Changing The Culture
The shame you feel from others knowing your struggles should not be harder than the journey to overcome them. I remember being the last kid to be dropped off and the 1st kid to be picked up on the school bus. This extra effort was so no one would know that I lived in a homeless shelter. Shame is a universal tool used by the culture to keep others down. I’m Al, CEO of Good Steward Apparel Brands (Good Steward Apparel, No Robots, & Be Athletics Unlimited). As a youth, near-death experiences, depression, isolation, & the struggle to find myself felt normal. I have some fond memories of searching through donated clothing while in homeless shelters & transitional housing. The challenge of repurposing others fashion to express myself was like therapy. Thanks to a loving God, a giving grandmother, & a warrior mother that I can share my story.
My mother struggled with substance abuse most of my childhood, but eventually won that fight & helped many others to do the same. With every crisis, my grandmother took me in. My grandmother lived a very humble lifestyle, but taught me that giving & service is our purpose. Growing up and now, I remember the struggle to overcome the cruelty and feelings of shame from others. Even today, we see cruelty and shame in our everyday lives. We are becoming humans without humanity. Therefore, I would like to welcome you to the counterculture. Our brands are a representation of legacy, my story, & the answer to God’s call. Together we can change this culture of shame and cruelty. Let’s replace it with a culture of Good Stewardship. A culture in which we see each other like God does and work in community as God intended.
Good Steward Apparel inspires people to give back. My grandmother showed me that some of the simplest examples of God’s love can be shown with acts of kindness. No Robots Streetwear is about celebrating our uniqueness. No one was made from the same mold on an assembly line. Be Athletics Unlimited is understanding that greatness is a matter of embracement vs searching. Learn to walk in the greatness that lives in us and stop searching and comparing ourselves to the perceived greatness of others. Cruelty and shame are extinguished when we are accepting of ourselves and others, when we understand greatness is the norm, and kindness is the standard.
Together, we can change the culture.