Remember that life is delicate

Throughout my life there have been plenty of reminders that life is delicate. This weekend there was another reminder.

I got a call Saturday, around 3 pm, letting me know that my Grandma’s health had taken a turn for the worse. She had some surgery a few days prior, and was recovering well. But…

Suddenly, things turned ugly and she found herself in a fight for her life. Her heart had stopped three times. Every time the doctors had successfully restarted it. She was now in an emergency room on life support, and the doctors were giving her a few hours to live.

My family and I rushed down to the hospital to be greeted by the sight of our entire family surrounding my Grandma at her bedside.

She didn’t look good at all.

Around 11 pm there was a positive sign. She opened her eyes and began to respond to questions (by blinking or not blinking). Today, she is still in a fight for her life, and I hope that she has the strength to make a full recovery.

Life is delicate and it’s pretty shocking to think that one day we will all be gone. Me, you and your favorite people. How crazy is that…

Hang in there Grandma.

*My Grandma took her last breath the following night.

Man’s search for meaning

clouds

Amazing clouds in Mexico.

For the last two weeks I’ve been reading Man’s Search For Meaning by Victor E. Frankl. I’m close to finishing it, but even without finishing it I have been beyond impressed. It’s literally in the top 3 books I’ve ever read. I like it as much as Seneca’s On the Shortness of Life.

Every page is insightful and engaging. That can’t be said for too many books I’ve read. A lot of books repeat the same ideas over and over, and could have easily been written in half the amount of pages.

Man’s Search For Meaning is powerful and to the point. It’s so good that you almost wish it was longer, but if it was longer would it still be as great?

The second half of the book is on logotherapy, which seems to be a great theory. I’m not too sure if psychologists still use it today, but the arguments for it seemed very good. Logotherapy is a theory based on the idea that we are all in search of our meaning in life. A lot of our issues can be boiled down to us not having a clear meaning in life. When you have a clear meaning for your life, you can achieve your goals and endure enormous amounts of suffering/ pain.

Victor E. Frankl says that there is no single meaning to life. We all don’t have the same meaning in life, just like there isn’t a best move in chess. The exact circumstances of the chess game will determine which move can be considered the best. A person’s character, environment and circumstances will determine what their meaning in life is. It won’t be the same for you, your mom or me.

I don’t play chess, but I can relate the idea to basketball, a sport that I’m extremely familiar with. You can’t simply ask what the best move in basketball is. Could it be the layup, three-pointer, crossover, dunk, steal, foul or blocked shot? Who knows. It can’t, definitively, be said for certain. The best move will be determined by what teams are playing on the court, the score, time remaining, players on the floor and who is currently playing well. Only after you have a specific situation, can you say what the best move would be. It may be the three-pointer, layup or quick timeout!

To me, that’s a good analogy for life and its meaning. Everyone will have a different and unique meaning in life, because we all have different lives. Asking for the overarching meaning in life is tough, because it probably doesn’t have an answer. The best answer, I’ve ever heard, for what the meaning in life is, is to find some purpose and make that your meaning in life. Essentially, pick something and just do that. Don’t worry about it. Don’t agonize over it too much. The more time you spend thinking about it, the more life you’re letting slip away.

Pick a purpose and make that your meaning in life. Simple. Maybe, too simple?

Being politically correct is lying

Being politically correct is lying. If you think about it, being politically correct is a form of lying. You are communicating to someone in a way that is not true to yourself nor is it true to the other person. No one is politically correct when in their natural state.

Being politically correct is a way to protect yourself from a potential social attack, and a way to hide your true personality from the other person. Somehow along the way we got convinced that being politically correct is the ideal and the desired way to behave.

No one can really relate to you being PC (politically correct) towards them, because no one is actually PC with their friends, family and others who are close to them. Being PC puts up a social barrier between the two human beings trying to connect. Political correctness prevents any real connection from occurring.

The funny thing is that people are PC in hopes of not alienating anyone, but in turn end up doing exactly what they didn’t want to do, which is alienate everyone. You think being PC is helping you throughout your social interactions but in reality it is holding you back and preventing any real connections from occurring.

Stop trying to sound all professional when you meet a new person. They don’t talk that way to their closest friends and family and neither do you. Talk to them like a real person and you will be surprised how quickly a real connection can be made. 2017 seems like a good year to stop leaning on political correctness, and instead start leaning on authenticity. I’ve been keeping this in mind every time I run into someone new, even in the workplace.

Oh yeah, happy new year to all and I hope you achieve what you would like to achieve in 2017. Even though major changes can be done anytime of the year, January is always a convenient place to begin.

An old leather wallet

A few weeks ago marked the 8th year since my dad passed away. Eight long years. It feels like a lifetime ago, but at the same time, eight years is not really that much time. If you don’t already know, my dad passing away inspired me to eventually write the essay I wrote On Death.

Since the day my dad passed away, and we were handed his belongings, I’ve been carrying his old leather wallet with me. It’s just an old leather wallet at this point but I’ve carried it with me every single day. Literally. Every. Single. Day. I’ve never left my house without it.

It’s completely empty, but at one point I used it to carry a spare car key. And I literally just carry it around as I do with my regular wallet. It’s very thin at this point so it doesn’t take up much space in my right back pocket. It still smells like a leather wallet. If you open it up, you would see that it is definitely old. It probably wouldn’t be able to carry credit cards, IDs or cash safely anymore.

I never actually used it as my own wallet. I simply emptied it out and have carried it around with me for eight years. My personal wallet has changed a few times (2 or 3), but my dad’s old leather wallet hasn’t gone anywhere. I don’t see it as any sort of burden, so I plan to continue to carry it with me.

I wonder how many people have carried a belonging of a loved one for that long? I can’t be the only one. I don’t think about it much, but hopefully it has had a positive effect on my subconscious mind throughout those eight years. At some point, I’m sure it gave me a peace of mind knowing I had it with me.

My dad passed away when I was twenty years old. I was in no way shape or form, prepared for it. It probably did give me a little comfort knowing I always had something of his with me. Today, it is more of a habit that doesn’t effect my life, so I continue to let it continue.

If I think of some great life lessons it has taught me, I’ll be sure to add them to this post. For now, this is all I wanted to say.