Each day we are reminded of how cold, and desolate this world is we inhabit. As the maxim goes, “Times have changed.” Our world has become a more violent and deadly version of what it was a few decades ago. Crime in its many atrocious forms is rising faster than a ball of yeast-filled cinnamon bread on a hot Saturday morning.
What caused this swift plummet into this worldly cesspool destitute of the values and morals that shape character?
Despite the current state of our world, we can rest assure that hope still abounds. Though it may not always seem so there are still good people out there. A few days ago I was reminded of that. While I was knee deep into my rigorous workout routine at the gym I noticed that my cell phone was missing. I immediately scoured every inch of the gym searching for my cell phone as if it was scanning for clues on a crime scene. My phone happens to be an Iphone 4, and those things aren’t cheap. I thought someone found it and claimed it under the notion that “possession is nine-tenths the law”. After countless minutes had elapsed and my search efforts turned up void, I decided to do the unthinkable. I went to the front desk and asked the most idiotic question ever; “Did anyone happen to turn in a phone?” To my amazement; someone had. My phone was in the exact same condition as I last remembered it.
“You don’t get in life what you want; you get in life what you are.” – Les Brown
There are good people in this world; as long as they exist there is still hope that we can ignite a change that causes our world to shift back in the right direction.
Don’t leave your character at home when you decide to go somewhere!
To the special man or woman that returned my cell phone to the front desk, if you are reading this; Thank You!
A father is often defined as a man who exercises paternal care over other persons; paternal protector or provider. In my humble opinion a father is more than a generic definition. There is no monetary value that can be placed on the importance of a father’s presence in the household.
A father goes out of his way to ensure that his kids enjoy a childhood that is superior to the one he had. A father makes time to share in the interests of his kids. A father spends countless hours teaching his child a sport, how to repair a car, or how to survive in the wild. A father takes any moment to teach his child important life lessons that will be involuntarily passed on to the next generation. A father makes time to attend as many of his child’s sporting events as he possibly can. A father in his excitement forgets to record his son’s first dunk with the camcorder in his hand because he’s temporarily suspended in midair yelling at the top of his lungs. I’ve been blessed and privileged to have amazing father. My father has greatly influenced and played a direct role in the man I’ve become today. It is my hope that I too will leave an indelible mark on my kids in a similar manner as my dad left on me.
“I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us.” –Umberto Eco
I don’t know nature of the relationship you have with your father. However, it is imperative that you take every opportunity to build your relationship with your father while he is still alive. You can start by calling your father to tell him how much you appreciate him.
Happy Father’s Day!
A very special Happy Father’s Day goes out to my father in the Bahamas!
According to the meteorologists and all the other weather SME’s (Subject Matter Experts); a massive thunderstorm (with anywhere from golf ball to baseball-sized hail) was going to make its way into north Texas by the early afternoon. Naturally, I tried to plan for the apocalyptic end of the world as best as I could (via toting an umbrella) once I heard the news. Of course today turned out to be a sunny, 92 degree day devoid of precipitation. A thought rang in my head like the cacophonous sound of an exasperating alarm clock at 5 in the morning.
How often do we allow ourselves to fret over things that we shouldn’t?
“Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey!” – Barbara Hoffman
Let’s try our best not to sweat the small stuff or become frazzled by things we cannot control. Life never works out in the exact manner that we may hope, dream, or imagine.
Benjamin Franklin stated “Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.”
Worry can become an arduous burden that can crush an individual. Don’t allow worry to steal away today’s joy!
Have you ever found yourself in a state of bewilderment at the exquisite intricacies and differences of the human race? We’ve all heard the maxim “To each, his own!” This saying endorses the premise that every person is entitled to his or her own personal preferences, tastes, etc.
No two people are exactly alike. Our brains are precisely wired in order to highlight our specific quirks and qualities. (There are some with a short or loose connection throughout the circuitry of their brain but that’s a topic for another time). I can’t describe the immense looks of abhorrence and dismay that splashes across the faces of individuals once they discover that I detest (with a passion) the death in a jar referred to as peanut butter. I guess I was traumatized at a young age by a family member’s decision to use the same knife when making a PB&J (peanut butter and jelly) sandwich. I wanted a J sandwich and always got putrid traces of PB. Its nuances like those that serve as the cement used to foundation of our individuality. Imagine how drab this world be if we were carbon-copy drone like clones of each other lacking free will or cognitive skills.
“No one should part with their individuality and become that of another.” – William Ellery Channing
If you yield up the qualities that define your individuality, you would have in essence robbed those around you of experiencing of getting to know you.
Don’t allow become a less attractive generic version of someone else!
Today I walked passed a pond while I was on my way to embark on an aerobic/anaerobic workout via playing tennis. I immediately saw a dozen ducklings following their mother in a perfectly spaced, single-file line that would rival that of any kindergarten class being led to the playground. The words of the talented actor Michael Caine resonated in my brain. “Be like a duck. Calm on the surface, but always paddling like the dickens underneath.”
Perseverance is a vital skill that we all need to master in order to be successful in this world. Perseverance is defined as the continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition. Trials and tribulations rise up in each of our lives faster than a helium filled balloon disappears into the atmosphere once a toddler slightly relaxes his or her grip on the balloon’s string.
Trials come in all forms, economic hardships, lost jobs, health issues, etc. However, no matter what we face in life we should always do all we can to persevere!
Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another. – Walter Elliot
When life’s currents try to sweep you underneath start kicking as hard as you can, for as long as you can, until you find yourself swimming in calmer waters!
For some odd reason I decided to open a random cupboard in my kitchen. Of course I decided to take great precaution and open the cupboard at a sloth-like speed, in case there was a rabid, vile furry rodent or man eating hybrid raccoon/saber-toothed tiger creature waiting to pounce on me. I immediately saw two potatoes inside a plastic bag on the bottom shelf. I had no idea when I purchased those potatoes or how long they have taken up residence in my kitchen without reimbursing me monthly for rent. Naturally, the potatoes lost nutrients, which were diverted to growing sprouts. The starch found in the potatoes converted to sugars and a toxic chemical called solanine concentrates in the sprouts.
I began to think what do we do when situations in our lives don’t work out exactly how we may have desired, planned or imagined?
William Frederick Book exclaimed, “Learn to adjust yourself to the conditions you have to endure, but make a point of trying to alter or correct conditions so that they are most favorable to you.”
Allow me to apologize in advance for this analogy (I’m kind of a sport’s guy). Life is full of false starts penalties, fouls, offside calls, first serve fault calls, double bogeys, icing calls and traveling violations which are all designed to challenge your willpower to become victorious during the game of life. We need to find a way to make the most of any situation we find ourselves in. Attacking an unfavorable situation with the right mindset and attitude can help to stabilize situations that we may have interpreted as nose-diving out of control.
Having the right state of mind or thought process can lead one to create key lime pie from a bushel of limes!
Society today has adopted a “tv dinner” mentality. We want things instantly and right away. We’ve lost sight of the virtue that is patience. When we dine at a restaurant we desire to have our food served to us right away. We sometimes get agitated when we have to stand in a long check-out line moving at the top speed of molasses. We tend to want the latest, greatest and priciest things. As a result we buy things that we probably should not or can’t afford. We choose the more expensive option over the affordable one. I’m no different, I find myself doing the same thing at times. However, I’m trying to do better.
I came across the maxim “Don’t live above your means!” Adhering to those words can prevent one from plummeting in the deep chasm that is debt. So many people have found themselves in the middle of a heavy weight fight with debt and financial instability. I bought a rug not too long ago from Wal-Mart with the phrase “Live Life Simply” printed on it. I’m making an effort to do so. I’m trying my best not to live above my means. Expensive material possessions are nice but it is important remember that we will leave them all behind when we die. We don’t get to take a coach purse, 60 inch flat screen, the latest pair of Jordan shoes, or a 2013 Audi A6 with us. Let’s enjoy the finer things in life like great health, family, friends and all the other things that aren’t defined by the amount of zeros we have to the left of the decimal point in our bank account.
Have you ever found yourself in a situation in which you had absolutely no control over? No matter how strong your level of will, or how hard you tried to steer the situation in the direction you desired; it still didn’t occur as you desired. We all had our moments when the Boeing 747 of our life has soared through the turbulent air currents of situations that we cannot control. Perhaps you’ve tried to convince a friend to exit an abusive relationship, urged a trouble youth to leave the drug game, given support to a family member with a terminal illness, or tried to convince a person to seek help for an addiction.
I’ve found myself in a similar situation today (though on a smaller scale). I attempted to donate blood today. I wanted to possibly save a life through my efforts. I passed all the prerequisites to donate blood with flying colors and I’m healthy. However, to my chagrin I couldn’t donate. When the nurse stuck the needle in the vein in my arm, no blood came out. She tried several times but the same result ensued; no blood. I was told I have small veins. I’ve tried donating twice and both times were unsuccessful. I want to donate but I am unable to.
If you’ve found yourself in an uncontrollable situation involving a friend, relative, or a total stranger; don’t give up. Your efforts aren’t in vain. Continue to plant positive seeds into their lives. In time those seeds will grow into strong, healthy and fruitful trees.
Disclaimer: If you can, donate blood at your local blood care center. The life you save may be your own!
Today I made an impromptu stop into the grocery store (aka Wal-Mart) today to purchase a few essentials. One of the items on my list was a gallon of milk. We all know milk is usually kept at the back of the most stores. This is due to the fact that milk is usually a sunk cost. It is sold at a low price (maybe even a loss) by a store in the hope that it would attract customers to the store. Store owners feel if a customer enters the store to buy milk, by the time he/she gets to the milk he/she will already have picked up a few other items to purchase on the way to the milk (end of the economics lesson for the day). I made the voyage to the back of the store to buy milk. When I arrived at the milk aisle I thought “I wonder how many people just simply reach in and grab the first bottle of milk their hand touches?” “Are there people out there that don’t take the time to check the expiration dates of food?”
Whenever I purchase milk or food items I perform a TSA security screening of the expiration dates on the products. I search high and low for the gallon of milk with the expiration date that is the furthest away. I would stand there and look for however long it takes. If need be, I would single out a few gallons of milk, remove them from the line and perform a more extensive search of expiration dates. I’m sure there are things that you may do that may be deemed weird by someone else. We all have our quirks that make us unique. No two people are exactly alike and that’s what makes this world such an amazing place to live. “Certain flaws are necessary for the whole. It would seem strange if old friends lacked certain quirks.” -Johann von Goethe
Continue to be who you are and embrace the quirks that make you an individual!
Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet with a hiring manager in a one on one, face-to-face type of setting. I immediately thought “I need to make a good first impression.” A first impression is truly a lasting one. It can influence whether you land a job, make a new friend, entice a random stranger to perform a random act of kindness for you, etc. However, you only have once chance to make a good first impression. Thus, you must be sure to use the opportunity wisely. There was an occasion in which I was approached by a lady that I did not know. She came up to me with intentions of gaining my phone number in order to start a relationship with me.
Within that thirty-second conversation I was able to generate assumptions that were influenced greatly by my first impression of her. She spoke in an uneducated manner, she was dressed as though she left some type of cabaret, and she chewed gum with her mouth wide open in a similar fashion as a cow chews grass (ok maybe I was being a little nit picky there). Obviously she failed at making a good first impression on me. I didn’t share that story in order to pat myself on the back or toot my own horn. I shared the incident only to illustrate the impact a bad first impression has on future relationships with an individual. A first impression is easy to screw up and takes an abundance of time to repair. So I encourage you to be mindful of the impressions you are making on others. You never know who you are talking you! You could be talking to a hiring manager of Microsoft who will go out of his way to help you land a job. You may be talking to your future spouse. You may even be talking to a celebrity dressed as a homeless person. No matter who you engage a conversation with, ensure that you are portraying an accurate first impression of yourself! Also don’t chew gum with your mouth wide open!