Have you ever tried to slow down? I don’t mean a little slowdown, I mean a big slowdown. Well, I can tell you from experience that slowing down is not that easy. Everyone — including my doctors, my family, my friends and people I barely know — are telling me to slow down because of a little bit of heart trouble.
I understand their reasons for telling me this because they know I’m having chest pains and they really don’t care to see me die from over exertion. The problem is that I’m having the hardest time slowing down to the point where I won’t experience chest pains. If I go any slower I think I’ll fall over.
There are so many things I still want to do. I want to help Rich Marovich take care of his greenhouse. At the same time I want to help Rick Fowler and Duc Jones take care of the creek and its restoration. It’s important to me to help John Pickerel take care of the thousand or so people that depend on him to keep things rolling businesswise so they can support their families.
I also try to help John Donlevy and Carol Scianna of the City of Winters. They are charged with the creation and care of the Putah Creek Nature Park in Winters that begins under the railroad bridge and runs all the way to the freeway, a mile or so downstream. I cannot begin to tell you the amount of money and human effort in the form of labor it has taken to get this nature park up to the point where it is now. I’m sure there is some web site you can go to get it all broken down for you if you need to see that stuff.
I have been helping the Putah Creek Council do their fine work of planting trees and caring for them all along the creek (centered mostly in the Putah Creek Nature Park for years. Through them, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting countless people, all volunteers like me, wanting to help out with the health of the Earth.
With all of this going on, I still have my home life and all that it involves as well. Sometimes I’m a little lax in my chores around home and I’ll hear about that from my wife Therese who sometimes says she’s going to call the Putah Creek Council and ask them if they would send me home to do some volunteer chores at my house. Ha Ha Ha. This is my wife’s little attempt at humor but I truly understand her plight.
My wife knows how I feel about my volunteer work, so she’s not indifferent about my doing it. There are a lot of times that she could complain about what doesn’t get done around my house but she holds her tongue because she does not want to have me over-extend myself by doing more work then I should be doing. That’s how I know she loves me.
I also spend a lot of time helping my friend Joe with his battle against cancer. It is important for me to be there when he needs a little help. You might think this situation would be a little one-sided with me helping him all the time. That is simply not the case because he gives me so much more then I give him. He amazes me with his fighting spirit and his willingness to do things for his fellow man, even as sick as he is.
I guess you can see that slowing down isn’t an option for me and this brings me to something important I’d like to bring to your attention. There’s so much violence in the world right now and if you’re going to survive, you’ll have to start using your head. Think about it. Think about what you would do if you took your family to a theater and someone started shooting people in the middle of the movie. What would you do?
Attitude, conditioning and preparation are everything when it comes to survival. Develop a mindset of never taking anything for granted. Always be aware of your surroundings and where you are, and know which way safety is located. Make sure your family members know to remain lowkey and calm while cautiously moving toward freedom as quietly as possible.
A guy like me who needs to slow down may figure he’ll never be able to fight his way to freedom. This may be right, but I could help my family in other ways. If I’m prepared, I might be able to incapacitate a crazed shooter or at least draw his attention until my family gets to safety. Someone shooting up a theater cannot aim at your family if some guy is trying to stick a knife in his neck. He will be worrying about you and that just might be enough to save your family.
Attitude, conditioning and preparation are everything when it comes to volunteer work or escaping a violent situation. The other day someone criticized me for giving free work away. They wanted to know what I was getting in return. To this stupid question I replied, “Nothing. Who would pay a guy as slow as I am for work anyway?”
The road to happiness is through service to others.