Living each day like it was your last

This Sunday the mass was about the end of days. During my life I have listened to plenty of people using the gospel to talk about the end of days and the destruction of the world… Apocalypse! But they all seem to forget this little passage…


Mathew 24

36 “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.

The priest talked about the end of the world from a different perspective. He geared it more towards living your life to the fullest every day. Doing what you want to do and not waiting for thing to just happen. My Mom has actually also adopted this way of thinking after seeing someone close to her depart this earth a little to early. We do not know when the day will come when we are not in this earth anymore and we should not take our life for granted but as a gift every single day.

All the churches that talk about rapture and the end of the world drive me nuts. It bothers me the most when the churches feel the need to put a date to it. Even if they were dead on, and we all know they are wrong, why should we live our life in fear? God is not someone to be afraid of but rather someone to draw strength and love from. As a Christian I believe that Jesus message was that the most important thing in life was love.

I try to regret nothing in my life. I like to live my life looking ahead while enjoying the present but I have to admit that in the last year there were things that I regretted doing and not doing. I regret not going to Colombia when my Grandfather passed away to be with my family. I regret not doing everything that I could do to accomplish something that in my heart was the right thing to do. Hopefully it was a lesson learned and I will not ever hesitate when it comes to doing what I want to do.

A quote I read recently said, “It is better to be hated by who you are, than loved for who you are not.” I think it fits with the topic of living every day like it was your last, simply because sometime we get wrapped up on trying to make the world happy instead of living our own lives.

I am not saying that we should throw away responsibility and live a careless life; however I do think that it is better to go closer to that extreme than to live a monotonous life that does not match with our desires. I think the happiest people on earth are not those that have the most, but those that are doing what they want to do. If you surround yourself with negative people that have a horrible outlook on life, you have no choice but to start picking up some of the negativity. That is why I believe that you should stay as far away from those people as you can. We have all met them at work, school and life, and their lives always seem to get worse instead of better.

We all need to evaluate our lives whether we believe in God the same way or not. We need to see if we are living our lives to their full potential. Are you doing what you want to do? Are you leaving something for later that you should be doing now? Did you call your loved ones to tell them how much you care about them?

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Products of our environment?

I do not ignore racism. I choose to not make it a part of my life. During everyone’s thought process there are different checks and balances that one goes through when evaluating situations. Was an action performed by someone else due to the color of my skin?

I decided a while ago that I would remove that from the forefront of my mind and hopefully it would help me live a happier life. It is clear to me while reading the following story about a crime that obviously was racially charged that I have accomplished just that in some level.

(Houston Texas AP) A teenager described as a white supremacist was sentenced Friday to life in prison for savagely beating and sodomizing a Hispanic boy at a drug-fueled party.
David Henry Tuck, 18, was convicted Thursday of aggravated sexual assault in the near-fatal attack. Witnesses testified that he hurled racial insults and shouted “white power” while sodomizing the 17-year-old victim with the plastic pole of a patio umbrella.

I did not ignore the fact that the victim was Hispanic, however it does not hurt me more or less. It is a horrible crime, and it would feel just as horrible if it was because the victim was discriminated because they were purple or blue. It is hard to ignore that the perpetrator is labeled as a “White Supremacist” and also that the article has the title ” ‘Evil’ teen jailed for savage party beating.” I also do not ignore the fact that it was a party full of drugs and alcohol. It still does not excuse the action and life in prison seems like a fitting punishment for the crime.

I could go on and on about all the labels that were put on the kid that committed the crime, however the most troubling part of the article for me was the following.

He also said Tuck had an abusive, absent father and was raised by a single working mother. His only role model, Hinton said, was his older brother, a skinhead who is in jail.

Automatically the blame is diverted from the stupidity of the act to the environment. While I do know first hand that a broken home can be a very tough environment for a child to grow up on, creating all sorts of discipline problems that can develop into self destructive activities, I do not believe that it is a matter of simply environment.

I am a firm believer in personal responsibility. There are always choices that people make and even as a kid, it is still a choice to take the wrong path and eventually become a racist, criminal, etc. I don’t believe that we are a product of just environment, it is a huge influence but not impossible to override. I have known people that grew up in the worst environments that “build” the worse people, and they came out better than people with a silver spoon shoved where the sun don’t shine and “perfect” parents.

I believe in family being one of the basic pillars of our society. I also believe that a family benefits greatly by having a man and woman because kids need to have both role models while growing up. I am not against gay marriage, or even adoption by same sex couples, but I believe that a household where there is a single parent situation there is a huge higher risk for the child developing behavioral issues.

It is not only due to the statistics and studies I have read in the subject but what I have seen first hand. A relative very close to me was bounced back and forth between parents and it created all kinds of problems for him. It is to the point that he ended up looking for approval in all the wrong places and never got the love that he really needed from the people he wanted it from. Sad situation and something that hurts me inside, especially because there was so many people trying to give him love and steer him the right way. In the end I still believe it’s a choice that everyone has to make. We all have the capability of taking wrong paths, it is knowing that we are going the wrong way and making the decision to keep on walking in that direction what defines who we really are.

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POSTCARD!

Ask and you shall receive. My buddy Daniel heard me complain about people not sending postcards and guess what… during his trip to Hawa ii sent me an awesome Postcard. Look in flickr for a picture of it soon :)

Thanks! Dan

The Feast is BACK!

The Feast is back, and this week the questions came Ammy – Enjoy!

Appetizer
Do you believe there is intelligent life on other planets?
It is matematically impossible for there not to be life in other planets. I actually just had this conversation with a friend, and we both think there is life in other planets. He has a theory that they are just letting us get to a certain point before coming in and slapping our hands for screwing up the environment.

Soup
What is one thing you said you’d never do, but you eventually did?
Get Divorced. I felt that a marriage should be forever, but nobody is perfect. One thing that actually trumped the while marriage thing was the fighting and arguing. I have always said since I was a kid that I did not want a unhealthy environment for my kids to grow up on, so I still hold that one up.

Salad
Who is the teacher that influenced you the most in school?
I wish there was only one, but there is a multitude of teachers that touched my life. My Spanish teacher Gonzalo “Chalo” Orozco back in Colombia (don’t think second language, think English teacher here) who first infected me with the book worm virus, My first ESL (English as a Second Language) Ms Panagakos who believed in me more than I did myself and gave me not just guidence but friendship. My second ESL Teacher Ms Gutekans who to this day does not believe I picked up English so quickly. My Physiology teacher who in highschool pushed me harder than any of my college teachers… the list goes on. Teachers are one of the most important people in our society, I wish they were more respected!

Main Course
If you could trade places with anyone for one day, who would it be and why?
Bill Gates for sure… unlimited expending power at my fingertips… cool house… but most of all, I could donate billions to good causes.

Dessert

What is your favorite dish to prepare?
Any Colombian dish, Arroz con Pollo, Arepas, Carne en Salsa, Papas rellenas. Any time I cook Colombian food it reminds me of family, my country, and everything that I really care about in life. Not only that, but sharing Colombian food with others makes me feel like I am sharing a little of my heart… ok that was a little too Care Bear for me, now I need to pick my nose or something.

Mechanics

Owning cars is such a hassle. First they depreciate faster than perishable items, heck they are perishable items. On top of that, anything wrong with them can cost you an arm and a leg. On top of all of that, you have mechanics that want to rip you off every single chance they get.

I like having a local guy to go to, but moving to a new city is a fresh start and the search begins for a reliable shop. So, the Streets of Kansas City ended up not being very nice to the “Panter” yes without the H, but that is a whole Spanish inside joke (The monty is black) that is not for everyone, LOL. I got a pretty nasty hole on the side of one of my tires. Nothing can be done to repair it so it had to be replaced.

So I go to a place that is right next to where I work thinking, sweet I don’t have to go all over to get this taken care of… and what happens, the guy tries to rip me off. He wanted to charge me $275 just for the tire. Mind you, these are Z rated tires and expensive. Thankfully I called around and found a place where I will be going back to next time I need something done. They gave me the same tire for $167. They were helpful, friendly and just overall a place where I felt I was not being ripped off.

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