A woman asked me recently, “How do you stay happy all of the time?” My response was, “I’m not happy all of the time.” I am no different than anyone else when it comes to varying emotions. However, God has blessed me to use the tools He has given me to always see the glass as full. Prayer, writing, reading, talking to family and friends, and trying to help others by focusing on my business.
These are some of the things He uses to remove stress and worry from my heart. As a life coach, it is part of my job to remain optimistic, and to help my clients and people in general to do the same. I was looking at my Twitter feed the other day and Chelsea Handler wrote, “We are facing two pandemics in this country.” She was referring to Covid-19 and systemic racism. In my limited view, I am witnessing a third on the rise, pessimism.
It has gotten to a point where I’m beginning to see a trend on social media, people complaining about having to wear a mask. What is going on? Has it gotten this bad where many of us believe that doing something to protect ourselves is a reason to complain? I recently interviewed CEO of Junuri Juliette Nelson, and she said to me in a nutshell, that we must use our gifts to help others be better. She mentioned how my podcast, The Heart Matters, is needed. Of course, I don’t see it that way, but I understood her statement. We don’t have to be doctors, nurses, or even social activist to be a part of the healing process in this country or around the world. However, there are two things we do need. Be optimistic and use our God given gifts to uplift others. With that in mind, there are two traditions that I reflect upon when I need to put my position in life in perspective. Today, I just want to discuss one.
The tradition states, “If you reach the morning and you find yourself with good health, provisions for that day, and safety, it is as if you have the whole world and everything in it.” This tradition mentions four things of tremendous benefit. If we have them, we are truly blessed. So, let’s unpack this statement.
- If you reach the morning… That is an invaluable blessing. That God has chosen to give us another day. To be better, to repent, to make amends, to help someone, to be with our family and loved ones, etc. How many times have we witnessed someone being alive one day and gone the next? Let us not forget, the next day is not promised to any of us. So, if we see another morning, we should relish it. Relish it by using it as an opportunity to improve ourselves and others.
- You find yourself with good health… Covid-19 has taken so many lives in a horrible way. Not to mention other health issues that people we are close to or are acquainted with suffer from every day. If this is not our case then indeed, we should be grateful we can do things and enjoy the good condition that millions of people don’t enjoy. I can walk, talk, breathe without laboring, see, just to name a few. There are so many that are deprived of the health benefits that many of us take for granted.
- Provisions for that day… Most of us not only have provisions for a day but we have food in the refrigerator and cabinets for weeks and months. There are people in this country who wait for restaurants to dump their trash at night so they can eat what other people have thrown away. People, here in our great country (America) who stand on corners with I need food signs and some of them haven’t eaten for days. We are so blessed if we can go in the kitchen and make a sandwich, have a bowl of cereal, or cook a meal for ourselves and our families. Look around, there are so many reasons to be optimistic and thankful.
4. And safety… Let us just think about the health care workers for a moment. When they go to work, they are not safe. Even if they take all the safety precautions recommended by the CDC, they are still in danger. Think about Brianna Taylor. She was in her home, a place that she believed was safe, and then, it wasn’t. Many of us go to work, we go out to buy food and pay bills, we take a ride in our car, we take a walk, and we make it back safely to the safety of our homes. There are millions of people all over the world who’s lives are in danger every day.
I’m not insinuating that everything is peaches and cream and that we shouldn’t want to improve our situation. After all, it is part of our natural inclination as human beings to want to improve our condition. This is one of the ways Satan tricked the mother and father of humanity Adam and Eve.
He told them that God had only forbidden them the tree because it would make them immortal and like the Angels. Adam and Eve believed the Angels were better than them. Due to their desire to improve their state, coupled with immortality, they ate from the tree.
The point I’m trying to make is, we should be content with what we have while still trying to do better. There is no contradiction there. I recently made a video about all of us having at least one superpower. But how can we see it and use it to help others if we are drowning in pessimism and ingratitude?
There is another tradition that states, “Don’t look at any good deed as insignificant.” A kind word, helping someone in need, using a gift we have to make another person’s life easier. All of it is good. Seeing what’s going on in the world, it is indeed disturbing. However, after my talk with Juliette, I am more determined than ever to use the gifts God has given me to make the world a better place. It’s a lofty goal. But through God’s grace and hard work, I know He will bless me to do it. One step at a time.