"Happiness depends upon ourselves." - Aristotle

So I’ve been called to write after watching the movie “My Sister’s Keeper,” which is odd because I never really write so bare with me. To start off, if you’ve never watched “My Sister’s Keeper,” do it. It’s a beautifully filmed movie and actually managed to get the water works going for me which is a rare occurrence. The reason I’m drawn to write right now is because a certain line in the movie really resonated with me, “Once upon a time I thought I was put on earth to save my sister, and in the end I couldn’t do it. I realize now, that wasn’t the point, the point was I had a sister, and she was fantastic!” The words just speak volumes as to how I feel about the life around me and the life I have created for myself. So many of us are quick to forget to actually LIVE our lives, we’re too busy letting our lives run us. We’re stuck in our own worlds and I feel like a lot of people have lost their genuine compassion for others. It’s sad that a lot of people can’t even tell you their neighbour’s names these days. How many times do you have someone hold the door open for you, or have a stranger buy you your morning coffee or even smile at you simply because you’re walking down the street and made eye contact? Now you might be quick to say that it’s other peoples faults, others are rude, the youth of today is thankless and have forgotten, people are selfish but I believe you’d be a little wrong in saying that. I ask you to stop and think for a minute, when was the last time YOU held the door open for someone, the last time YOU bought a random stranger their morning coffee, the last time YOU smiled at a completely random stranger just walking down the street? You as a human being are the only one responsible for the way you see the world and the way you think about it. I’ve recently found myself on a journey of the unknown; I lost my job and was forced into starting new. I decided I no longer wanted to waste my time working away at a job that brought me no joy or happiness so I looked deep within and found what mattered to me. From that moment on I made a promise to myself to always follow my heart and to do what I felt was right. I decided that instead of talking about changing the world I would actually go out there and do it, no matter what the cost. I went back to my old high school and started them a gay-straight alliance because that’s what’s important to me, educating the leaders of tomorrow so that they can live in the world I dream about that has no homophobia, racism, sexism, any discrimination of any kind. That has now turned into The Diversity Project, the non-profit organization I created to help bring people together from all walks of life to bring about a better tomorrow. For the first six months of being laid off work I lived off E.I. which ran out the first week of May. After that I managed to receive a $5000 be remarkable loan granted to me by the Credit Unions of BC and Vancity which has taken me to this current date. I have no idea what I’m going to do from this point on but I do know that I will do whatever it takes to make sure The Diversity Project helps make a difference in this world. Every time I get down on myself or start thinking negatively I remind myself why I’m going through what I’m going through right now. It’s not about driving the nice cars, owning the big house, having the most money and the perfect life. To me the perfect life is the one I have, every moment of my life means something, every moment is perfect in its own way and continues to guide me on this amazing journey. I want to make a difference in this world, I want to walk down the street and smile at random strangers and have them smile back at me, not think that I’m a freak. I want to hold doors open for people and have them say thank you instead of just walking in without so much as a look back. I want to remind people that life is so much more than the designer sunglasses you just got, it’s about living, it’s about sharing, it’s about being happy in every moment, of every day of your life because in the end when you look back don’t you want to be able to say “I lived the happiest life I could, and enjoyed every minute of it.” Life isn’t about being on top and “winning,” it’s about the journey you took. So I say take that step to love your life and make a change. Wasn’t it Wayne Gretzky who said “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” so take the damn shot!