Blog: Welcome, Friends.
Thank you for visiting our platform here at NYC Nature, HOPE. We hope you stay for a while and have a look around. We hope you join our community and come back often. We hope you share! Mostly, we hope you enjoy.
What is NYC Nature, HOPE?
We’re a community of friends with the mission of using authentic content to spread hope to our confusing world.
What’s the problem?
What’s the problem, you ask, Mr. Narrator? There isn’t one. There are many. More than I can list here. More than I even know (I’m not the brightest). I’ll start with five:
- A mental health epidemic. We’ve entered a new world with the internet, social media and data. The generations above us do not experience it the same way we do. For every Karen yelling about politics on Facebook, there are thousands of high schoolers who are depressed, anxious and confused about themselves and the world. Suicide rates have skyrocketed among us (WSJ). As well as an overall increase in deaths via Diseases of Despair: suicide, drug and alcohol (Statista).
- Race. Centuries of inequality has reached its boiling point. Our team does not want to take any attention away from the important conversation happening in our country and around the world. We are delaying the diverse content we had prepared and are working hard to create content on hearing young black voices. Listening to their stories. Empathizing with their experiences. Taking action to help however we can.
- Religious, political, and national divisiveness. In my opinion, many of the voices we hear in media care more about being right than they do about our wellbeing. We see the alienation of good people and entire groups. Potential entrepreneurs, doctors and friends made to believe they don’t belong in our society. Hate towards other groups whose life experiences have caused them to think differently than we do.
- A life of debt. Societal pressures mold our brains to believe college is the only way to a happy and normal life. It takes the average student with debt 21 years to pay it off. A lifetime of pressure. Of feeling like we’re behind. Is this the only way to educate our youth? To have a successful career and happy life?
- Our beliefs about ourselves. Many of us feel pressure to be perfect. Get good grades so we can attend a good college. The pressure to be as pretty and popular as the people we see on TV and social media. To get married, have a family and be someone we think others want us to be. To fit in, impress and climb the societal ladder. To be accepted and validated by others.
What’s the solution?
I don’t know for sure. I don’t know the answer to most things to be fair. I think the answer to most things is either ‘C’ or whatever the kid next to me put down. But I do know a little bit about a few things:
- Life is hard. For everyone. Most of the time. We all have that in common. It’s a lot harder for some than others. That’s a fact. But I don’t think it’s worth a worldwide victim Olympics to find out. I don’t think anyone in America would win that anyway. I could be wrong. I am often. That doesn’t mean your problems, my problems and our problems don’t matter. They do.
- Sharing and empathy create deep bonds. When I was deeply struggling on the inside, I made the best decision of my life: I asked for help. I decided on my own to go to therapy. I asked people to share their stories with me. They did. We connected over our failures. I started realizing it was okay to be flawed. I saw hope for a better tomorrow. I felt a little bit better. A little bit goes a far way.
- Questioning and replacing our negative beliefs is better than sex. Maybe. It’s definitely close. Where do our beliefs about ourselves and the world come from? Where did the people who told us learn it from? And before them? Why do I think this way? Do I really hate this person? This group of people? Am I afraid of them because I don’t know them? Am I uncertain? Am I sure?
- Manifestation is real. Our thoughts and emotions follow our beliefs. Our words and actions follow suit. We cannot control the actions of other people or our environment. Dumb people eat bat soup. We feel lonely when we’re stuck inside. Those are uncontrollable facts. So, what can we control? Our beliefs about ourselves, the world and the situations life lays before us. Our perspectives. The stories we tell ourselves we end up telling others. Those stories come true. The universe, God, or my friend BeardManCloudGod doesn’t care whether those stories – those beliefs – are positive or negative.
- H.O.P.E. comes from Hearing Other People’s Experiences. A great guy, Timmy O’Brien, told me that when I shared this idea with him. You’ll see it used once or twice if you stick around. I owe Timmy half of this company. I owe the other half to everyone in my life who has shared their experiences with me. Their failures. I owe them everything for giving me hope. Our mission is to return the favor by creating a platform to do the same for you. And everyone else. Our brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, friends, neighbors or dogs. Especially our dogs.
What’s next? How are we going to execute?
Most importantly, there’s an overdue conversation going on in the world right now surrounding race and privilege. We’re going to listen. We’re going to try and be a platform for black voices to tell their stories. We would love to add more of those voices to our team too. We need your help here.
When the time is right to speak on other issues, we’re going to do our best to provide authentic and relatable content to share other ideas, perspectives and stories. We have a lot ready to go. Diversity is the key – diversity of perspectives, content types, platforms and storytelling methods. Not everyone will enjoy my content – I had a privileged upbringing compared to most. I have bad A.D.D. and I’m dumb. We have much smarter content contributors from different backgrounds. We’re always looking to add more regularly. The ‘Let’s Talk’ tab allows you to submit your stories directly to us, anonymously or not. Our content will be posted here and on all the traditional social media outlets.
There will be a lot H.O.P.E. stories along with creative writing. And a lot of bad jokes. There will be content from sponsors and friends. Only ones we wholeheartedly believe in. No sales tricks. No negative reviews.
We have extremely talented and passionate graphic designers, producers and animators on our team. We want to make our content come alive. We’re always looking to add more talented people.
We have fantastic designers creating limited-edition merchandise with important messages. We’ll release these regularly and always have a cause or organization to share the profits with us. We’ll always be transparent and honest about everything we’re doing.
For the Four people still reading.
Thank you for reading this far: Mom, Dad, Kelly’s cat, Sasha, and whoever is reading this to my illiterate friend, James Greco.
So many people helped us get to this point. It wouldn’t do their effort justice to list them here. I’m excited to share more about them in the future.
To our community, let us know what we can do for you. Any time. Always. We’re here to serve you. We want to hear from you. We want to expand the community and reach as many people as possible. We want to add more passionate people to our team too. I do not care what company or person gets the credit for spreading the message of hope. I only care that it spreads. I just want to be a part of a community that spreads a little bit of hope. A little bit goes a far way. A little bit of hope goes even farther.
Let us know what you think!