Merry Christmas Everybody, today is a wonderful day of joy and family togetherness. I know that everyone does not celebrate Christmas, but to me the lack of a Christmas celebration would be completely foreign. On Christmas my family and I celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, and I know that he may not have been born in December, but this day just happens to be when we decide to celebrate the miracle. Whether you are a Christian or not, it is an undeniable fact that Jesus walked this earth and that he is one of the most inspirational people to ever live. The reason I have to say that Jesus is my favorite person in history is becomes he did what no other person could and he did it for everyone who ever lived. Jesus was able to draw multitudes of people without promising them any type of earthly treasure or amenity, and he is still one of the most quoted individuals of all time. Jesus showed the world how to love in a way that we still have trouble comprehending, and he managed to start a revolution without ever raising a sword. Today, we celebrate the anniversary of the day that the world welcomed the man who would change it forever. I believe that Jesus was the Son of God, and there are billions of others around the world who are willing to profess that same belief. It is amazing to consider that Jesus was just a baby in a manger some two thousand years ago, but today he is the hope of the world, and the promised messiah that many longed to see but few are willing to accept. This completes the series of my favorite people in history, Merry Christmas everyone, hopefully you enjoyed your day.
Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
― Lao Tzu
Professing your love for someone is definitely a courageous action, it takes all of your resolve to be able to lay your heart on the line in hopes that the feelings you have will be reciprocated. It is no easier to profess your love in a wedding setting, as now you have the pressure of the festivities to worry about as well. I have been to three weddings already this year, and this year of weddings will finally come to its conclusion today as I will attend my fourth of the year as a guest. Throughout all of the weddings I have attended, as different as they have been, the one commonality is the love the bride and groom have shared. The new families I have watched forming fully exemplify the words of this quote, they are both strengthened by their love, and given the courage to profess it in front of friends and family. Every one of the couples were different, and some seemed more nervous than others, but all of them were able to show how much they care for their new spouse. I know love can be shown in situations other than in marriage, but being a part of seeing something new form is an incredible experience. I wish all the love and favor to these wonderful marriages, may they be fruitful and everlasting.
Younger siblings are great, as kids they are playmates and living action figures, but as adults they can be somewhat annoying at times. I am speaking as a middle child, I know how it feels to be a younger sibling as well as an older one. I don’t necessarily hang out with my older siblings often, but when I am around them I kind of expect them to give me stuff, or pay for me, and as an older sibling I don’t mind doing any of that for the younger ones. It is almost as if we are conditioned to always treat the “babies” like babies even when they are older and doing pretty well for themselves. As a younger sibling, I respect the older ones and use them as a reference, I remember their mistakes and I ask them for advice, even though I rarely heed their advice. I am sure my younger siblings don’t listen to me either, but it is always a treat when they ask me for advice so I can see how their situation ends up when they ignore it. Older siblings can be seen as extra parents who often happen to be more lenient, you can speak to them about more than you feel you can speak to a parent about, and you can expect a more practical approach to life’s many issues. A younger sibling is like a “practice child,” it is almost as if you have a hand in raising them, but are less liable for the mistakes they make. I have the joy of being a middle child, and while there are many negative things said about this birth position, I am happy that I have a chance to take a step back and interact with my family in the many complex ways that are only possible when you are born in the middle.
A man is called selfish not for pursuing his own good, but for neglecting his neighbor’s.
There is far too common a misconception that it is selfish to desire things, or to work hard for anything, and often times people settle for much less due to the fact that they don’t think they deserve more. Selfishness is an unlearned trait, as children we are inherently selfish, we want all of the food, all of the toys, all of the time from others. Somewhere along the way, as we are trained away from selfishness, we lose sight of self worth. I have seen many people fail to attain a goal due to the fact that they don’t want to seem selfish, while in fact they are being selfish by withholding their talents, knowledge, and contributions from society. As I have grown, I have learned that one of the quickest ways a person can be derailed from their path is by calling them selfish. If a man is working hard to support his family, and somebody ignorantly calls him a selfish workaholic, he may get discouraged and start to question the worth of his work. This quote centralizes the true theme of the idea of selfishness, and in my opinion perfectly defines it, we are not selfish for desiring to go places or do things, true selfishness is when we decide to do all of these things merely for ourselves while disregarding the lives of others. If you are working hard towards a goal, there will be times when you can not be as personable as desired, but as long as your success will lead to the success of your family and community, you are on the right track.
A birthday is that wonderful day that comes once a year, a day that we have been conditioned to feel prideful for our successful completion of another year of life. I love birthdays, they are a day in the year in which you can make a complete stranger feel important by simply wishing them a happy birthday. Today is my birthday, and while this year has not quite lived up to my expectations, I am extremely grateful for the life that I have, and that I get to enjoy another year. Birthdays are a great time to celebrate with family and friends, but sometimes birthdays make us start thinking of the many tasks we have set for ourselves to compete by a certain age. I have to admit, I am nowhere near where I thought I would be 10 years ago, but I have experienced and grown far more than I would have ever imagined. It is useless to sit and think if the “should have beens” in life because there are too many variables to our existence, and we can not change the past. Each new year gives new chances to set new goals and complete old ones, this year I am going to make sure that I leave no stone unturned as I march on to my goals and approach my next birthday. It feels good to be a year older, I am going to relax today and prepare for the inevitable celebrations of tonight.
Labor Day weekend is the unofficial last weekend of the summer. While summer actually ends on September 22nd, this weekend it is definitely the beginning of the end of summer fun. With college students already back to school, and everyone else soon to follow, everywhere you go seems much less like summer in spite of the still tepid temperatures. Many people use Labor Day weekend as a time to barbecue and spend time with family, I on the other hand like to just sit back, relax, and reflect on the summer fun that has come and gone. I know I have stated before that I don’t like extreme temperatures, hot or cold, so I really enjoy the transitional periods between New York’s most extreme seasons. As the city transforms from a tropical play land into a more mellow fall gallery, I love to remember the adventures of the summer past. This summer was quite eventful and definitely enjoyable, but somehow it always seems like it was not long enough. When I look back on the activities of summer, I realize that while they all lasted a perfect amount of time, the memory can never truly recreate the enjoyment of each moment. Memories are always great, but it is most important to make sure that each moment is given an adequate amount of time to be cherished. Summer is just about gone, hopefully everyone had an enjoyable time, and took the time to actually enjoy it since, much like summer, moments come and go, but the memory is never the same as enjoying a moment in the present.
When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.
It is honestly too easy to get upset at a ringing alarm, especially when you thought you would get enough sleep the previous night. This morning, as I was snapped from my sleep by the abrupt ringing of my alarm, I had to keep myself from expressing the extreme annoyance I felt at the time. I found that rather than enjoying the new day, I was stuck in a mode that desired the previous night’s sleep. I am generally a morning person, so I can quickly go from sleep mode to wake mode without a long period of grogginess, but this morning and the stresses of the approaching day lead to my temporary lapse in mood. This quote reminds me of what I am being granted with the rising of the Sun, and with the waking of my eyes each morning, I am really being given a privilege to change the world based on how I decide to approach it. When I think about the fact that there are people who are not able, and will not be able to wake up today, it makes it hard for me to actually be annoyed that I have awoken. There is always going to be trials and stress in life, but as with everything, there is no reason to dwell on the bad things, because there is too much to be thankful for in life. Good morning, make sure you enjoy this beautiful day that you have been given, no matter what the circumstances of yesterday may dictate.
You don’t choose your family. They are God’s gift to you, as you are to them.
Family is definitely a gift, it is not a simple task to find a group of individuals who have the ability to understand you without much explanation, but family is that group that was made to just get you. The bond of a family can not be mistaken, as these people share more than just genetic material with you, many of our mannerisms and beliefs are forged and fostered by our family traditions. In a sense, you are literally an extension of your family, and all of your descendants will carry something that was part of those who have gone before you. There are times when I wonder about the traits that I have gotten from my great grandparents, and how my ancestors would have handled certain situations, but I know that they probably would have done similarly to me. I am a product of my past and my future descendants will be an aggregation of the gifts I have gained from my parents, and those I’ve learned on my own. I know that family members can sometimes be annoying or upsetting, but when you think about it, they are forever all you have. Family is truly a gift, and while gifts can sometimes be surprising and unexpected, they are always something to be cherished. Be thankful for the family you have, biological or otherwise, and cherish those who care for you, these people are the greatest gifts you may ever receive.
Creativity is always a leap of faith. You’re faced with a blank page, blank easel, or an empty stage.
A blank page is one of the scariest and most powerful tools known to man. When placed in the wrong hands, a blank page can bring destruction, but in the right hands it can be turned into perfection. It is never easy to create anything, but when you fearlessly face a blank page, it can become a great ally. A blank page or an empty slate, is the highway that leads to creation, and once the mind is on the right track, great things can be made. One of the most daunting aspects of creation is having an idea that needs to be expressed, but seeing nothing more than an empty space. I find it both terrifying and exhilarating to see an empty space waiting to be filled while I have yet perfected the idea I am trying to convey. Creativity in itself is always hard, because anything created has to be consumed by others in some way, and there is never a way to gauge how others will comprehend what you have created. Anytime you face an empty space or a blank page, the easy thing to do is leave it the way it is, but when you allow your mind to work with that clean slate, you are always more satisfied with your creation than the emptiness that once existed. It is always scary to start something from nothing, but no matter the outcome, it is always much more rewarding than letting an idea stay locked away in the mind.
According to recent reports, the New York Giants quarterback, Eli manning, wants to be the highest paid player in the NFL, and I find that to be completely ridiculous. I may be one of the biggest Giants fans around, and I have nothing but respect for the play of Eli Manning, but I really don’t think he deserves to be making the most money in the sport. The way contracts are set up, it is almost impossible for the best player at a time to be the highest paid for long, but Eli can’t be classified as the best player let alone best quarterback in the league at this time. The problem with Eli Manning is not his talent, he has shown multiple times in his career that he can play at as high a level as any, and that be can be the best player on the field at any given moment. The issue with Eli is his consistency. In both of the years that Eli was named Super Bowl MVP, his stat line was mired by his wildly inconsistent play, there were some games in which he looked like an all time great, and others that had him looking like a scared rookie playing in the wrong league. In my opinion Eli manning is a fantastic qb who definitely deserves to be paid more than some players that are currently making more than him, but in order for him to make the most money in the league, he must show that he can consistently play at the level of the players that should be making such high demands.