This past week my family and I spent a lot of time with other people. We spent the week in New York City for Thanksgiving.
I have spent a lot of time in this city over the years and love being there. There are always a lot of people but this week was exceptional because of the holidays it was packed!
We enjoyed the Macy's parade (people), went to the museums (people), we walked to Rockefeller center and Radio City (people), we went to a Broadway show (people), we shopped on Canal Street (oh my gosh THE PEOPLE!), and of course Grand Central Station.....was like Grand Central Station!!! People were everywhere!
Here is my observation....people are great when you get to know them:-)
We met some of the kindest and most considerate people. Tommy was one of them. Tommy drove us to the airport yesterday.
Here is Tommy's story in a nutshell; he moved from Vietnam to the United States 25 years ago. He could not speak English at the time. Tommy got a job, got married, worked as a machinist on Long Island for 15 years, bought a house, and now owns 5 rental property houses, he now runs a car service, he and his wife raised two daughters, one of the daughters just graduated from college and works in advertising in Boston, and the second daughter is going to Stanford next fall, his wife went to school and now is an accountant....when they retire they are going to move somewhere in the midwest. This is what he said in his Vietnamese broken English, "America is great! If you get an education and work hard you can be successful!"
I forget....how fortunate I am.
Here is the key; just like Tommy, your focus determines your reality. It's true. If you focus on things that are right and pure and good and just, you move towards righteousness, purity, goodness, and justice. It's as simple as that. And it probably goes without saying but if you focus on the negative things you tend to gravitate there.
I think this is a balancing act for all of us on most days....we are emotional, we have outside circumstances in our life we can't control, and of course all of the other people in the world but you and I, like our new friend Tommy, have a choice.
We can focus on the positive and in turn help others also.
SO, here I launch into my week, inspired to focus on the things that are right, pure, and just.
I encourage you to do the same :-)
Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Philippians 4:8 (The Message)