Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so of course this newsletter is going to put things into perspective. My goal here is that you call or text a loved one and tell them you love them. It doesn't have to be your mom, dad or anyone in your family. It can be your best friend or someone you are in love with. I mean think about how romantic that would be,
"Hey, I just got done reading this guy's newsletter and he really put life into perspective, so I just wanted to say, I love you and thank you for everything; without you in my life I would not be the person I am today."
It doesn't sound like much, but I guarantee you it would mean the world to the person and all the guys out there can use me as their vulnerability scapegoat. Obviously, I am being sarcastic, but we all know most guys suffer with being vulnerable, including myself. My whole life I have struggled with expressing how I feel. I felt awkward and weak when I told my parents I loved them. Honestly, I don't think I have ever told my parents how much they really meant to me. So to my Mom and Dad, I love you, thank you for all the sacrifices you have made for me. You may not have been perfect, but you gave me every opportunity possible, and for that, I love you. It has taken me 23 years to say that and the only reason I got there was because of death. Death is tragic, death is constant, and death is our teacher. Death has taught me how to love, the pain of regret, and most importantly, how to live.
This past year, my grandpa passed away due to cancer. He was a family man, married to my grandma for over sixty years. I remember asking my grandpa how he put up with one woman for that long.
"Grandpa, what is your secret to being married for so long?"
He looked at me, smiled and responded, "I take my hearing aids out."
My grandpa had an infectious smile, one that consumed you. He told every joke with that smile, and you couldn't help but smile back, even though, most of his jokes were extremely corny...
"I hope the rain keeps up.... Why?.... So it doesn't come down..."
"Did you hear about the fight on the train? The conductor punched out the ticket."
That was my grandpa for you. He told the worst jokes, but they were so bad that they made you laugh. They made you feel like a kid again. To me, it seemed that my grandpa was always a kid at heart. He never wanted to be mean, and it was rare to ever hear him raise his voice. He was kind, considerate and believed that you should treat everyone the way you wanted to be treated. It is a simple philosophy, "Treat others how you want to be treated." However, we constantly struggle with this. We are inconsiderate of others and put them down to make us feel better about ourselves. We pick on the less fortunate; we attack the weak because we become fearful and defensive. I used to be this person, and I can tell you firsthand that it is poisonous. It is cancerous, it grows and affects the people around you. Trust me, it doesn't just affect you. My friends are this way, and when you are around them you can feel the negativity. You can feel the insecurities. I am sure I am not the only person who knows someone like this, so I ask you the question,
"Why are we like this ?"
If we know how good it feels to be given a compliment and how terrible it feels to be put down, then why do we continually put people down and make them feel inadequate? Maybe it is due to our own fears and insecurities. But it is imperative that we realize there is nothing wrong with being vulnerable and giving someone a compliment. We constantly think we are the only one's in pain. We forget to realize that we are not alone in this world. I guarantee you that someone is going through exactly what you are going through. One compliment could change someone's day, it could be the difference that changes their life for the better. I mean, how good does it feel when someone appreciates your hard work or compliments your outfit? It sounds so minor and ridiculous but it is the small things that have the biggest changes.
Let's face it, we are all insecure in our own way and there's nothing wrong with that. Our insecurities are what motivate us, they are the fuel for innovation. They are the reason why I started this newsletter in the first place. Without our insecurities, we would never grow, we would never amount to anything. Stop running from them and embrace them. I want you to confront your fears and inadequacies. Remember, you have the ability to overcome them and become something you didn't think was possible. It has taken me twenty plus years to live a life of perspective. It seems that everything good in this world has a bad side and every bad thing has a good side. It is always easier to see the bad in the good versus seeing the good in the bad. And the same can be said about death. I still remember the day my mom called me and told me my grandpa had died. Anger, sadness, and regret filled my veins. I screamed in agony, I pounded the floor hoping the pain would go away.
You see, I was never able to say goodbye to my grandpa. I was never able to tell him how much I loved him. I still remember the day like it was yesterday. I was watching television with my grandpa over winter break. The cancer had taken its toll, but he still had that smile; a smile that could could make anyone happy. I wish I could of stayed longer but I had to get home to pack my things to get ready to drive back to school the next day. As I was leaving, I said my goodbyes and looked at my grandpa sitting on the couch. It seemed that time had frozen for a split second. I didn't want to accept it, but we both knew that this was the last time we would see each other. I wanted to hug him and never let go. I wanted to tell him how much I loved him and thank him for everything he had ever done for me. I wanted to apologize for every mistake I ever made. I wanted to stay and talk to him all night, asking questions about his life. I wanted to know everything. I wanted to know every regret he had, everything he wish he did. However, I did none of this, I simply said I love you and left. This pain has burdened me for quite some time, but it has taught me so much.
You can't live a life wondering what if, you can't second guess yourself. The reason I didn't tell him how I felt was because of fear. You can't let fear make decisions for you, you can't be afraid to say what you want. Who cares what people think and who cares how they react. If you have genuine, honest intentions then there is no reason to not act on your desires. We are all going to die at some point and when you look back at your life you will question your regrets. You will wish for more time, you will wish to go back and do it all over again. Remember, there is no God protecting anyone. You are not as special as you think. You are just like me and I am just like you. We share the same fears and emotions. We are all vulnerable, just because you are twenty years old doesn't mean you are entitled to life. Life can be taken at any second. You should not let this intimidate you, rather, it should motivate you to live your life to the fullest. You should meet as many people as possible, travel as much as you can, and love as much as you can. We need to smile more, we need to laugh more, we need to hug more. We need to be nicer to one another. We are the generation of change. For the first time in the entire world we have the ability to make a change, we can change the world for the better. We are all searching to be a part of something, let this be your calling. Go out and laugh, go out and love, go out and smile. Above all, go out and live.
Please share this with someone you know, all it takes is one person for change.
Thank you all for support and I wish you a happy Thanksgiving.