james kalinoski

 

Background: Hi, my name is James Kalinoski, I am 26 years old and I live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I went to Temple University and I graduated in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and I am currently working as a visual merchandiser and a musician and artist.

 

Faith: That’s a loaded question ‘cause I was raised Catholic and had to work through breaking down this like “fear faith” system that was taught to me as a child which opened me up to believing that we are all a part of a bigger thing that we could never understand as humans, but as long as we try to listen to ourselves and what we feel is right, we come closer to that greater good for all humans.

 

Aspects of your life which have shaped your faith: My family…my mom has always been really spiritual in a nonreligious way. So always really humanitarian and very loving to people and accepting and that sort of started me off with a curious perspective of the world to learn more about culture and to experience. And then I was very lucky to meet some very cool friends in my life who have traveled with me and have led me to travel, to…open up to myself and to my possibilities and potentials for this world. As an artist and as a thinker and as a member of the community.

 

A time you felt included: I feel like I’m always striving to feel included in some way and I think my most recent experience with that, with people going out of their way to make me feel included, was definitely on my trip to Europe last summer. My...I was going through a little bit of like, an emotional breakdown and my friends Alisa and Alex and, especially Alisa and Alex, but also Hinde and Nikki tried to get me involved with a bunch of projects and cool things to do to break me out of this funk that I was creating for myself and it really helped me to understand that these doubts and fears and worries that I have about the people that love me are just in my head and that they really do care about me. It was really nice to have those people look out for me when I needed them.

 

A time you felt excluded: I don’t know, that’s such a hard question because it’s also something that’s in your head. I think that a lot of the times we exclude ourselves from things because we don’t feel like we’re worthy, or that we don’t fit into someone else’s idea of perfect or something, but it’s really just a lot of the time our own insecurities that are holding ourselves back from being included so therefor we exclude ourselves. So I think I mostly exclude myself from things because of my doubts and my insecurities so I can’t really think of an example of when others have excluded me.

 

Overcoming exclusion: That’s my mission for the next couple years within myself, is to just no matter what happens to me and where I am in the world, to always find that, sort of, strength within myself, to not doubt, fear, or worry because I usually have no reason to because I surround myself with people who are like-minded and who are also very productive. It’s just hard sometimes I think, being a creative person and trying to find work creatively. You always have to come from this place of ultra-self-confidence to convince the people around you that you’re ready or that you are worthy of certain creative opportunities. So it’s..I think if I want to continue my development in a creative field then I have to be the center of my…my strive, my well-being. To not exclude myself from things.

 

Advice for someone who is feeling excluded: Get out of there! You are an amazing, unique person because how could you not be, you’re on this planet. There are so many things, especially now that we can get a hold of and access, so many communities, so many people who do share your vision or your understanding for the world. If you feel excluded now in your place then keep going and keep trying and change what’s going on that makes you feel excluded because you do not deserve that. You deserve to be included in this, your experience is necessary, your opinion is necessary for our future because we’re all experiencing this together in a different way.

 

Advice to the people doing the excluding: I think that I would ask why they are limiting their potential. I think that exclusion creates bias, or comes also from bias, and it’s not productive for the bigger picture. If we want to be productive as people within a community, exclusion is like ignoring this big part of what keeps us going so it’s really important to recognize all ways of life around us. So I would say, stop excluding!

 

One thing to make the world a better place: On a tiny scale I think we can just start by saying hi to our neighbors. By, you know, recognizing the elderly people in our communities and supporting them and just realize for ourselves that we are very safe and protected because of everything that everyone else around us puts into the community so it requires each of us to be conscience and to take part because it’s really necessary for us as humans to commune with the people we live around and to…I guess it’s just like, say hi to a stranger, or introduce yourself to someone you don’t know that is around you. On a larger scale, how we can affect is just by supporting conscience lifestyle. So, make educated decisions about the products that you use and the food that you eat and about where your money goes in this world because if we want to work towards a better world we have to stop supporting industries that support, you know, exploitation of people. In turn that creates perception, like a negative perception.

 

“I think that a lot of the times we exclude ourselves from things because we don’t feel like we’re like worthy, or that we don’t fit into someone else’s idea of perfect or something, but it’s really just like a lot of the time our own insecurities that are holding ourselves back from being included.”

 

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"human." is a culmination of the writing, photo, video and design work of Harrison Brink and Alisa Miller. It is meant to act as a forum where we show the vitality of the human spirit through the strife that people face and overcome. If you have any suggestions for the project, please contact us. All input is welcome.

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