My Philosophy

I have found it to be quite difficult to define my life philosophy on one single page of the internet. I am sure that with time and experience, my philosophy will further develop and evolve. However, in hopes of demonstrating simplicity and attempting to show a universal principle which has guided and strengthened me the most throughout my life,  here goes:

All people, through the freedom of choice and attitude, may enjoy life relative to their situation, surroundings and socialization. How can gratitude be realized a midst the many whirlwinds and tumultuous struggles and sufferings we encounter?  One simple word: Gratitude. I have personally seen some of the worst the world can throw at people–suffering and death from preventable and treatable diseases , child and adult malnutrition, homelessness, devastation from war and genocide, child sexual exploitation and human trafficking, tribal conflicts and violence, leprosy, physical and mental handicaps, refugee encampments, extreme poverty, financial ruin, honor killings, victimization through scams and corruption, people living in their own human waste, injustices of all kinds, etc. My point is this:  it’s still always possible to feel the warmth of hope when we find gratitude. Sounds extreme, you say? You may ask, how can we experience gratitude if we’re currently weathering a storm? It’s important to realize that the good and the bad can be appreciated, either now or later–we can choose to love all things for what they teach us and for how they shape us.

Og Madino, in one of my all-time favorite books, wrote:

 “I will greet this day with love in my heart…Henceforth will I look on all things with love and I will be born again. I will love the sun for it warms my bones; yet I will love the rain for it cleanses my spirit. I will love the light for it shows me the way; yet I will love the darkness for it shows me the stars. I will welcome happiness for it enlarges my heart; yet I will endure sadness for it opens my soul. I will acknowledge rewards for they are my due; yet I will welcome obstacles for they are my challenge.”
It’s true that just before the dawn (the darkest part of the night) it’s our best chance to see the brightest stars. In the darkest of life’s perils, we always have the chance to grow by experiencing unparalleled light. Moreover, we must trust that the dawn is just about to break. The sun will come up again.
Viktor Frankl, a victim of the Nazi regime and survivor of the Holocaust, expressed this beautiful sentiment after losing everything, including his family:
“Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
William Hensley, in his poem Invictus, wrote:
“Out of the night that covers me…black as the pit from pole to pole: I thank whatever gods may be, for my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance, I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance, my head is bloody but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears looms but the horror of the shade. And yet the menace of the years finds and shall find me unafraid. It matters not how straight the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll…I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.”
This just so happens to be the poem Nelson Mandela used as his guiding reminder during his 27 years of incarceration following crimes of “sabotage” for promoting equality and peace in South Africa. Indeed, after being released early from his life sentence he could have chosen a path of bitter hatred which would have created further division and war in his country. However, he chose to unite his country through forgiveness and the promotion of racial equality and peace.  He did, in his own way, what Curtis Jackson (50 Cent) did after being shot in the face multiple times with a pistol: “Turn shi* into sugar.”
The only way to enjoy life is by being grateful. It truly is the father of all virtues. If we have gratitude, we show gratitude. We show gratitude by extending it to others–by manifesting love through service and a push to add value in all of our individual, professional, social and family endeavors.  Gratitude is the single ingredient to happiness, as my father has taught me.
Think about it. Find the good and you find gratitude. Find gratitude and you’re able to live in the moment. Live in the moment and you’ll find freedom and joy.  You’ll find that the world is yours. And you are apart of the world. It’s all perfect. It’s all beautiful. There’s nothing lacking.

“When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” -Laozu

 

Here’s my philosophy on some other important topics:

Family & Relationships

Health

Manhood

Money

Philanthropy

Stuff

 

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