Choose Happiness . . .



Happy Hump Day!!

Have you been sidetracked from your dream by having “things” in your life?  I mean it’s okay, but there is usually a  psychological relationship that develops between us humans and “things” we create.  Some “things” are necessities while other things are “status symbols”, if you know what I mean.  And trust me, I don’t disagree with a person’s desire to acquire “things”.  Just don’t get it mixed up that a possessor of “things” is greater than or more important than a non-possessor of the same “things”.  One who seeks “things” in their life has to be able to balance the spiritual enrichment … if any … with the material things that one may be seeking.

“Happiness is a result of the decision to be happy!” – Fortune Cookie

When I first started my blog for Educational Excellence, I always started with a quote or anecdote from someone else.  Then, the piece would find me writing and building on that quote or anecdote.  So, I decided to use things in the news, in our society, “current events” and of course focusing on the constant “violation of civil rights” of minorities, especially African Americans.  I used to write an e-mail/blog post everyday in the beginning, then I changed to every other day … and now I do an e-mail to each of you as well as a blog post on Wednesdays and Fridays.  I am thinking about writing one per week.  We’ll see where the spiritual “compass” takes me!

Speaking of compass, I was hit by a vehicle driving backwards on Sunday as I sat parked and checking my texts at an early hour Sunday morning as I sat in my Jeep Compass.  A group of us friends were celebrating another friend’s birthday at our favorite “watering hole”, my “Cheers”, also known as Capone’s!  I have been going there for over the past ten years since I  moved from the Fort Lauderdale Beach area.  I know everyone there, and, it is my “safe party place”!  So after leaving there, we were each driving in our own directions and another friend was thinking of going to another club – a gentlemen’s club – as they are called … and we were texting.  On my way home, I decided to stop at a parking space on the street parallel to A-1-A near Las Olas Blvd.  There were very few cars around … none in front of where I was parked at a meter on the street and none behind me.  I was finishing a text telling  my friends that I was on my way home when I noticed a car turn onto the street where I was parked and texting … which soon ended up in one of the four or five spaces in front of me!  I looked up, observed the brake lights on as it was 4am, then looked down at my cell phone again to see if anyone had responded to my texts to my friends.  Suddenly, the brake lights showed that the vehicle was put in reverse as I noticed the white reverse lights come on and the engine in the car revved …  Suddenly, the car sped backwards coming directly at me.  I didn’t have time to respond, wondered if this was a prank to scare me until … BAM!  The car hit me going around 30 mph, busting both headlights out and severely damaging the grill of my Jeep Compass, which I am still paying on and had planned to re-instate my insurance on Monday … hmmm … yep … just being honest like I usually try to be in my writings.  I couldn’t see the license plate of the car as they inched forward away from me and I tried to start my car since I sensed they were about to flee … that is exactly what they did!!!!  I couldn’t believe my eyes!!!  I was in shock … and I still am as I write this!!  Imagine someone doing this to me.  I was afraid to get out of my car because if the driver would do THAT … what else might he do!  The rest is history … and now I am thinking of options, including letting the car get “voluntarily repossessed” as I don’t need nor want any additional expenses as I try to move forward in my early retirement plans … still seriously contemplating going to Europe … Barcelona, Spain to be exact!!

Can I still be happy?!?  Yes, of course … if I choose to!  Is it really that simple?  Yes, it is … if one decides to look for the good in everything, including the “bad” situations that we find ourselves in.  Now, I thought about the “pranksters” and remembered how not too long ago, young people were involved in the new rage street game called “Knock Out”, where a group of youngsters would roam the streets, seeing innocent passersby and daring each other to “knock the innocent unsuspecting soul out” with one punch!!!  You may remember this “fad” that even spread to Europe!!!  What will they think of next?!?  Was this the result of some such dare?  I can’t think of anyone who would want to do this to me as I try to “play fair” in life nowadays and stay out of trouble.  So while I made a few mistakes here, including not renewing my insurance on time (any of you ever done such a thing?!?) and sitting alone in my car on a street checking texts at 4am in the morning … I have learned a few lessons, including looking for the good in this situation.  So, I continue my journey, thank God, still alive to tell you all about it.

Choose to be happy … no matter what!


John I. Cook, Director

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