Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Appreciating Simplicity

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Life seems so fragile. In the last few months, so many of us have experienced death in one way or another. Whether a friend or loved one, or someone we knew or knew of, or a public figure who influenced us, it seems death has impacted so many of us. Today, we lost Senator Ted Kennedy, and it only seems right that I encourage everyone reading this to enjoy what and whom you have.

It is so simple to not appreciate the simple things. I wonder if perhaps we might begin to become a more appreciative people—realizing we are not invincible. Of course, I fear that just as we became a nation of humility in the months following 9/11 then soon allowed ourselves to go back to business as usual, we may remain silent for a time but will soon allow the chaos to deafen that silence.

Next Monday will be the 25th anniversary of the day Drs. released me from the hospital. Many days, too many in fact, I forget to be thankful for the Drs. and nurses who fought to save my life, the person I will never know who gave blood for my transfusion, the parents of other patients who helped my mother, my Aunt Linda for moving her and her then 5 yr. old son to San Diego from Spokane to help my mother with my recovery. Most days go by just like any other day. But some days I am thankful for my sight, ability to walk, and so many other things. I try to be thankful every day, but most days it's just business as usual.

Amidst all of the death that has loomed over this nation in the past several months, and even in recent years, don’t forget to appreciate what you have. It all fades so fast. I guess my point is to appreciate life, don’t take it for granted, and never let the chaos around you deafen the silence of humility within you.


Keep connecting,


Erick

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Pay It Forward Withhout Spending A cent!

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So Many Ways To “Pay It Forward”

I was talking to one of those people that I always get a take away from, Danielle, and she shared with me a great idea for paying it forward. Danielle has always impressed me with her “old soul”, and wisdom beyond her years. Like many, Danielle shared that she doesn’t have as much money to spend as in times past (I think many of us can say the same!).

Danielle shared with me how she was in line at Macys, and the lady in front of her had almost $200 for the bill. The cashier told the woman that she needed a coupon to save $40. The woman didn’t have the coupon, but Danielle did.

Danielle carries numerous coupons with her all the time, and was happy to share the coupon with the woman (that’s her nature). The woman tried to decline, but Danielle insisted telling her: “I have tons of these for just such occasions”. The woman was appreciative, and Danielle felt good about “paying it forward” without spending a dime!

After I heard that story this morning, I thought what a great idea. There must be other ways you can pay it forward, and also probably do it without spending a dime. Think about it, and, if you come up with a good idea on how to pay it forward cheaply, please share – consider it another way of paying it forward!



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

My Orange Skateboard Helmet

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After I learned how to walk again, I continued to make my way around my childhood home with a walker, while my legs became stronger. Sometimes, when I needed to get from one place to another quickly, I used my wheelchair. I learned to do wheelies in my chair and became pretty good with it. Sometimes, I walked to strengthen my legs; and when I did, I wore an orange skateboard helmet.

The fall after Drs. released me from the hospital, after my legs became strong enough, my cousin Paul, who had moved to San Diego from Spokane with his mother, taught me how to ride a bicycle. The first time I rode a bicycle without Paul helping me, I rode around the bottom of our cul de sac, while Paul ran to a neighbor’s house, and told them to come out and watch. I fell off the bike and hit my head. Luckily, I wore my orange skateboard helmet. After my mom bandaged me up, I got right back on that bike and started riding again.

Throughout the past couple of years, so many of us have fallen off of our proverbial bikes. We’ve lost our jobs, our savings, our families, and perhaps so much more. If you watched the Oprah episode last week about the couples who had lost their millions, you heard them say that along with those millions they lost thoe pseudo-friends who came with the money. It’s important that when we fall off of our proverbial bicycles, we get back on and continue to ride. It’s even more important that we wear a helmet—those friends who will be our friends regardless of how much money or power we wield. Those are the friends who are going to protect us when we crash.


Until next week,

Erick

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Friendly Perspective

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If you’re just joining this blog, I am currently doing a series. Feel free to read my blogs from previous weeks to catch up.

Here goes . . .

I was asleep (in a coma) or dazed and confused during most of my time in the hospital, so my stories are limited. I do remember a significant story about August 31—the day the Drs. released me from the hospital. That afternoon the hospital threw a party for me and another boy they released. We said goodbye to those who had taken care of us and become our friends, we at cake, and a local news station sent a reporter to interview us.

After the Drs. warned my mother that I would not begin walking for 2 years and I would remain a vegetable, she wheeled me out to the car, strapped me in, and we took off. Sometime later, driving north on Interstate 5, the car ran out of gas, and my mother coasted over to the side of the freeway. She got out, came around to my side of the car, unstrapped me, and carried her 7 year old child (me) down the shoulder of the freeway toward a gas station.

Moments later, a beige car pulled over to the side of the freeway, my mother strapped me into the back, and she got into the passenger’s side. I didn’t understand how my mother could be so calm, sitting in a car with a guy who had a shotgun between him and my mother. I didn’t say anything about it. Well, that I can remember. Sometime later, it dawned on me that the man who picked us up was an undercover cop. I wonder if subconsciously his help left such an impression on me that that’s why I spent many of my childhood years wanting to be a police officer, and even now I have a deep seeded respect for police.

Sometimes, when help comes our way, we don’t realize it’s the help we need because of our perspective on life. That’s why it’s important to surround ourselves with people who have our best interests in mind and can identify others willing to help us. Whether it’s finding a trustworthy mortgage broker, realtor, other person to do business with, or potential employee, friends are important. Had it not been for my mother, I would have never gotten into that beige car. Of course, I wouldn’t have been there had it not been for her, but I am sure you understand my point. Friends are important because they have our best interests in mind, and they can give us a different perspective on our circumstances.

It’s easy, in this current economic climate, to hide our money and not trust anyone with our business. Of course, hiding our money is part of the reason we’re here. Perhaps if we surround ourselves with people we trust, then ask them to help us find other trustworthy people to do business with, we can begin to come out of this economic funk.

 

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