My CORE Values about life and living
I have been to college, graduate, and postgraduate places of learning. I have worked at prestigious places, and earned fairly decent money. I have slept in the Waldorf Astoria and the Top of the Mark. I have traveled outside of the United States. I have had a fairly good life, and shook the hands of presidents, governors, senators, delegates, and a few dignitaries. In other words, I have enjoyed my life.
HOWEVER, I have paid attention to my life throughout the past 6 decades, and I have come to truly understand a few things.
No matter how much education you receive, somebody is always going to have more. Education will only take you so far. You are going to need a few other very important things like hard work, integrity, common sense, self-respect, dignity, and, of course God. I limited my list to these concepts because, I wanted to retain a clean heart, the ability to sleep at night, hold on to peace and love, and family while enjoying your accomplishments. Killer instinct will get you more. Dog eat dog will pay off. Me, Myself, and I will push you and only you forward, and everyone else better get out of your way. Career first will certainly keep you focused on your goals. If you are willing to do these latter things, and give up either one of your core values, you can achieve the world's greatest riches, BUT will you be happy and able to TRULY enjoy them? Over the years, I have learned that I cannot live alone. I need people. I need to serve, and in turn I have found the education is only important, if you use it for helping others. Those with the highest degrees of learning only hold pieces of paper announcing that they attended higher institutions of learning. They still serve – themselves, others, the devil or God.
You may have worked for and still work for one of the fortune 500 companies or some other great and wonderful place. You may have made or may make six or seven figures annually. You may have been given a car, an expense account, a chauffeur, a secretary or two, and a host of other perks. When the curtains close and you have done your swan dance, you will be just as you always were, just another human living on your past accomplishments or met your demise and moved on. So, I ask, what is important to you as you move up the corporate ladder? Did you take time to smell the roses? Drink the coffee? Hold your spouse? Spend time with your children? Take in a movie? Truly enjoyed the birth of your grandchildren or great grands? Do you remember their smell; smile; eyes; touch; or their warm juicy kiss as you walked through the door? My heart almost stop every time my great grand comes to visit because the moment he walks through the door, he shouts at the top of his voice “Grandmom, I’m home!”
Although I have never lived in a Mansion, I have slept in “quality” places. I have slept between silk sheets, cotton sheets, Tencel bedding, polyester, and blends. The one thing I have noticed, when I finally woke up, it did not much matter what kind of sheets or linen I had gone to sleep in. What mattered most to me was that I was able to wake up, get up, and make it to the bathroom? To some, that may not be an important group of activities, but for me, every morning that ritual is important. The size of your house, the luxury that you are able to afford does not take you beyond your human elements. It merely states to the world that you have done some things that have placed you in a better position to actually help someone else. The question becomes “Will you remember where you came from?” During my heyday and high-end living, I always tried to pinch myself to remind me that but for the grace of God, I would not be here; that the people that are waiting on me have feelings, families, and needs. The same things I have, and that I want, no matter their position in life, they want the same things for themselves and their families that I want for mine. This attitude has garnered me a lot of friends along the way, and it has made my life so much fuller. Although I am a fighter, I was taught early by my Mother to carefully pick my battles, but when I have picked one be prepared to die for it. My core values about these things have not always landed me in the top positions or in the best light, but they have ALWAYS landed me where I was supposed to be, and today, I am still able to look at myself in the mirror and smile. I still see that twinkle in my eye that says my soul is happy.
I have not traveled the world over, but so far, I have covered 43 of the states and been out of the United States a few times. I have met people from all walks of life during my travels. Being a talker and an outgoing spirit, I have talked to captains on ships; stewardess on airplanes, mayors of cities, governors of states, and yes, I have talked to panhandlers, maids, desk clerks, street sweepers, and gardeners. If they could communicate in any fashion, I have taken the moment to say hello. I have wanted to be a part of their world; to exchange a smile; to be a small part of their day as we both moved closer to our destinies. Your position in life is only what you make it. Traveling to the farthest reaches of the world means absolutely nothing, if you don’t become a better person because of it. My greatest travel experience occurred when I was quite young (about 27) when I was summoned to Boone, NC. At 3:00am,a doctor spoke to me on the telephone requesting permission to amputate my brother’s left leg. He also insisted that I be in Boone as soon as humanly possible. Back then Boone had no hotels and was quite rural, but HIGH up in the Mountains. My ex-husband and I were taken in and treated like family during our stay. People were actually waiting for us at the hospital to provide us with room and board AT NO COST! They went through our pain with us, and they made us a part of them. This has happened to me over and over again throughout my life and my travels. Everyone along the way was either rich, poor or somewhere in between, but they were all human.
Yes, I have had a fairly good life, and shook the hands of presidents, governors, senators, delegates, and a few dignitaries. In other words, I have enjoyed my life. It has been a thrilling ride, but it has been more than that. It has taught me that we are all here for a purpose, and that we must live our lives in accordance with that purpose. I cannot live my life for you or based on you. You likewise must do the same. What has been destined for you, you cannot change even when you make the best choices you can make. This time here on earth is not a trial run. There are no do overs or re-takes. The titles that you are given throughout life do not determine who you are or dictate what you will become because even the president, governor, senator, delegate, and dignitaries get sick, die, lose loved ones, gets Alzheimer’s disease and cancer, and use the bathroom the same as you and I. Their positions in life are theirs. You have the right to reach your highest calling, but you also have the right to be happy where you are and not feel shame, devalued or less than a human because of your status in life. God made you the same as the next person, and He gave you a purpose the day you cried into this world. The trick is knowing your place, answering your call, and working daily to achieve your destiny, not someone else’s!
The big lesson learned is that regardless of the color of our skin, the type of hair we have been given, the different colors of our eyes, and the varying sizes of our bodies, we are all the same! Our experiences, our teachings, our environments, our beliefs, our faiths, and our desires may all be different, but during our lifetimes we will all go through the same phases. We will be conceived. We will be born (including those who die at birth). We will grow up. We will be educated (school, college, streets, home, church, somewhere) within our environments. We will travel (within our communities, cities, states, countries, the world). We will live in some place (house, home, hut, igloo, hotel, ship, outdoors, etc.) that we will call home. We will gain a specific status in life (rich, poor, middle class, vagabond, elite, etc.). We will die!
The only question that remains throughout this cycle is “what will you do with the time you have been given?” Will you look back at your life with happiness, joy and exhilaration? Or will you look back with regret? Will you even look back? I do all of the time, and if you are reading this, you are one of the reasons that I look back. In some way, you have been, become, and remain a part of who I am. My destiny has never been in my hands. For good, bad or indifferent, you and I were destined to meet. My core values tell me that I am glad for that chance meeting, and for your role in making me the person that I am.
As you journey forward, as will I, I hope and pray that something I say or do will make you a better you for you have certainly made me a better me. Thank you.
Peace and blessings always.