Archive for the New Year Category

Simplicity is Key

Posted in Inspiration, Life, New Year, Thoughts with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 21, 2013 by Patrick Roe

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We reward simplicity. When a musician makes a catchy song with three chords, it’s arguably more popular than a concierto full of half and quarter notes. When a novelist like Hemingway or “children’s” writer like Dr. Seuss convey the deepest ideas with the simplest of words, we hold on to them tighter. When Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream, it was so simple and powerful it could be summed up in one word: equality.

This concept can seem almost contradictory, since we are encouraged as individuals to lead complex lives. It’s even evident in the language we use. How often do you hear the phrases “there’s more to it than that” or “it’s not that simple” or “I don’t even know where to start”? We strive for something we have been conditioned to avoid, even if we only avoid it subconsciously.  Society in it’s nature is a contradictory and unnecessarily complex thing, an uphill battle to attach tradition & meaning to an otherwise primal existence. Throughout human history we’ve made every effort to complicate our world because the act of living in the simplest sense is too much for us to wrap our minds around.

Complexity is also not synonymous with depth. Part of the reason for this is that it often takes twice as much work to convey something in brevity versus complexity (think about the countless chalkboards of equations it took Einstein to reach E=Mc2).

I’ll stay in line with the theme and keep this post short. If you’ve found this post even slightly thought provoking I challenge you to start thinking of all the ways you could streamline your life, the things you do and the way you think.

“Simplicity is the key to brilliance.” – Bruce Lee

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Mission and Resolution: Freedom

Posted in Inspiration, Mission, New Year, Passion, Thoughts, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2013 by Patrick Roe

Someone asked me recently what my New Years resolution was. At first I said that I didn’t have one. What is the use of saying you are going to jog every morning, go to the gym 4 days a week, cut out all forms of sugar, if you are just going to give it up 3 weeks in? But then I realized that New Years resolutions don’t have to be some contrived piece of pseudo-inspiration that you only tell people in hopes that their opinion of you goes up a few notches. It can be something practical, something that really touches your soul and speaks to your greater mission in life. I realized that I had already thought of my resolution, and it was the same as the mission statement for my life/career: I want to write myself to freedom.

As an American, I join the citizens of many nations worldwide who consider themselves “free”. So you might be asking yourself, ‘Isn’t he already free?’ I first realized how much we have in common with prisoners when I fell in love with a French girl, only to realize that the only way she could stay in America is if we got married ASAP. We didn’t do it, and not because we don’t love each other enough, nor because we don’t plan on getting married someday (because we certainly do). It was just the idea that we were being forced into it. I would think one of the basic freedoms in life, and one of the qualifiers of being “free”, would be the freedom to be with the person you love. The way the government sees it is you have that liberty as long as you accomplish it through the means they have decided on. In other words, our freedom is on their terms, not ours. How many other freedoms do we think we have that really have strings attached?

Needless to say, this is a frustrating notion. However there is a light at the end of the tunnel; you can achieve that true level of freedom. We see it every day with famous actors, writers, directors, musicians, etc. You might brush that off as ‘sure, because they have money’, and you’d only be half right. The truth is that power is the currency of the free world that can separate you from all the people living restricted lives. Some may say that “money is power”, but I would tell those people to look at politicians, members of the CIA, FBI, and other government bodies, news correspondants, college professors, etc. All of which (with a few exceptions) do not have ungodly wealth, but have significantly more freedom to live how and where they want to than all of us down here gathering pollen for the beehive. How have they done this? All they have done is pick a path that they knew would ultimately lead them to a specific goal, and they stuck to it.

Jack London once said that he had great resentment for the upper  class. Since he wasn’t born with any form of spoon in his mouth, he made it his mission to infiltrate the world of the wealthy through the only thing he was good at: writing. And guess what? It worked. Not only is he one of the most highly regarded Western authors, he actually achieved success within his lifetime. To him it was one great big joke that he rose to their ranks with nothing but words. It is in his footsteps that I follow. I have committed myself to writing every day in some shape or form. I started by picking up poetry again, for my own enjoyment. I started this blog. I am putting pen to paper on a new novel (the first few pages of which are on a post below). And most of all, I am approaching my screenplays and teleplays with with a reinvigorated sense of passion and persistence.

In 2013 I am going to write my own freedom.