…life from my perspective
Puffy is very, very annoying on Twitter. All he do is post Ciroc liquor recipes, boast about where he’s jet setting to for the weekend and constantly remind his followers of their mundane and boring existence as he asks us “where the party at?” at 1:00am on a Tuesday night. HELLO SEAN P. DIDDY PUFFY COMBS! We gotta go to work in the morning!! Ever heard of that national/deficit – debt ceiling thing? What are your thoughts about this here economic recession we in? His comments along with JZ and Kanye’s new OTIS are further proof to me that the rich and Wall Street are out of touch with the working class and Main Street – but I digress. So as I’m scrolling through my Twitter feed I see Puff post a link to this website called “Before I Die” and his Twitter status said “What would you do?” I immediately gasped for air cause I KNEW Puff wasn’t saying anything introspective OR profound but when I clicked on the url link I learned he was hipping us to something that was.
So I visited the website and learned that Candy Chang is involved in some very ill shit. Crazy ill. As a designer and urban planner who resides in NOLA, Chang created an avenue to allow the residents of her community to share a part of themselves with visitors and each other by writing their stories in chalk. She’s responsible for transforming the side of an abandoned building in her neighborhood into a giant chalkboard where passersby can write what they want to see, be or do before they die. So instead of the dilapidated building being an eye sore that brings down neighboring property values or becoming a potential site for criminal activity, Chang says “it becomes a constructive space where we can learn the hopes and aspirations of the people around us.” She was inspired to start the Before I Die project after losing a loved one a year ago who asked her that very same question. Chang states the responses and stories by passersby about Before I Die have been so heart felt that she’s putting together a mylar stencil kit and how-to guide to make it easier for others to produce a wall similar to this in their own community. Limited edition paintings are available now and a book is in the works. Click the link below to learn more about the Before I Die project.
What touched me about this project was someone cared enough to turn nothing into something. An old, abandoned building now has purpose and meaning that was given to it by the people who knew it and understood it the most – the residents of the community. Oftentimes the voices of the people get muffled or dismissed altogether by others chosen to speak for the people or by those who think they “totally understand” the people. No matter how hard you try to drown out the voices of the people, the people will always be heard. You see God dwells amongst the people and uses their voice to spread his message so to that end the people can never be silenced. So whether you start your own neigborhood project or serve your community in ways that reflect what’s important to you, think long and hard about what contribution YOU will make to help the world become a better place…….before you die. Until tomorrow youngn’s.
Before I Die I want to run a 10K or half-marathon on every continent.
Before I Die I want to see the poor and working class trade places with the rich.
Before I Die I no longer want to see black women sexually objectified or hypersexualized on TV.
Before I Die I want to dance naked with my husband on a black sand beach under the moonlit sky.
Before I Die I want to compete in a triathlon.
Before I Die I want to have and raise my own children.
Before I Die I want to love like it’s the only thing I have left to give.
Before I Die I want to travel the world.
Before I Die I want to face and conquer my fears.
Before I Die I want to write for a nationally recognized lifestyle magazine/political blog.
Before I Die I want to redefine beauty and become it.
Before I Die I want to compile my blog entries into a book.
Before I Die I want to be in the studio with Preemo, Nas, AZ and Jay Elect.
Before I Die I want to do Bikram Yoga for 30days STRAIGHT!
Before I Die I want to be a good vegan cook.
Before I Die I want to live in South Africa or Morocco.
Before I Die I want to be free.
That’s my list. What’s on yours?