Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Perspective

I talked to my father on the phone yesterday for nearly an hour. Our relationship runs hot and cold, but yesterday the temperature was just right. 

I cried a bit over unemployment rates and frustrations with our lack of health care benefits... I whined about  how I'm tired of struggling financially.

He let me whine and complain.


He said things like, "Money is just a temporary object... You either have it or you don't."

and

"Good things happen to good people... Stay positive and positive things will happen for you."

"This is a temporary situation, things will get better, you have to believe that."

Despite his flaws, my father is one of the most generous people I have ever known.

When I was younger and would come to him for spending money, he would make a deal with me. He would say, "I will split whatever it is that I have in my pocket with you." 

Sometimes it would be $10.00, sometimes $100.00 or more.

Generous.

He would give you the shirt off of his back and make you feel like it's no big loss because he will just get another one. It's only a shirt after all, you know?

To put my own financial situation into perspective, listen to this.

My father is a Vietnam Veteran who lives off of his Social Security check, which doesn't even cover his mortgage.

Alone.

He has lived in the same home for nearly twenty years and he is loosing it...

His home that is.

He can't afford to live there any longer.

Despite the obvious negativity that surrounds his situation,

He stays positive and accepts his life for what it is.
By the conclusion of our conversation, I felt like I had my life back in perspective.

Hopeful once again.

This made me think about something that I had read awhile back...


  " Be kinder than necessary for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

How true is that?

So...

This afternoon when I was headed to pick Sebastian up from school, I decided to treat myself to a little afternoon pick me up via the Starbucks drive- thru...

When I looked into my rear view mirror, I saw a woman sitting alone in her car, and I had an idea.

I have heard of many other people "paying it forward", and creating unexpected optimism and positivity in their lives and in the lives of complete strangers. 

When I pulled forward to pay for my drink, I asked the barista if I could also please pay for the drink that the woman behind me had ordered.

She smiled and said, "She is actually purchasing a gift card."

Me: "Oh, what denomination?"

Barista: "$10.00"

Me: (Biting my lip and trying to remember the balance in my checking account...)
"Ok."

Barista: "O.K. what? You want to buy her gift card?"

Me: "Yes, please."

Barista: "Wow, that is really nice of you."

Me: "It's my pleasure."

Driving away I thought about the surprise that the woman must have felt when the barista told her what had happened. I wonder if it made her day... I wonder if it made her feel even for a moment that life; though sometimes turbulent and mundane, in a split second can become wonderful and exciting again. I wonder if she talked about it over dinner and I wonder if she will do the same for someone else sometime.

I hope so.

I'm keeping this reciept as a reminder that a good attitude and good fortune are simply a state of mind.
Half Empty?

Or

Half Full?

Is there really even a choice?

I have a million different things to be grateful for. No amount of money could replace the beauty and the love that I have been shown.

And once again, I am focused on the beauty of everyday life...
Everything is going to work out to be just fine.

Everything happens for a reason.

This, I know for sure.

(Thanks Dad.)

6 comments:

Laura said...

thank you for a beautiful post & the reminder to concentrate on what we do have instead of what we do not.

Misty said...

Lovely post on perspective. Blessings do abound when you look at things that way. And it is always wonderful to have family and friends to be able to share our frustrations and fears with, and be uplifted by their kindness of listening and words of caring. Thank you for sharing yours.

fairfieldhouse said...

Corey,

Your words pull at my heart strings. I grew up with a man much like your father - very generous. If he had it and you needed it, it was yours. He lived for the moment. He, like your father, knew that everything passes, nothing is really ever yours to keep. There will be good and bad times.
I hope the woman whose tab you paid passes the kindness on. I think the act of giving is a gift to our soul; whether it's something you paid for, created, a kind word, a smile, or love.

Thank you for sharing. Thank you for giving us a part of your world everyday.

Deborah

Patti said...

My dear and beautiful friend,
Your perspective is absolutely right on. I know that since losing my job some year and a half ago, I have had some amazing gestures of kindness and love shown to me. It is the true beauty that I believe our world is meant to be.

While I would certainly never wish hardships or struggles upon anyone, I do hope that these challenging times in our country's economy will keep us mindful of the really important things . . always.
That saying about treat everyone you meet a little kinder, because everyone is fighting some kind of battle. I think it is so very true and while we can't fight their battle, maybe we can make the battle somehow more endurable through kindness and genuine caring for one another.

Thank you so much for always being that kind of friend to me and to our family. I am truly blessed to call you my friend.

Crafty Mom said...

Thank you! I'm sorry your father is losing his home. I'm sorry you are struggling financially. Unfortunately (or fortunately? - since it is comforting) you and your father are not alone. I have to agree with your father. Money is something that you either have or you don't. Right now, I don't have any. Tomorrow, I'll have a fair bit. It's payday. We'll pay some bills, then likely won't have much left until the next payday.I love the quote about being kind because everyone's fighting there own battle. Sometimes we all just need a little perspective.

~Cow Moose~ said...

Thank you for a such an honest post on how we view our situations. So often I fall victim to not seeing the trees for the forest. Thank you for the reminder to step back, and that we go through all that we do, for a reason!
Good things DO happen to good people, and I wish that all the best comes to you!