Needless to say, there has been a lot of turmoil these past months as we’ve seen the stock market plummet, many businesses fail, and faced the uncertainty of having a new president. Through it all I have been struck by the notion that if we base our happiness on external factors, then we are vulnerable to the turbulence that lately has been surrounding us. However, if we base our happiness on what truly matters in our lives-the people we care about, who care about us, then we are less likely to be thrown by our external circumstances.
This past Thanksgiving my family and I had a wonderful reunion in Phoenix, where three of my brothers reside with their families. Being one of seven children and part of a close family has always meant a lot to me. One of my brothers said it best when he recently stated that when we were growing up, it was always family first. It was not the parents or the kids, who were considered to be most important. Rather it was all of us as a unit.
My father always stressed how we were what truly mattered to him and that material things were just not that important. He lived by his values and when one of us would have a car accident, he would always ask us if we were all right. When reassured that we were, he would then say that he was not at all concerned about the car. He would tell us that cars can be fixed or replaced, but that we could not be. What was so amazing about his attitude was that my parents did not have a lot of money at the time and paying the insurance deductible and dealing with rising insurance costs was not always easy.
During the Thanksgiving break one of my nephews, who is almost seven, saw a homeless person for the first time in his life when he was with his family in the car. He said “I’ve never seen a poor person before. I’m not poor. I have family.” We were all so touched by his understanding that in being part of a family, he had wealth and security.
I hope you will count your blessings and focus on what truly matters during these turbulent times. I encourage you to look at what you do have control over, which is yourself and your attitude about what is going on around you. If we can take care of our internal state and remind ourselves of what is truly important, then what is going on in the external world will have less of a negative impact on our lives.
Love & Light,
“The ideal economy combines the spiritual and the material, and the best commodities to trade in are sincerity and love.”
—Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969)
The Art of Peace