Good Sign Manifesto, SXSW 2014, Part 1

by Good Sign on March 19, 2014

Good Sign ATX Skyline

By Kevin Alan Lamb

Set to take off, I feel like I am going home in many ways. Austin is a special place filled with people like me. Walking through Detroit Metro Airport, I felt the usual immense attention focused on my energy and Good Sign. It is attention that I’ve grown accustomed to, but never taken for granted. It is my destiny to be on this flight, carrying and wearing Good Signs, translating the physical and emotional response I experience into words to share with the individual and the masses. I am a recycling center for energy in this realm. Born with unique talents to both harness and illicit energy, I have trained myself to pay it forward and complete the cycle by showering my fellow man and woman with the very inspiration they provided me along the way.

I have a special way with people that was given to me because it was in my design to discover a way to utilize my powers for good! One day my words will bring me wealth, but today, tomorrow and the coming years, they will be used to inspire a species that desperately needs it. There is a lingering darkness within us all that must be proactively combated if it is to be defeated. It is a mountain without a summit; a desert without an oasis; a heart without a key. Every adventure I set out upon is paired with the mission of building our Good Sign family and enlisting the goodness and abilities that reside in each and everyone of you! Surely, you will each have different contributions, but please refrain from scrutinizing your offering because it is different or less fashionable than that of another. Communities were born as a means of survival, but the real value was discovered in the variety within each individual:  both functionally and socially. I have long felt the abundant communities I am connected to, leaning on me, being drawn to me for a contact dose of happiness, joy, optimism and ultimately – positive energy. My soul is a boundless well dug in my genetic code, but only realized with my pursuit of passion and love in my life.

A leader is not born, rather self-actualized. Similar to the way the most grand and luxurious house does not make a home, rather the people and love which fill it. It’s time for us as a species to change the channel; but when we do, we discover that the next station is just the same. So, we must blow up the TV! We must manifest the goodness and quality of life and care we seek in our lives with our own two hands, two feet, two eyes, head and heart. We must not look away and remain quiet when we observe the words and actions of others that oppress, offend, or walk upon another’s rightful participation in decency and freedom! We must stand up! Or sit down! Scream, yell or shout! We must ensure our voices are heard. We must communicate to our neighbors, friends, family and complete strangers the people who we are and the character we will not surrender; the ethics we believe in and abide by; and our impatience for anything less than the virtue that fuels our hearts: the virtue that keeps us from crumbling when the weight of the world tries to break us down: and the virtue we will instill in our children and younger siblings that give us hope that the world could be better tomorrow than it is today.

It is our ethics that birth in us integrity. It is integrity that demands you speak up when you experience or witness behaviors that try and compromise your ethics! You were given a voice to defend that worth defending. You were given a voice to speak up for those who may lack the freedom or courage to stand up for themselves! We are the most beautiful species and I wish we could see it. We are a beautiful species and I wish we could believe it. We are a beautiful species and I wish we would start acting like it. If only we used our energy to help and not hurt: If only we used our gifts to create and not destroy: If only we used our ethics to defend others and not only ourselves. Something is deeply fractured in a society where the masses are unhappy and struggling just to get by! The system is flawed and I am an individual changing the tide in the only way I know how – by swimming against it and encouraging others to follow in my wake and swim until we can no longer. There is no certainty that we won’t drown; but what in your life is certain? I know the strength of numbers: I know the strength of a man or woman fighting for what he or she believes in! I know the strength of belief in something bigger than yourself.

Each step I take is with these electrifying currents surging through my blood, but I too take on water along the way and struggle for breath. This is everybody’s mission, even if you haven’t accepted it yet. We are all in danger and subject to tremendous injustice if we allow a single one of us to be. We will all drown if we are not willing to dive in to the river and save a brother or sister who has lost their battle with the current. But don’t be mistaken and think you must wait until someone is drowning to help them. Every minute of every day is filled with people and opportunities to help. I learn more in a five minute conversation with a stranger than many do in the span of their entire relationship. People want to open up we just need to learn how to better listen. Your life will be given new meaning, or better yet a new intensity; a sensation of emotions that flood every ounce of your soul with the purest satisfaction there is. I am not selfless. I feed off each and everyone I lend my energy to and I am the Quicken Loans of energy lenders! My choice to pursue this path of positivity and peace is like traversing deeper and deeper into a rabbit hole in which every aspect of my life is affected at an exponential rate. I am spiritually connecting myself with the endless systems I am a part of: with my words and actions I am stimulating neurotransmitters within the individual that move them to have both an emotional and physical response. Everyday I am plugging into a greater number of people and possibilities by openly volunteering my vulnerability long enough to let people in. I welcome the scrutiny, judgement, and misassumptions made about who I am; I can take it; I was born for it! A leader charges ahead of his troops to help absolve them of their fear; a leader takes the first punch to assure his troops they can endure the same! A leader fears not falling, because those  he leads will always lift him up. I continue to lead in my unconventional but effective manner. I continue to welcome and provide opportunities for strangers to talk to me and join the positive conversation we have brought to light with the world. We are not the first or last effort to start a positive conversation amongst the masses, but we are better at it, and we do have more help.

My passion and conviction are undeniable, and likely the reason people I encounter, whether in person or as words on paper, choose to help us carry this conversation: with their peers; with their family; with their students; with whomever possesses the hunger to listen, and voice to speak out! What we’ve done is impressive, but our eyes have never left the horizon, the setting sun, and the better days to come! We are making a difference in the way that we have chosen and this is only the beginning. If you don’t think we are what we say, you probably don’t understand our words. In no lower priority do the hearts and minds of the masses need to be healed as bellies need to be fed. We have such an infantile understanding of hunger! What good is a stomach full of food in a heart without passion, compassion, love or hope? What good is shelter for a spirit already broken? What good is warmth in a soul crippled and frozen by the apathy of those in a position to help? We hunger for so many things yet rarely grasp that hunger is not simply physical, but emotional! We are hungry for love, hungry for purpose, hungry for rational explanations where there are none. Our hunger is present at the most innate cellular level yet so many disregard its detriment on our well-being, on our ability to function and thrive.

Every day we are feeding the hungry: every day we are feeding the desperate: everyday we are offering shelter from the storm. Won’t you help us? Do you disagree with our mission? Do you not see the picture we paint? Do you believe that we practice in the ways of deception? Have you already categorized and written us off because we can’t be squeezed into your narrow archetype of perception? Are you quickly a critic and rarely of aid? Are you kept up nights, troubled with the void in your heart, or do you sleep soundly without the risk of lending your care and concern? No matter your sleeping patterns you are the best deception to yourself if you believe this is not your fight; if you believe these are not things worth fighting for; if you believe that apathy is a means of self-preservation and not self-destruction! Only a tormented soul believes he or she exists on a separate plain from the rest of us: only a soul void of passion takes solace refraining when participation could make a difference in the life or death, freedom or imprisonment of another. I sure hope you don’t intend to reproduce if you prefer the absence of light over the shining sun. A heart void of compassion is simply the effect of a mind absent of honesty. Helping people is logical. Caring for people is logical. We help and care because of our ethics and integrity, but also because we hope it increases the likelihood that another will do for us the same! This has nothing to do with independence and everything to do with the logical deductions that there will be an unforeseeable time and place where we require a helping hand, compassionate heart, and eyes that see.

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