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Archive for September, 2012

Quotes of a Lifetime

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

It’s funny how the clichés in life that we once scoffed at, truly create a strong foundation for do-gooders and go-getters. All those random sayings that teachers, parents, and family elders would throw in our faces, actually were worth listening too and following. Because now, in our older age; we strive to reach such simple ideals and uphold such simple values. If only we understood the importance of those mundane clichés at an earlier age… imagine where we would be and where the world would be now. But alas, teenagers are meant to be teenagers and adults, adults, and the youth will continue to ignore the advice we now know is legit.

Because now, I find myself using the once annoying quotes as stepping stones on my path to success and happiness. They truly are words of wisdom that have carried on through the ages, and for a good reason… they speak the truth. And for people who want to do-good and achieve personal greatness, a path of honesty can lead them farther than a path of deceit.

But as a young kid, honesty wasn’t a top priority of mine, as I’m sure it wasn’t for many of you. Building the perfect obstacle course for my remote control car or finding a way to sneak an Oreo from the cookie jar were my main focuses. Besides, I hadn’t seen enough of the world to comprehend the negativity and deceitfulness it carries. And so, all those words of wisdom were lost to me; they went in one ear and out the other… after all, how could words hold more power than the coolness of my toy collection?

Even in junior high and high school, when truth and dishonesty were ideals all teenagers gambled with, the old, fuddy-duddy words of my superiors couldn’t strike a chord with me because fighting against authority was a priority. Why do anything or take anything seriously from adults bent on ruining my life and telling me what to do?

And then I became an entrepreneur…

I had to focus my energy and ideals, learn how to impress the right people and more importantly, gain their respect, and figure out how to build a business from the ground up on my own.

During this time all those annoying sayings, everything that was said to me to try and teach me lesson, all those clichés suddenly made sense and carried power…

“Actions speak louder than words;” “Treat others how you’d like to be treated;” “Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched;” “Rome wasn’t built in a day;” ALL became valid ideals and platforms to build my emerging business.

Only by doing something and completing various tasks would people believe my written proposals; being sincere and appreciative of fellow businessman would earn me their respect; never assuming my gains would keep my business in balance; and never giving up hope, working every day, and retaining a high level of patience would help my business dreams become a reality.

So as you see, those clichés and annoying sayings carry the weight and truth of generations. We’ve all heard them, numerous times at least, and whether they reverberate within your being or not, I’ve learned the hard way, of their steadfast truth…

So for all you youngsters out there; don’t mock your elders, because one day you’ll realize and appreciate the truth to their words of wisdom…

In The Eyes Of The Beholder

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

It’s funny– the little disagreements we get in to over petty and unimportant topics… How one person can feel so vehemently about something, even though it’s only a matter of opinion. Not everything in life is fact, or black and white. More often than not we find our world in a grey zone; a place where differing ideals run rampant and the truth is as graspable as the fleeting wind. We’re all different, with different styles, personalities, mannerisms, thought processes, opinions, truths…etc. Almost everything is flexible, bending to the desires of each individual. After all, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and for each person the beauty they see is the truth and absolute.

Like this somewhat ridiculous, yet perfectly honest disagreement I got into the other day with a friend of mine. We were out on her patio enjoying a light lunch when a butterfly flew by in all its brilliance. The bright yellow, almost white wings were tinged in a fiery red that blinked in and out of focus among the daisies growing along her stone walkway, and we both took a moment to enjoy its beauty. And then she said a somewhat peculiar statement pertaining to ‘fuzzy moths,’ and how absurd it is that butterflies are so pretty and their fury, nighttime cousins are so disgusting and weird. I, myself, have no problem with the fluttering butterflies of the dark, fury looking or not, and mentioned how I think they’re kind of cool in their own unique way. I was then met with an onslaught of rather funny reasons regarding why ‘fuzzy moths’ are so gross, and although I believe her in her convictions I just can’t agree with them.

Now, although that was a somewhat frivolous example of the truths people value, it shows how different opinions can be over the same topic or thing. So, in the grand scheme of the universe, shouldn’t the idea of ‘in the eyes of the beholder,’ work with nearly anything? Can beauty be found everywhere; even the most devastating of things?

I can’t help but mull over this paradigm in regards to the horrific events our country suffered 11 years ago… 9/11 just passed, and although it’s been more than a decade since the tragedy and many of the wounds inflicted have healed, we, as individuals and as a nation, still suffer. We still mourn the loss of loved ones, and mourn the loss of security, and mourn the repercussions that happened in response to the terror. Thousands were lost in the event, and thousands more have been lost overseas fighting a threat defined by terrorism. And as such we’ve had moments living in fear… but we’ve always been protected, and we’ve learned to cherish those we lost…

And in the wake of the 9/11 anniversary I can’t help but admire the closeness of our country. Everywhere, in every state, city, and community people have banned together to remember… to remember those that fell on that dark day and to remember those fighting for our security, thousands of miles from home. Shouts of “We Will Never Forget,” “United We Stand” and “Remember 9/11” are heard across the nation, and we all take a moment of silence in respect for the brave souls who are no longer with us, and say a short prayer for the safe return of our soldiers…

And there’s beauty in that…

There’s beauty in the bond of our nation, and the respect we show on the anniversary of a truly terrifying, evil, and horrifying event. We come together for people we don’t know and for faces we have never seen, but can feel their pain…

It too is a day that will live in infamy and deserves another moment of silence…

The Shocking Truth

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

Trauma is an all-encompassing vice that holds both the mind and body in an iron-like grip of confusion, pain, and anxiety. The visceral shock of a traumatic event penetrates every nerve, sending our entire being into a tornado of ungraspable thoughts and feelings. There’s simply too much going on for any hope of instant stabilization, and every moment carries the weight of unprocessed emotions; a whirlwind that can once again send us spiraling into the depths of what we don’t know, don’t want to know, or just can’t understand. It’s the question of why bad things happen that looms on the horizon, eating away at our nerves and clouding our thoughts…

And in such times we’re desperate for help and support, but are too jumbled to express what we need. Our internal and physical chaos projects an unnerving cloud on the environment, unsettling those closest to us…

So how do the ones we love cut through the dense air of pain and confusion and pass our threshold of anxiety to provide the comfort we need and desire? Our path to salvation is already littered with emotional pitfalls and scar tissue that cuts deep into our beings, rendering us incapable of direction. All we know is what we feel; and what we feel is raw, untamed, and primal. In a sense, trauma tears away the veil of etiquette and what’s left is the unedited, unfiltered chasm of our emotions. And it’s an awfully big chasm for anyone to jump in order to reach our strained hearts… But the depths of peoples’ feelings run deeper than we can imagine, and there are always ways to reach out and lift those struggling in their own terror.

Trust in Those Who Truly Know You

Inspiration, love, and happiness are universal attributes that can come from even the most unexpected of places. A simple comment made by a coworker; a nice message left by an obscure friend on your Facebook page; a phone call from a distant relative; all have the power to lift the soul and usher in a stream of light in otherwise dark days.

But what if you’re neither a coworker nor an absent friend? What if your relationship with the suffering individual is one of intimacy, and immense closeness? What do you do then? Your friend, lover, sister, son, desperately needs your comfort, but the path of inspiration, love, and happiness is crowded with the chaos of the traumatic event.

Over the years I’ve learned the best road to take is one of empathy and understanding. You can’t fight someone else’s battles, but you can be a figure of support.

So listen…

Listen to what your traumatized friend needs. If she needs a shoulder to cry on, be the person to wipe her tears. If she needs to dissect and analyze the situation in its entirety, be her lab partner writing down the results. Just be there every step of the way; from the moments full of tears to the moment of acceptance.

I can remember watching my dear friend cry and shake over the loss of her unborn child… the family wanted a little girl, a sister for their first son. But nature decided it wasn’t the right time, and the child was lost through no fault of the mother. However, the pain of such a loss was near unbearable for the young woman, and all I could do was give comfort when she believed it was her fault; show my frustration when she was angry; and empathize when she accepted the terror. And now she’s the proud mother of 2 strapping, young boys and a warmhearted, beautiful baby girl.

The idea is, don’t fight against their emotions. Everything they’re feeling must be faced and processed for any hope of salvation…

Help them face and endure it.