"Monday 5 Things" with D. Paul Graham


Monday 5 Things…..Epidemics…..

“Get back here right now or you’re going to get Covide!” I couldn’t believe my ears. The grandfatherly man yelled this at two exuberant boys as they laughed and ran down the hallway of an empty Oglethorpe Mall. The kids froze. I looked at grandpa and he just shrugged his shoulders. They sluggishly wandered back to him, carefully side stepping me as I walked in their direction, their joy deflated. I went to walk around the mall out of curiosity and left with this morning’s M5T about epidemics of other sorts that affect the way we live.

1. Pandemic Fear.

Fears of handshakes and hugs. Fears of everything touched, of every cough, of every sneeze. Fears of becoming ill and the fear of finality. Fear of loss of jobs, of finances, of perceived security. Insert your fear of choice here. Mindsets of fear are pervasive and global today. There is no doubt that this virus is dangerous and deadly and there is good reason to be afraid of contracting it. We all have our own fears that create anxiety, indecision, and melancholy. But how long shall we continue to be paralyzed by fear? The antidote to fear begins with deciding to calm down, reframing the reality of how you choose to live your life, being confident in your foundations of faith, and facing fears head on.

2. Rampant Lies.

No matter what political party you follow of whatever country you live in, there is no doubt that political lies are purposefully and maliciously used to advance agenda’s and objectives. The media continues to propagate falsehoods through faked and staged videos, fabricated stories, and unnamed sources. Social media is used at times as a weapon for defamation. The cure to countering lies is refusing to accept everything we see or read at face value. In this day and age, it is all the more important that we question, everything. To think for yourself. To refuse to be silent when lies are exposed. To demand integrity from our politicians. To turn off media that is deceitful and to refuse to be drawn into social media arguments and destructive commentary.

3. Infectious Expectations.

Unrealistic expectations are infectious. Expectations define how we live our life. Expectations that “life” owes us something, that ‘things’ will make you feel happy, that everyone deserves an award just for participating, that life should be fair, that everyone should agree with your perspective, that failure should be avoided, that you can fix someone, that love and marriage will always be a fairy tale, that you can meet all the needs of someone else, that someone else can meet all your needs, that social media lifestyles are real, that you can control everything, and that there is always a quick fix to problems. All of these unrealistic expectations are rigidly destructive, lead to disappointment and even depression and take focus away from the positive parts of your life. The antiserum to unrealistic expectations is found in giving yourself the freedom to be flexible, to fail, to push for your beliefs and values, and to forgive others. By being realistic with yourself and with others. And realizing that no one owes you anything, that you won’t always win a prize and no one, absolutely no one, lives a perfect life portrayed on social media.

4. Communicable Insincerity.

Mea culpas from public figures seem to abound today. But, are these apologies genuine or are they manipulative justification for actions from habits or moments lacking disciple or self-restraint? An attempt to play-up to the cameras, to slide the dirt under the carpet and move on without a change in behavior?  The antitoxin for insincerity is found in avoiding the desire to please everyone, shunning compromise of your values, developing the discipline of being patient, avoiding gossip, and integrating your private life with your public life.

5. Contagion of Mediocrity.

Mediocrity is contagious. Social demands and expectations from others to live a certain way, to avoid creating waves, the pressure to work to a lesser standard. Accepting “that’s just the way it is” and “we’ve always done it that way” as reasons for behavior, process and productivity. Take the easy route; good enough; average; don’t rock the boat. All mindsets that foster mediocrity at the cost of living a less than full life.  The remedy to mediocrity is defining who you are, not who others think you should be. To never give up on your dreams. To read more, to learn more and to step up when others refuse to. Take calculated risks. Keep your principles, your integrity, and your individuality by daring to be different.

Here’s to a week of running with glee down empty hallways and avoiding other epidemics in life!

© 2020 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

D. Paul Graham is passionate about people, culture, photography and business. He has embraced his wanderlust with his travels around the globe and is at peace with his need for spirited drives in all things automotive.

You can find M5T each Monday here on www.southmag.com and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook. Paul is also a contributing photographer to South Magazine. His photographic work can be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at www.imageGRAHAM.com . Your feedback is always welcome. Email Paul at dpg@imagegraham.com