What is $20?

Weeks after my Mother has told us that we need to watch what we use, for financial purposes, my Father walks into the living room, my brothers and I sitting on the couch fixated on the TV as usual. He looks at us, then the screen, and back at us again, He says, “Let’s go!” motioning me. I jump out of the couch and follow him to the door.

We get into the car and we’re driving in the evening, “Where are we going?” I ask finally, “Oh well, you said ‘Pizza’ so we’re getting pizza.” He responds. Shocked, I say, “Wait, didn’t Mom tell us that we need to save money? We can’t go for pizza!” “Well… What’s $20?”

There’s a phrase that goes, “When you have 2 shillings, you buy Bread with one, and a Flower with the other.”

I’ve always wondered about this phrase, and the purpose of such a thing, I mean, it’s interesting in the sense that it’s saying, ‘buy something you need, and then buy something fun/flirty/loving/inedible’ and my Father saw that, despite whatever hardships one is experiencing, that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a bit of fun. If nothing else, that small bit of fun helps you by relaxing you, and if only for a moment, taking your mind off the utter stress you’ve been placed under.

My Father realizes that no one can be serious 100% of the time, there has to be– no, there must be time to laugh, to smile, to forget about one’s worries, and lose oneself in a moment of pure joy, of relaxation, of love.

The world isn’t perfect, that’s given, and it’ll always be hard on you, without withholding any blow however severe, the world is cruel, calculating, and oftentimes confusing. But no where in there does it say that you can’t tickle someone, that you can’t hug a friend, you can’t kiss a love, you can’t laugh with your children.

And then you see it, despite the fact that the flower costs as much as a loaf of bread, the flower is just as necessary as the bread, sure you could’ve bought 2 loaves, yet you’d have too much bread and something goes to waste, not the loaves, but your own heart. If you don’t place happiness, or joy, or laughter, or even a bit of stupidity in your life, you’ll constantly be surrounded by stress, which weighs rather heavily on the consciousness, without something light, you’ll strain your thought processing will be on constant high gear, thus wearing out far beyond it’s intended expiration date.

Because once you really think about it, what is it that you’re worrying about? Bills, electronics, heat, water, shelter, all tied to pieces of paper saying this and that. We are designed to respond to this by throwing other smaller pieces of paper at it, and they respond by throwing other pieces of paper at us, and we reply with our previous response, and the cycle continues, until someone stops throwing paper at the other.

We are biologically designed to think, to move, to feel, to live, to laugh, to love, to smile, to cry, to feel pain, to reach for the stars, we are not designed to stress over notices, payments, overdue bills, insurance, debts, money. The body is meant to move, whether inside or out, we are not meant to be under paper yokes that bind us to a singular place, we’re meant to stress that someone/something is coming to kill us or eat us, not whether they’ll take our money or our stuff away.

That’s why there’s a Flower that accompanies the loaf of bread, or a pizza that goes with the house payment, because sometimes you need that little victory over the stress, that small piece that says, “I will have this moment, just for me, where the world cannot touch it.”

These moments are manifested in various things, from flowers to pizza.

It’s necessary to have a moment to yourself, a moment that seems insignificant in the long run, as well as the memory, until you’ve overcame your obstacles and you can look back. Your accomplishments will be the triumph, but those moments that you’ve forgotten will be the ‘umph’ that kept you ‘tri’-ing.

Heh, in these moments when you think overall it means nothing, yet you find out that it is in these moments that you’ve learned how meaningful they truly are.

$20 can buy so many necessary things, from food to a payment, yet, sometimes the most necessary thing in life, is the thing that makes life worthwhile.


The Small Things

It was a typical Saturday, late in the afternoon, we were coming home from the Mass, and my father, who was driving, turns towards whoever was sitting in the passenger seat, saying, “Ahh? Did you say ‘Pizza’? OK! We’ll go get pizza!”

Mind you, my father would say, ‘Ahh?’ as if some derivative of the classic ‘Eh?’ that people would often say, as a replacement for ‘What?’ or ‘Whaaa?’

With the silence now shattered, the Passenger, which would be either one of my brothers or myself, would start calling my Father crazy for hearing things, and deny saying anything in the first place, yet my Father remains unaltered and drives us to whatever pizza place he had in mind…

The following Saturday, the cycle continues…

I asked him one day, why he got pizza every weekend, and he told me that in Mexico, he never got any pizza. It was a simple joy in his life, and he relished it, however small. To me, being raised on such a luxury, pizza, was hardly considered a luxury at all, but more like an insignificant morsel, at ready access whenever a whim moves me so, yet for my Father, Pizza was fascinating, it was always something new to him, always something to be enjoyed and always something that brought happiness.

Rule 32: Enjoy the Little Things

I can see it now, the hard days that just beat you down, the unforgiving people who are too caught up in their own affairs, those times when it feels like all of the world is on your shoulders and your new name is Atlas, but then, something comes along and makes you smile. A little girl gives you a flower, someone you never knew smiles sincerely at you, you catch that whiff of a freshly brewed coffee, a Sun rise, a tasty treat that you never had access to before.

This was Pizza for my Father, no matter how bad the days, there was always something small and seemingly insignificant that helps him get through, that lightens the load, if only an ounce. Granted, he had great times with us, but this was during the mundane parts of the year, when routine sucks one’s soul, and the world feels gray, every weekend, Pizza rejuvenated him, if only for that week.

And so, I know now that I have to find the small things in life, things that might not matter to anyone else, but me, or things that people pay no mind to, and find such pure joy within them. I know I already have some, and I know that there will always be more, yet, through my Father, I’ve learned the power behind something so small, heh, kind of like Hope, it’s small, fragile, and can be utterly stamped out, yet it still remains, so long as one person is willing to go out to search for it…… or if he happens to be the driver.

For me, I’ve always relished intangible things, such as a strong wind, or Rain, or the Stars, or even clouds, just standing there and experiencing such things brings me to peace. Yet, I’m not without my treats, I’m a complete sucker for chocolate, I often joke that if there was Chocolate-flavored poison, I’d drink it.

But the point is that these small things are needed. They need to be there in one’s life to give them a breath of freshness, when it seems pointless to keep going, or trying so hard. An act so small, can give someone such a sensation that their entire lives and perspectives are changed through such an act.

Whatever it is that brings you joy, however small and insignificant it may be, please enjoy it, because it’s meant for you.


There is a moment, a moment in time when you find yourself overwhelmed but a sensation… A sensation that envelopes you in such feelings that you become completely consumed by it. Your senses are overwhelmed by said sensation to the point that you had no idea how you were existing in the first place…

This is the moment when all of the rest of Time rests upon you. I believe that you can quite literally change History for the rest of time with this action, well at least Your history. To change how the story goes on the fly, what an amazing thing to have happen to one’s life.

So I propose a Question…

If one is able to make such a change in his own life, would that cause other people to change their lives for the better?

The answer should be a solid, undeniable “Yes”!

We are all tied together by a singular energy, a force that drives all of us. Marcus Aurelius said it best,

“All things are woven together and the common bond is sacred, and scarcely one thing is foreign to another, for they have been arranged together in their places and together make the same ordered Universe. For there is one Universe out of all, one God through all, one substance and one law, one common Reason of all intelligent creatures and one Truth. Frequently consider the connection of all things in the universe.
We should not say ‘I am an Athenian’ or ‘I am a Roman’ but ‘I am a citizen of the Universe.”

So when someone is overcome with a feeling of, not happiness, but Joy, she/he would be walking around with his/her head held high, a broad smile across the face, and this would have an effect on the people around them. They’d start smiling themselves, if only a little bit, and their day feels a bit brighter for just interacting with the joyful individual, all the while not knowing why. But the hidden truth is that the joyful energy of the individual spreads to others, without anyone’s notice, and thanks to that singular universal bond we all share, there is no barrier to stop it.

So I’m curious, if one can do that without realizing it, can one also attempt to harness that ‘transfer’ ability and purposefully give other people one’s own energy?

I guess that’s a rather difficult question to answer, because you can’t force Joy unto others, it comes naturally. The opened hand receives while the fist remains closed to the world. I suppose, all one can do is just stay true and honest to everyone including oneself, and with that, others will feel a sense of honesty, or at least feel threatened by one because they’re scared of what he thinks…

Heh, this post was a complete bust, I’m starting to ramble, when I wanted to continue reflecting on my previous post. Meh… I’ll get it next time… I think… I’m tired… my thoughts are scrambled and too random to continue… I’ll see you later… Heh, I’m out of energy… Heh heh heh…