One of the best videos I’ve ever seen. Henry Rollins: Young People.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Apr 27, 2012
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There’s no better time than now to have a moral and civic backbone, to have a moral and civic true north—this is a tremendous opportunity for you to be heroic. Morally-upstanding. Helpful. Almost boy scout-like. Presidential. Altruistic.

You must never lower yourself to be a person you don’t like.

Not a trustafarian? We’ll get stronger climbing up than riding in the ski lift.

This video covers it all, for me. As a poor child, with a valiant hard-working much-loving single momma, I wish I’d seen this many years ago.

I’ve still never traveled. I never skiied, as a boy, because we couldn’t afford it and couldn’t afford an injury. But I got good grades ’cause my mom cared enough about my education to transfer me not once, not twice, but three times to schools with teachers worthy her cherished son. She taught me I was intelligent, and to expect much of myself.

So I argued with teachers when I got an A-, and more often than not, nerd that I was, I proved myself right. I went to a good school, one of the best for journalism in the US, and I worked the whole while. I got out of college and worked. Nowadays, with twitter and facebook and blogging, my intended career path—writing for a living—is almost too easy.

This is an entrepreneurial age. A whole generation, empowered by laptops—what Steve Jobs called a bicycle for the mind—is able to walk out the door and leave the cubicles behind, and leave the sitcom-watching get-fat and settle life along with it.

Monastic obsession, as Henry Rollins puts it, above. Find what you love. Follow your bliss…with an almost monastic focus.

“Something I have found to be true, and see reinforced all the time as I get older. People need only two things in their lives to be happy: love and work. The love must be true and the work must provide achievable challenge. But if you have those two things, you are a rich person indeed.” ~ Pliskie.


PS: elephant turns ten in June.

> Another of my favorite videos ever, along a similar theme.

> Another bonus, via Henry Rollins:


Henry Rollins – Young Person Video notes:

This video is not meant to promote any particular political view. All material is cited below.

Visit or their YouTube channel for interviews from today’s top minds in philosophy, science, and more.

Henry Rollins’ Letter to a Young American –

Henry Rollins’ Letter to a Young American (Part 2) –

Apparat – Sweet Unrest

Time Lapse School – Test –

Or Yarok – Road Safety Commercial. Empty School. –

Snow Falling at Night 1080P HD Kodak Zi8 –

Fraud Bernie Madoff Pushed by Photographer –

London Riots Motorcycle Jacked –

Savage beating, robbery caught on tape –

LONDON RIOTS: Horrific scenes the media didn’t show last night! –

HDR Time Lapse – Sunset Over Train Tracks –

Running on Empty –

Nice long cirrus clouds passing timelapse HD V08896 –


AP Top Stories –

Norway Killer Tells Court He’d Do It Again –

The Early Show – Teen bullying victim dead in apparent suicide –

Security an Issue As Somalia Aid Ramps Up –

Muslim Woman Beaten to Death in Possible Hate Crime (California) – She Died on March 24th 2012 –

Vancouver Riots – Man Attempting to Stop Looters Gets Beaten –

Massive Dust Storm July 18, 2011…. 2 angles –

Time lapse Dandelion flower to seed head –

HD Autumn Scene – Clouds Passing Over a Golden Mountain –

Arn (7 years 9 months) practising cello – May 2010 –

Ballet Pointe Shoe Practice –

Columbus State Community College Autumn Graduation 2010 HD Version –

Security checks anger Arizona Latinos –

beautiful nature scenery 2 (1080p HD) –

Muhammad Ali training for his rematch against Joe Frazier –

Albert Einstein (01) –

Salvador Dali – Mike Wallace interview 1958 – Part 1/2 –

Frank Lloyd Wright – War and Religion –

Franklin Roosevelt –

Into the Universe With Stephen Hawking -Season 1 Full –

Carl Sagan 1981 Saturn Interview Part 1/2 –

Waiting for “Superman” –

Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use. All copyrighted materials contained herein belong to their respective copyright holders, I do not claim ownership over any of these materials. I realize no profit, monetary or otherwise, from the exhibition of these videos.



“You’ll find in your life that sometimes your great ambitions will be momentarily stymied, thwarted, marginalized by those who were perhaps luckier; come from money; had more doors opened; where college was a given, not a student loan; it was something that dad paid for; where an ease and confidence in life was almost a birthright. Where for you, it was a very hard climb. … That happens all the time.

Just because you come from nothing, you must not let that be something that holds you back.”


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


15 Responses to “One of the best videos I’ve ever seen. Henry Rollins: Young People.”

  1. Ben_Ralston says:

    Truly wonderful post. Love it.
    Work and love is what it's all about – Life. Love, and work.
    Thank you Waylon.

  2. jamesvincentknowles says:

    time. time we spend with those we love . . . time we spend with those who love us . . . and the contributions we make to others without expecting something in return. these are the only two things that matter. at any age. work or no work. period.

  3. Jenifer says:

    I'm young, but not so young as those to whom this is addressed.

    I feel blessed to follow my dream — with a monastic obsession for sure. I spent several hours in the offices today — hours that I didn't need to spend just because I like being there. Weird, I know. My son was there, too, and my husband, and several practitioners and over 50 clients today. Just beautiful to watch this grow, to cultivate it like a little garden.

    But, over the last few days, my younger friends have really struggled. They are so driven, so fresh faced, and so hopeful. They work so hard. They try. And they are good. They are just so very, very good.

    I want everything for them. They deserve a good life. They deserve to have a place to make their way. Times are tougher for them than they were for us — for those of us who entered the work force in the late 1990s/early 2000s.

    Every day, I think about how I can help them. What can I do to help them? How can I aid them in their process of making the world that they dream of creating?

    Because, you know, it's going to be a damn good world.

  4. Yes! This is one to watch weekly and send to friends who are pursuing their dream. I'm not that young either, but digging in, single-mindedly to do what I love. Thanks for this!

  5. How inspirational that this kind of information is available for our young people! It is presented in such a way that hearts will be opened and lives both young and old will be changed! With much gratitude Wendy Bottrell

  6. madgrooves says:

    Poignant words to kickstart a young life, and amp us older folk up a bit =P Much love for this and Mr. Rollins <3 Way to BE it, and preach it, Waylon Lewis.

  7. erica says:

    Inspiring just wish you had some images of famous women in there somewhere…

  8. Amanda says:

    This video may be inspirational to many but as a child of a man who did very well for himself I felt that this video knocked me for simply being fortunate. My father came from nothing and worked very hard so that I didn’t have to pay for college. I understand where that money came from. Just because I was purely lucky to be born to loving parents that made sure they could provide for their children doesn’t make me any less appreciative of my college education. I very much realize I had it much easier than others but that doesn’t make me a bad person!

  9. Waylon Lewis says:

    Amen! The editor of the video is not Henry Rollins: we could list many amazing amazing women who follow their bliss in service of the greater good. Who comes to mind, for you? Let's list a few! I'd say off the top of my head

    Ann Cooper
    Alice Waters
    Eleanor Roosevelt
    Jane Goodall
    Esperanza Spalding
    Beryl Markum
    Anne Morrow Lindbergh
    Vanessa Redgrave
    Nina Simone
    Gloria Steinem
    (this would be endless)

  10. Waylon Lewis says:

    Amen. Many of my good friends, growing up, were well-off and have done amazing things with their life. As you say, it's all about appreciation. On the other hand, I know many trustafarians who drift…who don't have the direction or motivation that rent and reality can force upon would-be wayward youth (like yours truly). ~ Waylon

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  12. Dave says:

    I agree with Amanda. I like parts of the video, but I feel like there is a divisive quality to it. Rollins seems to be influencing the kids who are of lower-economic status feel resentful toward the kids who are middle class, or the middle class kids resentful of the kids who are upper class. He's always had a huge chip on his shoulder about economic class. Someone could just as easily make a video with the same rhetoric, except about race. In that video, Rollins would be one of the white people who has it easier in our society. We all have good and bad cards dealt to us. It's the human condition. Money doesn't make you happy… contentment does. I've known rich people who were anything but happy or content.