Life May feel Crazy Right Now…I truly think that living in a global, visual world has created what feels like; Things being and feeling crazier and more out of control than people remember. I come from an era of race riots, flower children and all that means, the Vietnam War, Manson and much more that was “crazy”.
Every night my father made us watch the news. It was a ritual in our home the same as eating dinner together at the kitchen table. During the Vietnam War I can remember being so scared war would come to the shores of our country. I watched in terror every night as the bodies of brave soldiers were carried off the planes in flag covered caskets. We were very aware of the body counts every day of that war. I’m not sure why they don’t do that now (sort of rhetorical). Race riots were scary for me as a young child. There were towns, just miles from where I lived, we avoided going into for fear of losing our life. Being a child of the 60’s and 70’s free love turned into a death sentence as AIDS emerged.
Are things so different now? Or do we just have bigger band wagons to show we care about a cause or event and many more avenues to get followers on board? Everyone is a photo journalist. We see every little thing in every little corner of the earth. When I was growing up I wasn’t sure what someone from an Asian, African, Mexican or any other country looked like or lived like unless I read it in National Geographic. I had a pen pal from a suburb in Boston. It was a big deal. Mind you I lived in New Jersey. Does anyone born in the last 20 years even know what a pen pal is? Today it’s a Twitter follower or Facebook friend.
I don’t think that what entertainers and athletes do is so different now. It is just that we can’t pay off the entertainment rags to keep things out of the populous. There is almost no way to be a private person in this day and age. Marketing yourself or your cause or product through social media seems like the only way to get ahead. So everyone subjects themselves.
My oldest son is entering his last year in college in the fall; desperately trying to figure out adulthood. My younger son has chosen to take a different paradigm and pursue a long hard road in the entertainment industry. I think It has all been said before…but every time it’s said, maybe one more young person will get it. Life is unbelievable when we have a loving family, goals for our future and live a moral life (no matter what that looks like, people loving people and forming a family). The journey of life is so much more important than the goals we put in front of ourselves. It is not that goals aren’t valuable, but they are more a measuring tool than the life lessons that shape who we become. When it comes to technology the moral lesson is that nothing is private. If you wouldn’t say it on the front of a newspaper, do not say it in a text or Twitter or Facebook post. Just Don’t! Our time here in this human space is tenuous at best. Life is beautiful and yet can be so unjust. Bad things happen to good people. Good things happen to bad people. And yes, there are good and bad people. In every walk of life; making generalizations stopped for me when I started to travel. The world becomes a much smaller place. Success happens, Goals are reached, Accidents happen, Health happens, live for today, plan for your future and learn from your past. Wasting your time or enjoying a lazy day? Not the same thing. Know the difference. Do Not Fear Success! It debilitates your ability to allow opportunities and be open to them when they cross your path. Recognize opportunities. Never say “I’ve worked harder”; “I deserve”; or my ultimate favorite “I’m not ready yet”; working hard when you want something is how you get ahead, and how do you ever determine what is deserved. No one is ever ready, so trying before we are ready allows growth and ultimately the lessons to succeed. It is all relative…and none can guarantee success. Sometimes people do get lucky. On the other hand sometimes an overnight success takes 10 to 20 years of paying your dues. Try to work smart, but, always work hard. Every day I listen to my husband try to explain to his golf students the idea of freeing your mind to allow for greatness. It is the hardest concept, but once belief in yourself and trust in the ability’s, given or made through hard work click, it’s all there for the taking. Yes, some people have natural talents and others work at creating talents. Desire has so much to do with creating a talent and developing a natural talent. Different paths, but they can both have the same outcome.
I’ve spent my children’s lives teaching them how to treat others. Developing their talents and getting them to recognize those talents; creating opportunities. In 2007 when I was diagnosed with late stage breast cancer my children were 12 and 15 years old. I knew they still needed me. So many lessons still to teach them. I wasn’t finished with them or myself. During those very important developmental years my children were affected in very different ways; from diagnosis through the end of the initial treatment. The only.. and may be valuable things they learned from me was the will to live, fight, persevere, continue to live your life through the struggle. The reality was that I woke up went to work, came home, was force fed and went to sleep and slept all weekend. They saw very little of me during that time. Other people in my life and theirs took up the slack. It was a helpless feeling as a parent. Although the gratitude I felt for the people who stepped up for me was humbling and overwhelming. I never cried over having cancer. But another person’s kindness for me, my children, my family will bring tears to my eyes just thinking about it. Those kids of mine have become independent self-starter’s who I have no doubt will be successful adults. Cancer changed my quality of life. It’s likely I have many less years ahead of me then my family’s longevity might indicate. Now I am sure my sons will be fine, I’m not wishing my life away or being a pessimist. Just the opposite; I wake up every day knowing I can accomplish something, touch someone’s life in a way they didn’t expect. The impact I make may not seem like it is impacting the world…the people I touch will all pay it forward and perhaps in some way that actually does impact the world. I have all the faith that both of my sons will impact a global audience as they reach their aspirations. They are my gift to the world and I have nurtured that gift as a reflection of me (they are far from perfect, but they are and will be respectful, responsible citizens of the world). They both have a complete understanding of how they are to go forward and make a difference once they find their voice.
Living with an esoteric mind and a life filled with anomaly’s makes life a bit confusing and isolated (thank god one person, my loving husband, pretends to understand me). My mind, often allows me to see an alternate perspective. Being a circular thinker makes it easier for me to explain others who are often misunderstood. That is truly a gift. I agree with my family when they tell me I’m weird. Yeah So!? It makes me who I am, good, bad or indifferent. Definitely Unique!
I remember dropping off Nico every day at preschool saying, “Today you will be Kind, be Caring, be Considerate, be a Good Person”. I would have him repeat it back to me and I would say, “that is who you want to be”. We each have a responsibility to nurture children; make them good citizens in our communities. That is my responsibility if I want to be a parent. Making tough choices when things don’t go the way you plan is hard but necessary. No person in their right mind commits the atrocities we have seen throughout history. Life now may seem “crazier” then we remember. It just wasn’t a constant assault on our lives. No one was communicating in pictures and 140 word shout outs every minute of every day in mass. I had to wait for the postman to bring my 4 page letter from my pen pal.
Work on what’s in front of you and eventually you will be impacting the world!