The fact that is only Tuesday, blows my mind. It has been one heck of a week and we aren’t even to the middle of it. But in all fairness it’s nothing to really complain about.
We live in a world so large, only few can quantify its actual size. But to quantify it is not really important at a time like this. At a time when what many are calling the “Christian Holocaust” is going on, on a continent only an ocean away. People, husbands, wives, grandparents, children, friends, are being persecuted for what and whom they believe in. Families flee their home or are forced to convert or are put to death. But by the looks of Twitter and Facebook, it looks as if most Americans care more about how their damn NFL teams fared in preseason games.
Now I am not saying that just because you watch ESPN you don’t care about current events, but let’s not try and pretend that many Americans are completely blind/ignorant on what is going on in the rest of the world. No matter what religion you believe in or none at all, here in America, you have that choice. In my country, I would never want anyone to be put to death or even arrested for what they believe in. After 9/11, it was easy to try and label every Muslim a terrorist. But that was not and is not fair. But for Christians in the Middle East, that is their reality.
On Facebook, I follow a page called Humans of New York. Usually the page has pictures posted that a mixture of happy, sweet and then sad pictures, all with captions usually containing questions and answers by the person photographed. Because of the mixture I really find myself stopping to think about each one. The sad pictures make the sweet ones even better, but more importantly they cause me to reel in my complaints and re-realize what fortunate means. I highly encourage you to like this page. They are currently on a 50-day trek through the Middle East, which brings about even more awareness to all that I am sheltered from.
And while I am fully aware of the reality I am surrounded upon, I just wanted to take a moment out of my day and now, well, yours to shed light on the unfortunate thing that has in some way affected each and everyone of our lives. And that is mental illness. Whether you have battled it someone in your family or maybe even a friend, it is something that is such a powerful evil. Just before I headed to my softball game last night, I read that Robin Williams had died from an apparent suicide. Just terrible. Someone so loved for his talents, yet obviously so unhappy. This is something I luckily cannot understand but I do feel and pray for him, his family and friends, along with all those fighting mental illness, that they may find peace and strength in their time of need.
Life does go on, for all of us. But that doesn’t mean you just accept what happens and continue on as before. This week I have taken away from both of the situations I referenced above and I am trying to make changes in my life, to improve it for myself and those around me.
The first of these lessons to take would be thankfulness. I have it so easy, and that I am thankful for. But, I think the bigger take away is strength of faith. To think of all the people that are willing to sacrifice their life to be a Christian is amazing. I go to church every week, say my rosaries, practice and vote based on the teachings of my faith, but really I don’t do anything, year-round, that strengthen my faith. Faith is like our body, it needs to be conditioned, pushed and taken care of to perform at the best it possibly can. So I am going to try and do just that. And lastly, a lesson we all learned in elementary school, but one easily forgotten, kindness.
Kindness to everyone, not just the people who will keep tally. Every weekday, when I get on the three elevators to get up to my office, I try my best to give a good morning to those that share that 6′ by 6′ box with me. But honestly, some mornings, I throw my headphones on, and focus on nothing but my coffee. Same way with walking to lunch, I am sometimes more concerned on thinking about the fastest route to my destination rather than making sure to smile at everyone I pass. I sure do miss being on the campus of Texas A&M, where I loved to “howdy” people and you bet I loved to get a “howdy” back! But somewhere that got lost in the shuffle for me. I usually am pretty good about smiling and saying hello, but usually shouldn’t be good enough. You never know when you can help make someone’s day even just the tiniest bit better.
So come one people, join me in trying to make not only our lives better and those we love lives’ better; let’s help make a difference in the lives of the people have yet to meet.