As any parent can relate it's easy to go down the old "sacrifices I have made for these kids" road. I am not proud of it but have traveled down that road myself. Yesterday I had an early Sunday morning flight to catch in the city for work. Really nothing unusual for me as I have spent the better part of the past decade on almost constant travel to visit clients and projects all over the country. So this past Sunday I arose at 4:30am, hurriedly packed and sped away for the almost 2 hr 45 min drive from my kids hometown to the nearest airport. After hitting a construction zone where the entire road was gone I became very frustrated over "having to live where I do for my kids". A mental road I have traveled frequently.
This mindset puts you right away into a woe is me mentality and a "what if" line of thinking. Where if I had my way the airport would be 30 mins away from me! And also I think... these kids better appreciate the sacrifices I have made for them! Even if you are not a parent I can bet you have fallen into this thought trap too... being married will for sure put you there! It is really a case where we blame and make excuses through the use of our family/partner, job, boss, manager, even our pets.
Fortunately for me... after years of self taught cognitive therapy, good mentors, discipline and plain old age... I very quickly snapped out of this thought trap while driving Sunday morning. I did what I call the GRATITUDE PIVOT. I thought well what if I had no kids at all? I have friends and family members who were completely unable to even have children. I have friends who have lost children. How grateful and rich is my life with my two kids in it!? I was immediately overwhelmed with gratitude. This gratitude reversal was so powerful it really made me wake up! I FELT ASHAMED TO HAVE EVEN TAKEN THE EXCUSE/BLAME ROAD. But I was also very grateful I caught myself in the act and not realized this hours or days later. Soon I realized no sacrifice is too great for all the gifts I have been given... gifts I could have just as easily never received and could lose at any moment.
Today we commemorate true sacrifice. Not the make believe sacrifice our ego creates in our minds... but true hardship and loss. True sacrifice by mostly blue collar families for everyone in our country. The sacrifice made by blue collar kids, moms, dads and families for us all. Not for BLM, not for LGBTQ, not for antifa, not for Republicans, not for Democrats.....FOR AMERICA. This is why today ONE FLAG flies on the porch of my house at my kid's hometown! I don't need a blm flag or a gay pride flag.... all I need is the American flag. You see the American flag covers us all! Because of the sacrifices made by blue collar kids in all of those categories. Indeed only one flag in the entire world covers all of us. Only one flag truly represents every person Jew, Gentile, Muslim, gay, straight, black, blue, white, etc. I love that flag and am so grateful and humbled by the great men and women who have gave all for it to hang on my porch.
“How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn; for what purpose he knows not, though he sometimes thinks he senses it. But without deeper reflection one knows from daily life that one exists for other people — first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy. A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.” Albert Einstein