Life is Beautiful

In Life Lessons, Pursuit of Happiness on January 14, 2010 at 6:17 am

“There’s nothing like a funeral to make you feel alive…just open your eyes…and see that life is beautiful” (lyrics from the song “Life is Beautiful” by Sixx: A.M.). As morbid as this sentiment may be, it is also true.  It is human nature to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life.  It is also human nature to blow little annoyances out of proportion, until tragedy strikes and we are reminded that there are others in the world that would gladly trade places with us.  Yesterday was one of those days for me.  Even though I have made a conscious decision to change my mindset, I realize that I am merely a work-in-progress.

My day started out dealing with some difficult people in business-related matters.  Later in the day, my wife got a speeding ticket for going 28 in a 20 inside of a school zone.  I was annoyed that the cop who gave her the ticket was being very friendly, making small-talk, and touting the fact that our current town was voted in the top places to live by Money magazine (after he found out that she just moved here from New York).  I thought that a friendlier gesture would have been to let her off with a warning.   On top of all of this, an ongoing issue with a long-time friend was brought to the forefront once again.

None of these things that happened yesterday were earth-shattering.  They were just little annoyances that were exaggerated by the fact that they were all happening at the same time – creating a “snowball” effect.  Days like yesterday happen without making a lasting impact on anyone’s life.  Someone recently told me about a litmus test to use to evaluate how bad something really is in the larger scheme of things – ask yourself how you will feel about what happened five years from now.  Will you even remember it?  In my case, probably not, but the same cannot be said for everyone’s day yesterday.

While I was dealing with some minor annoyances, 1800 miles away an entire country was having a day that will be remembered for many years to come.  It is estimated that one third of the population of Haiti is in need of emergency relief, and as many as 500,000 lives may have been lost (although it is too early to say for sure).  For the people of Haiti, and those with close ties to the country, I imagine that yesterday will be remembered the same way that Americans remember 9/11.  Haiti was already the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere before yesterday’s earthquake.  It’s hard to imagine what will become of the country in the wake of this tragic disaster.

In retrospect, my day wasn’t really bad at all.  I will not remember anything that happened yesterday five years from now.  In all honesty, I probably won’t remember what happened yesterday five months from now.

Sometimes it takes a shocking turn-of-events to put our own lives in perspective and realize that “Life is Beautiful.”

  1. Thank you for mentioning the Haitian people in your blog Adam. I have family there that we still haven’t heard from. The images I see on CNN of my people’s country is disheartening. I can’t imagine being trapped beneath that concrete, and knowing that no one can help me. It puts me in panic mode. I am constantly praying for the country and its people. Many of these people had nothing before the earthquake; I can not see how those that survived this tragic earthquake are going to live while Haiti is being rebuilt. I have friends that are quick to get on a plane and go find their family members who they have yet to hear from, but I keep urging them to resist that desire. Right now, as frustrating as it may be, what we need to do is send funds to organizations (like the Red Cross) who are already established in Haiti, are experienced in handling these types of situations, and have a game plan to go ahead and do what they do best. A bunch of novices with emotions running wild, busting into Haiti without a plan is a reaaaaally bad idea. Countries around the world are sending experienced people to conduct search and rescue missions, and help the Haitiens survive this tragedy. If anyone is inclined to help Haiti, the best thing to do at this time is pick up your cell phone, and text “HAITI” to “90999” to donate $10 to the Red Cross. You can do it as many times as you would like to. I thank you in advance for your support. And by the way Adam, my litmus test in times of disappointment and adversity is to stop and ask myself, “Did anyone die?” If the answer is “No”, then I can move on and keep it moving. Works everytime to put things in perspective for me. Keep doing what your doing. I really enjoy your blog and your FB posts about your daughter. PRICELESS!

  2. hey Adam, it is really quite amazing like you said to sit and simmer with a bad day thinking to youself can I just get a brake when all of a sudden you blink your eyes and something like an earthquake makes you see thing differntly.

    Last year after several tries and too much money jeff & I had suffered the loss of a child that we had wanted for so long. while trying to fight going into a deep depression in fear of being swallowed up into a black hole I had blinked my eyes, turned on the news and saw complete devistation in Darfur where genecide was an everyday event, earthquakes in China and the beating death of a friends sister. At that moment I realized my loss what not a tragedy. It was a loss.

    Seeing the suffering of others in such a way helped me take a better perspective of life and what was my part in the world. From that day I came to terms that I can do better for my fellow human being and that I had a chance to to help make the world a better place by doing something good everyday, nothing special but something.

    I think we can all learn from watching Haiti and see how people rise to the occasion to help others in need without even knowing who they are. They’re maybe hope for the human race after all. Too bad its a lesson we only learn during these types of circumstances.

    Thanks for letting me rant-G

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