Help out a little. It’s not that hard.

aroma-black-coffee-caffeine-327120

Today I came into work at my local storage job, to a pleasant surprise. One of my co-workers was back! She had been very sick for the past two weeks and today she returned to work. Unfortunately she was not fully well yet and she was still feeling bad, but not as quite as terrible as before.

I told her that we had missed her and that we were glad she was back. I asked her what was something she liked, and that I would like to get her a drink or something later today. She responded with a sort of dumbfounded look. I kept prodding and said let me get you something to make you feel better! She said, no that’s alright don’t worry about that. I told her, nope I was going to get her something.

After all, it’s not that hard.

And I was happy to see her back in the office today. She really helps out and does lots of work. Having her gone was tough because the rest of us were working hard to try to do her job as best as we could. While she was gone I had done much of her work for two reasons. First, it needs to be done. If someone is gone for a day or two, maybe then you can leave the work for them to do when they get back, but for a week or two, no way.

The work needs to get done.

Second, how the hell would you feel if you were gone from your job and when you get back all of this work is left on your desk and you come back from feeling terrible to being buried alive? I always hated that when it happened to me.

I will never forget the first time that it happened. I was 19 years old and I was working in a buffet in Crater Lake Oregon. This was prior to starting my vacation rental business. I was a kitchen worker, washing dishes, etc. and my job was to clean it all up. One morning I came into to work and what I saw horrified and flat-out angered me.

There was a massive pile of dirty dishes.

The worker from last night had left everything for me to do this morning. I was so pissed off. Instead of doing her job she just decided to forget it and pawn it all off on me for the next shift. I was so angered. But work had to go on so I cleaned them all up and had an extremely busy day because I was back logged on all these dishes. I started working when the buffet opened so new dirty dishes were coming in well before I was anywhere close to cleaning the ones from the past night.

At the end of the day I made a vow to never do what was done to me to another worker.

And I kept true to that promise. There were more than a few days where I would clock out when my shift was over, but I would stay another 30 minutes or so to finish the dishes so that the worker next morning would not have to go through that ordeal and start off the day on a wrong note.

I thought that was just the right thing to do.

So this past week myself and another co-worker did our best to our co-worker’s job as much as we could so that when she got back she wouldn’t be completely buried. Today, she was in fact very happy that we did as much as we did.

I know that it was the thought that counted.

This is something that I have posted on multiple times. It really is that simple. People often are not looking for out of this world gifts or treatment. Yes, I know we live in this modern age of social media where we see the stars driving in Lamborghinis, and going on otherworldly vacations to remote Caribbean islands and the like, but all most people really want is to be treated in a decent manner.

Give them a helping hand at their job, i.e. don’t just pile work on their backs, remember their birthday, and if they are sick get them a hot tea!

It’s not that hard, and it could make all the difference.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

I love my parents

beach-child-dawn-1694649

This weekend my parents came down from Oregon to visit me and take care of some business things as well, but I like to say mostly to see me. Hahaha but I really do appreciate these weekends more than ever because

I absolutely love my parents.

I really do mean that. And especially considering that since I moved back to Los Angeles I don’t get to see them that often anymore like I did when I used to live with them in Oregon.

Now my parents are in their 70s, much older than most of my friends parents, so being real I cherish every moment I get to spend with them. It was also a large reason why I wanted to live with them back in Oregon for a good year and a half. But in the end it didn’t work out because the area was too isolated. It was a great retirement sort of community for my parents, but for me it was just too lonely.

As much as I love my folks, I need my friends as well.

So I moved back down to Los Angeles, which is where I grew up. Today it was particularly fun as I introduced my Mom and Dad to my best friend John and his parents for the first time. I had always wanted them to meet in the past but it just never ended up happening. However, today it did and we all chatted for hours.

It really was a great time.

Now my parents are taking a nap, I told you they were old, (Mom if you are reading this you are still very young and beautiful) and then I stepped out with John to grab a drink and write this post before I meet my parents later tonight for dinner.

All these experiences that I get with my parents when they come back and visit are very precious to me, especially those with my Father because I have found that he really has not only great life advice for me, but also good sense of what is a good deal or not. This weekend we had been looking at places for me to rent and so far I found one apartment that worked out. However, after meeting the woman she had her reservations about whether I could make the payment. Now, my parents also met her and we informed her about our family business and such and our situation. Still, she called me today and wanted more proof that we could make the payments. My Dad then made the comment to me,

“Nolan if this woman can’t see your character after meeting you, and meeting us, and going through all that yesterday, this may not be the type of person you want as a landlord. She is a straight business type, no heart. So you might very well find yourself dealing with a landlord that is always looking over your shoulder.”

When my Dad said this to me I knew that he was immediately right. I know for a fact that I would like to have a landlord that is excited for me to rent their property, as I will be honest, I take care of my places and I am a stand up guy. I really don’t want to have someone who is always watching over me potentially nagging at any missteps I might make.

I listened to my Dad and called the woman and respectfully withdrew my offer to rent her place.

It’s times like these where I really value my parents, because they have my best interest at heart and they are always looking out for me. I want to have their opinion on everything while I can still get it.

Because they have seen a lot more than me.

And I hope that if I ever become a parent myself that I will do the same and look out for my children in a similar manner. Hopefully my children will be as interested and attentive to listen to me as I am to my parents. But I will be honest, that took some growing up to do. When I was younger, especially in high school, I didn’t give a rip. (As my Mom says lol.)

But as I grew older I realized their wisdom and their older perspective. And while back then I would contest their points, often I defer to them now. With that I will conclude my post, I love my parents so very dearly much and I am fortunate to have them. I really do feel for those that never got to have parents as such as mine, and I really wish that more families would stick together and make their marriage work in such a way to benefit their children as mine did for me.

Because, nothing beats that.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

 

Temperance 2.0

beach-beautiful-blonde-220418

Yesterday I wrote a post about temperance, which was a little rushed, and unfortunately today my post is a little but rushed too. The morning streams are becoming such a fun adventure for me that it is hard to stop them such that I have time to appropriately blog, so here I am at the Starbucks patio around the corner from my work typing furiously to get something written for you all to read before I go back to my desk job.

Yesterday I briefly touched on the subject of infidelity in my post about temperance. This is a big issue as today so many people are cheating on their partners. Now this post is written with regards to people that are in relationships. If you are out there and just single and mingling that’s one thing, and this post is not about this. This post is about cheating, and cheating only happens when partners are trusting each other to be true. If there is no agreement to be true, then that is another story. Now constant fooling around can be another article as well, because the lines can surely be blurred as to what you are in the scope of a relationship and people also often don’t communicate, but I will save that for another post.

Back to the post, I want to start it off with a message that a follower said last night in my stream. Czech_Meowt in my chat said,

“It’s the break down of society.”

I could not agree with her more. It truly is so terrible. Once someone cheats there is no way to trust that person anymore. That bond that you two shared has now been broken. I know what this is like as I have been cheated on in the past. It’s a shitty feeling knowing that the person you are with isn’t loyal to you, and worse that they hid it from you.

How can you go back to them?

If you have kids, or shared interests and possessions then things can be much more complicated as you cannot easily walk away. But restoring the relationship is not without incredible difficulty. Making it work out is extremely challenging because if the person that was cheated on wants to take revenge they can any moment.

Let’s say the one who cheated doesn’t text back soon enough, then the other partner can easily say,

“Oh where were you? Were you cheating?”

I know a person who went through this. It’s terrible. It was a mistake long ago, but forgiveness was never granted. Instead a vicious cycle of revenge was created as the one who was cheated on chose to punish the cheater who had since repented. But then the cheater felt terrible and was angry at the cheatee as that person would not let them be forgiven.

This is what happens when cheating is involved.

The stakes are never higher. And honestly its why I think that if cheating happens and it is possible to separate from the relationship more easily (e.g. no kids, etc.) then I recommend it. Because so much damage has been done and can be done, don’t put yourself through that. Just move on and try to rebuild, and if you were the one who cheated, learn your lesson so as not to do it again. And if you can rebuild, then that can be good, but in my opinion it is highly unlikely and it is more likely best to move on.

But also forgive yourself.

People all make mistakes, and by mistakes I mean serious mistakes: cheating included. It’s certainly not okay, but at some point you need to move on with your life and get back to living it. Don’t let a mistake ruin everything else. Now, moving on with your life is likely going to be with a new person, and that will definitely hurt, but that is consequence of what has been done.

And you have to deal with that.

Hopefully this teaches the importance of temperance. The need for self-control, to be able to choose and say no to alternatives. This is so immensely important in the case of relationships. I will tell you all this. Everytime I have been dating someone, no matter how smart she was, no matter how pretty she was, no matter how successful she was, I met other woman that I was attracted to and impressed with.

But did I act on my desires and cheat? No.

I won’t sit here and type this blog and lie and say I’m only attracted to the girl I am dating. That is a bunch of bullshit in my opinion. There are so many great, attractive, datable people in this world, and I am attracted to lots of them. And this is also how I expect the women I date to feel as well. If they told me they weren’t attracted to any other men and just me, I would accept it as flattery, but also as a lie.

Look, I’m cute, but there’s a lot of cute guys out there. I’m not that arrogant or stupid lol.

But back to my main point. It’s just that you need to choose. And both people need to choose this. One person who they want to be with. And that means that when others show up you don’t go with them. It doesn’t mean that you don’t be attracted to them, that is something that is out of your control. We don’t really create our desires, they just happen. But we are in control of our choices.

And that is what attracts me the most.

When a woman consciously chooses me over others. That’s what I really want. Not to have a companion that only thinks I am attractive and no one else is, but rather one that chooses me above others. That is truly special.

And you know,  sure this is sexist I guess because I am stereotyping cheating as happening more on the fault of men than women, but seriously guys,

KEEP IT IN YOUR PANTS.

If you have someone in your life that is precious to you, and is amazing, and worth keeping. Show that. Don’t betray that trust. Learn how to be temperate, to control your desires and in doing so be able to foster a great relationship instead of compromising it just to have another fling.

Remember, life is about choices. And if you want life to be good, and not full of stress, you will need to make some. And I understand that those can at times be very difficult and also often paired with sadness. You can’t date everyone, and that is sad because as I said there are lots of amazing people to date, but if you want to make a serious relationship with one, you will necessarily have to decline others.

But that is the way that you will be able to have a truly great one, and in the end that will be worth it.

 

Keep Smiling,

Nolan

The Simplest thing.

architecture-bakery-bar-1619572

Ever since I could remember my Father always encouraged me to greet people whenever I ran into them.

To anyone and everyone. To that person I crossed path with down the street. To the person that was standing next to me in line. To my friends at school, to my teachers, to my neighbors, to everyone that I could.

He told me that it was such a simple thing, that could make all the difference in the world.

And he was completely right.

One day many decades ago my Dad was going to get his box of donuts. He was an independent wholesaler and his signature calling card was a pink box of donuts. He would always bring it to his favorite customers and of course, close the deal. He routinely had a box ready for him at a local bakery in San Pedro and he would stop by in the mornings and pick it up.

But this day was different.

As my Dad was walking into the store he crossed paths with a huge, scary-looking, black man.

Now reader, I avoid talking about race unless it is absolutely necessary, lest I want to stir up controversy, but trust.

My Father looked like your average white male. Not too muscular or anything, just looked like he worked a regular job and had a regular life. (Though my Dad was, and is, far from that lol) Anyways, this man that he crossed paths with was huge. Big, tough, and as may dad described, a just real mean-looking guy. The kind of person that you just don’t want to run into. The type who could just break you into two pieces without breaking a sweat.

You know what my Dad did when he saw him?

He greeted him with a great big smile, said “Good Morning!” and opened the door to the donut shop for him. 

My Father told me the man looked at him with an expression that he would describe as a look of half scowl, but also of half surprise. The man went inside the bakery without saying a word to my father. My dad then followed inside into the packed bakery.

Now my Dad always had his box of donuts at the end of the counter waiting for him, as it was prepared ahead of time since he had a business account with the bakery, so unlike the Man with whom he had just spoken to, he skipped the line and went to pick them up.

Then this happened.

The Man seeing that my Dad was just in and out picking up his donuts and that he was about to leave the place in a just a minute said this across the room, to which everyone in the entire place could hear.

“Hey! I really appreciate you greeting me this morning.”

My Dad could tell that the Man had been incredibly moved by him. He replied,

“Wouldn’t it be nice if everybody did that?”

The Man replied back with a statement that sounded full of disbelief, in that he had never thought about a world where something like this was the case. He said,

“Yeah, it sure would.”

My dad then picked up his trusty box of donuts, and left the bakery. But not before he looked at the Man again and said his signature line,

“Keep Smiling!”

My Father always told me that the Man, the same scary looking monster of a human being, took on the biggest smile he had ever seen and laughed.

 

My Father has never forgotten that moment, nor have I. The story struck such a cord with me that when I recount it, it is as if I was there in the bakery. And I remember it so vividly because of how important the story is, and what it means.

I really hate race. I really do. It’s such a shame. I just wish it wasn’t so. I hate how people think because of my background (being a white kid) that I think this and that I think that about other races. And that other people think this and think that because of their race or about other races. They don’t know me. I don’t know them either. Why can’t we just wait to judge until we get to know people?

I hate it.

I grew up in an area where I was truly fortunate. There were lots of people from different backgrounds and us as kids never ever even thought about race. To this day two of my best friends from First Grade are Chinese and Indian. I currently live with my Chinese friend and his family as I write this post.

I can truly say that growing up I was color-blind.

But as you get older, you see race. And you see the stereotypes and how people judge others. And you cannot get away from it. It’s everywhere you look. It’s on the streets, it’s on the news, it’s in how people speak, how they look, and even how they move.

And this was what probably happened every day to this Man. He looked like the hulk, he was already scary because of his sheer size, and then you add on that he was black and people likely were judging him every day thinking he was a bad dude, and in a gang, or some other kind of bullshit because of his race. He probably would walk down the street and routinely have people, likely whites, just bow their heads in fear, or worse walk to the other side of the street.

Can you imagine how that would feel?

I bet it was beyond terrible. And then after that happened a few times, he probably got angrier and angrier because likely the guy was super nice inside! But everyone judged him by what he looked like and what they thus associated with him based on his appearance, and he probably hit a point where he thought,

“well if they think I’m a monster maybe I will just be one.”

From that point on he probably carried that scowl with him everywhere he went.

Until he met my Dad.

I cannot say this for certain, but based on the reaction that this Man gave my Father and from the account I have been told, there is a high degree of probability that the Man was thinking or feeling something along these lines. He probably saw my Dad walking to the bakery door, as was he, and thought to himself,

“Another white guy who thinks I’m just a mean, up to no good, black guy.”

It is so sad, but it is so deeply understandable. How could I even begin to argue with the sentiment? I know how people act. They act in that way. They reinforce these terrible stereotypes through their mannerisms every day, through things like ducking their heads and looking down at the side-walk when they would walk past him. And you know what? I understand why, they are scared because of the stereotype. But they should replace their fear with courage. Stand up straight, and instead of looking at the ground, look them in the eye and do what my Father did.

Do what this Man thought was unimaginable. Something that nobody ever did to him. Something so easy that anyone could have done it, but no one ever did. He just simply greeted him with a smile and said,

“Good Morning!”

And that struck deeply. My Dad always told me he knew that that was a moment for that man. After all, he shouted to thank my Father all the way across the packed bakery. It’s those kind of remarks where someone says something across a room, with no regard to what’s happening around them, when you know it meant something. They have something to say, and it is so important they say it, no matter what others think.

And what this man had to say was simply,

“Thank you.”

 

All people want to be acknowledged. We humans are social beings. We live amongst each other, and thus we should communicate with each other. When we don’t that is a terrible thing. Sometimes being ignored is the worst feeling in the world. There are times where I know for a fact that I would rather be hated than ignored. At least someone would be paying attention right? That’s why my Father said hello to everyone throughout his life and why he encouraged me to do the same.

Everyone is important.

And you can easily let them know that, just by saying hello. Your comment just might make their day. Or maybe their week. Or maybe their month. Or maybe even their entire life. And you just might be able to tell when it does.

My Dad knows for a fact that that Man never forgot that moment. And my Father never did either. Both of them carried that with them for the rest of their lives. And in that moment I know my Dad made a difference.

Imagine if everyone did that.

And is it really so hard? There are many projects out there where people say “imagine if we all pitched in!” But honestly, those projects often require a tremendous amount of effort, and it is just impractical to assume that everyone would pitch in and help make it a reality.

But here? This is easy.

Every one of you reading this has the power to acknowledge someone. There is no monetary deposit required. You don’t need to sacrifice anything. Just the next time you see someone, wherever you are, say hello to someone.

It is so simple.

And for those of you that are scared of talking to other people, I understand. I have been there before. But you know what? The more you talk to to people, the easier it gets, and soon it will come naturally. And further, you will make so many friends! People will be awestruck by you. You will be the light in their day, especially if you live in a small community where you start to see someone of these people regularly. You might even get to see the snowball effect that happens when you radiate kindness.

I tell you, kindness is infectious.

Other people will take notice. The fact that you extend yourself to them and acknowledge them will strike a chord. So many people have no one in their lives. They go to work and go home and anyone outside of those circles never says a word to them.

Until you.

Just trust me on this. Put yourself out there and say hello to people. You will be surprised with what happens.

And you just might be able to change the world one “good morning” and one “keep smiling” at a time.

 

Go out and acknowledge others, and Keep Smiling,

Nolan