20cc’s Of Thankfulness, Stat!

If I asked you to name 10 things you’re thankful for right now, could you do it without hesitation? Could you name 5? Could you name one?

The holidays for Americans starts with Thanksgiving, a time where we gather around a feast of food with relatives we may not have seen for almost a year. Fights break out over the kids running wild, Uncle Larry supporting the President no matter what he does, and that one cousin who became Vegan this year. These days the world moves in 195 directions at once, and from all the news reports you would think no one likes each other, let alone agrees on a single subject.

Meanwhile, the depression and suicide rates quietly climb as the snow continues to fall.

Happiness and joy springs from a thankful heart. This is what I was taught, growing up in Sunday School at church. As the years passed the realization grew that being thankful was something that you cultivated in yourself. It was something you choose, and continue to choose, day in and day out.

…One day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.

Aristotle, Greek Philosopher

Depression, anxiety, Seasonal Affective Disorder, and just life at its thousand views per second pace can make you overlook even the best of things in your life.

Take a moment or five, and fight through the resistance that rears up to write down five things that are good in your life that you can be thankful for. Then, every morning until New Year’s Day, quietly thank whatever gave you those five things, even if it is only the circumstances of life that did.

…and when you finally think of a sixth thing, add that to the list too.

See you next Wednesday.

Chris Jabas

Do You Know What you’re Worth?

Every painting in your local museum can be replicated.

The Louvre, one of the most famous museums in the world, is no different. Each color can be mixed to perfection, each stroke of paint can be put on an identical canvas in an identical way and aged until it is indistinguishable from the original.

So why is the original so much more valuable?

The value is in the person who made the painting.

The person who made the first painting had knowledge and experience, gained from their hard work and the work of the people they learned from. They had opinions and beliefs that shaped their view of the world. They had events in their lives they shared with no one else. They had a way of interpreting the world and universe around them that no one else had.

The painter was unique.

The same can be said about you.

Out of all the billions of people that have ever lived, you are the only you there is or has been or will ever be. Forget one in a million, you are rarer than one in a billion. That is thousands of times more precious. The amount of money you make or the respect you demand or the value you bring to your loved ones, community, or the rest of the universe only adds to that value.

Have you ever felt worthless?

Be reminded that you are valuable, even if no one in your life currently acknowledges it.

See you next Wednesday.

Chris Jabas

Let Your Frustrations Be Your Guide

Do you know that all those pesky robocalls you receive can be blamed on a surly undertaker?

When phones first became widely used way back in the 1880’s, there used to be thousands of people employed by the telephone companies as switchboard operators. These operators would physically change the connections of the wires at their boards to route the call to its destination.

Almon Strowger was frustrated when he found out that he was losing funeral customers to a competitor. The competing undertaker’s wife was a local switchboard operator, and had been secretly routing calls meant for Strowger’s business to her husband’s business instead. The last straw was when he found out that the funeral of one of his friends was being held by his competitor.

Wanting to cut out the crooked middleman, or middlewoman as the case had been, Strowger developed the first automatic telephone exchange. Over time, his invention and the future improvements that followed all but eliminated every switchboard operator job that existed.

Take a moment to be thankful for all the things you don’t have to do yourself because technology has simplified it for you.

Today, phone calls in the United States are measured in the billions every month. Can you imagine how many of us would have to be employed as switchboard operators to handle that volume of calls? Nothing else would get done! Though to be fair, the operators would catch most of those robocalls before they even got to you.

What currently frustrates you?

Instead of staying frustrated by it, find what you can do to solve it.

See you next Wednesday.

Chris Jabas

Don’t Let Your Collection Get Lost

What can be said that has not already been screamed into the void?

I think part of the drive of technology is for the human race to remember more. We have lost so much knowledge to history. Spanish swords known as Damascus blades are of a quality that we still cannot replicate. Ancient roman buildings are made of a form of concrete. The buildings stand to this day and can be visited, whereas concrete sidewalks today need to be replaced every twenty years.

We have also lost many minds, great and small alike.

It is hard to believe that once someone dies, all the knowledge, wisdom and experience that person accumulated over their life is gone. We spend our lives collecting, hoarding, and cherishing the memories of what we have learned. There are many who let that information die with them.

I do not want my collection to be lost when I die.

This is the reason I have started this, my Wednesday Wanderings.

Through this I will try to impart as many of the experiences I have gathered through my life. Some will be great insights, some will be different views on common things, and some will just be a fun jaunt through the corners of this crazy world.

Join me, won’t you?

Chris Jabas