• Aaron R. Ballantyne

What it means to be SAVAGE

What do you stand for? “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything” – Malcolm X. This is a topic which means a lot to me; it is very personal in nature because it represents who I am, or hope to be.

When I was younger, I thought of the person I wanted to become, I thought of someone I would be proud to be, someone others could be proud of. I thought of someone others could look to for inspiration, someone who directly and indirectly could have a positive impact on someone else.

While these thoughts came to mind, I also started thinking about the changes I had to make, the goals I had to set in order to be that person. As the primary instrument to accomplish this, I had to make changes to myself as a person or strive to nurture the positive characteristics I already had in order to reach my goal.

Somehow, along the way, the brand emerged; SAVAGE: Sensitive. Assertive. Veracious. Admirable. Generous. Enthusiastic. These 6 characteristics are what I believed at the time, and still do, would lead me to become the person I wanted to be, that positive force. It took some thought, because SAVAGE serves more than one purpose. The word savage has a negative connotation to it, so naturally, when someone thinks of it, they think of something negative.

The very purpose of going with this word is to show that you should not take things at face value; everything happens for a reason and there is a reason why I chose it. It for me represented an active effort to achieve my best self at what may have been considered my worst self at the time. It also shows that something good can in fact come from something bad; that your past doesn’t dictate your future.

It for me is a code, a way of life; dictating what I’ll do and what I absolutely won’t do. But ultimately, it is personal. Those 6 characteristics are what I believe I need to achieve in order to be my best self, but it may not be the same for you.

The other purpose SAVAGE serves is to encourage others to identify what they stand for, to identify what defines them. To change the way we see things, to change the way we see ourselves and in turn, create an image of ourselves we can strive towards achieving. That is what it means to be SAVAGE, to identify, to visualize your best self and to stop at nothing until you achieve it.

You don’t have to be a SAVAGE; that is simply how I represent myself and my journey. Be your own person. Identify your strengths, identify your struggles, recreate yourself or improve on who you already are. Be consistent, because it is a daily journey. You can’t water a seed and expect it to grow into a tree overnight. The same goes for you.

You are your most valuable asset; your thoughts, ideas, characteristics, emotions, skills, knowledge; everything that makes you...you. Your ‘you-ness’. Nurture that, protect it and continue to strive to be the best you that you can be.

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