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What I Want for my Birthday by Misha Lyuve

Feb 15, 2013

My  birthday is coming up. Some of you might be wondering what I want for my birthday. A good friend that I am, I will make it easy for you and tell you exactly what it is:

to raise $1,000,000 for Worldwide Orphans Foundation (WWO)

through the sales of my album ARE WE READY and donations.

I feel your kindness every moment: with your sweet words about my music, videos and blog posts, your generous comments, likes and reposts on facebook, retweets, every dollar you gave for the cause – all this is the best fuel for my inspiration and when I am inspired anything is possible.

If you ever decide to give a dollar to charity, consider this: There is no more vulnerable and uncared for population in the world than orphans. Being one is like living in a natural disaster on a daily basis without knowing it. Orphans require nurturing and a community to become empowered members of their society. This is what WWO does – masterfully, courageously and committedly.

As my birthday gift I am asking for your partnership in raising $1,000,000. Here are some ideas:

Be outrageous: Buy a dozen of my albums. Give them away to your friends. Tell them about ARE WE READY and the $1,000,000 game. Have them do same.

If you are a business owner or work in an office – buy thirty of my CDs. I will give you an awesome flyer and WWO brochures. Your customers are bored when you talk about your business and the weather. They will be thrilled to hear from you about music and orphans, and will gladly support us. Trust me.

Be Fundraising Hero. Take on raising $500, $1,000, $10,000 or $100,000 – did you see the latest rewards on Razoo? Call people you know. Especially the ones for whom $1,000,000 is not a big deal. If it’s your or your child’s birthday, take donations as gifts. Or organize an event – I will sing there; if you don’t like my singing (I won’t hold this against you), let’s have someone else sing.

Connect me. With bloggers, journalists, TV and radio hosts, DJ’s and people of influence. And if you are the one with an audience that extends beyond your cat – interview me, write about the $1,000,000 game, invite me to your show. In other words, make Oprah jealous.

If you are a YES to one or more of these propositions, their variations or you have your own, TALK TO ME.

If you think that all this is a good idea, but too much trouble – I am making two promises. First: I will train you to talk about my music, Worldwide Orphans Foundation and the $1,000,000 game as effortlessly as you complain about the weather – but with much more impact. Second: Your life will be enriched. It will blossom. You will be blown away by human generosity. You will have profound unimaginable conversations. People will surprise you. Your life will not be the same. I promise. TALK TO ME.

If all of the above options fail, it’s easy: I love chocolate, the darker the better. Happy upcoming birthday to me!

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Misha Lyuve: Are We Ready



Are We Ready - Misha Lyuve

A microcosm by Misha Lyuve
topics: , ,

Jun 6, 2012

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I love NYC subway because it represents a microcosm of humanity – all you need to do is pay attention.

Where else can you feel one with the people as much as in a crowded subway car where you find yourself in a tight embrace with your fellow humans? Your proximity to flesh of those you don’t know might beat that of what you maintain with your best friends and maybe even your lovers.

This is the place where we give up our standards of private space, are pushed and stepped on, but remain more tolerant than in other life situations; like with the lady that fits only in two seats or a little guy who jumps on your back to squeeze right between you and the closing doors just as you thought that you were the only one who could fit there.

Don’t you ever wonder who these people are? Where are they rushing? What fuels them? Who loves them? How come, so different, they ended up in this tight space? Is that a coincidence or fate?

It is so easy not to care. It is so trivial not to notice them or pretend not to notice them. It is so predictable to stay on the train checked out and stuck with sporadic thoughts in one’s head. But if we pay attention… If we try to get through and see these people behind their fashionable sunglasses, loud headphones, busy makeup, eyes glued to their reading material – I am telling you people, this is it; this is us; this is the world; this is humanity. 

I feel that those who drive to work might be missing out; though I am sure they can find their own treasures on the way.

Commute offers spectacular opportunities for extraordinary living. What do you say?

And Life is NOT going to be the same by Misha Lyuve

Apr 8, 2012

When was the last time you experienced something that made you feel like life is not going to be the same? I say these moments define the level of your aliveness.

… I am hanging out with a year and 2 month old Brooke. She can’t walk by herself yet and for the past several weeks she has been thoroughly observing her twin sister’s moves. Brooke can grab on to big fingers of an adult and walk like that. But this time around I’m taking away my hands. She stands for a second semi-puzzled. And then she makes her first step by herself. And then another one. And another one.

What I found most profound in this situation is the expression on Brooke’s face as she took her first step. There was joy in its purest sense. There was a clear understanding of consequences of this event – the toddler somehow unmistakably knew that her life wasn’t going to be the same…

Can I for a second be jealous of children? – they are lucky to experience these transformational moments in abundance. As adults we require, for the most part, a very conscious effort to reach them. They come with awkwardness of doing something new or something old in a completely new way. And those new ways come with self-consciousness of graceless falls and embarrassments of getting up, that youngsters don’t have a concern for. I’ve just experienced it yesterday, working for the first time in a recording studio – but this might warrant a separate blog posting.

Looking at Brooke making her first step – please answer in the comment section, what did you do that made you feel like life is not going to be the same?

A blurry photo by Stephanie Woo, Brooke’s & Mackenzie’s mother and a founder of the wisest parenting blog Montessori on the Double.

Legs by Misha Lyuve

Apr 3, 2012

You are a Rock Star, old lady… by Misha Lyuve

Mar 25, 2012

So I am walking on my street and I see an old lady with a walker crossing West End Avenue. The traffic light is turning from green to red, and she is right in the middle of the road. The wind blows and you can see how it rips into her small body while she is holding on to her walker. She has these really big glasses, but I don’t think she can see much. As I help her to get to the other side, we chat and I find out that it is her first time out after the hip replacement surgery. She is on the way to McDonalds. She is in excellent spirits. In fact, she is thrilled.

Now I am done with my errands and on my way home. The lady is still stubbornly pushing her walker – she is a bit more than half way through the block where I left her off…

I set goals. I am in action. I question myself daily, annually and lifely whether I have accomplished enough. I use comparison to others to judge myself… or them. But what’s really an accomplishment? What’s enough?

And all I want to do is scream at the top of my lungs – Good for you, old lady! You are a rock star! - For getting yourself dressed and out of the apartment, walking against wind and traffic. Keep pushing that walker!

Thank you old lady for letting me see how differently a definition of an accomplishment is written for each of us. Thank you for allowing me to appreciate the efforts people around me make to live their lives and push their walkers; how those efforts vary in size and scope; how they are not always seen and, if seen, not always noticed and, if noticed, not always acknowledged.

And what are you pushing?

p.s. Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of the original lady, but the one here is one of the local troopers.

To Kony – or Not to Kony 2012? – Now it’s Your problem by Misha Lyuve

Mar 11, 2012

In a week the Kony 2012 project swirled the world into madness. The sleek, inspirational, easy-to-action campaign ignited interest of many people really fast and brought back as strong of a wave of criticism.

The question now is not whether Kony 2012 campaign is good or bad – but how to translate what it stirred into a real possibility. At the end of the day, it has started a very important conversation about Uganda and Africa and the spotlight of this conversation creates a world of opportunities.

Whether you are a Kony 2012 supporter, its critic or someone who is in between – there is an action to consider.

If you believe that the movie oversimplified the story of the war in Uganda or that the work of local organizations wasn’t properly represented: for once the world is listening, tell the story. People are dying to get educated and to understand how they can make a difference.

If you think that Jason Russel is self-centered ego driven narcissist manipulated by the hidden agenda of U.S. Christian right – don’t support his organization. Create your own and make it as clean and pure as you can – but don’t forget that most impactful things in the world, both good and bad, are accomplished by people with strong passion, egos and beliefs.

Some criticize Invisible Children for spending more than 60% of their funds on promoting awareness and only a third on directly contributing to Ugandans – keep in mind that for an organization with a big vision, whether it is a business or a non-profit, it’s a very reasonable strategy at the time of expansion and in this case the one that probably paid off. But if you really appalled by that, contribute and volunteer with other organizations.

The sensationalism of nowadays journalism and not always rational outcomes of social media campaigns – is the reality of today. Not everything will be aligned with your vision, but there is always an opportunity. In other words: Don’t be just a critic – offer alternatives. Don’t be paralyzed by contradictory opinions, find what works.

After all, Kony might actually be caught this year. And there is still tons of things to be done in the world. #getoffyourass2012

I Love You by Misha Lyuve

Feb 12, 2012

Remember? by Misha Lyuve

Sep 7, 2011
in memory of Neil Shastri

Remember New York after 9/11?

when you could find compassion in the eyes of a stranger

when there was togetherness in grieving for people we didn’t even know

when a regular person had an opportunity to become a hero

when it was normal for a business to care more about their employees and customers than their profits

when we were waking up to preciousness and fragility of our lives

when we rushed to say I love you to people that mattered to us

when we gave up excuses to do things that we had wanted to do.

Let’s not forget that bigger enemies than terrorism are sleepiness of our souls and resignation in our hearts, separateness of neighbors and fears that stop us.

And in the wake of the anniversary, why don’t you and I

give up a grudge against someone in our life

tell at least one person that we love him/her

do one things that we’re afraid of.

After all, there is no better way to honor the dead than by living. Are you up for it?

Top things to consider before the end of the world (#1) by Misha Lyuve

May 25, 2011

judgement day may 21, 2011 

If I were a bit smarter and faster, I would’ve come up with this posting before May 21st. But I think these can still be handy for the next apocalypse prediction or our finite lives in general.

#1. Forgive

As a wise someone said “resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”  Forgiveness is not forgetting or pretending that something didn’t happen. Forgiveness is giving up the right to hold whatever happened against the other.  So whatever happened – happened, but now is not impacting how you relate to the other.

It sounds really great and simple on paper, but can be one of the god-damn-it hardest things to do. As someone who harvested a few resentments in this lifetime, one thing I learned for sure: as hard as it is, the reward for forgiveness is priceless – like dropping a 100lb backpack off your own shoulders and most likely off someone else’s too. Stuff like love, affinity and intimacy are common side effects. But let me not over-sell this – you probably know yourself.

The question is how to start? Probably with the person who is floating up into your mind as you’re reading this.

Forgiveness most of the time requires an action – like having a conversation and most likely the kind of conversation that is a little scary to have, where you’re vulnerable, taking a risk and not knowing the outcome. Even a consideration to forgive someone will likely be met with loud voices “why bother?”, “they will never get it”, “I can do without them”,  “I tried it already”.

The voices will argue hard, will try to scare you, will bring you evidence from the past. Has it been forever that they kept this relationship or a situation in a status quo, that’s so painfully lifeless and chokingly boring? I say don’t listen to them. Have the conversation anyway. Forgive anyway.

More to follow……….

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