My Takes

Just my humble opinion…

Archive for the tag “Love”

A Thought

Think on this:

If today is the best day of your life, it won’t last. Tonight might be an inch short of hopeless; it won’t last either. Whatever has brought you to this moment is only part of the story of your life and relationship. The rest is yet to come. Put all of it—dark thorns and shining threads—into God’s hands, and he will sustain you.

Touched Your Spouse Lately?

Interpret this any way you want but many of us, make that too many of us, are not touching our wives or husbands enough or at all.  There, I said it.  You are guilty and I am guilty too.  It’s not that we don’t love them, it’s just that this rat race that we are caught up in leaves little time for us to stop and acknowledge them.  Rushing around in the morning preparing for work, we bump into them and instead of capitalizing on that touch, we say excuse me and move on.  A routine peck on the cheek to say goodbye while our minds are already at work.  Unfortunately, it sometimes take a catastrophic occurrence to yank us back to reality.  Our spouse is ill or goes missing after a walk to the the store or killed.  Then it dawns on us that we should have touched them more.  Move I Love You’s, more hugs, more meaningful goodbye kisses.

Thankfully, my wife and I are cognizant of the frailty of life and try to spend quality time together both in and out of bed.  We often acknowledge each others presence in the same room by a touch or a playful punch or kick.  Even with this, there are stretches where we still get caught up in the race.  Some days we do the perfunctory kisses and avoid each other while in the same room but mentally engrossed in something farther away.

Last Friday, as I went into the kitchen to prepare my lunch for work, I found my wife also in the process of doing same.  As she leaned into the refrigerator, I noticed how beautiful she looked in her work clothes and without conscious thought, touched her. Not a perfunctory touch.  I rubbed her back, arms and shoulders.  In that touch, I told her things I may have missed telling her because I was too busy.  In the touch, I said how happy I was that I found her and thanks for the things she does for me and for being the best mother and wife.  The touch spoke volumes while my voice was mute.

That night as we lay in bed, my wife told me that my morning touch made her day.  It made mine too.  Now it’s your turn.  Re-discover your spouse before it’s too late. Don’t be caught up in the rat race.  In the end, it means squat.  Not good with words?  Say it with touch, it’s a universal language, even the deaf can understand it.

My Take.

Finding Happiness

Happiness

Happiness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happiness is perhaps one of the most debated topics.  A quick visit on the web and you will be bombarded with ads that offer inspirations or blogs on how to find the elusive happiness.  How To Be Happy, What Is Happiness? The Happiest City to live.   Many hit songs and movies are centered around the subject. Happiness.

In this soup mix of life, happiness seems to be the base.  It is our raison d’etre or the bane of our existence.  No matter who you are and what you do, your main quest is happiness.  Even the cold-blooded murderer seeks happiness.  Unfortunately, bringing harm to others would not bring you real happiness. Happiness is also subjective, meaning it is relative to the individual.  What makes me happy does not necessarily make you feel the same. On the flipside though, making someone happy could also make you happy.  How easy is that?  That’s what I would call true happiness.

Even though it is unanimous that we are all in the same hunt for happiness, many of us are so caught up just fighting to merely exist that happiness becomes an afterthought.  A luxury only the lucky few could afford.  We seek things that either give us a false sense of happiness or a temporary happiness-fix.    I am going to make lots and lots of money, I might not be happy but I will be rich.  If I do find happiness, then bonus!  The majority of us are in jobs that give us no sense of happiness but they pay the bills.  We spend our entire lives in this situation.  Money does not equate to happiness, just ask anyone who has won the lottery.  Some even wished they had never won.

We sometimes envy celebrities and the lives they live.  They seem so happy and why shouldn’t they?  They have everything.  Well, except true happiness.  The happiness of going for a walk without having cameramen jumping out of bushes.  Walking into a local grocery store or shopping at the mall without wearing a mask…who should envy who?

Happiness is elusive but only because we make it so.  It’s actually simpler than we think.  It’s a smile, a song, a hug or making someone’s day.  Things that money can’t buy.  Then why can’t we find it?  One reason is that we really do not know what happiness is.   We seek to have the happiness of others.  We want what we think makes those people happy.  Sometimes when we stumble upon happiness, we dismiss it.  It’s too easy.  I don’t deserve this.  Why am I happy?  Another reason is that we seek to be selfishly happy. It’s been proven that making others happy brings us happiness but who really wants to make others happy? What if we make them happy but do not get any happiness out of it?

Happiness is there for the taking, barely elusive.  So how do we find it? By realizing it is not lost in the first place.  Don’t over-think it, just be happy.

My Take

 

That’s What Friends Are For

Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Fr...

credit: Wikipedia)

I have been toying with the idea of deleting some of my stagnant Facebook friends for the longest time now.  You know those on your Friends list who are just ‘there’? They never comment, they never like and they never have anything on their own page worth liking or commenting on.  You wonder why they are even your friends since you haven’t spoken to them in forever.  Well that’s where I was but never got around to it because I had more important things to do that unfriend people on Facebook.

Yesterday, I was made to feel guilty about my dastardly plan.  I posted that my father had passed and a tidal wave of comments in the way of condolences washed over my page.  Those who didn’t offer comments via my page, called or messaged me.  It was overwhelming as it was touching.  Many of the well-wishers were old friends who I hadn’t spoken to in over 15 years!  To think, I thought they didn’t even know I existed.  Some were on my ‘To Unfriend’ list!

So you see, not because your friends are stagnant and not contributing much in terms of communication, they are there for you in your time of need.  They are probably too busy with more important things than liking or commenting on Facebook.  Having a Facebook account does not mean one has to be a Facebook addict.  Right?

Marriage Ain’t What It Used To Be

Cambodian wedding

Cambodian wedding (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Remember when marriage was a sacred thing and involved extended courtship followed by an engagement?  Not anymore.  Marriage is a joke now, hardly worth the paper it’s written on.  Courtship? What’s that? Ain’t nobody got time for that!  In fact there is even a reality show called ‘Marriage At First Sight’.

“Married at First Sight” is an extreme social experiment that follows six brave singles yearning for a life-long partnership as they agree to a provocative proposal: getting legally married to a complete stranger the moment they first meet. Four specialists – sexologist, Dr. Logan Levkoff; psychologist, Dr. Joseph Cilona; sociologist, Dr. Pepper Schwartz; and spiritual advisor, Greg Epstein – create what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle and see each other face-to-face, for the first time, at the altar. Over the course of several weeks, episodes capture each couple’s journey as they go from wedding, to honeymoon, to early nesting, to the daily struggle of working on their marriage. After several weeks together, each couple must make a decision: do they remain together or decide to divorce?

Do you believe this?  Are you still wondering why this place is so messed up? Beam me up, Scotty. Quick!

Facing Our Mortality

When faced with our frailty and even mortality, it’s funny but not ‘ha ha’ funny, how we suddenly reassess our priorities.  Our all-important project now seem insignificant.  Paling in comparison to the boulder of uncertainty that now impedes us.  Just last week you told your wife that there’s no way you could get the day off work so both of you could celebrate your wedding anniversary.  Too much on your desk that needed your attention. Now today as you watch her gasp for breath in a hospital bed, there you are, away from work.  Vowing not to leave without her. Work could wait.

I know, it’s funny the way we could juggle our lives and put things in perspective once we come face to face with a life-changing moment, not only in our own lives but the lives of our loved ones.  I took my soul-mate to the hospital at 3am Monday morning as she was having asthma-like complications.  As I looked at her,   huffing and puffing her way to the car, my life, past, present and future flashed before my eyes. The ‘what ifs’ were overwhelming.  I knew she was going to be ok, but still, what if?

One of my many blessings I bragged about was that I had both of my grandmothers alive and over 100 years old. In fact, I had never had a death of anyone that was close to me since I was a little boy, and that was my 103 year-old great-grandmother, who I didn’t even live with.  Last month, the younger of my grandmother passed.  Today, her son, who is my dad, lies fighting for his life in a London hospital.  His prognosis looks bleak.

What does this all mean? Perhaps nothing. Just another page in the book of life to some.  To others, it’s an eye-opener. A time to look at what’s important and how much value to assign to them.  Unfortunately, many of us are too busy to notice until we are facing our own mortality.

Don’t worry about the past, let the present shape your future

As the new year starts, don’t look back on what is gone. We can’t do much about the past but the present is in our hands.  We can use it to shape our future and make it whatever we want. Happy New Year to you and may the best of 2014 be your worst of 2015.

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like…

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yes, Christmas is tomorrow, at least in our part of the world. It’s a very important time of the year for Christians and non-Christians alike.  Why? Because it’s all about family and friends getting together. Who doesn’t like that?  So whether you call it ‘Holiday’ or ‘Christmas’, I am not going to debate the science of it but would like to extend my warmest best wishes to all at this time.  May peace reign on you on Christmas and always.

To all my fellow Christians, I wish that the meaning of Christmas would not be lost as we celebrate with friends and family.  Let’s keep ‘Christ’ in ‘Christmas’ and remember the reason for the season.

Merry Christmas to all!

Never Judge A Book By Its Cover, A Classic Example Why.

I believe in the saying ‘Never judge a book by its cover’ but sometimes, I can’t help being human and I make the mistake of judging someone based on their outward appearance.  I know, I shouldn’t and you shouldn’t either.  Here’s a really good reason.

After filling up at a gas bar on the weekend, I went inside a store to pay.  The clerk, a young black man with a mohawk haircut and lines etched in his short beard, was chatting on the phone with his buddy, discussing plans for the evening. I stood for what seemed like a couple of minutes but was actually maybe 20 to 30 seconds.  Granted, he should have put his friend on hold immediately when I got to the counter.  As I listened to his chatter, I deduced from his looks that he was the gangsta-ish type. Why are these people even in a customer service job? I thought to myself. Inside, I was already putting up barriers to deal with this punk.

When he came over to attend to me, he asked if the gas was all I was getting.  The usual generic question. I wasn’t fooled. My barriers were still up. Punk! With no customer service skills whatsoever!  “How is your day going so far?” Asked the punk in a genuinely caring voice. Say what? Maybe it’s just a trick. I was cautious in my response and also asked him how his day was.  We had a small conversation about the day, work, and even Christmas traditions!  He was a nice guy!  With great customer service!  Maybe just a little slow on getting off the phone but other than that, a good punk.

I felt badly as I walked out the store, wondering if he had seen my demeanor when he first approached me.  Could that be why he asked how my day was?  Not so good.  I just judged you because of how you looked.  If only I was judged on my looks sometimes…

Christmas Stressing You Out? Then You Are Doing It All Wrong.

Tis the season to be jolly but jolly is the farthest thing away from what I’m seeing on most people at Christmas. Someone obviously forgot to send them the memo.

In the commerce of things, many of us get caught up in the moment and feel that Christmas is all about shopping and buying gifts. We can’t find the right gift so we get stressed out as the day looms closer. No time to buy gifts, no time to wrap them, no time to plan the dinner…stress.

It doesn’t have to be so. Remember, we are celebrating Christ’s birthday. The best gift we can give him is probably slowing down and acknowledging him. But we are so busy we forget whose birthday it is.

While stopped at a light, I saw a man struggling to get a woman up on the median.  She was down on all fours.  Vehicles swerved to avoid her until one finally stopped. Before the light turned green, I saw him leave his vehicle. Good Samaritan.  I would have done the same but I was boxed in the middle lane but would have pulled over further ahead if I didn’t see the Samaritan.

Isn’t that sad? We are so focused on our wrongly-placed sense of doing good that we miss the real chances of doing good. Helping that woman would have been a great gift.

Take a moment to watch this video. These kids are opening shoe boxes collected during the Shoe Box Drive.  This is what Christmas is and should be all about.

So if you are stressed out about what to buy, what to cook and when to clean, stop. You are reading way too much into it. It’s the total opposite of what Christmas is supposed to be.  Yes, it IS about spending.  A lot of spending.  Spending time with family and friends. Its hard to do that when you are running around like a chicken with its neck cut off.

Check out this video of some children in Burundi opening their shoeboxes. Note the excitement! Priceless!

 

Have a Merry Christmas and for Christ sakes, slow down!

 

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