The Common Factor

It seems that these days our interactions are commanded by a strange invisible virus that threatens our very lives, and even though we are social beings-people who long to belong, when we meet someone our instinct to survive is more powerful than our desire to be social. Rightly so, because survival is a primary instinct that will override any other more categorized as “nice to have, but not essential.” I find myself fearful of being rude to people when they approach me, and all I do is back up as I talk to them! It is so confusing to greet someone these days because some people act like nothing is going on, and you are made to feel like a lunatic. Others do understand and follow the orders of distancing when you have to be around people, and they give you the sign of “is okay, I understand.” We are people of habit, if we are used to doing things one way, it is very hard to change overnight. Is is for this reason, that when we are asked to change how we interact with one another, is not happening as fast as we would want. We are remarkable people who react to disasters such as sickness, or economic downfall, based on what our experiences have been in the past. For example: if you haven’t experience or seeing a lot of sickness, you might be more daring in your behavior, or if you haven’t being deprived of essential things to live, you may take them for granted. One great example could be seeing in people who went through The Great Depression, long after the Depression was gone, they still went about their business being very cautious of what they did with their money.

In the same light, it is interesting to notice how other countries other than the US, react and deal with an epidemic. In third world countries, even though they lack resources and can’t even compare with the US, in money and resources, they handle the virus having more precautions and following the rules. I think this has happened because they know how bad things can get. They know a thing or two about disaster, economic instability, sickness, and have endured and passed down from generations a way of living that is more preventive than in the US. Is significant to see that the same ball has been thrown to all the people in the world, and some handle it better than others. In times of massive epidemics, it is revealed the character of governments, societies, and individuals-the very core of our survival instincts kicks in, and we all realize more than ever our humanity, frailness, and that nobody is in control except someone beyond us and this world. There is nothing to boast about, our work has been taken away, our social lives, studies, plans, and we are sent to our homes. All we have left is just “BEING,” and we are reduced to the simplicity of raw existence that forces us to see inside oneself: who we are, where are we going, what’s our purpose.

The Journey

Along the journey of my life, I came to a realization the other day. I always persevere or at least try. Upon thinking about this, I looked back through the years of my life, and remembered those earlier years of my youth. I was always pushed to finished what I started, and that created a pattern for my life where in everything I do, I see to finish it. I just never thought it would help me even to survive tragedies, inconveniences, hardship, and looses. You see, I realized that when faced with these difficulties, I push forward and try to finish the journey, because that is what was implanted in me at a young age. Parents should help their kids finish what they start even if they don’t like what they are doing because it helps teenagers create responsible behavior that could carry them through the unexpected journey that is life.

Labor day thoughts

I think that we can miss our destinies so much easier now than in the past. Why? perhaps because we are losing our ability to concentrate for long periods of time on just one thing, bombarded by Facebook posts loaded with information about everything. Our minds are shooting everywhere 24 hours a day, which is difficult for the brain to handle; so what does our mind do? It takes everything with a grain of salt. We no longer marvel at anything because our brains are saturated with shocking and extreme things constantly. We are becoming a generation of less sensitivity even though there is so much more “awareness.” Those of us who grew up without cell phones, or internet, had time to think in between TV shows, which was the only thing that seemed to stop our brains for a while, mesmerized by the movie or story for a short amount of time, but it was in full course the rest of the day.  Today, I had time to think, and I realized my inability to concentrate in what I used to like doing, and no, I am not depressed. I was just simply thinking: what about all the rest of things I can do, wanna do, would miss out if not done? You see, the thing is there is just too much that appeals to all of us out there. Is like an ocean is coming at us, and we want to grab it all! but in doing so, we grab nothing. In Spanish there is a saying that is so true and accurate. My family used to say it often, and I learned life lessons with it: “El que mucho abarca, poco aprieta.” Not a literal translation, but tells us the idea in the saying: “Jack of all trades, master of none.” Today, with our technology habits, social media, and so many apps, concentrating in one thing seems so much harder, but I realize it must be done if we are going to write the best books for the future, if we are going to be the best at anything, we must let go of the rest. In doing so, we will do the best for our future, and not settled with a destiny of mediocrity, and a world without Henry Fords, Albert Einsteins, Alexanders Fleemings, (who discovered penicillin), or Fredericks Grants, who invented insulin. Technology has also made our brains lazy, we hardly want to think about something for too long, we tell ourselves, is time to move to the next thing.

 

Deanna Altman

The Soil

 

 

Have you ever rustled with the question: How did things get so bad? How did I get here? One day, long ago, I started thinking about the trajectory of the years gone by like a mirage. I caught myself talking to myself, and meditating about the things that had happened to me.  When I did that, I figured I best talk to God while I am talking to myself.

 

 

As I sat on my chair next to my computer, I realized as I review the events of my adult life, that I have suffered quite a bit of disappointments and hardships. I realized all those hardships had changed me, influenced me to become who I am today. Then another thought came to mind: “I wonder when was the moment that I changed.” That moment when my soul just hardened, and became disillusion or numbed?  I was thinking about my past, and how hard my first divorce was; yet I recovered beautifully.  After that, my second separation and divorced happened as I tried to rescue my kids from an abusive relationship, only to find myself alone now with four children struggling to survive without any support. My poverty and lack of support was significant, and it was at this point something in my soul changed. The soil in my soul got bitter. My child-like faith damaged, that hope for the future was no longer there. In a bitter-soil soul, is a ground that the Bible says it can defile many. I always wondered how that happened. As I think about it, I realize that  a bitter-soil soul is the perfect ground to grow hopelessness, cynicism, anger, and unbelief. While all of these things are growing, it makes it easier to grow sin, perhaps a little at first, and slowly you are being a bad influence on others, defiling many. There is that question again: How did I get to this place?

Another day, in the blast of an atmosphere, with its’ blender of thoughts and things

mixing in. Another day holding on to hope and cheer like a comet that is bound for t

sky. Another day that goes by, blistering, agonizing but holding to it. To hope with it’s

higher standards, and its’ grips. Yes, In the morning, it seems possible, mesmerizing and

almost real. Hope, the lasting goal of all.

It is there, like an unreachable goal. But it is always there in the morning. High and

mighty, attainable. As the day goes by, it seems to be getting out of sight, and then, like a

ghost it vanishes. Fainted whispers to hold on to it grab at you saying: you can do it. it is

there, you can reach it. Into the night when you wonder as every spirit fades away, there

is got to be something- a shadow, a breeze, a wind.

A new morning with its arrivals, brings it back again, blasting new.  A cautious spirit that

refuses to go away. It is still there: never goes away.

A False Sense of Security

Intelligence without wisdom is a false net of security because it will fall eventually.Watching people operate at work, a thought occurred to me that would ensure everyone is treated with fairness. “Every job should be done under the umbrella of humanity.”With this I mean, not matter what job people do, it should never be out of the borders of compassion and common sense. The things we trust are like a paper crumpled after the wind comes. If all are taken out, we have nothing but a raw version of ourselves. Usually this happens when tragedy strikes and we lose things we have, but if we think about it, those things aren’t as valuable to lose in comparison to loosing ourselves buried by our things.

The Supernatural

Is it just me, or does life just seems an endless list of chores to complete? I start my morning calling out to God for a supernatural touch. Anything. But nothing seems to come. Today, I started thinking that maybe we live with the supernatural all the time. The fact that we can breathe and walk is a miracle within itself. We just don’t know it because we never stop doing it. It has become something we looked passed to experience new things. We are only aware of it when we stop doing it, and then the entire purpose of life becomes breathing well again. We have so many miracles every day. I can see the beautiful afternoon, and feel the breeze on my face; I can really be aware of it if I just look pass my daily problem or the next chore. We can’t see the miracle of our lives, if we are drowning into our thoughts, and problems. To appreciate how much we have, we can take a step back, and imagine you could not breathe very well, and someone has to take you to the bathroom, because you cannot walk. Your son asks you for your help, but all you can see is his lips moving, because you cannot hear.

Sometimes as a Christian, I remind myself to be thankful, because these are situations people live with every day, and somehow people who have no legs, manage a smile and a positive attitude!

I remember when I had to go to the hospital to stay with one of my sons when he was sick. It was a time when all I could do was wait, and help as much as I could. But it wasn’t Disneyland. I tried to be joyful anyway, while in the hospital, but I couldn’t help but think of how much time I had wasted on the outside, complaining about minor things, when I had my kids healthy, and could come and go as I pleased!

Maybe is not what we don’t have that we need to look at, but what we do have to start enjoying life.