“I Need a Job!” – Tips on Writing a Resume Cover Letter

Resume Carton

The current economy isn’t exactly in great shape. This doesn’t mean, however, that getting a job is impossible. Most people just don’t understand the proper way to impress a potential employer. In the world of online applications, it is increasingly important to have an attractive resume that makes an impact. Even more important can be the cover letter attached to it. I have had great success finding employment, I have even found some Companies that hire felons. I have at the least been called in for an interview for every position I have applied for. There is no magic resume formula that will guarantee you a job, but I have compiled a list of tips that may help you out. Try them out; they will surely work for you.

On a related note, I do resume writing and interview preparation services on the side, so contact me if you need any extra help! Advice you find online can be conflicting sometimes, and actually working with a person is much more effective.

Resume Writing

1. Awareness – They say knowledge is power. This is definitely a truism when it comes to job hunting. You must know your employer. You should rarely find yourself applying for a job for which you don’t have to tweak your resume. Employers look for particular characteristics in their applicants. Human resources departments work tirelessly at employee analysis to determine what kind of person they want working for the company. You must know what these characteristics are so you can showcase them on a piece of paper, and there is no better place to find out than the company itself. Don’t be afraid to give HR a call and ask what the company is looking for. Do some research. Log in to the interwebs and look up the company profile. Look at their branding and the language on their website. Do your due diligence when trying to find out information; it will be your most valuable asset.

2. Resume Appearance – Tailor your resume appearance to the job you’re applying for. If you’re applying to be a data entry specialist, for example, don’t have pictures and designs on your resume. Your employer likely won’t care. On the other hand, if you’re applying for a creative design position, don’t be afraid to make your resume more creative and add design elements to it. Make sure your headings are clearly visible and eye catching. Your resume should be divided into clear sections, and it should be strikingly obvious where each section begins and ends. If you can, it would be in your best interest to do this without using borders. If you have knowledge of CSS, you can develop your own design template. If not, Microsoft Word does have some really good templates which look great and are easy to fill out. Too much color is always bad, regardless of what you’re applying for. Avoid rainbows or bright colors like yellow. Stick with your reds, blues, and blacks.

3. Organization and Content – Your resume needs to contain enough information in a proper order to give your potential employer a clear picture of who you are. Organization can be tricky. Always have a header with your name and contact information at the top; this should be obvious. Most times, you should start your resume with your education, especially if you are well educated and have taken interesting classes. Include your relevant coursework for your degrees and majors. Then continue with your skills, abilities, and expertise. Only include relevant information! If you’re applying to be a lab chemist, they won’t care if you are an expert at origami! Some universal skills to consider are computer and communication. Every employer wants somebody who can communicate and interact well with others, and computer skills are almost always a good thing to have in the modern world. Your experience should generally come last. Some people will tell you to put it earlier because employers often don’t make it to the end. This is completely false. If an HR department is only concerned with your experience, they’ll flip to it to read it. But if they aren’t, then you get the added bonus of ending your resume with a valuable impact. Your experience should include your job titles, the employer you held that position for, the dates of employment, and most importantly the functions you performed. You must always include a brief summary of your job functions. This can even be done in a bullet list of three or four points.

4. Show Don’t Tell – When it comes to skills and abilities, people often just list what they can do. The employer then has to take your word for it. Employers often don’t like doing that. They want proof. So instead of saying that you can write business communications, say that you wrote executive correspondences for the VP of Operations for so and so, or whatever you did. If you want to show that you are a good public speaker, mention that you have rankings in collegiate debate, or that you had to develop presentations every other week or something. This method of writing has a lot of benefits. Most importantly, it is a demonstration that shows your abilities. This way, the employer doesn’t have to rely on faith. Also, this shortens your experience section. Now you don’t have to write a book for each job to describe what you did and how you developed your skills as a result. It also avoids having to have an awards section. Most employers don’t care about extracurricular awards you have unless they represent a definite skill or ability. They also want you to be concise, so you need to give them less sections they can skip over and get bored with.

Cover Letter Writing

1. Don’t be Afraid to Brag – You’re applying for a position, so you should believe that you are the best candidate for it. Otherwise, why bother? Tell your employer that. I start all my cover letters with, “Dear ________, I am writing to you today to apply for _____________.” My experience, character, and unique perspective make me the ideal candidate for this position.” This is to the point, tells the reader how the letter is organized, and conveys a confident intent. Never say “I believe I am…,” or “I think I am…” Nobody cares what you think or believe. In fact, legally speaking, employers can’t make hiring decisions based upon what you believe 😛  Tell them who you are, and why you’re the best.

2. Be Concise – This is self-explanatory. Don’t use flowery language or long sentences. There’s no point. Get to what you want to say.

3. Organization – Your strongest qualities should be first and last, with the strongest being first. Unlike resumes, cover letters often do not get read entirely. They don’t have sections, and HR doesn’t like spending time searching for things. As such, open strong. I start with my experience because I want to elaborate on things my resume doesn’t. I want to tell my employer about a specific project I worked on where I made my boss lots of money or something. Fill in the less important details in the middle of the letter.

4. Be More Specific – Your skills and experience sections on your resume are fairly general because they need to encompass a great deal of information in a few words. Your cover letter on the other hand, should be narrower. Talk about a specific thing you did which particularly impacted your development as a professional. Explain how you’ve generated positive results for past employers. Talk about your experiences rather than your experience.

5. Turn Your Weakness Into Strength – If something about your profile is weak or damaging, but you have to mention it, your cover letter is the place to turn it into a strength. For me, my education in philosophy can often turn off an employer. While I may be able to perform the job function very well, the employer may look at my education and think that I am not suited for the position. As such, I devote most of my time in my cover letter to describing how studying philosophy has made me a creative and analytical thinker. It has allowed me to be efficient and incisive, and have a unique perspective on human interaction. I make sure the employer knows this so that my education becomes a strength rather than a weakness. You ought to do the same.

Well that’s it for now. These are just a few general tips that I hope help you in your applications. Look for my interview tips coming soon. Good luck!

For some additional resources, check out these links:

http://www.resume-resource.com/

http://www.freeresumehelp.net/resume_writing_resources_main.html

http://www2.binghamton.edu/career-development-center/quick-reference-guides/resume.pdf

http://www.eresumes.com/

Chapter 1

The Deal

Chapter 1 – Blinds Posted

It’s a little before midnight, and I’ve finally decided to call it quits. Two thousand two hundred seventy seven dollars richer, I’m walking home through the streets of Chicago. This isn’t the Chicago everyone sees on TV. It’s closer to the modern version of John Dillinger’s Chicago. These are the nighttime streets of McHenry County, and I’m walking back to my apartment alone with a wad of cash in my tattered old messenger bag. My converses kiss the damp pavement with each step; apparently it rained while I was at Catherine’s. The bottoms of my jeans are already torn up because they are just an inch too long and always manage to sneak under my shoes. I can never find pants the right length. The moisture from the pavement gradually seeps into them, making them a darker and darker shade of blue.

The lamp posts coil up toward the gray slate sky, probably searching for the stars behind that smoggy countenance. A car alarm goes off somewhere far to my left. Everything seems to vibrate along with the rhythm of that incessant beeping, despite it being infinitely distant. I take ten more steps, and it’s quiet again; the alarm has been silenced. Yellow light sits heavily at increments along the pavement, cast down from the inquiring lamp posts. The yellow isn’t bright, beautiful, or sunny. No, it’s that vomit kind of yellow that everyone hates. The buildings along the street curve out and away from it as they rise, no doubt disgusted by the color. A bus floats by me, teetering left and right, like it’s on the verge of tipping. I hear the fatigue of a single mother, going home after the late shift at her second job, permeate through the bus windows. It lingers around me as I walk, taunting me. It would take that poor woman three months to earn what I just earned in three hours.

I live cheap. I don’t buy nice clothes, or many nice things. I don’t have a flat screen television, and all my furniture is second hand. My carpet is tearing up, and the paint on the walls of my apartment is chipping. It gets obscenely hot in the summer months, but I don’t want to pay the electric bill that comes with a window air conditioner. That is the apartment I have to look forward to as I make the right turn onto my street. Lynch Ave., the sign mocks me. I stop for a moment to stare at the sign. I don’t say anything. I just think it, because I know it can hear my thoughts. I’ve saved up over three hundred thousand dollars working and playing poker. I turn twenty one tomorrow. I’m quitting my job, and I’m buying a first class airplane ticket to Las Vegas. The sign shrinks away, defeated. It knows that it won’t be seeing much more of me. This street, this city, thrives on weak hearts and lost souls. Degenerates and failures roam around these alleys at all hours trying to find their way. They howl into the night, desperately searching for some respite, even if it means floating down the River Styx. I am not one of them. I know where I’m going.

I reach into my bag and grasp the lanyard at the bottom. The white lettering against the purple background reads Northwestern University. I earned a college degree at one of the top institutions in the country so I could play poker for a living. My parents would be so proud of me. A degree from Northwestern in communications leads to a position as the marketing director at a prominent publishing firm. That, in turn, leads to a consistent, substantial cash flow toward my poker bankroll. Managing to get that degree and landing that position at age eighteen means I have little to no expenses. Each motion I make now is motivated by these thoughts. I turn the key.

I take a step into my apartment and shut the door behind me. It sends a small gust of air into my body as it thuds into place. I turn the bolt to lock it. I reach for the light switch to my left, but before I can flip it, the lights flash on. I see figures rising up from behind my couches and crawling out from behind the walls and corners of my apartment. They all have wide grins on their faces, taunting grins, sickeningly happy that I’ve fallen into their trap. I break out sweating immediately and stumble back into my door. I can’t escape. They’ll be on me by the time I turn the bolt in the opposite direction to unlock the door. I’m trapped. Then I hear it, a collective yell.

“Surprise!”

My heart stops accelerating, and I let out a sigh of relief. My sister bounces toward me, wearing the biggest smile I’ve ever seen. Her gorgeous mahogany hair decorates her shoulders, perfectly accenting the dark green strapless dress she’s wearing. She is the most beautiful woman I know, perfect in every way. She stands five feet nine inches tall without heels. Her stomach is flat and taut, and she has long defined legs that glisten in every kind of light. She is the center of attention, and catches the eye of every man, through no real fault of her own. Her hazel eyes are doing a fiery salsa right now. She knows she got me good, and she’s absolutely thrilled about it.

My sister and I lost our parents in our early teens. It was the typical story they use in the driver’s education classes to teach teens not to drink and drive. Except, in this case, the children didn’t die, the parents did. My sister and I immediately clung to each other. She has been my rock throughout my entire life, the only real family I have left. There’re always aunts, uncles, and cousins, but the bond with them doesn’t come close to resembling the one I have with her. And, she decided to reaffirm that bond by throwing me a midnight birthday party for my twenty first.

“Are you surprised? Oh man, I got you! Admit it! Big confident card shark, never surprised by anything, always knows what’s gonna happen.” She lets out a triumphant laugh.

“Alright, alright, I admit it. You got me. This is incredible sis. I can’t believe you pulled this off. You’re the best.” I smile and give her a hug.

“Ok, say hi to all your friends. Then cut the cake and change. The limo will be here in half an hour, and we’re gonna party downtown all night!”

“Limo? You can’t be serious. This must’ve cost you a fortune.”

“You’re not the only poker player in the family ya know, just the only one who never spends any money. Plus, I have the boobs to distract all those guys at the table.” She pushes her breasts together and lifts them a little, then turns and bounces away into my living room.

I follow her, walking toward the cake in the middle of the room. I am greeted by my close friends, Katie, Barry, and Marshall. They take turns giving me hugs and kisses on the cheek, congratulating me on this monumental occasion. There are about a dozen and a half other people in my apartment. I know them all, but none of them are terribly close friends. Each of them congratulates me as well, giving me a pat on the back, or whatever gesture he/she finds appropriate for the moment. Katie, Barry, and Marshall are all wearing their nice “going out” outfits. For Katie, this means looking like a classy slut. She has on  tight jeans and silver striped heels. She has a see through lace top and a frilly Victoria’s Secret bra underneath. Ok, maybe the word “classy” is giving her a little too much credit. Barry and Marshall are wearing gray and black suits respectively. They never wear ties when going out, and they have on their alligator leather dress shoes. We all went to buy our dressy shoes together, and they decided to get the alligator skin. Why not? They’re all smiling at me, and I’m getting more excited with each second that passes by.

I quickly blow out the candles after they sing. I cut the cake and go into my bedroom to change while they talk in the living room. I shut the door and push the little button next to the glass knob to lock it. It’s not really glass. It’s that glass-like plastic that they make doorknobs out of in vain attempts to make them look fancy. I slip off my shoes and throw them on my shoe rack. I keep it in my bedroom just because it’s more convenient, easier to get dressed in the morning, and I never have to worry about finding my shoes because I took them off somewhere and forgot. The carpet is soft, and the fibers snake in between my toes. I can feel the bottoms of my jeans giving my feet cold, sloppy, wet kisses. My carpet is a very light blue, gentle and subtle. I flick on the lights and see it contrast against the darker, overbearing blue my jeans have become. I unbutton them and labor to slip out. Tight jeans make me look good, but they can be very uncomfortable. I sit down on my bed after getting them down to my knees, feeling the pillow top cover hug my butt, holding it in all the right spots, just like a mother holding her new born child in her arms.

I grab the bottom of each pant leg in turn, pulling them down and off my legs. I hang my jeans on the edge of my closet door and start sifting through the clothes hanging in my closet to figure out what I’m going to wear for the night. I feel a cool breeze caress the backs of my thighs. I spin around on my heels, not because I’m scared, but because it’s fun. I see that I apparently left one of my windows open this morning. There are three long vertical windows on that wall of my bedroom. The middle is about three feet wide, and the outer two are half as much. The windows are half the height of the wall, but sit vertically centered, equal margins of wall spanning out from the top and bottom. The middle window is slightly open, and I can see the screen rippling from the breeze. I usually remember to shut them before I leave for work in the morning, but I have forgotten before. I suppose this was just one of those mornings.

I walk over, still pants-less, grab the edge of the wooden casing for the glass pane, and slide the panel down until it thuds in front of the screen. The breeze is gone. I begin to turn and walk back toward the closet, but I catch the light from the window glinting off something on the floor. I bend down to look closer and see a three of diamonds floating upon the fibers of my carpet. It sits lightly, like a gleaming red feather, barely kissing the top of each thread it touches. I don’t know where it came from. I am now hunched down, sitting on my haunches, staring at this card and periodically blinking like a curious animal. I’m not thinking anything, and I don’t know why. I snap out of the momentary trance after a few seconds, pick up the card, and set it on my end table. I am a messy person, and I usually have cards on me. I probably just dropped it, and it got blown toward the window or something. Maybe it was stuck to the bottom of my foot or shoe. I have more important things to concern myself with anyway. My sister and friends are waiting. I quickly slip on the only suit I own. It’s a cheap one hundred fifty dollar ensemble I picked up at JCPenney, but it looks nice enough. I slide into my Good Will second hand Florsheim’s and walk back out into the living room.

I’m in downtown Chicago now, after a long, champaigne-laden, inebriating limo ride.

I Want to Get Into Graduate School! – Tips on Writing a Personal Statement

It’s that season when people begin thinking about their applications for graduate and professional school. You need to take all your standardized tests, get your recommendations, spend your savings on application fees, and write a personal statement for your application. I thought I would make it a little bit easier for you and share some insights into writing a killer personal statement. Below is a list of general tips to help you write a personal statement no matter what type of graduate school you’re applying to. Below that, I have pasted an old personal statement of mine to give you an example which may help you in your writing. Applying to graduate school can be daunting, and I wish you all the best of luck.

Writing a Personal Statement

1. Don’t Try to be Somebody You’re Not – If you try to adopt a writing style that doesn’t resonate with who you are, it will show. Your sentences will seem contrived, and the statement will not flow. Some people are creative, others are direct, and still others are story tellers. Know your strength, and stick with it. Don’t try to write a dramatic story about a life altering experience if you can’t write with good imagery. Don’t try to write a resume-like statement if you have difficulty with clarity and impact organization. Know who you are. That is the first step.

2. Be Concise – Being long-winded is by far the biggest mistake that people make when writing a personal statement, at least from what I have experienced. Too much detail, redundancy, and unnecessary additions are all common problems. Say something once, and say it well. Then move on. You have no reason to laboriously elaborate on any one point. Think about it; if you’re sitting on an admissions committee, and you have to read hundreds, if not thousands, of these things, wouldn’t you want them to be concise and to the point?

3. Seamless Organization – A lot of people try to be creative and organize their essay around a theme or popular reference like The Wizard of Oz, Brave New World, or even sports. Tragically, a lot of people fail miserably at this because their statement loses direction and misses key elements that admissions officers look for. You need to explain how your interest in the field came about. You need to explain why you’re better than everyone else. And, you need to elaborate on your future ambition. You need to organize these elements so they flow seamlessly from one to the next. I usually stick with a chronological organization, but that’s just my personal preference. You can organize it however you want, but make sure your transitions are solid and not forced. The five-paragraph essay with stock transitions you learned to write in middle school will not cut it here.

4. The Importance of Ambition – More often than not, people leave out what they want to do with the degree they will receive. This is particularly true of medical school applicants. Yes, it is assumed that you will become a medical practitioner with an MD. However, there are a lot of different types of medical practitioner. Tell them what you want to be and why. Do you want to conduct oncology research trials? Do you want to work in a trauma response center? Do you want to work in mental health? Do you want to open your own clinic? This advice is not exclusive to medical school applicants. Everyone should demonstrate a desire and drive toward future greatness. Graduate schools love admitting students they think can gain the school prestige. If you’re going to be the next big Nobel Prize winner, what school wouldn’t want to admit you?

5. Demonstrate a Knowledge of Your Field – This is particularly applicable if you’re applying to a program in a social science. Show that you have a working knowledge of the top professionals in your field, that you understand how it operates. You need to show that you have the drive to succeed in your intended field, and there is no better way to do that than showing you already have a grasp on the fundamentals, and you’re ready to get your hands dirty.

7. Focus and Impact – This is the most important element! Everything you say should have a focus and impact. Everything should demonstrate a purpose. Why do I care if you fixed cleft pallets in Namibia? Did you develop any character qualities as a result? How have you grown and changed from the experience? If you can’t find a reason something matters, then take it out!

My Personal Statement

My fall in to the world of bioethics was rather serendipitous. I began my career at Case Western Reserve as a biochemistry pre-medicine student. I decided to take an introductory bioethics course and a philosophy course to complete my breadth requirements. Taking these courses was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. I immediately became mesmerized by the world of philosophy, and I changed my major soon thereafter. I decided very early that I was going to apply for admission into the integrated graduate studies program for biomedical ethics.

I enjoyed philosophical discussions, and I found that I had an aptitude for the critical thinking that philosophy requires. I decided to attend the National Undergraduate Bioethics Conference at  Harvard University during the spring semester of 2009, my freshman year. I attended seminars and competed in the Bioethics Bowl with another student, and our team earned the honor of fourth place. I was particularly inspired by a panel discussion I attended about neuroethics. The panel centered around the Trolley Problem and recent neurological research being conducted by Dr. Joshua Greene that may provide a solution to the dilemma. I began to look into the issue on my own, and I proceeded to present at Case Western’s cognitive science conference. I also published an article regarding the same topic in Case Western’s peer reviewed Engineering and Science Review.

I realized that biomedical ethics could potentially impact my personal life as well, and I did not know where I stood on many issues such as euthanasia and human reproductive cloning. I spoke to my parents about end of life decision making and abortion, and I found that they looked to religion for most of their answers. My parents had been born in Pakistan and had been raised Muslim. I had also been born in Pakistan, and I had been raised in Egypt prior to coming to the United States. I felt a strong personal attachment to Islamic biomedical ethics, and I decided to write my undergraduate thesis on that topic.

I am in a unique position to contribute to this particular field of religious bioethics which has been largely untouched in Western scholarship. With the growing number of Muslims in the United States, and across the world, the importance of knowing what Islam has to say on matters of public policy and concern is becoming very pressing. In the future, I plan to cement a career in Islamic bioethics. From my experience with my parents, I suspect many Muslims are unaware of exactly what their religion has to say about biomedical issues emerging in the twenty first century. I would like to be in a position where I can be part of the discussion seeking to shed light on this issue. I plan to continue toward a medical and doctoral education, after which I plan to be a practicing physician and bioethics scholar. Ideally, I would like to practice and teach at teaching hospitals such as Johns Hopkins Hospital, Northwestern Hospital, or the Mayo Clinic Saint Marys Hospital. I also aspire to sit on an ethics review board at a hospital like the Cleveland Clinic.

I have been inspired by ethicists such as Dan Brock, researchers such as Joshua Greene, and philosophers such as Martha Nussbaum. I have an analytical and creative mind, along with unending curiosity. I have the humility to know that my aspirations will require a great deal of effort to achieve, and I have the drive to meet the challenges ahead of me with determination and optimism. I want to cement a career in biomedical ethics, and an MA degree from Case Western Reserve University would be an ideal first step. Thank you for your consideration.

Beginning Excerpt of My Novel

So, I’ve decided to write a novel. It’s going to fall into the “mystical realism” genre, something I feel is substantially lacking these days. Here’s an introductory excerpt. Let me know what you think!

Gravity

a journey into the shark’s den

A white tube light spans above, flickering its taunting essence down on my head. A dark silhouette sits across the green pasture in front of me. I see only blurs out of the corners of my eyes. They twist and contort upward, blending with the light. Their green inquiring eyes are hungry, hungry for the future, hungry for knowledge. They are silent, but I can hear their muted panting. The room behind the silhouette has already melted and drips down my field of vision like molasses. The floor is filthy; it begins to whirlpool, swirling the dirt, sweat, and blood into a contorted mess. A rat squeals shrilly in the corner. The tiles underneath my feet fall away, leaving me hovering there at my seat. The neck of a brown beer bottle stretches up along the side of my right wrist. I feel the perspiration sliding down it, giving off cool whispers to the air around my arm.

My thumb slides slowly along edge of the cards under my hands, so slowly that the movement is almost imperceptible. I control my breathing, counting the time taken for each laborious breath, making sure to remain consistent. The royal family sits in front of me, with the exception of the queen. She is somewhere in the deck that now lies lifeless in the middle of the table. She has been replaced by a duck, following at the end of the procession. I only know that she does not reside under the hands of the black silhouette. I need him to believe she is under mine.

I am a mathematician. I am a psychologist. I am a philosopher, cognitive scientist, salesman, and actor. I am a poker player. I’m sitting here with two three off suit, trying not to drench my shirt in my own sweat. My heart is thundering in my chest, and I’m trying to pretend like I’m calm and in control. I hit the two on the river, and I’ve been calling this guy down the whole way, planning this very moment. The last card doesn’t really matter to me; I was going to do this regardless. I know he has ace king, top two pair; he has been playing that hand the same way out of position all night. Raise three times the blind pre flop, check if you hit the flop, bet the turn to make it look like a bluff, then check the river to induce a bet. Lather, rinse, repeat. This guy’s game is like the back of a shampoo bottle. I just rattled that bottle; he wasn’t expecting me to push in my entire stack when he checked the river.

I’ve been coming to Catherine’s for about two years now, mopping up scrubs and taking whatever change they have. The place is disgusting, a black pit where the air is ripe with cheap cigar smoke and the lingering frost of bad beats. Everyone in town who dreams of sitting at the final table in the World Series comes here to play almost daily. Every now and then a new player will come in, thinking he’s the next big poker hot shot. I’ll pounce on him like a hungry wolf, devouring his wallet and spitting out the tattered leather carcass. They always leave the same way, calling me a donkey, claiming I sucked out. But hey, if Gus Hansen can play three five off suit out of position at the World Series, then I can play two three off suit on the second floor of a local bar.

I can see the bewilderment and confusion in his eyes. He may not be the best, but he has enough presence of mind to note that I can play almost any two cards in this sort of spot. I could have any sort of queen or any pocket pair. He doesn’t know what to do, like a deer caught in headlights. I’ve seen the look countless times. With my sunglasses and the terrible lighting in this place, I can’t see his face. All I see is shadow. It doesn’t matter. I’m focused, my eyes fixed firmly on the cards. He flicks his cards, clearly agitated. He cranes his head back and opens his mouth, like the answer is going to fall onto his tongue from the ceiling. He cranes his head forward now, looks at me, and grips his cards in between the first two fingers of his right hand. He leans into the light, and I can see his face.

He hasn’t shaved in a few days, maybe in an effort to look tougher. The little flecks of black and grey adorning his chin and cheeks dance mesmerizingly under the flickering light. I can smell the tangy alcoholic cologne he is wearing pierce through the air between us. He lumbers forward, placing his elbows on the table. With a flick of his fingers, the cards flop forward, defeated. “I fold,” he admits.

I smile and look up from the cards. I flip mine over quietly and gracefully, emptying a salt shaker onto that open gash everyone now sees. He grabs what little chips he has left, gets up from the table silently, and goes to the counter to cash out. Jeers, laughter, and applause fill the room. I just quietly gather my chips. I am already thinking about the next guy who’s going to fill that seat. He’s at the bar, and he has been watching me all night. My name is Alex, and this is my world.

Welcome

You view the world through your own particular lens shaped by so many different things like your upbringing and even your genetics. One of my missions in life is to get as many people as I can to see beyond that lens. The world becomes a richer, and some would say more compassionate, place when we gain the ability to see the world from another’s perspective. So welcome to Shattering the Lens. Feel free to look around the site. You might find something that sparks your imagination, or you might find yourself bored and wanting to leave. Either way, I encourage you to leave comments and thoughts. Consider this a reflective pool where each drop of water reflects a different perspective of the world around it. Add your own drops to the pool if you feel so inclined, or just take a moment to appreciate a perspective which may be different from your own.

Forever can be found in a drop of water, and it takes even less than that to drown the universe.