Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Today's a Gift

Sometimes life seems to consist of putting out one fire after another while trying to "get things done"- as if that's why we're here.  On reflection, I've realized I have no idea why I'm here - unless it's something as simple as savoring life, while making the challenges of our fellow travelers a little easier. Regarding the latter, I struggle with the nagging question - when is enough... enough?  Maybe that's not the million dollar question, however.

Maybe there's a more pressing question for some of us - the one to ask before we can move on toward trying to save the world...... When do we have enough ourselves that we can and should start worrying about others - "the least of these" that Jesus spoke of.  I really think the answer to that question is built upon the concept of gratitude and perspective.

I wrote a song about this and just today finished producing my companion music video entitled - "TODAY'S A GIFT".       May it add some blessings to your day.

Today's A Gift (First World Problems)

TODAY"S A GIFT (First World Problems)   by Mark VanLaeys

Well I've worked ten hours and for meager pay
     and I'm cold and drenched to the bone
but I've got a job and I'll eat tonight,
     and tomorrow's winds will blow that rain away.


Well it starts out so fine as the new sun is risin'
     and the coffee is good - it's actually great.
but I open the door and the floor mat is yelling -
      "I can't believe that dang newspaper's late.


The kids are sick with colds and my back is achin"
     and the car needs new tires to be safe.
But we've got a ride and a Doc in the box,
     and I'm sure that we'll be fine if we just wait.


My wife's so tired of dirty laundry always more,
     and stacks of bills we barely pay.
but we've got a roof and clear drinking water,
     and a toilet flushing all our deeds away.

Thank you for watching - and enjoy your gift of This day,

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Sometimes it Sucks Being an Empath!

     Yesterday I ran into an old acquaintance/ friend.  It's probably been 15 years since I've communicated with him and I was kind of caught off guard when he asked - - "How have you been doing?"  Not having an hour to answer, I gave the usual "I'm fine... how bout you". I did not mention that personally I am doing great with abundant food, a warm home, steady income, lots of love etc.. He told me about a couple serious health problems he'd been working through and I offered him my two cents as his former healthcare provider.
     I could tell from the Facebook posts I'd previously seen that he sees the world through a different set of filters than I do. Most of his posts revolve around the difference between"us" the people who think and look like him and those that don't. How can a person tell another that they can't buy into the working narrative that we're fundamentally different.
     My daughter is struggling with the challenges of having a full time job which stretches through days and into nights while she's caring for two young children - one a special needs child.  My wife flew out west yesterday to help her for a week - and I'm feeling a bit guilty for hanging back here in New York since I do volunteer work with the disabled - including veterans and the children of strangers.  Though my daughter and her pre-schoolers are clearly my family, things get complicated when I try to discern where my family ends and someone else's begins.  I've never been good at that.

     A couple years ago I came across a quote to the effect - "a parent's never happier than their least happy child".  What does one do if they can't draw a simple, arbitrary line between their biological children and others.  Somebody tell me how in 2019 I am supposed to answer  - "so how are you", when so many children and their parents are hurting so immeasurably?