the other. I guess the most important thing is to offer the world the best that you have to GIVE and at the end of the day if you are here today and gone tomorrow you can say… One thing is for sure, I was definitely the best at being me and there will never be anyone exactly like me. In other words, LIVING stops but LIFE continues dead or alive just make sure that while you’re LIVING that you GIVE the world your best and you will be remembered for the LIFE that you created even though LIVING can come to an end. I think Sir Winston Church Hill said it best “We make a LIVING by what we get, we make a LIFE by what we GIVE” So GIVE the world your best and immortality is yours! RAW

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Until it Happens to You!

We live in a country that is self centered. Where we are blinded by the extended need to help, or fully understand the struggles of others! Until your company goes bankrupt, fires individuals, someone you know gets sick, natural disaster takes all that you own, robbery, identity theft, divorce, death, or any kind of devastating event, most of us don’t care enough to take action! In other words, if its not in your backyard it’s not your problem. One thing I know for sure, there is nothing new under the sun and what goes around comes around, so no one is immune to needing one another to care! Somehow we are satisfied with a tweet or a facebook message that simply acknowledges that something happened and although we may feel bad… it goes scrolling away down the computer screen and then out of sight out of mind!

Once upon a time when a guest visited your house it was a big deal, walking to the store to get an ice cream, the landline ringing, oh and lets not forget getting a personal letter in the mail from a friend! We are forgetting what it means to be human. Much like the computer we are becoming robots void of physical action, conversation, emotions, extended compassion and most of all humanistic growth. We were put on this earth to live and work together. The ability to care beyond your own circle is vital because a closed circle means that when its your turn for needing help others will not be able to enter!

This message is not so much to criticize, but to wake up our conscience, compassion and concern for everyones well being in a effort to be better for the betterment of all!

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Black and White

We could all probably tell stories for days, but I would like to share a few. Racism, ignorance, and prejudice are three very different things. Also, we can not just simply put one race into a negative category.

In high school at The Baltimore School for the Arts, true story. I was what you call a “YO BOY,” and somewhat of a comedic trouble maker! One day the brass ensemble had to go on a recruiting trip which meant being away from school. At the end of the day we returned to school, and I was called to the deans office. At this point I am feeling really good, because I couldn’t be in trouble today, because I wasn’t here! I walked in the office and there was the dean, head of the vocal music department, the associate dean, the president of the school, and about 15 young ladies ( 14 black and one white who happened to be my girlfriend) Holy shit right, turns out I have not been the same Richard since having a white girlfriend, and this created total chaos during the school day! Each girl went around taking turns stating their concerns from, I just never thought he would sell out, to he use to call everyday and now nothing, to he was suppose to go to prom with me. Keep in mind at least three of these girls, I never said a word to, and wasn’t even sure who they were. At the end of the meeting they all had to take a pledge stating that they would all share me and that they understood I had the right to date who I wanted. The dean looked at me and said “Richard only you, some of us would kill to have the problems you have.” I stayed with my high school sweet heart for years and yes she was white and that relationship changed the entire dynamic of a high school in a very positive way!

While attending Indiana University three young African American tuba players Jerome Stover, Bryan Mack, and myself decided to drive up to Cincinnati, to hear a Bruckner Symphony. We were so exited plus we were going to see Mike Thornton principal tubist back then (rip). Well, we arrived at the box office and the lady working came out of the box office to tell us that the MC Hammer concert was down the street… Jerome Stover, quickly begin to give this lady a music history lesson, I am sure she will never forget! She then gave us free tickets to the concert I can only imagine how that would have gone if we were confrontational. I wish this story ended here. After the concert, we went back to the musicians exit to meet Mike Thornton, who proceeded to run like Flash Gordon, from us as we screamed “we go to IU and study with Mr.P, great concert…” He continued to run away. I am sure he was just scared, but had we been white would any of this had happened?

Second story, being from Baltimore City I never needed a car, public transportation is more than enough to get around. I thought Indiana would be the same right, light rail, bus, subway…needless to say that was not the case, so I called Dad and explained to him I would need a car. Went home purchased my first car thanks to Brass Theater which is now Blast. On the way back to Indiana, my first long distance drive alone my endurance was not that great, so I decided to stop at a Hotel in West Virgina, where every hotel had big as day vacancy lights flashing. Naturally I stopped at the first one and there was a security guard, and desk clerk who both told me pretty aggressively we don’t have any rooms. I was like ok, plenty of other hotels, so I drove down the street to the next one and what do you know, security guard and desk clerk again told me this time ” nobody in this town is going to have a room for you.” I basically ran to my car drove about 50 miles and slept in a BP gas station in my Buick Le Saber. How would you label this story?

Ok on a lighter note three college student decided to take the Rochester Philharmonic audition, two African Americans, one Japanese and six tubas pilled in that Buick Le Saber – don’t ask how we did that…but anyway, I make a bad turn and we got pulled over by the police:( The officer said to me because I was driving “Sir. you didn’t see that sign as he pointed that says no turning here?” I replied “you mean that very big sign right there that you are pointing to? No sir, but I see it now it sure is big!” He busted out laughing and just gave us a warning! Not all cops are bad!

Last but not least, when I was attending Indiana University, I became friends with Robert White ( white male) and then there is me Richard White (giant black male)! So we would always take festival auditions together and which ever would go first we would say you will get to hear my twin brother later and the looks on their faces were priceless when the second one came in. They would always laugh and it was a really fun prank to do. One year we both made Spoletto USA, and got to our room before our roommates, so we set up shop and went to bed! Because of our names which was sent out on a roster to our roommates they assumed we were twins…lol, so its about 12 at night and I am sleeping and I feel the top of my covers being pulled back and all I heard next was “they aint twins!” LMBO funny story about race and how different people react!

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Bubbles

Every now and then I like to think out loud. Sometimes in life things happen and it makes us realize something about the way we see the world! Not many in this bubble called “life” imagines they could die at any minute. The thought is quite the reverse: in that most believe that the world can be controlled, risk eliminated, and fate mastered. Grades, admissions, love, relationships, credentials—the steady, predictable climb up the ladder of professional success—that’s the idea. We’re going to live a long time, and the world is not going to take us by surprise.

Has there ever been another group of people, in all of human history, that’s possessed that kind of attitude in reference to the bubble of life called the American Dream? There is reasoning for such notions… our enormous modern life expectancy, our inconceivable prosperity, our overwhelming military power, and last but not least our individual ego. I can’t help but to wonder about its spiritual perils. A professor once stated “it was easy for Nietzsche or Sartre to do without God in their “bubble of life”, because they had so much else to sustain them. ( comfort is always both enjoyable and dangerous)” This comment is not to say we need to let the little people have their God. It is only to remind us—to remind myself, which I need to do on a regular basis—that we live in a “bubble,” and that most people (in the world, in history, even in our own country) are on the outside. And also to wonder what happens when personal bubbles start to burst? As individuals how equipped are we to handle the bubble of life when all that is secure fails?

Heavy thoughts for a Saturday morning at the last day of a Tuba Euphonium conference, no doubt, but then again that’s Rawtuba style, for a long time, the “bubble of life,” also known as the American Dream has lived a very sheltered existence for a very long time, especially compared to the vast majority of the population of the Earth. To some extent, there’s been an sense of invincibility that has been created and, perhaps most importantly, a sense of detachment from the rest of the world. Everyone is mending their own backyard not understanding that the next door neighbors might have something of value to show and teach us if we learned to stepped outside our own bubble of life. For better or worse, many of us are living inside of a bubble and we have no idea how fortunate we really are to be where we are.

It also raises the question of what would happen if this bubble of life bursts for too many individuals and the sheltered life one has been living, where security is guaranteed, so many feel as though they can do what they want with out consequences. Make no mistake about it – All behavior has consequences. To me we have developed a mentality of life and culture that lacks respect for each other and as a result we are less united and more divided. We live a sheltered existence, and not only don’t we realize it, but most of us can’t even contemplate…that all that we are, and all that we have might go away some day!

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When it Rains it Pours

Some scientist have made claims that crying is actually healthy for you and it has a lot to do with why women live so much longer than men across the board. Have you ever asked yourself what could possibly be the meaning of tears? At times they fill our entire body with tremendous sorrow while at others times it’s the exact opposite when the tears flow out of astonishment and great joy.

If you’ve ever wanted to have a conversation with your body in which your body told you exactly how it was feeling at any given moment, be thankful because this is what happens when we cry. Next time the tears start to roll just remember that every now and then we all have to listen to what our body is trying to stay because each of us only have one and it’s in our best interest to PAY ATTENTION TO IT

By definition the word freedom is a state in which somebody is able to act and live as he or she chooses, without being subject, to any undue, restraints or restrictions. In other words freedom is a world where you can do whatever you want, whenever you want without worry. Many guest dwell in that shell we call the human body and tears are free to roam within our souls if you open the door titled “Hey I am Human” allowing them to visit your inner self. If you open the door you can be sure of one thing and that’s the fact that this particular guest of “tears,” won’t stay forever so while the tears are visiting understand that they only knocked on the door of emotions because they have something to say… so take the time to listen (this includes men as well)! Think about it if the human body is made up of 90% water it’s only fitting that when our body has something to say it releases the one thing that it is most made of in effort to show us that our body cares about us even when we don’t!

RAW

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Time

Time is one of the few things in life that can’t be manipulated by man. It has the ability to makes us feel fearful about the unknown, the future, outcomes, and even the present. No pun intended but at “times,” it has us wanting to fast forward the moments of everyday life, and at other times it has us wanting to freeze those glorious nuances of a joyful day.

Time is endless in size it can contain every moment of life suspending that which is happening all around you. It’s in our best interest to join that in which we can not beat, so let’s ask ourselves what time is it? Well, the answer is that its time to take care of business to ensure that the best of life stops in your world right on time and not a moment too late or too soon.

The amazing thing about time is that it forces you to deal with the here and now, and that’s a good thing because over time any situation can be altered to our advantage… so let’s take advantage of the time we have been given in life to let the good times roll. The time is now!!!

RAW

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Drama

Sometimes you wake up in life and all you can do is wonder why me, what is going on, and how am I ever going to fix or get out of this mess? Oh, and don’t tell me I am getting sick… This my friends is called life, because these sometimes overwhelming obstacles that we most often perceive as being disastrous are nothing more than experiences for the mind body and soul. Just as our bodies need nourishment to survive so does our portfolio of life – for without those little episodes also known as “drama,” our lives would be nothing more than a blank sheet of paper with lots of holes.

Its funny but you never hear people say “wow I got some good drama or some good issues to deal with today, and I can’t wait to enjoy them.” As humans it’s important for us to realize that the reality of life is that everyone has issues in which they have to deal with both good and bad.

We tend to cherish those magnificent days, you know the one’s where you know all your bills are paid, family is doing well, looking good as you check yourself out in the mirror, and to top it off it’s the week-end.” But what about those uneventful so called ordinary days? Can we really call any day that we are allowed to live undeserving of our attention?

Today’s message is just a simple reminder to us all to remember that whether the drama in your life is good or bad, it could always be better and the more we look to see the greater picture of life, the brighter the colors will shine and the more we will see the things that moves us to be at our best all the time!

RAW

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The Master Key

The difference between love and friendship to me is like having different keys. They all may open doors, some only one, others may seem to fit the grooves but won’t turn… but one is a master key and it is allowed to open all the doors. The perfect combination is having both a master key along with that little key that opens the safe in the master bedroom, and the luxury suite.

The keys that fit into the door, but does not actually open it we tend to hand out on a regular basis, because society has taught us that its “polite” The beauty of this friendship is that you can hand out these keys all day every day, and those friends will never know that they have a useless key because they will never be invited into your house.

The key that only opens only one door is reserved for close friends and family members outside of your intimate circle. It’s usually the conference room, the kitchen or the living room, all places where things always appear to be in order… just don’t open any cabinets or closet to find a mess. In these rooms of friendship you can congregate and share your current life story. This usually includes bitching about life, talking about others, or story telling…. The beauty of this key is that these people get to see only select parts of your house and you control the clicker to the slide show;)

The master key finds you, you don’t find it. In other words, we don’t choose love we just fall. The master key looks just like the rest of the keys, but it feels different and you never leave home without, because its guarded by honesty, love, friendship trust, commitment, and most of all responsibility. It’s the key that reads “it is illegal to copy or reproduce this key in any way shape or form,” because in the end only the original will open the most precious door of all and that’s True Love with all that you are, and all that you have, this key opens every door for the rest of your life;)

RAW

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Suspect

Emotions are complicated but they can be made simple, if we pay attention. What’s the difference between “thinking” verses “knowing?” Most of the time in life we find ourselves in trouble because we “think” we “know” something… its that feeling of mistrust or doubt that creates worry, especially because we “think” something has happened based on speculation. Self-explanations seem to comfort the mind, but in reality all they do is provide a comfort blanket to believe in what ever we desire thus the term “Bull Shit!”

Knowing is far-reaching, substantial, forthcoming, and sensitive, it contains none of the cloaked deception. In other words, there are no false impressions or figment of the imagination, just straight answers thus the term “No Bull Shit!”

My advice is simple… worry only about the things that you can control in life because worrying about things that you cannot control is ineffective. Don’t “think”, but “know” before you react and the end result will be one that is both on point and to the point and that’s “ No Bull Shit!”

RAW

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Effort

Effort is mental or physical energy that is exerted in order to achieve a purpose. Very few people in life put forth the kind of effort that extends beyond the point of exhaustion. The most successful people in life don’t attempt to do things…. they simply skip that initial step of “what if” and start right in with the “when I conquer this quest that is before me the next step is going to be bigger, better and greater” …… In other words they have learned to harness the power of believing in themselves, and the effort that they are capable of putting forth to the point of absolute self-confidence. Meaning that no matter the goal, difficulty, or circumstances they will have a winning or desirable outcome.

How many times in life have you been angry or down right mad about something to the point that your body temperature rises. What if you had that same intensity or adrenaline rush in regards to positive endeavors in life. What most people fail to realize is that there is amazing power in falling to the ground and having the ability to stand back up, because if you hit the ground hard enough or one too many times you will make sure that you never see it again.

So which way will you choose? You can make an “attempt” to do an abundance of things in life, or you can put forth an endless “effort” to constantly improve all the things in your life. An attempt is just that an attempt to get the job done but an effort implies that unless you give up or die you will never be done improving your life. Take advantage of having the ability to put forth your best effort starting today and see where it takes you and your life. Remember often times in life the most talented people are at the top because they simply worked harder and gave an effort beyond the point of  exhaustion, but amazingly they were born with the same gifts and abilities as you, me and the rest of the world! The only difference is that where most people quit and give up the most talented people are just getting started because their best effort is always their STARTING POINT!!!

RAW

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