Thursday, July 23, 2009

Gratitude for what I have...

I met for dinner with an old friend the other day. Without going into detail, it got me thinking about what I have versus what how things could be. I have my health, I have 2 jobs (crappy-paying though they may be), I have friends and family willing to help me as needed (which I try desperately not to abuse), and I've managed to keep going without government assistance. I've never had to apply for unemployment, I've never had a financially crippling medical emergency (knock wood).

I've also never been without a job for more than 2 weeks in my entire adult life, and beyond that I've had between 2 and 5 jobs at a time over the past decade. On top of that, while the entirety of Michigan is in a labor panic and everyone is looking for work, I have 3 solid leads on better jobs. I don't have them yet, and none of them are what you'd call well-paying careers, but they pay a damn sight better than what I'm making now, but one of them is bound to turn out. In a state with 15.2% unemployment, and living 1/2 mile from a city with over 25% unemployment, I consider myself ridiculously lucky.

In the mean time, I feel loved, appreciate, and respected for who and what I am. THAT is the biggest gift. As long as the basics are covered (food & shelter for me and my kids), if there is love and respect, I will always get by.

And how do I come about this love and respect, you may ask? The answer is simple:

I love and respect others.

I've pontificated on Karma and what-goes-around-comes-around plenty of times. Showing love and respect for those around you, no matter their differences, breeds something beyond goodwill. It goes beyond Biblical tenants of "turn the other cheek" and the more universal "do unto others" philosophy. It creates a personal mental state of peace. It allows one to better analyze one's own thinking and be more objective about one's personal beliefs.

Psychologists often cite that actions create belief. For example, if you make yourself smile, you'll begin to feel happy. That's a bit simple (and not always true, of course), but the concept isn't without merit. If you treat others with respect, even if you completely disagree or are even morally repulsed by their ideals, you may allow yourself to open you mind to more possibilities. It doesn't have to change who you are to consider a point of view you disagree with and you don't have to change your opinion to show respect. On the contrary, being weak-willed doesn't garner respect. However, not only will SHOWING respect by letting others have their say, not discounting their ideals out of hand, and paying honest attention to what they are trying to communicate, open your own mind to new possibilities for growth, but you've gained the appreciation of a wider circle of people, which can be beneficial for all later on.

I've started to ramble and get off topic. Hell, it's my blog. :)

Anyway, today, despite having to work to days of doubles in a row and being drastically underpaid for it, I'm happy. Not because I'm forcing myself to smile, but because grateful for what I have.. More than that, I'm realizing why I have the blessings I do: because I show love and respect at every opportunity.

I highly recommend it

1 comment:

My Idiot-syncratic Synaptic Firings said...

I found this on on an entry concerning karma:

"The Bible talks a lot about reaping and sowing. Job 4:8 says, “As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it.” Psalm 126:5 says, “Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.” Luke 12:24 says, “Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!” In each of these instances, as well as all the other references to reaping and sowing, the act of receiving the rewards of your actions takes place in this life, not in some future life. It is a present-day activity, and the references make it clear that the fruit you reap will be commensurate with the actions you have performed. In addition, the sowing you perform in this life will affect your reward or punishment in the afterlife."

So, you can see this meshes well with the definition of karma that you subscribe to. And this is from pre-Christian Judaism, an older religion than is Buddhism.

Just my 2 cents. Feel free to keep the change.