Tuesday, April 14, 2015


I am a pretty happy guy these days.
Why I wouldn't I be?
I have everything that a man could want and then some.
Most of us probably feel the same way, maybe not all.
But if we really took a moment to make a gratitude list, we'd find that we are
amongst the fortunate few in this world.
I am certain some of us are suffering losses and pain.
Some are sick themselves and dealing with some real life shit right now.
Others are depressed and lonely.
But overall, we are probably doing better than most in the big picture.

There is a website called the Global Rich List.
It is a website to bring awareness to poverty in the world.
You enter in your yearly salary and it will tell you the percentage of where you stand
financially in the world. This is always a go to for me with my kids when they
complain they need a new toy or don't have the newest bullshit thats out.
I pull it up and show them where they stand in the world.
Just for reference: If you made $20,000 in one year in the USA........
You are in the top 3% of the world.
That makes you the 219,013,152ndrichest person on earth by income.

How many people live on Earth?

7.125 billion (2013)
Earth, Population

That means you are richer than 6.9 Billion people.

Obviously, wealth does not make for happiness, but it certainly helps
in the material world. Besides, the whole point here is to raise awareness
of gratitude. We have food to eat, clothes to wear, a home to live in, etc.
A dear friend and mentor of mine always says 
"Just when I'm complaining about the shoes I don't have, in walks a man with no feet."
(and yes I always wonder how he's walking with no feet)
But, you get the point.

Gratitude is all based on perception and most of us live in the western world.
We are biased to perception due to conditioning.
We think if we don't have what they have on the Kardashians, we are just poor.
Obviously that is so grossly wrong, it's downright stupidity.
The problem is, we don't know it. We don't always realize how good we have it
and how amazing our lives are, we just see what we DON'T have.
It's part of the human condition, I am convinced.
We all pine for something or someone and have to get knocked back down to size
to realize we have all what we need right in front of us.
If you believe in any kind of a Higher Power, you come to the conclusion that we
are being taken care of and we have nothing to worry about.
We do our part and let the rest work itself out, and it always works itself out.

I know right now in the world, things can look gloomy or dark because of terrorism
and lack of concern for the planet or the mighty 1% grubbing all the money.
Politics is nonsense these days and it's hard to get a good read on anyone.
The horrific scenes of defenseless Black men being shot by police,
or the inane argument over who has the right to marry.
Why would any man or woman think they have the right to decide how another man or woman
can live their life???
All of this is such saddening, depressing news and information and seems so hopeless.

No matter where you stand politically or religiously or whatever, we can all agree that
life is best when we can just live our lives and love our families.
The Dalai Lama says "If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them."

Again, I think perception plays a HUGE role in how we look at the world.
With Facebook and Twitter and Fox News and CNN and all of the hype and bullshit and lies
online about every angle to every story - we just never quite get the truth.
It all gets overwhelming and to me makes us all a little gloomy and depressed.
Studies have found that folks who spend too much time on social media are depressed and
more suicidal. They compare their lives with the lives online they are following and they
become depressed......instead of living the lives they have.
We are all guilty of taking pictures of every single aspect of our lives, rather than actually living
the moment that is in front of us - we feel the need to document it.

Ok - I am getting carried away here - my point is that we need to stay positive and look for
the hopeful and not obsess on the hopeless.
Happiness is a choice and we have to take action.
Very seldom do the stars align so perfectly that we are the center of the world.
So, instead I make a gratitude list in my head, almost daily and remind myself how lucky I am.
Where I have come from and where I have been and where I am going today.
I don't watch the news very much, just enough to keep in the loop.
I try not to spend much time on FB, other than to make the occasional Seinfeld reference or sell
you a t-shirt :)
The biggest thing is to look at these situations we are in right now and see them as hopeful.
Maybe, just maybe, we are seeing for the first time that Police Officers are being held accountable
for their actions. Maybe this will bring about a change that is so necessary for the safety of the Black community and for the Police Officers who do their jobs with respect and honor.
Maybe we are in the middle of a Gay Rights Activism that will forever change history in the USA.
We will look back on these days the way we look back on the 19th Ammendment; women's right to vote and the Civil Rights Movement.
Change requires CHANGE.
Shit has to happen for shit to happen.

I am trying my best to hope for the best. It's all I can really do.
Maybe, I don't have the power to change the world but I do have the ability to live
a good, clean life. I have the opportunity to raise my children to be responsible, productive 
members of society. I can give back and make sure I am not hurting anyone.
I can make amends where I have done wrong and I can do better in the future.
If we all did these things, this world will get better REAL fast.
But, there is no reason for me to concern myself with the rest of the world and whether
or not my neighbor is behaving properly; I just need to take care of me and mine.

Live and let live.

I am no different than anyone else, I need to be reminded to be happy and hopeful.
I need to take responsibility for my thoughts and my actions and be forgiving and understanding
of others. Today I will make the choice to be hopeful and happy.
I'll make a gratitude list and take time to give thanks for the wonderful life I have.

I sure don't know what all this means here on Planet Earth.
Why are we here? Where did we come from? Where are we going?
But I am going to make sure I look around as much as possible before my time ends.
Life is pretty amazing.