The Money Pit

The Money Pit

So I’m visiting this absolutely delectable Italian bakery in fancy-schmancy Las Olas.

The Sicilian pizza by the way is amazing.

We are there for a while enjoying the food, conversation, and ambiance.

My wife offers to take a picture of me in this great place.

The lady behind the counter is so nice and let’s me join her behind the counter for a moment.

In comes an obviously wealthy customer and as he sees me going to take a quick photo, he makes a big “Hmmmmm!”

The lady graciously says “Just one moment sir.”

And irritably waiting for just this brief moment, he blurts out, “I’m the customer and my money comes first!”

When he said this, another lady in line made a huge shocked face–as did we all.

It is incredible how some people’s money goes to their head and they don’t realize it all comes from G-d and can just as quickly be taken away.

Wealth, health, our loved ones, and happiness–they are ephemeral and we should be ever grateful for them for as long as we have them.

Being arrogant and thinking we are better than the next guy–that we are somehow more deserving or above it all–is a huge fallacy and G-d sees all.

Maybe this rich guy’s money comes first to him, but I imagined the Master Of The Universe hearing these words and having the last eternal laugh. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Down In The Dumps

Down In The Dumps

This is a display at a retailer in posh Rockville, Maryland.

As crazy as these mugs are including their $4 price tag, what adds to this comical scene is that there is the broom leaning up against the stack on the right, which I suppose you would rightfully need if these mugs were accurate.

I am sitting here thinking (briefly–very) about what exactly the social commentary is for these nasty mugs, and I believe that this is about people wanting to let down their (no, not their pants!) facade of perfection and propriety and having to do everything right at work and at home, and just instead for a while being silly, crude, and even (a little) stupid.

It’s like the person who says the most inappropriate thing at the most inappropriate time and says, “Did I say that?” And everyone starts laughing as the tension of the moment is swept away.

I think to some extent we all need that…to break the tension of the everyday rat race we live, and to give everyone pause to just say or do something a little silly and for everyone just to laugh it off. And then the real business can go on with everyone knowing that there are real human beings behind those suits and stone faces.

Anyway, this was probably the strangest display in a retail store I have seen, outside of the Village in New York City, but that’s another story. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Sharing Some Laughter and Happiness

Cherry_blossom

There are some cool articles in Mental Floss (March/April 2012) on laughter and in Harvard Business Review (January 2012) on happiness–hopefully an auspicious sign for us all.

Some things to think about with laughter:

- “Babies laugh 300 times a day, while adults laugh only 20 times.” –  Maybe we all need to be a little more babyish?

- Laughter is “used as a social lubricant; we use it to bond with others.” — This reminds me of something my father always said: “when you are with those you love, the joy is twice the joy and the sorrow half the sorrow.”  In essence then, people help us deal with our emotions and our emotions help us deal with people–we all need one another.

- Laughter is contagious, truly. “Hearing laughter activates the brains premotor cortex. preparing the facial muscles to smile and laugh in kind.”  — What a blessing to laugh and help others laugh as well.

A brief history of happiness:

1776 — U.S. Declaration of Independence declares right to the “pursuit of happiness.”

1926 — “Happy Birthday” song composed.

1963 — Invention of smiley face. :-)

1977 — Introduction of McDonald’s “Happy Meal”.

So it’s only March 14 (National Pi Day 3.14)–and it already warm outside, the beautiful cherry blossoms are in bloom, and there is plenty to feel happy about, laugh at, and be grateful for in this world.

Thank you G-d!

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)