More often than we’d like, the light comes on through the darkest, most painful moments and tragedies. The Haiti earthquake, on January 12, 2010 and its aftermath, is one such tragedies that has much to teach. But we have to step out of our self-centeredness, soap box and comfort zone to see it.
As we are one month into the new year, many of us have been reflecting and setting resolutions for the new year that will hopefully help us be better people, be more successful, look better or live better. As you reflect and seek how you can improve, please don’t miss the following that will surely help you live better.
Seek happiness through spiritual growth
The 1965 song by the Rolling Stones said ”I can’t get no satisfaction… Cause I try and I try and I try and I try”. Most of us spend all their lives searching for happiness through education, pleasure, work, money, or success but only moving on looking for the next thing after achieving the previous ambition.
Take the many Christian survivor of Haiti as an example. Although they had little then they lost what ever little they had, their spirits are not broken. That’s because their joy was not in earthly possessions and their confidence was not in what the world had to offer. The earthquake proved that all these things could be taken away or rendered useless in less then 30 seconds. Even the President of Haiti was left homeless and powerless, like everyone else. Their happiness and confidence is in the unconditional love and providence of their living God. Their growth had been in spirituality rather than in wealth.
Seek happiness from above and be sure that who you choose to worship is worthy of your worship.
Get in deeper relationships
It is a risky proposition but it is worth it. After the Haiti earthquake victims lost everything they had, the only things left were the relationship they shared and the new relationships they will build. The nation of Haiti may be poor financially but extremely wealthy relationally. Their habitual way of life, as in most third world countries, is cooperative living. Make it an urgent need to:
- Mend relationships with loved ones. Let go of the pride. Heal the wounds with forgiveness. Make that phone call, write a letter, send a care package, get in that car or airplane and go. You know what I’m talking about. Do it, before it’s too late.
- Meet and go into deeper relationship with at least 3 new neighbors. Say “hello neighbor”. Get to know your neighbors. Reach out with a random act of kindness – fresh baked goods, offer a helping hand, ask for tips on projects you’re working on. Pray for or with your neighbor. Be considerate. Use Rent, share, swap, barter, give and get free stuff as opportunities to connect with and help neighbors.
- Mend the fences with existing neighbors. Leave a note and invite for a cup of coffee. Open the communication line. This is the first step in repairing broken relationships.
Waste less time
The most valuable commodity is the gift of time. It is a gift since we do not control it and we do not know how long we will live. Today may indeed be your last day on this earth. Use your time wisely and productively. Television is the biggest time, brain and relationship killer.
Be more generous
Why is it that the people who have the least are the ones who give sacrificially while they should be the ones who hoard what little they have? As Truett Cathy, founder of Chik-Fil-A, said: “The more I give away the more I have. Few people realize the pleasure in giving.”
Giving is not always returned with financial gains. But I know that by giving, ones needs are always met. Many times in miraculous ways. Giving is not only about money. Be generous with everything you possess no matter how little it may be. Let it be time, wisdom, stuff, skills, money, etc.
Happy New Year!