Saint John: Consideration is a sign of intelligenceWritten by Kc Saint John | | SYLT@toledofreepress.com
Happy Holidays, everyone. What an exciting time of year, with so much excitement in the air. But are you living with an attitude of gratitude? With all the positives that we see in this season, the stress level is high and many people get very lonely. Sometimes we overlook what is important as human beings — other human beings. We are so caught up in the hustle and bustle and pursuit of the next item to make this season. You think you are doing the right thing, but what really is the right thing? Society will tell you it’s spending money on frivolous items and events. So off to the mall holiday soldiers go to battle every other holiday army to get that prize and present before it sells, and any other holiday soldier seems to be the enemy. That doesn’t seem right, does it?
This is a season in which we all have an opportunity to make a difference. Consider the “5-Foot Rule”: When you come within 5 feet of anyone, make eye contact and say, “Hi” or “How are you doing?” thus acknowledging their existence and then them, in return, acknowledging yours. If you are not used to it, you will feel a warm, fuzzy happiness the more you encounter more people. You might just catch yourself smiling. Cost: Free.
Family time should be fun time. As we all know, friends we choose, family we are born into and many family gatherings get so stressful because society says you have to spend lots of money you may not have that, quite frankly, you should be spending on more important things: bills, education and enrichment — things that blossom long after you invest (well, not the bills, those are like weeds — best bet is not to take them on — because once you get them in, they never leave).
If you have the less-than-perfect atmosphere, maybe doing something new might give you different results. A conversation with the host and guests may ease the stress and maybe everyone can bring a dish to pass. Instead of buying expensive, half-desired gifts, either put a cap on gift spending and focus on the people rather than the product or discuss doing a full-family event where every member shares a memory, thus steering away from a material holiday. When you stop listening to what the ads are programming you to do and start using the brain gifted to you, you are going to see that, especially in Toledo, you can find fun free or inexpensive entertainment and activities for every age.
Everyone is right where they are supposed to be. As human beings, we are meant to encourage and develop each other. You are probably better at many things than many other people giving you a special responsibility, you are the mentor.
For some reason, human nature makes us criticize. Well, your responsibility is to overcome that urge to put down others and I hope you do realize that that is your insecurity and ego. You may feel better for a minute, but by criticizing you just poisoned your well. Get a hold of your ego. If you were to overcome that devil, your job is really to “water that seed.”
Encourage and assist others. You overcame fear and obstacles to become the master of your domain; you have inspired many to pursue their dreams; now you can take your talent one step further and help that person, band, group you briefly thought you were better than to reach their next level. Many hands make for light work, and when you move in this direction, a positive direction, you just became part of the Big Team. The reward is an outside admiration for your maturity and a that warm, fuzzy feeling. Cost: Free.
Together we have made Toledo a diverse and opportunity-laden community. Appreciating other Toledoans for their ambition, passions, dreams and endeavors is what makes Toledo an amazing city in which to live, raise families and encourage tourism. The more we consider the results of our everyday actions, and make positive decisions, the better we all make our world around us. Remember, we do it to ourselves. Reward: Priceless.
Kc Saint John is a glass artist and fire breather who enjoys teaching and creating with a focus in glass. He works to develop talent and promote unity and information within the community. He is a former Chicago WEA A&R Rep and major label multiplatinum talent manager of Chicago’s infamous cabaret Metro Smart Bar and is now back in Toledo’s Old West End, “Enjoying Toledo and all it has to offer.” Kc owns Lost Peninsula Arts & Glass; a music/art school and gallery and manages The Glass Dojo, a collaborating artists’ group. Visit www.kcsaintjohn.com.