A few years ago, I used to climb rocks for fun. One day, after climbing with friends at a local crag called the “Cat Slab”, we decided to stop into this little bar called “Kermits”. As it turned out, this bar was quite a rough biker bar. As I stood at the bar ordering a round, I noticed a rough looking customer sitting a few chairs down. He was dressed in jeans, black leather and was sporting vast display of tattoos that im sure were a mix of prison tatts and some professional ones. He really looked mean and heartless. So, in the interest in self preservation, I tried to hide my uneasiness. I looked at him and cracked a little smile as my beers arrived. I said, “Are you having a good day?”. He looked at me and said, “Man……there all good. Some are just better than others.” His response floored me, I was stunned. Here was a guy who looked like he’d been to hell and back, a couple of times. I smiled again and said, “Make it a good one”. He replied, “You too”. As I walked away from the bar with a round of beers, I reflected on his statement. He nailed it and did so with so few words. He was really a big Dharma lesson for all to enjoy. Hence the reason I’m telling you about this today.
I have the good fortune to have quite a bit of time off, free travel benefits and friends located all across the country. This week, I took an impromptu trip to New Orleans just to catch up with an old friend from college. My dear friend has been in a battle for her life against cancer. She’s lost her reproductive organs and had a steel rod inserted into her femur. She’s lost half of one lung and now is beginning another round of chemotherapy and radiation to fight it in her other leg, lungs and lymph nodes. She’s really fighting a tough battle but you’d never know it by looking at her or the way she looks at the world. She handles this situation with such grace and poise that you wouldn’t have a clue anything was wrong except for cane that she now has to use. She’ll tell you that her great attitude is likely from the Xanex but deep inside I believe It is her optimism that she brings to the table. Even in the face of such adversity, she has never lost her charm or ability to tap into that southern hospitality. She can make perfect strangers feel at home around her. She’s truly a beacon of hope and inspiration. I’m lucky to have her as a friend.
The lesson for today is not to let adversity get you down. Every day is a good day, some are just better than others. No matter the size of your effort, do all you can, by every means possible, to make this earth a happier place for all. Extend your hand to help a stranger or a good friend. Look around for the people that are right there in front of you but yet go unnoticed. You have the power to bring a smile to someone’s face today and every day.
Appreciate the gift of your life, because none of us are getting out of here alive.
Peace and happiness.