“Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn’t learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn’t learn a little, at least we didn’t get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn’t die; so let us all be thankful.”
By: Zy Marquiez
November 27, 2015
Thanksgiving is one of those times where everyone is thankful, everything is copacetic, and things are looking up. Life is great. Nothing could be better.
It certainly is a rather pleasant having everyone navigate through life as if nigh walking through clouds. An observation regarding this is that this mostly only takes place through the Holidays. Does that not ever make you wonder?
Rewinding back the tape a bit, over a decade ago back at the University used to have a great friend while at ASU. We were both in the same Manzanita dorm, both in the Aerospace Engineering floor, and after meeting early on and clicking extremely well we made sure to take as many classes together since it would be highly beneficial to be able to have a ‘study-buddy’ and such. Due to this we naturally spent a lot of time together.
In any case, one thing that always amazed me was that it seemed that this individual knew everybody.
When approaching people he would say: “Hi, how’s it going?” “Hey, how you doing?” “How’s your day?” “How was your weekend?” And so on and so forth. This took place every day we were out and about. It stunned me, because at first blush, it seemed to me that he knew everyone. Why wouldn’t he? He sure talked to everyone like he did.
That led to me posing the question to him of how he got to know so many people. He proceeded to laugh nervously and told me that he didn’t know any of those people before. That stunned me. After asking a few people to verify he wasn’t yanking my chain, it turns out in fact, most of those people he didn’t know at all. Later on, finding out that it came natural to him, he said you just have to put yourself out there and see what you find.
Me being mostly an introvert back then, and not ‘out of my shell,’ it wasn’t easy to just go up to random people and start a conversation. But after meeting him it became easier and easier, to the point that it’s been something that has been implemented into my daily repertoire in countless interactions with folks.
Why is this important? Because in over a decade of interaction with hundreds of folks, from all walks of life, in many different places, at least half the people or so don’t seem to have much interest in interacting with folks besides the usual cursory manner. Some will even give you askance looks like “What the hell do you want?” Most people are polite though. It’ fascinating from a macro observation point of view.
Have queried some of my friends on the matter and they all agree with the general consensus.
This isn’t the case during the holidays though.
It seems everyone is “nice” and “polite”. The reason that’s in quotations is because, if most people were really nice, wouldn’t they be nice all of the time, rather than only during the Holiday season? It’s just a question. It just makes me wonder who’s doing it because that’s what is expected and who is doing it because that’s how they are. There is an enormous difference.
Many folks will undoubtedly feel it is easier to say hello during the holidays, as opposed to other parts of the year. That is not the case with everyone. One can tell some folks are just doing it because it’s what society expects. It just makes me wonder why society is how it is, and why people choose to act how they act, regardless whether its the holidays or not.
Another recent example of interactions with folks in my life took place when going to the Secret Space Program Conference in Bastrop Texas this year. From the moment you entered the doors of the convention center, you could just feel the atmosphere be electric. It was so dense you couldn’t slice it with a light saber.
Within a minute or so, was having conversations with two separate groups of folks and that basically set the tone for the rest of the weekend. Ended up myself meeting folks from all walks of life. Engineers, teachers, civil servants, business folks, retired military and people from other strata of society.
Conversations flowed, information was shared, life was contemplated and no topic was off the table. It was easy to see that people were being genuine. Although the conference focused on the Secret Space Program and Breakaway Civilizations, people found out about that topic from a myriad of avenues. That was very fascinating. People came at it from a financial point of view, from the environment angle, from space [obviously], from technology, from education, and even a philosophical or existential point of view, and thensome.
What does this event have in common with the Holiday season? Atmosphere.
The atmosphere was what the people chose it to be – that made all the difference in the world. That fact alone was worth the travel.
The question is: Why do most people choose to only be friendly during the holidays, but forgo that option during a large portion [most?] of the remaining of the year? Ponder about that for a minute.
If the holidays are the holidays because the atmosphere that is generated by people, then why couldn’t people do that all the time? Why couldn’t people live more potent, friendly, interesting lives then what they currently do? Why couldn’t we all meet more neighbors instead of all living in our abodes and logging most of our interaction through online venues?
Seems like we are only a choice away from much better times. Isn’t that interesting?
It would be a reasonable to presume that if most [not even all] people took this type of approach to life, everything would be much better. It’s unfortunate that most people get hung up on the differences of others, because it leads to the very environment that we live in where left vs. right issues are fomented daily unfortunately.
Ultimately, a better world is a mere thought away. Seems like a lot of power for individuals to have. That’s the thing, we’ve always had it except most people give it away only acting upon information provided by others such as the media, rather than conclusions that were arrived from personal insight/research.
What better world to live in than that?
Sure seems something to be thankful for, every day and not just when we’re told to be.
November 18, 2015
“Saying yes to happiness means learning to say no to things and people that stress you out.”
– Thema Davis
“Good things happen when you distance yourself from negative people.”
“Life is too short to worry about stupid things. Have fun. Fall in love. Regret nothing, and don’t let people bring you down.”
“Strong people don’t put others down…they lift them up.
– Michael P. Watson
“Walk away from anything or anything who takes away from your joy. Life is too short to put up with fools.”
Recently saw someone portray issues with their friends/loved ones in a matter that made me ponder.
For quite some time this person [although this scenario applies to many] has had continued friction with others. Without going into the details into the situation, and maintaining a macro view without taking sides, the scenario has been repeated quite often. In fact, often enough that it makes one wonder why would someone put themselves through repeated pain if they need not?
Of course there are a veritable cluster of reasons for this, but the focus of this post is not on the negative ultimately. In fact, by noticing that which we take great issue with, not only do we reasonably see what causes us issues, but we can see the opposite side of the spectrum. We can take note of what we do want, or in this case, who we do want in our lives.
Which brings me to my next point.
What brings you up? Who brings you up?
Are you cognizant deep down inside of it? Many folks believe that they are, ultimately to repeat the same mistake over, and over, and over, and so on. This might be personal, financial, or other.
Dealing with this can be quite trying; definitely know this personally as think most of us do.
Still though, why not some introspection and see what we can gather?
Why not bring those people that lift us up into the fold, rather than have folks run all over our spirits day in and day out. And no, am not talking about circumstances where one has to be with said person, or through said issue, such as work. Although there is something to be said for not acting on that which causes you pain/harm etc.
Am talking about the simplest of problems that people can rectify if they were to realize that they are far simpler to solve – in some cases – then some realize.
Perhaps by bringing more folks into our sphere that share y/our values, y/our true values, and beliefs [and not just religious, either] we can transcend into a greater, healthier experience in this life of ours.
This seems very obvious, and yet, its not done as much as it could be. This is speaking from experience and that of close friends at least. Why not?
First, many people hate to be wrong in all of the permutations that that entails. Would be interesting to know how a variety of cultures would react to certain scenarios; here in the West though, starting at the top self-responsibility seems to be a foregone thought. The top being politics, institutions, corporations, and so on.
Secondly, some folks are stubborn. That can be a good quality at times, but at others, its like attempting to move a wall. It just won’t happen no matter how hard you try.
Third, and most importantly, the people that can inflict various forms of mental/psychological/financial harm on us, happen to be the folks many people gravitate towards. Kind of ironic isn’t it?
This is partly because they seem more interesting. They seem more fun, and they might be in a sense. They also seem more alluring in a variety of departments. Still though, by their deeds they are known, and jerks folks that have extensive resumes in screwing people over, shouldn’t be given the benefit of the doubt. Especially over and over and over again.
As an addendum, this is not throwing people that make mistakes under the bus. Not even close. We all make mistakes. Am precisely talking about the people that repeatedly leech your time, finances and energy – all of which are highly important in our society – and nigh always end up on the better side of the debacle, with you to pick up whatever pieces are strewn about. They also rarely if ever contribute anything positive to you, and many times if they do, they act as they are you doing you a favor by just breathing air. The 10-ton stones on some folks right!
Moving forward, we should always be striving to do our best, and many times doing our best includes making the simplest best choices for us. Positive relationships in all walks of life are a beautiful sunset to our eyes, are an exquisite meal to our body, and a breath of fresh air to our soul. Those relationships are energizing rather than the converse. They make life worth living in more ways than oft get mentioned.
If you know someone that might need some help, why not lend a hand? Nobody wants to face issues alone, especially if they don’t even know there are any in the first place. Be wary of denial though! That might make a situation worse.
Ultimately, we can only lead our own lives to the very bests of our ability if we choose, and our ability to help others rests in what choices they make to better themselves. If that includes you, great. If not, find someone else.
Life is too short to be clinging to folks that bring about negative change in your life. This beautiful thing we call life, offers a beautiful kaleidoscope of choices that will aid us in more ways we could imagine. But only if one chooses.
So, who/what lifts YOUR spirits up? Well! What are you waiting for!? Get to it. Take some time for yourself and make someone’s day while you’re at it.
Each one, reach one.
One that note:
“If you feel like your ship is sinking, it might be a good time to throw out the stuff that’s been weighing it down. Let go of people who bring you down, and surround yourself with those who bring out the best in you.”
“Surround yourself with the dreams and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see greatness within you.”