As I am laying in my bed, with fever and a really painful bronchitis, I’m thinking, “wow, this sucks”, my throat is on fire, the coughing is non stop, my head is beating like a drum, I can’t breathe and the ache in my whole body is just getting worst. In all this uncomfortableness, I can’t help but feel really lucky. Yes, I am in pain, but I have room to feel this pain, I have meds, I have food, and a bed to keep me warm during these awful days.
No one can explain life, however, I have come to have some understanding of it, enough so that any human being can be genuinely happy, and here I share with you my beautiful fellow mates:
1. LOVE YOURSELF. Is the most essential, but perhaps the most difficult. Personally, it took me 24 years to become the man I am today, and I always wanted to be. The good news, once you achieve it, your life changes forever. The bad news, there are no shortcuts to achieve it. Usually you have to go through great ups and downs to discover who you are, what you represent as a person, what are your most valuable feelings, your most precious values. Advice: start by loving your achievements, however small they may be, as banal as: “This month I propose to exercise 2 or 3 times a week”, when you fulfill what you are doing, you realize that there is a will in you waiting for you to achieve bigger and bigger things. That spring that hopes to flourish within you, is self-love.
2. LET GO. Let go of everything and everyone. No, I’m not saying give up and throw in the towel, on the contrary, give your best every time you can. Love with all your heart whenever you can. Fight for what you think is fair every time you can, but always keep in mind that EVERYTHING HAS AN END (as the great Hector Lavoe would say). Let go of awkward situations, let go of toxic people, guess what, they are usually the people we love the most. Let go of jobs that do not allow you to grow, that only give you money. Let go of bad habits, because these will become your way of life. How do you let go? Ah, first you have to love yourself, that’s why it’s number 1.
3. FORGIVE. There are thousands of people living out their own battles, every human being is a universe, nobody goes the same way, and although you do not believe it, there are people who were born to be dark, and hey, that’s not bad, because guess what , light is born from darkness. If someone hurt you, send love, of course we are human beings, getting angry and sad is allowed, but do not let those emotions consume you, give yourself 20 minutes, 1 maximum day to be like this, then get up, take a deep breath and send nothing else than love to that person who hurt you. In the beginning it will not be easy, but the day will come where your heart no longer feels anger or pity. Forgive whoever lies to you, or speaks ill of you. Forgive, after all, you have also made mistakes, and even if you do not know, it is likely that someone has forgiven you too.
4. BE GRATEFUL!!!! If I can give a secret / shortcut to find happiness more quickly, it is to live in a state of perennial gratitude. Being grateful cured me, and continues to do so. Thanks from the first breath you give at the start of the day, thanks for your bed, for the gray sky, for the bus/car/bicycle that takes you to work and back home. Look at the sky and be thankful because you are alive! When you live your life in a permanent state of gratitude, no longer do “bad” things happen to you, lessons happen to you that eventually lead you to live a better life. Thanks for your family, for your friends, for your pet, for your hands and feet, thanks for the fact that every day you wake up is an opportunity to start from scratch and be the person who you have always wanted to be.
5. DO NOT TAKE EVERYTHING SO SERIOUS. Laugh! Life is so short that a day without laughing is a waste. Stop putting your human value in your professional or social aspect. You are no less of a human because you are the CEO of a company, or you are no less human because until now you do not buy a car. Do not take so seriously what society expects of you, live your life, at your own pace, remember that everyone has their own way. Do not take your professional or economic position so seriously (beware, I’m not saying do not give all of you to be the best at what you want to be the best), but do not place the great value of being a human on your presentation card, that is just a label. Do not lose humility or a sense of humor because that is how you think “professional and executive” people act. The most successful professionals I know are those who despite being in the top of their careers, remain humble and have not lost their essence for a job or achievement. LAUGH AT YOURSELF, look in the mirror and laugh with yourself, you are your best friend!
It’s been two months since all of us got here, to this beautiful and really really really white city. So, what do I want to write about? I don’t want to expand on my work, which to be honest, it’s the only thing that keeps my sanity these days, not that I am becoming crazy, but there are days that I think: Really, what am I doing here? I miss my family, my friends, my city, my beautiful city…the long Sundays walks watching the ocean (back in Lima I live just blocks away from the pier). Why did I come here? I miss my bike man…I miss not being able to sleep and just grabbing my bike and go with her (yes, it’s a she, her name is Betty), to wherever I wanted to.
Bread for the City has spent 43 years reducing the burden of poverty in Washington DC, by supporting its residents living with low income. George A. Jones has been serving as Bread’s CEO for 22 years now. In this interview he discusses the food system and the need for a change. He shares his vision of a more inclusive model and the main challenges and obstacles to getting there…
According to the United States Census, 18.6% of people in DC are living below the Federal Poverty Line. How is food insecurity linked with poverty?
Elton Johnson (26), began his work as the first Communications Fellow at Bread for the City in September of 2016. Today, back in his country, he shares his experience…
Where are you from?
Living in Kingston, Jamaica but originally from Montego Bay, Jamaica. When I tell people about Jamaica I always encourage them to embrace duality and Montego Bay is no different. Imagine the most beautiful and relaxing beaches you’ll ever see just a few miles away from the chaos and confusion of Jamaican city life.
What is your background?
I arrived in DC exactly a week ago. As the plane prepared to descend at the airport, a lump in my throat, a mixture of nerves and hope entered my chest, I could barely breathe. Usually when we are about to embark on a big change in our lives, these sensations take over us, it almost feels like jumping to the void, in this case I was making a leap to the capital of the United States of America, the promised land, right? Expectations are inevitable, not even my 10 years as a buddhist could stop the anxieties that throbbed next to my heart. Especially for a young homosexual man who has never been away more than 3 months from his family and friends.