The last couple of weeks have been rough for me. I’ve been working O.T. trying to salvage an organization, plan for the future while tackling some personal challenges I have been faced with. It’s funny how when you get so busy with your life you tend to forget where you came from and how bad you have had it in the past. Not to mention, other people. When I’m having a bad day, sometimes shit really happened, and there is nothing I can do about it, but for the most part, my bad day is attached to a serious lack of gratitude on my part.
I mean come on, if you have read my blog, you have seen some of the places I have been too, do humanitarian stuff for people who are really in a bad way. Most of my problems these day are very quality problems compared to most of the world. When I say quality, I mean that there has been a day in over 12 years where i have not had food, shelter and clean water to drink. More than 50% of the world currently doesn’t even have those basic needs met.
It’s one thing to say this, or know it, and it is a completely different act to actually believe it in the moment when you’re looking at your bank account wondering where you are going maker enough money to make your house payment or car payment for the month. I mean even if you lost your house, you would have a place to go. If you lost your car, you could borrow one from a friend or from your family. Have you ever really gone hungry??? Were the most over fed country in the world, trust me, Americans with over 2/3 of the population over weight are not going hungry.
The point is that unless someone is dying, going to jail, or in serious danger, the problem is really not all that bad, and most importantly it can be fixed. So how de we no spin out and remain grateful when we get like this??? Great question, here are some of the things I have done that have help me remain in a place of gratitude when I get lost and spun out.
- Volunteer at a homeless shelter
- Buy a homeless person lunch
- Tell people you encounter in your daily life that you appreciate them coming in to work!
- Prayer and meditation
- Random acts of kindness
- Call a couple of your friends and ask them how they are doing in their lives and tell them that you appreciate their friendship.
- Let people who work for you know how much you appreciate them (This could be your mail man, garbage man, house keeper etc). This is also great to do with your loved ones and significant others. DUH@>!<W?><@
Story of my own.
Yesterday, I was pissed off because work had been stressing me out, I have been looking for a new place to live and I am short on money for the month, then my tire goes flat and needs a patch. I have been down and out the last couple of weeks dealing with some medical issues and other work related fires I had been putting out. Feeling sorry for myself, I went and patched the tire and drove off to the gas station to put air in the tire. As I pull in to the air machine, I notice a man sleeping in his beat up old pick-up truck next to 2 dogs sleeping inside. I walked in to the gas station to break a dollar and walked back to the machine.
As I walked back to the air machine, I noticed my brand new BMW next to this old pick up which was stacked to the gills with what apparently seemed to be all of this mans belongings. As if he had been evicted from his house, or wife kicked him out or something. As I filled up my tire on my brand new car, I couldn’t help but have a sinking feeling about the situation. Here I was pissed off about piddiley little bull shit when this man had no place to go, and no work to do as it was 3 pm on a Monday afternoon.
No one wants to end up like this. It was a bad run of life situations for him and this is where he had ended up. Instead of judging him, I took a moment to get grateful for what I had, then I took $5 out of my wallet and hid it in his gas tank so when he went to put gas in his truck he would be pleasantly surprised and that good things can still happen no matter how bad life seems to get.
The $5 was for the life lesson he taught me, he earned, it wasn’t charity. Him simply being there for me to witness was enough to snap me out of my funk, and I feel lie I should have given him $10. Either way, I hope it helped and It made me feel good to help someone else in need. I believe if we all spent some time doing this that the world would be a much better place.
As a result of this, I have made it a goal of mine to do something good for humanity at least once a month. Something a little bigger and more impactful than a $5 donation to a passerby. I’m going to call it, my monthly random act of Kindness, and each month I will be blogging about the experience.
Join me if you feel inclined. I think you will be delighted with how it makes you feel.
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