Just a thought: A different , a different place

Do you ever wonder why things are the way they are? Do you ever ask the question, “Why me?” Do you ever ponder how you woke up today on the path you woke up on?

These can be some deep questions if you choose to stop your world and truly ask the “why” question.

We watch a television show or a movie and the director portrays life in a world we’ve never experienced. We crawl into the drama and think of what it would be like to live in the setting that the story takes place. Two people fall in love in a time of war. A family has to band together to overcome nature. A person fights a handicap to do something great.

What would life look like at a different time and at a different place? For most of mankind, just surviving to old age was a challenge. Between diseases, droughts, and wars with neighboring villages or countries, success was often spending most of each day just finding a food source to live off of.

The older generation always says “Remember the good old days.” Our world has always had plenty of the older generation around. If you live long enough, you’ll eventually wake up in this category. When I was a kid, my grandparents told me about living through the depression and what is was like to live with rationing during wartime.

Today’s older generation remembers wholesome television shows like “The Carol Burnett Show” or watching the news with Walter Cronkite. They might talk about when it was exciting to listen to radio shows or watch black and white TV with only three stations available. They played outside with neighborhood friends rather than sitting in front of a video or computer screen.

History reminds us what it could be like to live in a different time and a different place.

I don’t know what is ahead for mankind, but I somehow think that life today will be referred to in the future by today’s younger generation as “the good old days.” We’re living the good old days today.

Change is mandatory, growth is optional. I don’t spend a lot of time sitting and wondering. I do enjoy watching a show on television and learning about the world through a story setting, but I find that I have my hands full with the opportunities I have living today in this place at this time. 

Like the generations that have gone before us, we live and then we’ll die. These are two constants in each of our lives. What we accomplish between our birth and our death is up to each of us. We have unlimited options today and when the sun comes up tomorrow we have another set of unlimited options in front of us.

We all have different resources available to us: our age, our family, our health, the color of our skin, our physical attributes, our education, our career, our socioeconomic level, what city or town we live in, our upbringing, how our parents programmed us, our friends, our religious beliefs, and whose life is put in front of us to impact. Some of these cannot be changed and some of these can. Our view of the world at this very instant is the result of a combination of these factors and more.

We can look backwards and find a time in our life when we’ve been a victim and we can freeze on that frame and live the rest of our life playing the “victim” card. It’s a “look at me” mentality. Feel sorry for me. I’m unable to do something in the future because of something that has happened to me in the past.

This leads us to the old saying, “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Or “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we respond.”

There’s a difference between excuses and accountability. The difference between being reactive and proactive. There’s always a reason to not do what you don’t want to do. There’s always an excuse to choose to not to do what is right.

Well, you have the power to live an excuse free life in the unsettling world of today that God chose you to live in. It all begins in the three foot circle around you and with choices you make from within.

You can’t change the resources you’ve been given. Today they are what they are. You are who you are. You can never change your background or your skin color, but you can change what you do with what you have.

Regardless of where you woke up this morning the world is what it is. Bottom line, it’s an exciting place and today is an exciting time to live. Today, in the here and now, is the only day you have to live. You can close yourself up in your room and sleep all day or you can reach out and do something to add value to others...something that makes a difference in the life of another.

My challenge to you today is to recognize you don’t live in a different place at a different time. You live in the world around you today. The hand you’ve been dealt is all you have to play life with. But how you play your hand determines everything in the life you live.

Don’t whine because you weren’t dealt an Ace. Don’t ask for pity because the combination of your cards are not better than the person’s next to you. Don’t drag others down because they’re able to play with better cards than yours. Don’t spend your time comparing yourself to others.

Look inward and celebrate who you are. Be grateful for the many blessings you have received. Identify the resources you’ve been given and use them to the fullest to add value to the lives of others.

Whether you are happy with what you have or unhappy with what you don’t have, you have the same things.

Life is short. The days of your life are disappearing rapidly. You have one less day to make a difference today than you did yesterday.

Live today to the fullest. I intend to. Then live tomorrow to its fullest also. Live it so well that you have nothing left to spend at the end of the day and your body crashes when your head hits your pillow.

Avoid excuses, playing the victim, and blaming your life on others.

Quite simply, the choice is yours.

Just a thought...

Rick Kraft is a motivational speaker, a syndicated columnist, a published author, and an attorney. To submit comments, contributions, or ideas, e-mail to rkraft@kraftlawfirm.orgmailto:thekraftlawfirm@aol.com or write to P.O. Box 850, Roswell, New Mexico, 88202 - 0850.

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