I Lived Fully

Living Life to the Full

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TED Weekends says freedom is only half the battle

Hyeonseo Lee’s story of her escape from North Korea is Incredible. My favorite part of her story isn’t her escape, but the kindness of the stranger who gave her £645.
-Roland K

TED Blog

Hyeonseo Lee’s story is a tale bound to pull at your heartstrings. She’s a North Korean refugee — and while helping her family flee the country in 2009, Lee’s mother and brother were detained in a Laos prison. [ted_talkteaser id=1694] At TED2013, Lee described how it was an enormously generous gift from a stranger that helped her family to safety.

This week’s TED Weekends on the Huffington Post takes a look at this moving story and considers the latest twist in the tale. After Lee’s TED Talk was posted, a television station tracked down the stranger she spoke of and reunited the two on air.

Below, find three essays from TED Weekends, thinking more about Lee, North Korea and personal kindness in the face of desperation. It’s a reminder to us all to see individual stories amongst wider political issues.

Thu-Huong Ha: The Story of an Incredible Escape from North Korea

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It Couldn’t Be Done

The following is one of my favorite poems. It’s a excellent reminder to do the things that people say can’t be be done. At the end I posted the Audi commercial that used the poem for narration.

In other news I still have no idea what I should be posting on Sundays, so I posted this poem instead. Also I am headed back to work at my family’s ranch tomorrow so I probably won’t be posting anything for the next couple of days. Anyway on to the poem!

It Couldn’t Be Done

By Edgar Albert Guest

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done
      But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
      Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
      On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it!
Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
      At least no one ever has done it;”
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat
      And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
      Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it.
There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
      There are thousands to prophesy failure,
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
      The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
      Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing
      That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.
-Roland K

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Star’s End

A couple days ago I finished reading Star’s End the third book in the Starfishers trilogy by Glen Cook. If you like realistic science fiction you’ll like the Starfishers trilogy. If you like galaxy spanning Space opera’s you’ll probably like the Starfishers trilogy. The main characters are unique and believable. Some of the plot twists catch you off guard and you are often left wondering what will happen next. The Starfishers trilogy is definitely one of my favorite book series.

-Roland Kuenzi

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God Is Not An Elephant

When we are hurt by someone either physically, emotionally, or verbally we tend to hold a grudge. We hold it inside of us, we relive that moment of hurt over and over again until it makes us bitter. I know I’ve done it plenty of times, and it’s hard to let go of that hurt. So the question to ponder is. Do you become an elephant when others hurt you? Are you going to be like an elephant and not forget? Holding onto the hurt until it makes you bitter. Or are you going to let go of the hurt? Saying to yourself “I could remember and hold onto this until it makes me bitter, but I’m not, I am going to forgive them, move on with my life, and not let the hurt control me.” Forgiving someone who hurt you doesn’t mean you trust that person. It just means that you won’t hold it against them in the future. If God forgives us and doesn’t remember our Sin. What right do we have to be elephants, and hold a hurt against someone?

-Roland K

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How Homeschool Guys Think

About a year ago a friend of mine was trying to work through her feelings for a guy who didn’t appear to reciprocate her feelings. Now I’m friends with the guy my friend was interested in and I knew that he did reciprocate her feelings. She thought that he liked her, but she couldn’t figure out why he wasn’t doing anything about it. Over the course of about a year and a half they became really good friends. But, she became frustrated with his apparent lack of wanting to take the relationship to the next level and actually start dating. Eventually she gave him a ultimatum that if he didn’t do something she was going to move on and not wait for him to get his act together. To cut a long story short he didn’t act on the ultimatum and express his feelings.

In the middle of all that I sent her a email as a way for her to understand how home schooled guys think about relationships.

Here’s part of the original email:

“Okay, first we double guess everything. Whether its a look or something
said we’ll over think its meaning. Second, we double guess ourselves
and our feelings. “Do I like this girl or not? If so what should I do
about it?” Third, very often we don’t know how to act on our feelings
once we figure them out. Fourth, we can be scared of our parents and
what they think. And our perceived perspectives about they’re
expectations. Fifth and finally, girls intimidate us, plain and

For example, currently I’m interested in a girl who I “kinda” know. I
wouldn’t say we’re “friends” more like acquaintances. She’s not dating
anyone that I know of and I really like her parents. However, I have
no idea of how to go about asking her out. I’m also afraid of being
rejected again. I‘m also afraid of how my parents might respond.

Being in a relationship with a girl is a huge change and step for us
guys and its a scary thought.”

Now what I wrote in the above email is not true of all home schooled guys, but it is true of myself and most home schooled guys I know. One of the things that I have struggled with and also something that most home schooled guys and girls struggle with. Is the lie that there is only one person for me to marry. It’s the idea that some where out in there in the world is our perfect match, the person who we are meant for and who is meant for us. I have no idea were this idea came from. Part of it I think stems from growing up in church and hearing stories about how God brought Isaac and Rebekah together. Now I do believe that for some people God has a specific spouse in mind for them. But, that’s not the norm. When we think that God only has only one person for us to marry we limit him. In reality God has put or will bring more than one potential spouse into your life. As I am writing this I can think of about a half dozen young ladies who I could happily be married to. Now once you are married your spouse will be the only one for you.

It’s not the end of the world if you feel like you missed the only one for you. Several years ago I liked a girl and I thought that she was the one that God wanted me to marry. As I look back I can see that at that time I wasn’t ready for any kind of long term relationship. Suffice it to say that I waited to long to make a move, as it were, and the opportunity to begin a relationship with the aforementioned girl passed me by. I won’t go into my state of mind after I missed the opportunity. But in the weeks and months after I realized that it wasn’t the end of the world. It slowly dawned on me that I was limiting God by saying that there was only one person that I could marry.

Now, please take everything I have said above with a grain of salt. Everything that I wrote above are my thoughts and opinions on relationships. Thus they are biased towards my upbringing and life experience. Relationships are complex and there’s is no one right answer. What works for one person or couple may not work for another.

“The battle with the heart isn’t easily won.”- Ingrid Michaelson

-Roland K

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One More Block…

Most people know it. It’s that thing you say to yourself when it’s late and your reading a good book, browsing the inter web, or playing a video game like Skyrim, Sid Meier’s Civilization, or Minecraft. You say to yourself one more chapter, or five more minutes, or one more turn, or in the case of Minecraft one more block.
Now there’s nothing wrong with any of the aforementioned things. There all good things, however they can cut into our time if we don’t properly manage them. I am just as guilty as the next guy to giving into what gamers call the One More Turn Syndrome or OMST for short.
Now if you don’t know what Minecraft is I’ll give you a quick run down. It’s a game about surviving, exploring caves, fighting monsters, and building things like towns and castles in a Lego like block world.


Now that may not sound very exciting and if you look at a picture of Minecraft’s graphics it looks like a game from the 90s with its simple textures and block model’s. Yet, there’s something inherently fun in Minecraft and once you start playing it you realize that there a lot to of stuff to do.

However Minecraft has a hidden danger. Just like any good thing it is very easy to become addicted to it and waste time playing it when you should be doing something else. It’s very easy to say to yourself “One more block, just one more block then I will be done.” There have been days when I’ve done nothing but spent hours playing Minecraft. All of the games that you and I play have this danger of wasting hours of our time. However, big open ended games like Minecraft, Skyrim, Civilization, or any major MMO tend to suck our time more than most other games. The I reason that I think we tend to disappear into these games and play them for hours on end. Is because there is so much stuff to do and see in them. I readily admit that it’s awesome to explore the vastness of Skyrim. It’s exciting to watch your civilization grow when playing Civilization. No other game enables you to use your imagination as much as Minecraft. Each of these games brings a sense of wonder and excitement as you play them. But to much of a good thing, is to much of a good thing. It’s easy for good things to take up our time. If we are saying to our selves one more block/turn, five more minutes, or one more chapter it’s probably a good sign that we are starting to waste time. Like my mom says “you can’t have just one potato chip.”

I am as guilty as the next gamer of wasting hours playing awesome games! There’s nothing inherently wrong with gaming. But we need to ask our self’s what’s more important to us? Our games or the people around us who are effected by the long hours that we spend gaming? If gaming is getting in the way of our relationships with your family and friends. It might be time to put down the controller and power off our gaming system of choice and leaving it off for awhile. The game isn’t going anywhere, but our friends and family might be.

Video games aren’t the only things that can waste our time. Other things like TV, the internet, working out, and reading can just as easily waste our time as video games. The important thing is how we manage our time.

So my challenge to you this week is to do some self reflection and see if your spending to much time doing something, even if it’s a good thing like reading books, working out, playing video games, etc. Stop and think about how you are prioritizing your time.

“If time be of all things the most precious, wasting time must be the greatest prodigality.” -Benjamin Franklin

-Roland K

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Shameless Plug

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. I am inclined to agree with the person who said that. Every one has a story, and it doesn’t matter how big or small that story is. So if a picture is worth a thousand words why not tell your story with a picture! If you happen to live in or around Salem Oregon why not check out Keely K. Studios and you can check out their blog here. They’re passionate about telling your story through pictures and they design your photo shoot around you and your story! I am very close friends with the owners and they’re awesome! So if you want to tell your story go check them out!

-Roland K

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Surprise!!! Seriously that’s it. I’ve got no deep thoughts on how to live life or life stories. If you were expecting something more than that I’m sorry. I just don’t know what to post on Sundays… Hopefully I’ll think of something by next Sunday that can become a regular theme for Sunday’s. Until then keep living life to the full!

-Roland K

P.S I might post something later this evening… But don’t get your hopes up.

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Impatiently Waiting

Last year my brothers and I backed the OUYA android powered console on Kickstarter. I backed one and my brothers backed another. Now the thing to know with Kickstarter is that the date that people say stuff will be ready by is relative and subject to change. Now, as the date when the OUYA came and went my youngest brother became highly impatient and frustrated. He would check Reddit several times a day to see if anybody had any updates on what was going on. As the days turned into weeks and then months, he started saying things like “The said that it would be out by this date!” or “Why are they keeping people in the loop!” This week my youngest brother turned fifteen, and for his birthday he ordered a new airsoft gun, as well as some new airsoft gear. Now when we ordered his stuff the website where we ordered it said that it wouldn’t come until the day after his birthday. My little brother was fine with this. However, the day that his stuff was supposed to come UPS was late. It wasn’t super late but it was late and my little brother again got impatient. Now in both cases my little brother could do nothing to speed up the arrival of our OUYA’s and his airsoft stuff. He knew this and yet he still got impatient. When our OUYA’s and his airsoft gear finally did arrive he was perfectly fine and dandy!

His impatience got me thinking. We live in a culture of instant gratification. We want things now!!! We don’t take time to sit and enjoy the view as it were. Now I am just as guilty of being impatient as my youngest brother. Though the things I am impatient about are different than his. There’s nothing wrong with getting something right away. But when you go for the instant gratification you can sell yourself short. For example, you could get a hamburger at a fast food place that’s okay, it might not be the greatest burger but it satisfies you for awhile. Or you could go to a restaurant that has the best burgers in town and get a massive burger that has everything on it with a huge pile of fries on the side. Of course you would have to wait for the burger and fries, but it would probably satisfy you for the rest of the day. Now hamburgers are probably not the best analogy, but I think it makes my point. When we want things now! We settle for second best!

To go along with that idea. There are somethings in life that you just can’t rush! So when we are waiting for something that can’t be rushed, we have a choice. Will we wait patiently or impatiently? When we try and rush those things, there can and will be consequences to our actions! I’ll be honest waiting patiently is hard! There are times when I’ll go for the burger from the fast food joint because I want it NOW!!! But the times when I did wait patiently the results were far better then when I rushed things.

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” -Jean-Jacques Rousseau

-Roland K