Holten: A hodgepodge of thoughts and emotions
If you were a kid in 1952, you were faced with the fact that there actually was a bogeyman and his name was Mr. Polio.
Polio was a bad dude that infected 58,000 people that year, with 21,269 of them -- mostly kids -- ending up with some form of paralysis and more than 3,100 of them dying.
They think Mr. Polio was born around 1835 and he was a sneaky one who, during the '50s, scared people almost as much as the thought of an atomic blast. In fact, he was a medical oddity that baffled researchers for years until one of them, a researcher by the name of Jonas Salk, came up with a vaccine that didn't kill Mr. Polio but, like a restraining order, stopped him from coming around.
So if you do the math and take 60,000 people a year times 50 years or so years, that equals almost three million lives ole Jonas might have affected in a very positive way. That's not a bad way to spend a lifetime.
In fact, in the mid-1980s Jonas also engaged in research to develop a vaccine for another, more recent plague, which we call AIDS. To further his research he co-founded the Immune Response Corp. to search for a vaccine and ultimately patented a drug called Remune, which is an immune-system-based therapy designed to fight and ward off AIDS. But Salk died before a vaccine could be found. He simply ran out of time.
Have you ever thought about how you are going to spend your lifetime? If you're like me, you've thought about it a lot and you feel like you might have wasted plenty of it watching football games that your favorite team lost, going to events that you didn't really want to go to, watching movies with stupid endings or, worst of all, ordering steaks that were less tender than shoe leather.
You meant well, but in the end you ended up wasting your time and, as the years went by, you felt like you had less of that time to waste. (Maybe that's why I have trouble taking a vacation and when I'm on vacation I feel like I need to take a vacation from my vacation).
But let me tell you this: as I read in a book yesterday ... it's not about what you're doing or going through, it's all about what you're going to.
Where are you going?
Long ago, a Roman emperor by the name of Marcus Aurelius said that you should, "Adapt yourself to the things among which your lot has been cast and love sincerely the fellow creatures with whom destiny has ordained that you shall live." Not bad advice.
In other words, make the best of the situations you are in, love the people you are in those situations with and you'll have fulfilled your destiny and lived a full and complete life. That's really quite simple and best of all it takes the pressure off you, doesn't it?
Someone named Rhoda Blecker wrote a prayer in which she said, "Thank you for today's blessings and for yesterday's and, in advance, for tomorrows."
It's nice to know that, no matter what, tomorrow is going to bring blessings, something to look forward to and another person like Jonas Salk who will help to heal diseases and make life better.
And that person, like Jonas Salk, will decline to patent his vaccine, just like Jonas did, because he or she will have their priorities in order.
But maybe Steve Maraboli, who is a speaker, bestselling author and behavioral science academic, summed it up best when he said we should, "Live your truth. Express your love. Share your enthusiasm. Take action towards your dreams. Walk your talk. Dance and sing to your music. Embrace your blessings. And make today worth remembering."
I like that.