Category Archives: Living an honest life

Derek Chauvin found guilty and what that means for us

Derek Chauvin was just found guilty. You know, the guy that knelt on George Floyd’s neck for almost 10 minutes until he died.

I feel a lot of emotions right now. Relief. Happiness. Sadness.

Like, a part of me is happy that he was convicted because of course he was guilty. And I’m relieved that justice was served in this particular instance. But I’m also sad that this even happened in the first place, and I still recognize that we have a long way to go.

Here’s what Derek Chauvin’s conviction means for us…

Continue reading Derek Chauvin found guilty and what that means for us

How to make #StopAsianHate a reality

Let’s talk about violence against Asian-Americans. Again.

Didn’t we just do this? Yes, we did. Somehow just 2 weeks after my strongly worded open letter, a series of mass shootings perpetrated by a single person broke out at three different spas in Atlanta, Georgia. Eight people were killed, six of whom were Asian women.

And what is there to say except…are you fucking kidding me?!

It feels like someone read what I wrote and thought “Hey this Steve guy makes a lot of good points…so I’m going to do the exact opposite of what he wrote!”


Alright, alright. Deep breaths Steve. In for 5 seconds. Out for 5 seconds.


Okeydokey. I can’t believe I’m writing another one of these after I just wrote one a few weeks ago, but here we are. The reluctant sequel to my open letter written for everyone holding animosity against Asian-Americans.

Here we go.

Continue reading How to make #StopAsianHate a reality

It feels like everything is “broken” these days

I’ve written a string of articles speaking out against some of the injustices in the world—including my most recent one about hate crimes against Asians—and the overwhelming consensus from everyone who responded is that…well…

Everything is broken.

(Also, to everyone who took the time to respond to my newsletters with your own thoughts, I appreciate your responses and I do read every message. Thank you! Even to that one guy who wrote back just to call me an idiot.)

It certainly feels like everything is broken sometimes. I wish that I had some sort of quick fix that would solve everything and make the world a fair and just place to live in. But I don’t, and we’re still a far cry away from achieving that sort of world.

So, if you’ve ever felt as desolate or hopeless about the state of the world as I have, I’d like to tell you what helps keep me going.

We live in this thing called a “society” which has two important things to note.

First, it keeps us safe and warm from nature. How safe and how warm is another question that depends heavily on factors such as socioeconomic status, etc…but it keeps us warm and safe compared to when we were hunter-gatherers.

And second, it’s a work in progress. Many of the injustices that are built into the system, such as economic inequality, climate change, etc. exist not out of maliciousness but because society is just this thing that we slapped together using duct tape to keep us safe from the uncaring forces of nature.

We didn’t have the luxury of building “Society version 1.0” on a supercomputer before we launched it. Instead, we hurriedly cobbled together version 0.1 in a cave with a box of scraps so that the wolves wouldn’t eat us. That’s where we are right now.

That means it’s something that can still be improved and it’s going to be improved…but only if people such as you and I accept it as our moral and ethical responsibility to do so. To uproot evil and to help good take root however we can. That’s how we’ll finally achieve “Society version 1.0”.

Here’s a few ways you can help keep up the good fight:

  • Vote! Get educated in the elections happening around you—not just the big ones for President or whomever—but also the smaller, local ones and vote.
  • Donate to causes that you believe in.
  • Let the people around you know who you support and what you stand for.

I’m doing all three of the above, and I hope that you’ll join me in solidarity.

Remember that you have a voice and it matters!

To: Everyone holding animosity against Asian-Americans

To: Everyone holding animosity toward Asian-Americans. Or treating Asians with scorn. Or asking if they’re “from China” because of the virus.

Color me pissed off!!

Are you going to tell me why you hold so much contempt against Asian-Americans right now? Why you find it okay to treat Asians differently than your white counterparts, or to refer to COVID as the “China virus” (that’s racist), or why hate crimes against Asian-Americans have risen 867% in New York city alone?

Seriously, to the guy who thinks it’s OK to shove elderly people to the ground in Chinatown…WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU!?!?

Take a second and say the name of the virus causing the pandemic. No really, say it out loud with me. Here’s a hint, it’s not “China virus” or “Wuhan virus”.

“CO-VID”. Only two syllables long. How many syllables in “Chi-na vir-us”? Four! Instead of using a two-syllable term to describe the pandemic, you find it necessary to consume twice as much oxygen and produce twice as much carbon dioxide just to emphasize the part of the world the virus came from.

Yes, that’s racist!!

You’re welcome to say anything you want and the U.S. Government is not going to come after you thanks to the Free Speech that you other people fought for. And I’m sure those same troops can count on your support, right? I’m not talking about some cheap bumper sticker that says “Support the Troops” or whatever…I’m sure your troops can totally count on you to push for reform and donate to causes making it easier for them to get professional help after coming home right? RIGHT!?

It’s idiotic to harass and assault normal civilians just because you disagree with the actions of some government halfway across the world. You know who else is doing the exact same you are? The people flying this flag:

But I guess that irony is lost on you, huh? You bunch of “calling-yourselves-the-party-of-Lincoln-while-raising-the-flag-of-the-Confederacy-that-he-fought-against” absolute hypocrites.

Get the fuck out of here with your racism.

Steven “fed-up-with-your-bullshit” Zawila

You have a voice, and it matters!

Long time no write! I hope that you’re continuing to stay safe from COVID. If you or anybody you know has been affected by the virus, then I wish you or them a full and speedy recovery.

Actual photo of me hiding from COVID

Yesterday, a detestable human being with despotic ambition was removed from one of the most powerful offices in the world. I’m not going to say his name. You know who I’m talking about.

it’s funny. Whenever this sort of thing happens in our favorite stories, it always involves a lone hero overcoming all odds to overthrow a tyrant–Luke Skywalker defeating Darth Vader and the Emperor, Arya Stark vanquishing the Night King, or Super Mario stomping the evil King Bowser.

That’s not how it plays out in real-life.

Instead, this real-life megalomaniac was forced out of power because of ordinary people like you and me. Our individual efforts collectively created a blue wave strong enough to put this fledgling dictator out of a job.

Feel proud of yourself? You should!

It’s not over yet, though. This aspiring autocrat came to power in part because the racists wanted to strike back after the United States elected its first black President. Here’s a few ways you can help keep up the good fight:

  • Vote! Get educated in the elections happening around you—not just the big ones for President or whomever—but also the smaller, local ones and vote.
  • Donate to causes that you believe in.
  • Let the people around you know who you support and what you stand for.

I’m doing all three of the above, and I hope that you’ll join me.

Even if you can’t vote because of citizenship laws or whatever…even if you don’t have enough to donate…something as small as the conversations you have with the people around you create a ripple. Those ripples add up to something huge. We’ve seen proof of that yesterday.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that your voice doesn’t matter. You have a voice, and it FUCKING matters!

I turned 29! Lessons from my Birthday

I just turned 29! Happy Birthday!!

You know, I always used to freak out around this time of year. I thought that growing older was something to be afraid of.

Not this year, though. I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished throughout 2020, and everything I’ve learned this year is something that I’ll continue to be able to use the rest of my life. And that’s exciting!

Almost as exciting as learning that Minecraft Steve is now a Smash Bros. fighter! (Playing against Steve and his wonky attacks, on the other hand…that’s another matter.)

Here’s what I’ve learned this year.

Continue reading I turned 29! Lessons from my Birthday

Please stay safe from Covid-19, okay?

It looks like some parts of the world are loosening up on quarantine restrictions. It’s nice that we’re finally starting to be able to go outside again, but I’m also worried that there may be another wave of infections if we come out of lockdown too early.

If it were up to me, we’d all continue to stay inside. And I know that’s easy for me to say since I’m already married and have someone to be holed up inside with. But I’m going to say it anyway.

Just…stay safe, okay? Keep washing your hands whenever you go outside. Limit contact with people you don’t know. And make sure you’ve got something covering your nose and mouth. I’d hate to learn that any of my readers got sick.

Be careful out there!

And that’s why I play Super Mario instead of Fortnite

If there’s one thing my friends seem to enjoy doing too much of, it’s giving me crap about the fact that I love playing old Nintendo games instead of more “serious” games like Fortnite or PUBG. The reason why is that I always found those old Super Mario games therapeutic…

…while those shooter games have a way of making me rage and wanting to throw my controller at the screen. Every time I get killed, I start yelling at the game like…

“WHY!? Why did that kill me?”

…and then I come up with a million reasons—other than the fact that I suck—as to why I got killed.

  • Was my opponent probably cheating? Yep!
  • Does he have better skills than I do? Nope.
  • Was it probably the lag that got me killed? Yep!
  • Is it possible that my opponent had a better strategy? Nope.

And that’s why I play Mario instead of Fortnite.

This sort of behavior is relatively harmless (and mildly amusing) when it comes to video gaming. When it comes to other areas of our lives, though, mindsets like these can often hold us back in very real ways.

Continue reading And that’s why I play Super Mario instead of Fortnite