“This is the first test of a gentleman: his respect for those who can be of no possible value to him” (William Lyon Phelps). Having observed an intoxicated driver hit and instantly kill an innocent young teenage girl as she drove home from work one night was heart-wrenching. The intoxicated individual stumbled out of his car and sat on the curb with a minor physical injury to himself. Caring for offenders that fatally kill, shoot, or stab innocent victims can be challenging. Knowing that people are children of God places different lenses over my eyes, therefore seeing them as potential beacons of light, at times in a dark, dreary, cold and unjust world.
Witnessing firsthand and personally experiencing too many of those aforementioned harmful effects in my life manifests deep pain and empathy for people, which is a pivotal reason for choosing to help others. A dominant universal goal regarding all spiritual realms is to mitigate pain and suffering. Caring for individuals working as an intensive care unit (ICU) nurse constantly makes me question, “Is there something we as a community, society, nation, and global enterprise can do to help prevent these tragic fatalities?” Tears of compassion and frustration well up and trickle down an anguished face, while contemplating the horrors that families of these loved ones face and endure.
“I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized that I was somebody” (Lily Tomlin). Can such tragedies be averted? Young teenagers and adults are too often admitted for heroin overdoses with irreversible anoxic brain injuries, while ventilators keep their bodies alive as the brain swells, crushing parts of the cerebrum or spinal cord ending in brain death. All four extremities spastically and uncontrollably jerk up and down with both eyes transiently shooting open seemingly bulging from their skulls as their necrotic viscera pour out. Paralytics are administered because families do not need to witness such horror. Others drink themselves silly, which leads to irreversible pancreatitis or hepatic destruction, culminating in multisystem organ failure and subsequent death.
Even today, visualizing and feeling the glowing warmth, energy, kindness, and friendly smile radiating from a fellow high school classmate’s face 20 years later is poignantly palpable. His abundant energy, radiant countenance, joy, and ability to make others laugh was contagious. He made the tragic decision to try heroin one time, which ended his short life. Let’s decide to help others make better choices by making them for ourselves first.
“And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?” (Mark 8: 36 NLT). Moreover, harmful effects can ensue due to excessive gambling, extreme shopping, gluttonous eating, pornography, smoking, mind-numbing alcohol intoxication, and illicit drug use. Several poor behaviors mentioned above have ruined countless marriages, relationships, and even ended in fatality. Do you frivolously love and yield to bad habits more than you enjoy living in victorious freedom by loving and caring for your own mind, body, spirit, and soul? Let’s not stoop down to a level below our absolute best.
“The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own” (Benjamin Disraeli). Each of us has profound gifts, talents, skills, and abilities that can bolster ourselves and everyone around us to new levels of greatness. Let’s encourage and help one another find, develop and release individualized gifts into the universe for others to enjoy and benefit from. We have the capability to truly change the world one person at a time. That able and gifted individual starts with you. Additionally, a few people working together on the same mission really can change humanity in a positive, productive, innovative, and purpose-driven way.
As kids, many of us probably experienced extremely painful growth spurts in our extremities. Similarly, growth pains through discomfort on the road to greatness makes us bigger, better, and stronger individuals. Be a creative problem solver by focusing on solutions. How about doing what’s uncomfortable today, thus leading to an extremely comfortable tomorrow? The temporary discomfort will dissipate into something that is a natural comfortable part of who we are. This encompasses skill, relationship, and growth building. Give that speech, ask him or her out, do the seemingly impossible. A good time to do something was yesterday, while the best time is today.
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation” (Henry David Thoreau). Don’t let that be you! People act out of desperation, pain, anger, fear, greed, desire, envy, necessity, inspiration and pleasure. Let’s raise our standards by taking initiative to dream big and do bigger, while tolerating nothing less than the best from ourselves. Be filled with hope, meaning, and purpose by embracing your vision, mission, why and how, in order to get your greatness out into the world, today.
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler” (Henry David Thoreau). People discover their potential from knowledge acquisition combined with practical application. We become forward growing the moment we develop the courage to acknowledge and admit our faults, while seeking solutions to our problems and taking massive immediate action toward solving the underlying harmful culprits. The more competent, confident, and autonomous we become at life equates to a good life at whatever we choose to do.
“Mishaps are like knives that either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or the handle” (James Russell Lowell). Applying temporary Band-Aids to cover our past wounds, mistakes, or feelings of self-inadequacy is futile and may even be deadly. Choose to allow mistakes to be advantageous, while seeking out good in them by becoming a good-finder.
Changing our perceptions and attitudes can be very helpful. If we become disillusioned by the shoes that we have on, just think about the person with no feet. A little different perspective can change our own personal world. Life is too short and precious to be stuck in the past or future. Focus on fully living today and each day.
“Joy shared is twice the joy. Sorrow shared is half the sorrow” (Swedish proverb). Our intangible virtues, principles, attitudes, beliefs, faith, skills, abilities, and relationships produce lasting health, wealth, love, and joyfulness. Relationships can have a wonderful, yet ineffable component, whereas we cannot describe with words our immense heart-felt emotions and feelings we have for someone, while those awe-struck wondrous relations remain extremely palpable and undeniably moving. Building upon these assets grows life fully.
Remember to be grateful while both receiving and giving joy. How can you give another person joy today? What kind word or deed can you offer someone today? Maybe saying, “I am sorry” or “I love you,” or just listening is all a person needs most today. The opportunities and ways to bless others are endless. You are a beautiful and priceless one-of-a-kind individual with unique experiences and gifts, created for greatness. Thank you for being you.
“Riches do not consist in the possession of treasures, but in the use made of them” (Napoleon Bonaparte). It is important to understand and accept that buying material items won’t create lasting happiness. It’s wonderful possessing nice things, although replaceable items will never bring long-term peace, fulfillment, and joy. Creating wonderful experiences and memories with people we love and admire, while sharing ourselves through giving our time, gifts, talents, skills, and abilities can bring lasting fulfillment and enduring joy. Use everything to create more abundance in your life. Being a producer leads to more of what really matters. Only consuming takes away without the wondrous gifts of return on time to do more of what you truly love.