Be Humble

I honestly don’t know what to expect out of printing these tees. I started this journey several years ago only to wind up here with more questions that answers. All I can say is that I feel led here. There’s some deeper meaning and purpose to these T-shirts. While it hasn’t become startlingly clear to me yet, I know I’m being led and I know that even if they make the smallest of difference in the world than I’ll have achieved a purpose in my life.

So, I am more than excited to announce that after many months of planning, Holy Idea Tees has finally got its first branded tee off the ground:

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This tee features a modern day Jesus with “Be Humble” tattooed on his knuckles. This is the first of what will hopefully be many tees featuring a modern day Jesus in various situations that will hopefully spur conversation, show a man people can emulate and improve the state of their hearts.

I think it’s important to note that this particular image has been chosen as the first. It’s important because I think RIGHT NOW, perhaps more than any time in our history as human beings, we need more humility in order to exist in unity with one another. With that being said, I would be an idiot to say we wouldn’t have needed more humility at any other point in human history but there’s no better time than the present.

But what’s the story behind this image? Well, first of all, I’m looking to modernize a Jesus character and tattoos are pretty modern day. If I am to challenge the concept of what Jesus would look and act like if he lived in the year 2018, then I think a tattoos are a good place to start. Would Jesus get tattooed? I kind of doubt it but I certainly don’t think he’d be opposed to it. Regardless, His tattoos knuckles are secondary to the true purpose of the T-shirt and that is to “Be Humble”

So, I ask you this question: What does it mean to “Be Humble”?

The best way I can explain it is “not having an excess of pride”, “placing less importance on yourself”, “quiet confidence” and “not being afraid to ask for forgiveness”.

One doesn’t have to travel far into the internet to get a grasp on the sickening pride and deadly egos that emanate from it. These words and images seep into the minds of all of us. Perhaps most disturbingly, into the minds of the next generation. You have to seek out the stories of hope, kindness and love. I want Holy Idea Tees to be one of the stories you have to seek out. With any luck and over time, these tees can be used as a small form of self expression from those of us who desire a world where love takes precedence over hate and where everyone can be seen as equal participants in this life.

In the end, we don’t have souls, we ARE souls. We’re just driving these bodies around until they give out. They are the greatest instrument we will EVER receive. Lets try and make a difference with them while we can. Start by wearing the modern day Jesus Be Humble tee. You might just start a conversation…

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Crowdfunding Video Update #1

As I continue to chase the dream of modernizing Jesus, I’m going to start a video diary to document the crowdfunding process. Give it a watch. Share it with your friends if the spirit compels you and visit my Go Fund Me page if you feel like its something you can get behind.

Thank you so much

Purpose

When I left the corporate world, amidst all the static in my head, my intention was to change the world with my own printed T-shirts. I didn’t know exactly how I was gonna do that, but I trusted the path would be laid out for me if my heart was in the right place and I kept love as my purpose.

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Now, over three years later, the static has begun to clear and I think I’m finally ready to start making my own. These last three years have been a necessity for finding out the intricacies of running a business as well as developing a comfort zone for someone like myself who needs to know EVERYTHING before jumping all in.

So what will be the purpose of printing my own tees? As simple as it sounds, I want to spread love. I want positive messages with a humorous and creative tilt and tees are a great way to express that. They are a simple medium, however, they are one of the biggest forms of expression today. They’re kind of like wearing a billboard on your chest!

Currently, in a world full of hate and vitriol, love is something we’re currently lacking. In fact, some people say it’s the answer to everything. I tend to agree. If there’s one thing we can always use more of… it’s love.

I hope I can help fill the world with a little more of it.


All the commandments: You shall not commit adultery, you shall not kill, you shall not steal, you shall not covet, and so on, are summed up in this single command: You must love your neighbor as yourself. – Jesus Christ

We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another – Jonathan Swift

Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend – Martin Luther King Jr. 


Stay tuned to my Instagram, Facebook and right here on the blog for updates 🙂

If you’re the praying type, please send a few my way 🙂

 

 

A Coat Made Of Curtains

After picking vintage T-shirts for the last several years, I’ve gotten very good at the art of picking. When it comes to thrift stores, depending on my mood and the size of the store, I can get in and out very quickly. This involves keeping my head down, staying focused and not engaging with anyone. This works for me because of my introverted nature. It’s not easy for me to talk to strangers. I can do it, and I’m not bad at it, but it saps my energy and wears me out.

However, I love to listen to and observe what’s going on around me. There’s no better place to people-watch than at a thrift store. I’ve seen paramedics treat a passed-out drunk homeless person on a store sofa, old curmudgeons bitch about “high prices” and heated yelling matches between customers. It all makes for a great reality show playing out right in front of me. I just observe, smirk to myself and continue doing my thing.

One particular day a few weeks ago, I was doing this exact thing at a Salvation Army store. As I hurriedly flipped through the tees I took in the sights and sounds around me. There wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. Certainly no drunks or obstinate people. Just the regular ambient noise of a thrift store. There was one voice, however, that continued to capture my attention. It was a joyful one. One that wasn’t too fake or overly annoying. It was enough for me to turn around and seek out who it belonged to.

She was a older lady, hard to tell how old because African Americans age so well. She was targeting each person in the store, going up to them and asking for a hug. Not for money. Not for a handout. But for a hug. With each hug she gave the same sort of pep talk: “Jesus loves you honey. We all need a little more love in this world. We are all one people. Show love today.” Something along those lines.

I’m certainly not new to “interesting” people coming up to me saying things that make me scratch my head but this woman seemed to have it together. She was nice, polite and had a smile that lit up the building.

She hadn’t made her way to me yet but I was just in the process of finishing up and moved my way to the checkout line. When I made it there, we crossed paths.

“Well, where’s my hug sugar?” She said.

“I’ve got it right here” I replied, “I’ve been listening to you and I like your style!”

It wasn’t until I said that that I noticed what she was wearing. No doubt, her coat was made from curtains. Remarkably, they resembled the curtain pattern my parents have in their house. Her knitted cap was undoubtedly one she’d made herself. It was at that moment that I was truly moved.

“Alright then, God bless you. Jesus loves you!” She said with a smile and then moved on to the next person.

“But wait,” I thought to myself, “I want to talk to you some more! Why the hell are you so happy? You have a coat made of curtains for Gods sake!”

I’m not that good at improv. I can’t really speak off the cuff. My introvered, obsessive nature makes me afraid to speak sometimes for fear of saying too much or not saying the right thing. For this reason she continued on her way. I simply sat in line waiting to check out with a forlorn look on my face wanting “a little bit of whatever that lady is taking”. The woman behind me piped up and asked the checkout employee, “Who is that lady?”

“I dunno” she said completely nonplussed.

I wanted to slap her. She was completely unphased by this woman doing so much with so little. In a world consumed with so many bad things, isn’t it nice to get a little love from an unlikely source?

“I love her. I think she’s cute. The world needs more people like her” I said.

I picked up my small bag of vintage T-shirts and headed for the door. But before I made it there I decided I wanted to tell this lady how awesome she was. So I turned around and I approached her. This is not normal for me. I don’t talk to people I don’t know and I’m not good at it. I wasn’t as graceful as she was. In fact, I was a bit awkward. I waited for her while she doted on her lastest benefactor. I felt like a fan waiting for an autograph.

When she finished, I approached her and told her what an amazing thing it was that she was doing and to keep it up. I pulled my phone out and asked if I could take a photo with her. I wanted to remember her.

“Oh honey, no photos. Maybe at a later time. We’ll have to do that later. I don’t look my Sunday best. You know, a lady’s got to get her hair done before a photo.”

I assured her it definitely wasn’t a big deal but she politely declined again and I obliged. We chatted very briefly as she seemed a little confused as to why I was so interested in her. I thanked her for her kind words and left a little more fulfilled but with many more questions I wanted to ask.

Her brief appearance in my life’s story made an impact on me. Each day, I wake up not knowing what this day will bring. Events pass by and the monoteny of each day roll further back in my memory bank with no promise of being able to recollect it in a few years. This moment though, was one I didn’t want to forget. Without a picture of her or a promise of ever running into her again, I decided to write this post. Her decision to love me that day really impacted me. I am so happy to have met her.

I hope one day to see her again.

Kindness And Compassion Is More Than Just A City In Germany

So,  before you go searching to see if there really is a city in Germany named “Kindness And Compassion”, I want to let you know that no such city exists. The header was simply a ploy to get you to say, “What? There’s a city named ‘Kindness and Compassion’? I’ll have to click on that link to see what’s up!”

Well, there isn’t. Now I guess you have to read what I have to say.

If we show a little kindness and compassion each day then perhaps wonderful things will start happening.

For so long I was an introvert. I kept to myself, put my head down and chose not to interact with people. I’m not saying I was rude or insensitive but I honestly made a conscious decision to NOT go out of my way to engage with people. Now, in both my personal and professional life, I realize that I won’t make it anywhere without some sort of social interaction.

I’ve always been a caring person to those who mean something to me. It is only until recently that I’ve tried to start caring about those who have no real prominence in my life i.e. the lady in front of me in the checkout line, that dude with the crying kid in the movie theater or even that barking dog that lives next door that won’t shut the hell up.

What I was failing to realize was what kindness and compassion does for me OUTSIDE of my own little bubble. The world craves kindness, compassion and love.

And not just the world… but you and I do too.

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The Answer: Love

We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another.

I thought that this quote by a guy named Jonathan Swift exemplified what type of stance Holy Idea Tees has on religion and how it plays a part in my life and in my business model.

I grew up under the assumption that all religions and denominations OTHER than Catholicism were the poor recipients of someone else’s skewed  version about how we should conduct ourselves in this life in preparation for life after death. These “skewed versions” would have similarities to the Catholic faith yet each one would deviate from the rules and regulations that make you Catholic and suddenly you were now a Lutheran or a Baptist or maybe a Buddhist or ‘gasp’ a Muslim.

I was told to pray for these individuals caught in the web of religious confusion. I mean, clearly these people HAVE to know they were denying the rules, sanctions and regulations laid out for them by the Catholic Church! God’s church! Was I right?

No. I was wrong. Many of us are wrong I’m afraid.

I was never told early on by those who shaped my opinions to look sorrowfully with a furrowed brow over my protestant or anti-Christian brothers and sisters… but it was certainly implied. If you weren’t Catholic then there was a problem. There was a problem because you didn’t follow the rules and… well, you might just be going to Hell.

Unfortunately, religion has many rules.

I’m not saying rules are bad by any means, but the very idea of having rules makes some of us enlist ourselves as the “rule enforcers”. Then, when it comes to life in general, these rules can be interpreted a thousand different ways and then mutated into a thousand different concepts of how to maintain those rules. Try putting two people together of the same denomination or religion and see if their idea of living a holy life is the same. I guarantee it isn’t.

So we’re stuck on this Earth with BILLIONS of other individuals stuck in their own paradigm where they think that you ARE WRONG and THEY ARE RIGHT!

Since everyone is right and no one is wrong (or is it the other way around… I’m not sure), what is the one thing that we can all agree on? What is the one thing we can all share between ourselves, our religions and even with those with a distaste for religion altogether (I’m looking at you atheists and/or agnostics)?

The answer is love.

If Jesus lived today, he’d love the Catholics, the Lutherans, the Baptists the Buddhists and ‘gasp’ even the Muslims. Much in the same way he loved the prostitutes, tax-collectors, thieves and just all around unlikeable people 2000 years ago.

People back then were wrapped up in rules, regulations and subsequent finger-pointing much like we are today. You couldn’t pick seeds from a wheat stalk on a Sunday without being questioned on your belief system. If you touched something dead you might as well cut your arm off because you were screwed. If you were found to be a prostitute you were stoned or worse.

2000 years later there are religious wars being waged everywhere. Sometimes the wars involve entire countries and sometimes the wars involve entire families. Families like mine and families like yours.

How can we learn from the mistakes of the past and fix hatred, death and destruction because people simply do not believe the way other people believe?

We can show love to them.

We can love them for their uniqueness. We can love them for the spirit that dwells inside of them. We can love them for the plain and simple fact that they are not us. They did not grow up like you or I did (if you grew up in a Muslim household you would be Muslim, RIGHT?!). Their DNA strung together in such a way where they ARE NOT YOU! I’m happy about that because I don’t think the world could handle two of me.

If you want to know God (and every religion has a God), whether you are a Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jew or ‘Insert Religious Denomination here’ then learn to love first of all. Jesus said, “God is love” and if this is true then that means we should be closest to God when we are in the act of love because God IS love whether you like it or not.

If we don’t have enough religion to make us love each other, then maybe we just need a little less “religion” and a lot more love.

What are your thoughts?