“We Do Not Inherit the Earth from Our Ancestors; We Borrow It from Our Children”

“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children”

-Moses Henry Cass

Hang En-8

Cass’s quote is especially important I lieu of the recent climate change “debate.”  Well, lets be honest, its not really a debate.  The conversation is akin to a child arguing with an adult over the benefits of brushing one’s teeth, eating healthy, how video games are good for studying or just about anything that has been scientifically proven yet people still deny.


Seoraksan National Park, South Korea

For millennia humans have inherited the earth from our forefathers and continued to live off the land.  Only recently has our race begun to realize the impact we have on nature and the profound changes we set in motion.  Some changes are already irreversible (sure that’s a TV show but those facts check out).  The Earth’s temperature is rising and our best estimates of letting it continue on the current course are catastrophic.




Jirisan National Park, South Korea

The thing to remember is that regardless of the current situation we need to get into Cass’ mentallity of “borrow[ing] Earth from our children.”  We hand it back to them in (hopefully) better condition than we were given it.  Humans are known for their ability to adapt and I am confident in our abilities to continue doing so.  I look forward to inventions that help us solve the issues that climate change is presenting.  I’m hopeful about future technology that could reverse the damage caused by our pollution.   A 19 year old is spearheading the ocean cleanup, scientists are hoping to lower the Earth’s temperature by using artificial trees or other inventions to suck the harmful CO2 out of the sky.


East Sea from Daecheongbong, Seoraksan National Park, South Korea

The sun hasn’t set on us yet.  With the help of modern scientists, activists and everyday people we can keep this beautiful Earth for generations to come.  Soon we will return this borrowed planet to our offspring but until that day we have work to do.  Even if its just recycling and making a compost pile everyone can help clean up our planet  Get out there and make a difference so we can leave the best planet possible to our children!


“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done…” – Dalai Lama XIV

“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live.”
Dalai Lama XIV

Such a strong and incredibly true statement about life.  I love the adventures I went on yesterday (and the day,  month, year before that)  As evidenced by my perpetual Facebooking & blogging about trips but one thing is certain; without following the Dalai Lama’s advice I never would have made it on 99% of those excursions.  If I sat around thinking about what awesome things I’ve already done (climbing waterfalls, exploring caves or summiting mountains) I’d never make it to the next one.

If I spent my days daydreaming about the next big adventure my future holds (Granted I do often do this in my leisure time.  See below.) that expedition would never come to fruition.  I never would have gotten off my butt in New Jersey and moved to Seoul, explored Son Doong (the world’s largest cave) floated in the dead sea or countless other unforgettable trips.

dead sea

Floating in The Dead Sea


Son Doong, World’s Largest Cave

One of the reasons my posts have been sparse the last few weeks is I just started up a new language exchange.  Every Tuesday night from 7:30-9:00 I convince a bunch of Koreans & foreigners to sit down and chat.  We take half the time to speak in Korean and half to speak in English.  We’re up to 16 members in just 5 weeks and everyone is enjoying this FREE opportunity to learn language and bridge cultural gaps.  We’ve been negotiating contracts at my current school and its not confirmed but it looks like I’m gonna stay on board for another year, I’m even a candidate for the promotion to team leader!

That means I can’t wait to plan for my next BIG adventures (since I’ll have about 8 weeks of vacation to play with next year).  I’ll be in Shanghai for 2 days in December before returning to NJ for the holidays (December 27th. Shindig at my parents place.  Save the date!).  I’m looking forward to a warm holiday in February (Thailand’s looking pretty enticing right now) and researching a Nepal trek to the Annapurna Circuit and Everest Base Camps for as early as next summer.  But I’m not just looking at the future I’m working TODAY to make that happen in some unforeseen tomorrow.  I’m always looking for new opportunities to a)travel and b)make some extra money (just finished a flyer for English tutoring that I’m going to have some Korean friends proofread at tonight’s exchange!)

I try to be as productive as possible and I don’t like wasting time.  Sure I take breaks, everyone needs trashy TV binges, HALO/Call Of Duty marathons, your occasional buzzfeed article or Sunday recoveries from questionable Saturday decisions.  The trick is to strive to make them the exception rather than the norm.  Budget leisure time just like you would a paycheck and you will quickly find that you are prepared for more and doing more.  You will find new opportunities to save money through a little elbow grease and I’d be surprised if you can’t put your mind towards a new opportunity for some cash flow making tomorrow’s dreams even more likely.

Yesterday is in the past, tomorrow’s in the future, so remember that “today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live!”  Whether that means learning something new, saying hello to a stranger, falling in love, calling an old friend or simply getting up and getting started you’re the one that’s in charge so do it today!

P.S. One last update for my family, friends and other followers!  I’ve been getting back into shape with a sober September, promoting men’s health for Movember by hitting the gym, sharing advice, cooking as much (and healthy) as possible and of course growing a mean ‘stache.  Can’t forget how epic Saturday night was my first 1920’s murder mystery!  (p.s happy birthday Erin!)1920's murder mystery


“It is a big and beautiful world…”

Prince Oberyn Martell Beautiful World Quote

This Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones on HBO featured this amazing quote.  Although I’ve read A Song of Fire and Ice I can’t be sure if the quote is directly from George R.R. Martin or just good HBO writing.  Either way it hit home for me!

Living in a foreign country was a terrifically difficult decision and in spite of some early hurdles I couldn’t be happier here.  Shortly before departing a friend asked me why I was going to the other side of the world.  I told him something along the lines of “if I don’t go now I’ll never go; I’ll never get a chance to see the world.”  He described it as “FOMO” or Fear of Missing Out.  While he was absolutely right I prefer Oberyn’s apt description of this beautiful world.  I rather like doing things that most people don’t get to do an frankly “I don’t want to be most of us.”

Needless to say not only am I full of excitement for my upcoming travels (and sharing my most recent ones with you all!) but I’m also totally pumped for the next Game of Thrones episode!

It is a big and beautiful world.  Most of us live and die in the same corner where we were born and never get to see any of it.  I don’t want to be most of us.”

– Prince Oberyn Martell

“The Laws of Gods and Men.” Game of Thrones


“It takes a noble man to plant a seed for a tree that will some day give shade to people he may never meet.”

“It takes a noble man to plant a seed for a tree that will some day give shade to people he may never meet.”

– D. Elton Trueblood

This quote resonates with every inch of my teaching soul.  Fortunately, I get to see many of my seeds grow into saplings, although it is unlikely that I will be the for their full bloom.  I love inspiring my students to be the best that they can be; to help them become self-motivating and strive for excellence, if for no other reason than to show themselves that they can achieve it.  Even if only a handful get the message it will have been a worthwhile endeavor.

The world is always changing and today it appears to be doing so at a more alarming rate than ever.  Technology has skyrocketed and with it we are presented with new challenges.  Challenges that my generation and generations to come will be forced to deal with and overcome.

It is my sincere hope as a teacher that I can help prepare future generations to push through adversity.  Prepare them to be victorious in the fight against global climate change, pollution, overpopulation, social injustices and the rest of the hand that our predecessors have dealt us.

How does this quote resonate with you?  Have you ever “planted a seed” knowing that you might never see the fruits of your labor?