An Experiment in Gratitude
Creators, remember this:
Some people are gonna hate your work. They'll turn their eyes away, close their ears, and sometimes even take the time to let you and others know how much they despise you.
But there are also going to people that love what you create. It may widen their eyes, open their ears, and even their hearts for the first time in a long time. They may even let you know how much you've changed their lives with the work that you've done and share with you stories that may inspire you to create even more.
So create. You have a purpose and don't worry about whether or not it will please everyone, because I guarantee you it won't. You can make a difference with what you love to do to the people who are meant to be changed by what you create.
As for the people who hate, forgive them, and pray that soon they'll encounter something that changes their lives for the better; that beauty will be revealed to them in everything no matter how different something may be to their standard, so that they can better love in general, rather than resort to hate due to their lack of ability to tap into good.
"I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Pat in Forbes →
Whenever I've seen people do something just for the money, they've failed because their intentions aren't driving them in the right direction. It should always be about helping people and about the passion of making others feel better. The byproduct of doing that is generating money.
Proud to say that I've known Pat since before he turned his life around. I've worked with shady marketing/sales people in the past, but Pat is a genuine guy that makes an honest living by helping others.
"The Gods envy us."
I'll tell you a secret. Something they don't teach you in your temple. The Gods envy us. They envy us because we're mortal, because any moment might be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.
—Achilles, played by Brad Pitt in the movie, "Troy"
I love love love this scene. Not because of the religious stuff or cuz Brad Pitt gets half-naked...but cuz it reinforces the idea of cherishing what you have like there is no tomorrow.
Like the final months of each major chapter in my life:
My final year of middle school before going off to boarding school.
My senior year of boarding school
My last summer vacation in Saudi Arabia before moving to the states permanently.
My final year of college.
I remember those times better than any other. I knew those moments would be my last, so I really savored every bit of it.
Unfortunately for most of those years in between, I somewhat took for granted. I kinda lived through those years by just going through the motions of things. It's just too easy to fall into that kinda trap when you have that overoptimistic mentality of "forever."
But when you realize that all things in your life could be pulled from right under you at any moment...you learn to truly appreciate everything.
Jeremy: What I Learned from Africa
From Jeremy's YouTube:
In 2007, I went to Ghana in West Africa.
My life was changed ever since I met the people of Ghana. I realized that alot of us, especially in the States, take life forgranted. We are extremely blessed with abundance of food, resources, and choices.
Then I go to Ghana, and some of these villages don't have the right medicines, barely any food, and lack of many things. But what I've realized is that they have a joy inside that isn't fueled by materialism or anything of that sort. The more you have in life, the more u want, the less you need God in your life.
In Ghana, because they have soooo little, they rely and trust in God for their survival and health. FAITH. A strong faith.
I will forever be grateful for what they've taught me through their living and their lives. I wanna go back to Ghana one day and learn more and help more and put my faith in action. God is doing great things in the lives of people there!
Jeremy "Passion" Manongdo
I know what you mean, man.
When I was in the Philippines a couple years ago, we were driving around my uncle's banana plantation and I kept noticing these little shacks all over the place. Then I'd notice clothes hang-drying around them. Then I'd notice a family of five standing around one of 'em. It'd finally hit me:
This is their home.
That realization was so intense, but it totally put things in perspective for me. I thought to myself: the car I drive today is probably worth more money than what these entire families will ever see in their entire lives...
It's so easy to get caught up in material things because we've been blessed with it our whole lives. iPods, computers, internet, cell phones, cars, microwaves, fast food, running water, air conditioning...we've been blessed with these things for so long, we forget that people
once lived still live without any of these things.
One thing I've started to wonder about myself: if I were completely stripped of all things familiar to me -- friends, family, technology, reputations -- what kind of man would I be? How much clearer would my world be?
Thanks for the reminder, J, on exactly how lucky we are, how some things are more important than others, and how God is always a part of our lives.
That is Earth seen from 4 billion miles away, photographed by Voyager 1 on June 6, 1990.
Carl Sagan, Astronomer:
"That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every 'superstar,' every 'supreme leader,' every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam."
As a kid I was always amazed by the night sky. I was fortunate enough to grow up in an area where the atmosphere wasn't tarnished by a thick cloud of smog and crap. Everynight I was able to see the better part of the sky And I got to see the Milky Way in all of its beauty. City folks never get to see that. Or when they do get the chance, they hardly take the time to appreciate it.
I'm completely captivated every single time.
Science fiction likes to talk about time-travel, but what many of us don't realize is that we do that every night. The light we see from the stars above is millions of years old. Millions. The night sky that you see today is a snapshot of what was really there millions of years ago. Hell, even the light from the sun takes 8 minutes to reach Earth. If the sun blew up right now, we wouldn't know about it until 8 minutes later. Just thinking about the shear numbers of size, time and distance that I find completely fascinating.
But there's something about this photo that really gets to me.
It reminds me of my early grade school years when I finally learned my first constellations, like Cassiopeia, Orion and the Summer Triangle. It reminds me that no matter how much we change, some things will always be the same. And it reminds me that all the pain, heartbreak and jealousy I've endured is really just insignificant in the grander scheme of things.
But most of all, it reminds me that even the smallest things in life -- just like that tiny pale blue dot in the picture -- may actually mean the world to someone else.
It's just a matter of perspective.
Inspired by Futility Closet