About one minute ago, I turned 42 on Facebook. Not really, I use a "fake birthday" with all online services, since many parts of the financial world use your birthday as an identifier, but my birthday is in May, so close enough. Thank you.
I wrote a long post about how the world has turned to shit and how it's actually also great at the same time, but I won't bore you with it. I deleted it. Instead, on my birthday, I have a request for you. Please do the following things:
- Take a moment and appreciate where you are. If you're working, appreciate the fact that you have a job and realize that you're probably wealthier than 99.8% of the world, have better access to healthcare and nutrition, and have opportunities for advancement that most people in the world don't have.
- Appreciate that unlike the world's other great superpowers (China and Russia), you don't have to worry about a deeply corrupt government that can't be changed (China), or a deeply corrupt government that routinely jails or assassinates its critics (Russia).
- If you're not working, appreciate that there is some kind of safety net and you can't go to debtors prison (Dubai).
- Call your family and check in. You have family or friends that enjoy your company. Appreciate that. With a little bit of money, it really is all you need. I've been very poor in the past (let me show you the scars on my arm from when I had to give blood plasma for groceries for a year) but even poor in America, I was still very fortunate.
And finally, if you just have to give me a gift, I would request that you give a little money to the nursing scholarship in the name of my stepmother, Linda Anderson. If there were any proof in the world that love in fact exists, it's the way in which my stepfather Darryl and my stepmother Linda loved a giant passel of children, over their lifetime, that didn't come from their bloodstream.
To this day, my son identifies with my stepfather Darryl as "Grandpa Darryl", because of his and my stepmother's love and kindness. He has actual relatives, but with small children, you do get A's for effort. Linda made sure I didn't die or go to jail in my last years of high school, and when she met Darryl, taught me what love meant. Darryl taught me what a gentleman is, and how to treat a lady. After years of watching my male role models sleep around on their wives, I distinctly remember the day I saw Darryl hold a door open and then a chair out for my stepmother, and it opened my eyes.
I miss my mom, and I treasure Darryl and think of him several times a week.
Honor me on this day by loving someone close to you.
Have a good day and thank you for your attention.