Life is unpredictable. As a result, it can also be stressful. This used to describe my life. It might describe yours as well. Over the years, I have learned to relax and live with life’s ups and downs. I place my faith in a higher power, knowing that there is always someone there watching over me. Furthermore, I know what it is like to struggle. I know what it means to need help. Therefore, I also try to give back to a community that has supported me during my difficult times. In addition to my work and my loved ones, this helps me find fulfillment. Furthermore, I feel that I am also serving God when I give back to others. While it isn’t always easy, it is this wisdom that gets me through some of life’s biggest challenges.
First, let’s take a trip down memory lane. Flashing back to 2001, there were trucker hats, popcorn shirts, and tattoo choker necklaces. At the time, I was working in the business world. Back then, I thought the “dot-com” bubble was going to be my biggest worry. Little did I know that I would be in for a life-changing experience. In 2001, I worked at the World Trade Center. I spent most of my days on the 101stfloor. Yes, I was on my way to the office on September 11, 2001. I was in the area when those planes struck the twin towers, bringing them to the ground. On that day, I didn’t notice anything different. It didn’t take me long to realize that my world would change forever. I was lucky enough to get out of the building. More than 1,000 of my coworkers weren’t so lucky.
Of course, God throws us challenges in numerous shapes and forms. This past summer, I was emotionally devastated when I realized that my girlfriend was having an affair with a younger man. I later learned that this had been going on for months. She fell in love with him. I was heartbroken. I was an emotional wreck and I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it out. A week later, I ended up totaling a rental car. I thought this might be the end for me; however, somehow, I was able to walk away from the wreck without so much as a scratch. Financially, I was in trouble. I thought my business was going to come to an end as well.
Fortunately, I was able to rebound from all of these issues. I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and kept going. In my life, I have experienced a lot. I have lived through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. There have been plenty of times when I wasn’t sure if I could be able to keep going. The one constant in my life has been God.
I have learned that God protects those who help others. I try to live my life by this verse:
Yeshayahu – Isaiah – Chapter 58, Verse 7: “Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and moaning poor you shall bring home; when you see a naked one, you shall clothe him, and from your flesh you shall not hide.”
During what little free time I have, I try to give back to a community that has given me so much. I have spent years volunteering at local soup kitchens, providing meals to those in need. I have also stepped up during the COVID-19 pandemic. I donate to charities and spend my time helping some of my friends who run nonprofits that serve underprivileged parts of the world. This includes the Instituto Dana Salomao, which distributed masks and hand sanitizer that I sent them to those living in the cramped Favellas in the capital district.
Even though I have gone through hard times in my life, I know that I am not alone. I try to use what I have to help others. In doing so, I place my faith in a higher power. I know that as long as I live my life the way God intended as best I can, life will always work itself out. I wish that everyone else could find solace in this lesson as well. That way, life might not seem so stressful.