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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Everything happens for a reason

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

One of my favorite quotes in Spanish is “No hay mal que por bien no venga.” The words flow a lot better in Spanish, but when translated it means that nothing bad happens unless something good is right around the corner. I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about life and what is to come. I went back and read this post I did over a year ago and realized that I have not been doing everything I need to do to become successful in life.

I have compromised who I am for the sake of everyone around me. I have so many times made decisions that are mostly selfless and thought that they would bring me happiness but they did not. For once in my life I feel like I need to care just about me and what I want to do with my life. I want to be able to say that the actions I take from today on, are based on the pursuit of my happiness and not that of what everyone around me wants or thinks.

I think that you should follow your dreams. I want to do so much in life when it comes to travel, fun, knowledge, and family. I finally have turned a corner in my life when I feel that things are going to start looking up. I can start once again thinking that unconditional love is not a pipedream but a reality.

Today at lunch I was talking to some of my co-workers, and one guy said he had never experienced unconditional love until the day he had kids. I felt really bad for the man; to grow up and not ever feel unconditional love is a pretty sad thing to me. He was very ok with it, especially since he said that you don’t miss what you don’t know exists. I have felt unconditional love from my family since the day I was born, granted not everyone is that lucky, but I think everyone should.

Maybe that is what is missing from this society, more love, more unconditional love. I guess some people might think that unconditional love does not exist, but I do believe in it because I have experienced it. I know my family loves me no matter what. I even know that some of my good friends also love me that way. I would not trade this feeling for anything, and I think I am not wrong for expecting complete unconditional love out of the relationships that matter in my life.

I guess I ended up going on a rant, but my point with this quote is a mixed message. For one I believe in destiny, but I also believe that we make destiny happen… confusing… read the quote and really think about what it ultimately says.

Character

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

One of the definitions that Webster gives to the word character is “moral excellence and firmness.” At times I feel like all of America has forgotten the notion of moral and ethics. I have met so many people in life that have little of not character to speak of. We should all have a sense of what is right and wrong and stick to it.

Something that helps build character is environment. If we grow up in an environment where it is ok to swear for example, it is likely that we are going to continue that behavior. I know for a period of time I was with a group of friends that dropped an f-bomb a minute and I picked that habit right up. It did not help that Beavis and Butt Head taught me a lot of the English I know. I have toned down the use of the word but it still slips out once in a while.

I have been talking with one of my friends about what makes us up, what is it that we are all about, what makes someone whole. Along with morals, honesty and beliefs I think character is one of the most important characteristics on an individual’s personality. Emerson’s quote really strikes a cord and almost defines the word character for me.

I believe I get a lot of character from my Grandfather. He used to always remind me that everything in life can be taken away from you except knowledge. He always instilled in me the notion of how important education and the gathering of knowledge was. Next week I will start practicing martial arts again in a regular basis as well as relearning French. I think it is important for me to use my time in a constructive manner and fortify all of who I am. If I ever feel like half of the man that my Grandfather was, I would feel truly accomplished. Every time I think of him I think of character, he always stood firmly behind everything he believed.

Taken for Granted

“An unexamined life is not worth living.”
-Socrates

Some years ago something horrible happened. An eight year old very close to my family became very ill with a nervous system disease and ended up living a shorter life than he ever should have. My Mom was very deeply affected by this event and has ever since reminded me that life is short and I should not take it for granted.

I am a dreamer and think that life should be lived happy every single day. While I understand how unrealistic that is I also believe that it is a good goal to have. If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, daily laughter should save as a trip to the therapist.

I have to agree with Socrates on his statement that you have to examine your life to make it worth it. It is important to look at your life and make sure that you are within your morals and beliefs as much as possible, and make sure that you are striving to achieve the goals you set.

We have all heard the quote “You don’t know what you have until is gone.” But to understand is true meaning you really have to have suffered a true loss. In the past couple of years I have lost some people very close to me and every single time it has reminded me not to take things for granted. Counting your blessing should be part of your daily routines, because you never know what tomorrow brings and it is important to appreciate and not take for granted all that you have.

Fear

“Courage is not the lack of fear. It is acting in spite of it.”
Mark Twain.

This has been one of those topics that I have not been able to truly flesh out but I feel that it needs to be talked about. If you have not see this video about how easy it is to bypass most locks, that is one of the digg top links, you need to before you keep on reading.

Scary, isn’t it? The thought that what you think makes you safe is really not all that secure. I personally feel that like with computer security, it is only a matter of time and someone’s persistence to get through any type of security. If it was made by man, it will be broken by man.

Our country runs on fear right now. We are so afraid of terrorism that we have changed the way we think. I remember how many people would use the line “keep on living just like before of the terrorist’s win.” but look at your life now and see how much it has changed. Starting with gas prices, airport security, police procedures and the military conflict, our life in the U.S. is a lot different after 9-11 and the terrorist did just what they intended to do, they terrorized us.

What is worse is that the majority of the population in this country was so already full of fear before even 9-11. I am not a Michael Moore fan, but his documentaries as propaganda filled as you might want to consider them do have some interesting ideas. I remember one of them being the locked door piece of one of their documentaries. He goes to Canada to see if it is true that most people there don’t lock their doors, and the movie showed that several people did not. Now, that could have been just movie magic, but from personal experience I know that if the doorbell rings in a house in the U.S. everyone is surprised and almost startled by the premise that someone is at the door.

Back in Colombia you would have a parade of people come through your door at any given day. People would show up to visit for an afternoon unannounced all the time. You knew who your neighbors were and security came on the way that you knew everyone in your block, not from ADT. There was a couple of times when someone made the mistake of trying to steal around our neighborhood in the middle of the day and ended up getting pretty beat up and tied up to a post for the police to come and pick them up. Would you feel more secure if you had a united neighborhood always looking out for you, or the paid friend you make out of ADT?

While it is true that we have the internet available to get all the international news we want, most of America still does not get a fair world view from the news media. Perfect example is how Newsweek feeds their U.S. readership a story about a Celebrity Photographer and the rest of the world a story about how the Taliban is gaining control of Afghanistan again. It seems like in this case the media was trying to protect us from fear or maybe since the Taliban is not using a tumble key to open our door it should not be news.

Fear is a powerful emotion and right now I believe our country is being dominated by it. The things that we should be afraid of must people are not even aware of. I guess as long as we are scared about “terrorism” but can go back to seeing what celebrity got a DUI this week, or who broke up and hooked up, everything will be ok.

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