By Peter van Aartrijk
It’s painful to follow the news these days.
The world seems to have gone nuts.
Maybe it indeed has gone nuts.
Maybe this week, though, we might feel blessed that we live in a country where most of our citizens are truly fortunate.
Outside the U.S., evidence of that fact is everywhere. For instance, did you know some 26,000 children die in the world every day, mostly from the lack of clean drinking water? That’s equal to 100 jetliners filled with children crashing every day, 365 days a year. Every. Day.
If you’re reading this blog, you likely are in the top one-half of 1% of people on the planet in terms of human condition. You have shelter and plenty of good, fresh food. You have clean water, electricity, decent roads, and, of course, the internet. You probably have some cool toys beyond your home and cars. You have monthly disposable income that far exceeds the annual income of most people in the world.
I’m no preacher, trust me. But, especially during the holidays, we need to tell ourselves and our kids:
Don’t walk around feeling guilty about all we have. Just be aware and appreciate it.
Understand how privileged we are. Most of our so-called problems are first-world problems. “Problems” such as bad traffic, a lost package or a long line at Starbucks.
Try to offer 2% of your time each year to a worthy cause. That’s a total of a just seven days in a year. A lot of the need is right under our noses — less fortunate, even homeless, folks in your community.
Love your neighbors.
Love your family.
Love yourself. Often we’re too hard on ourselves. Try your best each day to be healthy and happy and a virtuous citizen of this world.
Take time for reflection — a few minutes a day will disseminate positive vibes for you and humankind.
To our Aartrijk clients, friends, colleagues and family, I wish you peace and happiness this holiday season.