“Live this day as if it will be your last. Remember that you will only find ”tomorrow” on the calendars of fools. Forget yesterday’s defeats and ignore the problems of tomorrow. This is it. Doomsday. All you have. Make it the best day of your year. The saddest words you can ever utter are, ”If I had my life to live over again.” Take the baton, now. Run with it! This is your day! Beginning today, treat everyone you meet, friend or foe, loved one or stranger, as if they were going to be dead at midnight. Extend to each person, no matter how trivial the contact, all the care and kindness and understanding and love that you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” – Og Mandino
My wife, Amber, loves the show Long Island Medium. Me, I can’t stand it. Call me cynical, but I think she’s a con artist that uses quick talking to prey on people that are hurting. But, here’s where I’m wrong: if you’ve ever watched the show, her “readings” always end up the same; the person she has “read” walks away with a feeling of comfort and relief. Sure, she’s parlayed her “gift” into a TV show and money, but if the end result is that she lifts a burden of the people she encounters, then why should we care? Is she not, in a way, providing a positive service? Isn’t the end result a good thing?
Along those lines, I realized something this morning. There is just so much good in the world, but we get too damn wrapped up and busy to recognize it. I watched a video this morning of a Marine returning home from Afghanistan. He went to his younger brother’s basketball game to surprise him. The absolute emotion and joy the younger brother felt was amazing. If you know me at all, you know I was on the verge of sobbing like a child while watching it. That’s real emotion and real stress being relieved. We get so petty sometimes when things don’t go our way. We take to social media and gripe about the jerk who stole our parking spot at Wal-Mart. We find trivial things to ruin our days and tell the world about how we’ve been wronged. We hate that we have to go to work. We hate that we have to do homework. We hate that we’re so busy. And, yet, we rarely slow down and just appreciate what it is that we actually have.
If you’re reading this, you’re alive. That’s a pretty good thing right there, yeah? Maybe you don’t have the job you want, the money you need, or the support you desire, but you’re alive. That means that there is opportunity. There is opportunity to get better, be better, and find a new level of happiness. That means there is time to identify the things that make you feel good, and then chase them. That means there is time to identify the things that weigh you down, and change or completely erase them. It means that you have the opportunity to let go of the petty and negative and make the effort to be happy.
Isn’t that the point? Isn’t that what we’re here to do? I refuse to believe that we were meant to suffer, and I further refuse to believe that we are just victims of our circumstances. If my belief is true, then doing anything less than trying to be happy (and bringing others along for the ride) is unnecessary and fruitless. Sure, sometimes things suck, but it doesn’t have to remain that way.
Have an awesome Friday,