March 28, 2021
Good morning friends. I hope you are all well. It’s already the last Sunday of March! The first quarter of 2021 is coming to a rapid close. Time keeps on ticking. I offer my condolences and prayers to those affected by the shootings in Atlanta and Boulder. In a time when God is needed most, it’s important to recognize two days of religious significance. Passover began yesterday at sunset. I’m not Jewish, but I am reverent to all religious beliefs that serve God. “Passover, Hebrew Pesaḥ, or Pesach, in Judaism, commemorates the Hebrews’ liberation from slavery in Egypt, and the “passing over” of the forces of destruction, or the sparing of the firstborn of the Israelites, when the Lord “smote the land of Egypt” on the eve of the Exodus.” It continues until April 4th (Easter Sunday).
Today is Palm Sunday, celebrated by Christian religions as the day honoring Jesus Christ’s victorious entry into Jerusalem. It’s an event mentioned in each of the four Canonical Gospels. While this was a joyful, special occasion for his followers, this event took place towards the end of his days on Earth before being crucified. I recall attending mass as a kid and coming home with palm leaves from church. I pray our world begins to renew its faith and devotion to God. Faith is a powerful force. It represents two important attributes; hope and kindness. These are both significant traits and much needed in our world today.
How do you counteract “entitlement” and seek happiness in your life? Here’s what helps keep me grounded and focused every day. The world doesn’t revolve around me. I’m grateful to be alive. I appreciate what I have. I respect myself and others. I drop my ego. I control my thoughts. Life isn’t about me. We are all human beings, created equally. The pull of good vs evil, positive vs negative or Yin vs Yang, is what creates differences in our character and actions. I find my balance in the duality; knowing the forces of the universe each have an interconnected and opposing reaction. I stay centered in the positive. I’m here to live life, doing the best I can each day. When I wake up to greet a new sunrise, I thank God and tell myself, “this is a new opportunity to live, love and be happy.” Positivity is my focus. Gratitude is where I begin.
My Wednesday morning began like most days. I greeted the sunrise with gratitude and thanked God for the opportunity. Stretching, yoga and meditation were followed by a protein shake and some time to write. I knocked out a quick three-mile run; which wasn’t fast or difficult. A nice warm relaxing shower sounded wonderful. I turned on the faucet and waited for the water to warm up before stepping in. I felt the spray with my hand; something wasn’t right. The water wasn’t warm. I turned the knob to full “Hot.” The temperature didn’t change. It was cold! I turned the shower water off, then back on, thinking something would change. It didn’t. I checked other faucets for hot water. There was none.
I gave the water heater a thorough examine and saw no obvious signs of failure. I didn’t smell a gas leak and nothing jolted my thoughts. A video chat with my brother in law and sister pointed me in the right direction. The internet provided pictures and I recognized the problem. The culprit was identified; a bad thermocouple (where the pilot flame is ignited). A quick trip to the hardware store and an easy installation resolved the problem. I remembered watching my Dad, on many occasions; repair all types of appliances, vehicles and machinery. Whatever skills I have today, I first learned from him. I thanked him (my brother in law and sister), for the assist! The reignited pilot light glowed brightly as the water in the tank heated. A warm, relaxing and much needed shower was enjoyed.
As I showered, it hit me, “how lucky am I to have hot water.” Growing up in America makes me sometimes forget how fortunate I am. I’m blessed to have so many wonderful comforts of life. There are many people, here and across the planet, that don’t have water in their home. How many people don’t have a home or water readily available? I’m grateful (as are many people living in free societies), to exist in a modern and economically secure country. We have food, shelter and water (both hot and cold), at out finger tips. In sharp contrast, there are countries, and places on earth, where people are less fortunate, oppressed or lack freedom of any form. In some of these lands, people live without the “basic needs” to survive. Food, water and shelter aren’t readily available; or options or supplies are extremely limited or scarce. Americans, and others around our world, share the necessities and comforts that make living easy.
In some countries, like the USA, we have an overabundance of material goods, food and supplies; yet America still struggles with poverty, homelessness and hunger. We have large grocery stores and big box chains where multiple selections for a single item exist. Young children to adults have cell phones; where technology provides easy access to order products at the touch of a button. Many young adults were raised with this concept and know little else. Our free way of life and our many luxuries have spoiled us. Parents provide their children with every whim or desire. Too many individuals have grown accustomed to living this undemanding lifestyle. Today, with all this nation has, there are still individuals, groups and some politicians that are dissatisfied, unhappy and complain about whatever they dislike or perceive as inappropriate. Some of these people are among the entitled elite. I’m thankful to live in this nation, while enjoying its many benefits and freedom.
Entitlement comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. We live in a “disposable” society that is spoiled with abundance and greed. If we don’t like something, it’s discarded and we procure a new object. The pandemic, social chaos and political madness have created further division among are people and nation. The resulting economic devastation has created additional social disarray and deepened the entitled culture. Individuals, and groups, complain about privilege, yet live similarly spoiled lifestyles. Entitlement breeds complainers who see themselves as victims. Politicians preach idiotic ideals, while protected by armed security. People soak up the benefits of our society, while they demand free college educations, various debts absolved or more free handouts be provided by our government. The once considered luxuries, across our nation, no longer carry any special meaning or significance.
Stop complaining! You’re alive and thriving. How can you be dissatisfied with life; here or anywhere? We live in a beautiful nation, where we enjoy freedom and prosperity. After the events of the last year, a segment of the population is just never happy or satisfied. Living a wonderful life isn’t about accumulating more possessions, a huge home, expensive car or millions of dollars. True happiness is something that shines from within. It’s a personal satisfaction and contentment with life. There’s an old saying, “Money can buy lots of things, but it can’t buy you happiness.” Teach your children the value of what they have and how to appreciate it. Guide them to develop good character. Integrity, respect, kindness and gratitude are the foundations that need to be instilled into every human. It’s up to you to alter how you perceive life. We are each responsible for our happiness.
I’ve never considered myself “entitled.” My parents taught me to appreciate everything I was given or earned. I’ve worked hard all my life to achieve my own success. I always find it interesting how events occur at the exact time I need some reinforcement in a particular area of life. God, or the universe, seem to find a way to intercede when needed. My Dad passed away several years ago. I always know he’s with me, watching over me, offering support and guidance. His spirit intervenes when I begin to drift below positive, providing encouragement and strength. These interventions occur when I least expect, but need them the most. There are times in life I have taken things for granted, in one way or another. I have no doubt many people do this on a daily basis. Life, maturity, career, travel, hardships and lessons learned have provided me with knowledge and experience over the course of time. I’ve learned valuable lessons and have become more aware of all the wonderful gifts we’re blessed with daily. I’m not rich, wealthy or poor. I’m just me. I respect people and treat them how I want to be treated. I assist others when he can and am eternally grateful for all I have.
Life isn’t complicated or difficult, humans are. Bumps, bruises, pain or suffering will be experienced along the journey. How you process or resolve each of these situations, is where you succeed or drift into darkness. If you attach negativity to each event, this is where the complications begin. Egotistical behavior or thinking you are better than others, has no place in our society. We each carry our past with us; some memories may have heartbreak, sorrow, deception, trauma or who knows what. If you don’t pack that bag and leave it beyond, it can creep into your present. Those issues have the ability to consume you, eroding your energy, destroying relationships and creating more damage for your future. The end result can create stress, anxiety, depression, sadness or a decline in your mental, physical and spiritual health. No one wants to live with their heart locked up or paralyzed by fear. Positivity is a choice. It may not always be easy, but “I am responsible for my thoughts, actions, deeds and happiness. No one else controls us.” Life is happening now, so decide wisely.
There is much to be grateful and thankful for every day. Begin each morning with gratitude. Open your heart to the possibilities; lead with positivity and faith, while working hard to reach for your stars. Life is a gift and limited time opportunity. Control your thoughts; seek the positive, good and happiness in life. “When I change my thoughts, I can change the world.” As each day passes, take time to reflect on how fortunate you are to live in a great nation. Be thankful for life, health and the opportunities that enable you to move forward into each new day. Please don’t waste your opportunities. Happiness and prosperity already belong to us; we just have to realize it and believe.
Please tune in and join me again next Sunday for more! The healthy life puzzle is always in rotation. Let’s be healthy and strong mentally, physically and spiritually!
Thanks for your love and support! Embrace Life! Be sure to get outside and enjoy nature!