So you think you’ve got problems?

Some time ago I saw a woman whose face
had been severely disfigured from burns.
Several times I caught myself avoiding as much
eye contact as I normally would allow because
it was distracting. And if I’m distracted…
well, you who know me know I have to keep
starting things over and over again if distracted.

When she was walking away, I couldn’t help
but admire that she didn’t allow what many
would perceive as a life-stopping tragedy to
stop her from living, laughing, and enjoying Life.

I also thought about how grateful you and I should be.

Yes, I said
I .

Now, I’ve got be careful not to step on any toes,
because I happen to believe that Life’s greatest lessons
and examples not only come from US, but from those around us.
(Don’t worry – if you are reading this, I am not talking about you)

When I went to the funeral of one of my best friend’s dad,
I wished I would’ve had the opportunity to have known him
better, for he had truly left behind a legacy of love and respect.
What I think I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt is that he
would’ve gladly and gratefully traded places with that disfigured
woman if he could – and he’d give up anything for the chance.

And something tells me that woman would happily trade
places with my neighbor’s daughter whose day was “ruined”
when their daughter came home with her new shoes all scuffed up.
(Can you say 5 years old?)

Now, I don’t know what it is really, but for the past few months
I’ve felt like being very vocal at people to take a reality check
and look at what they HAVE – and stop fussing about all of
the little petty things they are allowing to kill their happiness.
(Because it’s really starting to cut into MY happiness ! :p)

Some of you have big… BIG challenges -
and I admire you for how you are handling them.

But I’ve got to say that most people really need bigger problems -
problems worth their time and energy to really dig in and overcome.

I feel fortunate in that the people I choose to surround myself with typically
aren’t prone to let something like a flat tire or broken nail ruin their day.
It’s just stuff that happens along the way in this Life.

I look at someone like Martin Luther King Jr. or Abraham Lincoln,
and realize that they just chose to tackle bigger problems than
the majority of those around them who merely complained.

Many years ago I heard a very wealthy and respected man
say that if you want to overcome your own problems,
find someone who has a bigger problem than you do,
help them solve it, and not only does their problem go away,
but pretty soon yours doesn’t seem like such a big problem after all.

You are alive
in the greatest country in the world.

What more could you ask for ?

I mean, really – stop and think about that.

Billions of people
would give anything to be in your shoes.

I, and everyone reading this
ought to kiss the ground and thank God
that we are alive and free to overcome our challenges.