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Everything Matters / #RaulJulia #MariNodarse #community #risetogether #EpicCommitment #EpicHeart #PuertoRico






Life is so short. When we are young, time seems to move incredibly slow. At school, the clock hand would seem to never make it to snack time for me. Now I look back and see how fast life moves. If we don't stop and enjoy where we are with what we have we miss out on enjoying the moments and people that are in it. Life is precious then. Should we wait for our bank accounts to be just right for ourselves (or for others) before we say that 'we have arrived?' John Lennon said that life is what happens when we are making plans. Sounds easy to understand but in our individual quest to pay our bills and reach the end of the work week our lives unfold and are lived.

This is a matter of great importance which I look not to take for granted. Everything matters. Every interaction is important, from the least to the greatest. Our thoughts and actions influence what is to come or not to come. Likewise, a fickle mind (ever-changing) will experience a great degree of stop and go, track changes and an inability to make something worthwhile and of substance. That is why it is pivotal to establish for oneself worthwhile goals and then to never give up on them. Having goal-directed persistence, which is sustained tenacity on one's dreams eventually bears fruit. Average becomes extraordinary one day at a time, rather than overnight.


Do you remember the actor Raul Julia? Children may know him best from his role as Gomez Addams in the two-hit Hollywood movie franchise, The Addams Family. He passed away on October 24,
1994, after a stroke and a coma. I recall that that same year and day my female cousin, Mari Nodarse, passed away from a two and a half year fight with cancer. Both people were different, yet they shared a love for making life better and richer for humanity.

From San Juan, Puerto Rico, Mr. Julia began his acting experience in first grade and continued on in his craft eventually being discovered and prompted to move state-side.  Raul Julia never had it easy and had to hustle to make ends meet at first while living in New York City. A Broadway star, Raul became quite the Shakespearean actor having taken on roles in a great number of 'the Bard's' plays, including 'The Tempest,' 'Macbeth,' 'The Merchant of Venice,' Two Gentlemen of Verona,' 'Titus Andronicus,' 'As you like it,' 'King Lear' and 'The Taming of the Shrew,' which he co-starred opposite Meryl Streep.

His parents wanted him to be a lawyer, but he had a liking and affinity to acting. He stuck with his dreams and goals even in the face of relative economic hardship and by and by he began landing
roles on Broadway, Sesame Street, and eventually Hollywood movies. My cousin Mari, was not a famous actor like Raul, but she had a clear mind as to what motivated her. A humanitarian, after studying in Boston College and getting her graduate degree from Babson, she went on to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity in Eastern Europe helping build playgrounds for children. Mari came from a materially affluent family unlike Raul Julia and did not have to do this. Still, she was driven by a love of making things better for others and wanted to be of service not just to her country, but to humankind. She loved to make people smile. Mr. Julia was a humanitarian also and was concerned with ending hunger across the world. He partook in using his stardom to raise great sums of money to this end, as well as creating organizations for youth to follow in his acting footsteps.

Both Mari and Raul did what they could with what they have and where they were. They never knew each other and had different personal goals, yet they share, like many of us do, a love of people and of making a positive difference in the life of others who can never pay one back. I bring the two together as an illustration that you don't have to be mega-rich to make a mega-difference in the life of someone else. You don't need to be a movie star or have great fame and networking connections to be of equal value in the pursuit of being a servant leader in your own right. Mari died at the age of twenty eight. Raul lived a fuller life, yet still died prematurely young, both were trailblazers for their communities with hearts on fire for others. Each giving of themselves in their own unique ways.

How can you and I alter or continue a lifestyle that is of service to making things better? Can we be
creative and think of something new? Of course, we can follow in the footsteps of others who have made paths on how to go about this, but it is so much more fun and adventurous to eventually have our own unique stamp on how we make our communities and the individuals in them stronger. I dint that this slows down the pace of life... when we put the focus on others rather than enriching ourselves we all win. Thus, it is better when we rise together, rather than rise only as individuals. Start small and #goForth with #EpicCommitment and an #EpicHeart:)


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