Today, I went to get an infusion at an oncology center. Every few months I get an iron IV to bring up my levels.
Anyway, this morning I had to be there for 6 hours, watching people coming and going getting their IV’s.
The majority of the people were there for chemotherapy; all full of hope, all on an endeavor to make a change, to shock their systems and improve their health. Some of them seemed to be in good shape and wining the battle, while others seemed to be struggling, with shortness of breath, feeling weak and no energy.
During my visit I was looking at the chairs getting constantly used, like being on a subway, as soon as somebody gets up the seat is rapidly taken. This experience made me think about my own life.
A few years ago I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, fortunately it was detected at an early stage and everything was taken care. Yet, part of me could relate to them, not knowing what would happen to me, thinking about my wife crying, waiting for the results, thinking about my young kids… Remembering how my life came to a halt.
Yet today, I was there just for an infusion, a tune up, while the majority was there to survive, fighting for their lives.
Glazing at this situation gave me a different perspective about my life and my personal issues. These past weeks have been challenging. Some times, I just want to turn around and say “that is it, I am done,” yet, after looking at all these people I clearly see that I do not have anything to complain about. I am healthy, with a beautiful family, working on my passions: building ideas, writing and giving people a different perspective on life.
So, here is a thought:
It is easy to complain and to find a reason to feel sorry about our lives…
However, next time when you are frustrated and ready to feel petty about yourself, think about other’s misfortunes and difficulties, or better, go visit a homeless shelter or stop by an oncology department at a hospital. This will help you to put your life into perspective and to realize how easy you have it, how fortunate you are and how foolish you will feel complaining.
One more thing: Your health is your most precious possession. You can’t put a value on a healthy mind and body; take care of both, do not take them for granted.
At home every night we have dinner together as a family. We have only one rule: no cell phones on the table. It is an hour where we talk about our day, our events, our problems, business ideas, school projects, and so on. It is the moment for an open forum. It is open mic time! Everyone has equal opportunity to talk about any subject. During this time we learn, we laugh, we argue… and have a great time as a family.
Lately however, we have been having more arguments then anything else. We all have different situations happening in our lives, ‘stress'; school, college, business, boyfriends, girlfriend and so on…
The fact of the matter is that our dinner hour has become more as an obligation than an hour to wind down.
So here is a thought for all of us at home:
Today, I decided to take over and change the situation, to grab the bull by the horns. As of tonight the rules have changed.
Always keep in mind, that at home, dinner is the most important event of the day that is meant to be enjoyed! Please make a conscious effort to keep it like that.
As a Latino and as an American citizen, it is difficult to understand how candidates for the United States Presidency are using xenophobia against the Latino community to win votes.
Being an immigrant myself, I believe that any person who comes to live permanently in a foreign country, no matter their background or ethnicity has plenty of courage and determination.
When people decide to move, they pack up not only all their possessions, but life as they know it; leaving behind their comfort zone, their family, their friends, and their culture. In reality, the only thing that migrants carry with them is hope; hope for a better life!
After leaving everything, an immigrant arrives to his new home… scared but full of dreams only to confront xenophobia. Legal or illegal, an immigrant has few opportunities; mostly, in order to survive they work jobs that you could never imagine and often their rights are violated.
As an immigrant, you never close the circle; you never stop dreaming of the day that you will be able to re-unite with your family. Always, trying to maintain your culture, your principles while adapting to a new environment.
Most of us do not come for social benefits; we come to find work and to improve our lives and those of our families. Although the reasons for having been pushed out of our homes are different for all of us like economic hardship, religious persecution, social intolerance, corrupted governments and more. We were all pulled in because of safety, stability and the opportunity to find a way to earn money to support our families.
I lived this tale in my own flesh, so I know!
So, here is my thought to all these candidates that have an irrational fear of people from different countries, cultures or religion; to these bigoted nominees that believe that their opinion is superior then any regular mortal.
First lets understand the meaning of the word candidate: a candidate is a person who is applying for a job; a person who is trying to be considered for a position, to be chosen.
Yes, every single one of you is auditioning for us; each one of you is applying to serve 321 million people, different people. Some are Black, some are white; some are Latinos and others are Asians. Some are straight and others are gay. Yet, all these dissimilar people live in one nation, the United States.
Then, you are seeking to become the leader of a great country, a nation that has been built by immigrants. In fact, only 1.7 percent of the population can be considered native. The rest of us came from all over the world.
To become a leader one must be sensitive to accept different perspectives and opinions, understanding backgrounds, ethnicity, religions and cultures.
A good leader has to have the ability to inspire, to motivate, to build, to listen and to unite, not to destroy, not to divide, not to despise!
The right leader knows that he/she is not the ruler or the center of the world; understands that every moment something exciting is happening all over the world; one world full of different inhabitants.
Most importantly, Señores Candidatos, we all should view immigrants as an asset for this country rather than a liability.
Like your parents and grandparents, all immigrants arrive scared but excited to their new environment. Their vision is not clouded and they will find opportunities where the locals can't see them anymore. The flavors, the colors, the sounds are new to them; they are like kids, everything is a new experience.
Their mind is set, they have decided that they came to succeed and constantly seeking for opportunities and ways to improve themselves. They are willing to do the pitiful jobs because they know, that every job is only a step closer to accomplishing their dreams.
We, as a nation, should view immigrants as an investment rather than a cost. Creating a system where we assist the right people to cross the border swiftly and legally. And everybody should make a conscious effort to better integrate immigrants within society.
An immigrant is a great asset, a blessing for any country!
Finally, if you really want to become the President of this great country, and lead the world; first you need to understand that you would be working for all 321 million, then, learn to listen and accept different perspectives and opinions. Finally, stop your xenophobic speeches by utilizing immigrants as pawns to win votes!
Listen to people, be attentive to their opinions, accept criticism and welcome their beliefs.
Yet, one thing is to listen to their opinion and another to live by their opinion. It is impossible to be approved by everyone, so, live your life and pay no attention to other people’s remarks.
Don’t worry about what the rest will think about you; it is your life, you do not need somebody’s approval to build your dreams.
At the end, who truly cares!!!
Work is challenging, family is challenging, school is challenging; life is a challenging thing!
Anything that you care for, that you love, that you aim at requires a great deal of effort to obtain and to maintain.
No matter what, to succeed, you have to be strong and courageous, patient and persistent.
'Difficult is an excuse that success never accepts!' - Mauricio Fraga-Rosenfeld
Who I am today as a person is largely due to my failures!