Category Archives: Hear Me Roar

“…Only Human.”

“Another terrorist act occurred tonight. More innocent lives were stolen from us. More religious differences were brought up. More political injustices were mentioned. More grieving was done. More questions were asked.”

“I find it interesting that during times like these, I myself am asked questions; by my peers, family members, acquaintances and ‘followers’. Perhaps this is due to the fact that I am extremely outspoken after such events. Perhaps it’s because I happen to have a way with saying exactly what’s on my mind, and for whatever reason some people happen to listen. For whatever reason, the questions do come. One of these questions I find myself answering is one that always (in one form or another) has been asked on more than one occasion. ‘Why do you seem to mourn certain cities/victims and not others?’ I shall try to answer it now, in the best way that I can…”

“I am only human. As such, I live day by day as a human…it is the only way that I know how to live. As a human I have only one heart and one mind to offer, and along the course of my life I ‘give’ my heart and mind to other humans. I have met new people every day of my life, everywhere that I have gone. Acquaintances, friends, colleagues, lovers. People in passing, people in restaurants, people at work, people on airplanes, people through other people. Every person I come into contact with in every city in every country that I visit on this earth becomes a part of my life in one way or another. Often times these encounters affect me, and in turn the people and places I meet and see are, in a way, affected by me. In essence, I leave a piece of me everywhere I go, and I take a piece of everywhere with me to my next destination.”

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(Patan Durbar Square, Kathmandu / In 2011 when I was there & 2015 after the earthquake)

“So when Twin Towers that I had been in in NYC are hit by airplanes flown by terrorists…I feel it. When suicide bombers detonate themselves in a subway system I traveled in in London…I feel it. When gunmen go on a killing spree on streets that I’ve walked on in Paris…I feel it. When an earthquake destroys temples in which I’ve sat in Kathmandu…I feel it. When a bomb explodes at a marathon in a part of town I’ve taken photos in in Boston…I feel it. When a madman drives a truck into a crowd of nearly 100 people on the same promenade in Nice my parents and I spent my father’s birthday on…I feel it. I’m human, so when lives are lost and destruction occurs in cities that I’ve visited and made memories in, it hurts me.”

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(Nice, France / In 2010 when I was there with my parents, and after last night’s terrorist attack)

“But…being only human, I cannot meet EVERYONE on earth. I cannot be in multiple places at multiple times and share the experiences and cultures that every city in every country has to offer. I do not feel as strong a connection to people/places I’ve never seen as I do those I know and have made a place for in my life. Does it pain me to see other cities of the earth destroyed? Yes. Am I hurt when innocent lives are lost in countries that are not my own? Of course. But I may not write about it and I may not share my feelings on it. This is simply because I have nothing to write and nothing to share…not because I DON’T CARE.”

– F

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Filed under Hear Me Roar, This Thing Called Life, Why I Do What I Do

“Perhaps One Day Things Will Be Different…REALLY Different.”

“Some people say racism in this country is a thing of the past. They say that ‘all men are created equal’ and that the signing of bills and the passing of laws 50 years ago has kept it that way.”

“Others say that racism is alive and well. They say that blacks are still looked down upon by whites and that things will never change. They say the recent events in NYC (let alone the rest of the country) speak for themselves; those events being (but not limited to) a white officer killing a black man by choke hold during what appeared to be a non-threatening situation, and two officers being assassinated by another black man as revenge for the first incident.”

“I try to hide my eyes from stories such as these. I try to pretend that it’s simply a ‘cops vs the bad guys’ scenario and keep to myself. I try to remember what it was like growing up as a mixed-race kid, being accepted by everyone I knew because although I was a different skin color, I was still a pleasant human being. The only problem is that doesn’t work because I wasn’t raised in the United States of America...”

“Things are different here.”

“They are obviously not how they were in years past, but they are still nowhere near as good as they could be. I still hear stories of black on white / white on black crime, initiated simply because someone was black or white. I still feel uneasy feelings during certain instances in my life…instances caused simply by me being ‘not white’.”

“I still find newly-carved swastikas every now and then, such as this one that popped up overnight on the same bench I sit on every day waiting for my 6 train ride home.”


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“Perhaps one day things will be different…REALLY different. Perhaps one day black and white, 
Jew and Gentile, male and female will all be considered equal…TRULY equal.”

“And perhaps I’ll still be alive to see it…”

– F

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Filed under Hear Me Roar, New York City, Really America?, This...I Just Don't Get

“Americans Need Help Too…”

Everyday on the news we hear about millions of people who are homeless and starving in cities and countries other than our own. We hear about places we can drop off used clothing items, addresses we can mail money orders and websites we can donate to. We hear about hungry children, broken homes and abandoned family members.

(photo: Fidel Amos)

(photo: Fidel Amos)

But how can we help any of those people in any of those cities in any of those countries…when we can’t even help ourselves?

– F

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Filed under Blog Quickies, Hear Me Roar, Really America?

“There Has To Be A Way…”

The United States of America. I love this country, I love another country as well because I grew up there and consider it home, but having lived here the last 20 years or so makes makes me as American as I am Italian (as does the combination of my American father and my Italian mother). One thing that I’ve seen, in the USA as well as Italy, is the ever-increasing number of homeless on the streets. I feel a certain pain inside my soul when I see someone in those conditions, not because I don’t want to help, but because I can’t help…at least, not by myself. Although this is a beautiful country we live in, we can’t seem to find a way to take care of our own citizens…let alone anyone else’s.

There has to be a way to come together as a whole. There has to be a way to provide food, shelter and decent living conditions to the civilians of this great nation…especially to its veterans, who have fought tooth and nail for it. I know that it’s possible. I know because I have been around the world, and I’ve seen the good that mankind (and womankind) can do. I know because while in Union Square here in NYC one day, I saw a man approach another man. They didn’t know one another as far as I could tell. They had only the shirts on their backs and the bags in their hands. But when one asked another if he could have a cigarette, a cigarette is what he got…no questions asked.

If two people who have nothing can give to each other, why can’t we all..?

(photo: Fidel Amos)

(photo: Fidel Amos)

-F

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Filed under Blog Quickies, Hear Me Roar, New York City, Really America?, The Good In Mankind

“The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge: Looks Like It’s My Turn…”

So yeah, I was recently nominated to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge…to which I responded with a video.

(Click to see the video in its entirety)

(Click to see the video in its entirety)

If you don’t have time to watch the 2 minute video, here’s a written paraphrase:

“I’ve officially been challenged by my friend Jonatan Pitkonen in Sweden to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Basically, I think the challenge was a good idea at first and I think that people did it to raise awareness. I think it’s been receiving the awareness that it needs so I won’t be dumping ice water on my head today. Since the initial purpose of it was to raise awareness I think people should know that ALS is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or #Lou Gehrig’s Disease for short. It’s where the motor neurons that fire from the brain to various parts of the spinal chord (and are re-fired to other muscles of the body) don’t receive those signals and eventually die…which causes the person to suffer severe paralysis and possibly death.”

“It’s not pretty. And for a lot of families that we know, and people we don’t know, they deal with this every day.”

“I think not only bringing awareness to it but also donating what you can to help possibly one day find a cure (or at least to do the necessary research towards that goal) is a good thing, and I’m all for that. Even though I don’t feel drawing attention to oneself by becoming wet on public media is necessary unless of course you are donating money as well…then it’s fun, brings awareness and raises funds. I’m not officially going to nominate anyone, I’ll simply nominate everyone who’d like to donate to this cause that feels that they want to do so from their own hearts and their own spirits.”

“I also nominate those of you that are dumping buckets of ice water on yourselves to donate money instead.”

– F

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Filed under Hear Me Roar, The Good In Mankind, This Thing Called Life

“Women Should Laugh Whenever They Please.”

This is Seda, one of the funniest, coolest, most beautiful Turkish women I know.

(photo: Fidel Amos)

(photo: Fidel Amos)

The Deputy Prime Minister of her country, Bulent Arinc, recently said during an Eid el-Fitr meeting (which marked the end of the Muslim period of fasting, Ramadan) that a woman “should not laugh loudly in front of all the world and should preserve her decency at all times.“ He went on to say “A man should be moral but women should be moral as well, they should know what is decent and what is not decent,” (TheGuardian.com):

Bulent Arinc (photo: Onedio.com)

Bulent Arinc (photo: Onedio.com)

To me, hearing someone make a statement like that is equivalent to hearing someone say “Don’t laugh”, “Don’t smile”, or “Don’t be happy”. I wonder, why would a person want someone else to suppress their happiness? Even more so, I wonder, why would a man want another human being to hide their happiness just because she’s a woman?

I wonder, if he knew the difficulties of being a woman in today’s man-run world, would he say such things?

If he knew what it was like to live in a country where your leaders make public statements regarding when and how you should show physical happiness, would he say such things?

If he was a father or husband whose stress, hardships and everyday emotional burdens could be blown out like a match upon hearing the joyous laughter of his wife or daughter when arriving home, would he say such things?

…if he knew how bold, sincere and intoxicating my friend Seda’s laugh was, would he say such things?

– F

#direnkahkaha #direnkadin

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Filed under Controversy...Ya Gotta Love It, Hear Me Roar, This...I Just Don't Get

The President: “To Respect Or Not To Respect?”

Well ladies and gentlemen, the hour is upon us.

In just a few weeks our country will be voting on its next President. I promised myself I wouldn’t begin writing on this particular subject matter…mostly because I think it’s a controversial topic of discussion, quick to pit friends and family members against one another and I hardly have the desire or time to argue with my readers. The other reason I have for not wanting to open the proverbial “can of worms” that is political conversations is the simple fact that there are hundreds of issues to discuss regarding politics. There are multiple candidates to choose from, numerous positions and stands that each of them represents, bills and laws to concur with that each of them may or may not pass…not to mention the moral, religious, economical, judiciary and scholastic views they represent.

…but I digress.

One area of the political world I would like to quickly rant on is the bad-mouthing, poo-flinging and general disrespect I constantly see hurled in the direction of the office of the President of this country. I remember when the title of Commander In Chief deserved a salute or a handshake, regardless of one’s political opinion or vote. I remember when this country used to respect the office of the President of the United States simply because it was what it was.

Now we have millionaire, attention-hungry windbags like Donald Trump throwing money at it like it’s a street whore.

I’m not saying that I’m a fan (or not) of our current President, or even the one before him. (As I mentioned earlier, I’ll keep who I did and didn’t vote for to myself…no arguments for me today) It just seems to me that all we ever do as Americans now is curse the President, talk about him on television, berate him with signs in our front yards and now publicly offer him money to do something just because we feel it should be done. Perhaps it’s my “old school” way of thinking, but the President is not some “friend of ours”. He’s not some clown who’s paid to be laughed at. He’s not some showgirl or pole-dancer on a platform showing skin for dollars.

He’s the President.

It’s true we can think what we want about him as obviously not all of us voted for him, but when we start to do these “public finger-pointing sessions” I have to admit it really breaks my heart as an American. I can’t imagine someone calling their boss (or their spouse’s boss) names on Facebook. I can’t imagine someone calling their parents (or their friend’s parents) something other than sir or m’am in public. I can’t imagine someone trash-talking a general, veteran or Supreme Court judge to their faces. Why? Because I believe their title earns them a certain amount of respect publicly regardless of how they may feel about them privately. Yet, the leader of our country, the one person we as American should at least treat like a human being when we come across him…gets spit on metaphorically and belittled verbally as if he were our worst enemy.

It’s sad, pathetic and I’m vehemently opposed to it.

We should know better than that America…and we should be ashamed of ourselves.

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Filed under Controversy...Ya Gotta Love It, Hear Me Roar, Really America?, This...I Just Don't Get