While I was celebrating my 64th birthday with my family and close friends and receiving  affectionate birthday greetings on face book from all over the world, I was thinking, ‘’How lucky I am ! ’.

After the celebration when I ask myself, “What do I owe to my family, community and humanity?,’ I answer myself with a related question, “What have I received from my family, community and humanity over the decades?”

If I am honest with myself and reflect on what I have become in 64 years of my life, I realize that most of the gifts I received from life were free. I did nothing to earn them. All those things that I received free without my efforts and planning include

…my intelligence that I inherited

..affection and love that I received from my extended family

….education that I received from my teachers and professors in schools, colleges and universities

…time in history when languages, knowledge and facilities were freely available


…ongoing support and inspiration that I received from my friends.

If all that I am today is 100%, what others contributed is 90% and what I earned with my own hard work is 10%.

That is why I feel that whatever gifts I have earned whether economical or professional, social or philosophical, literary or creative, 90% belong to my family, community and humanity and only 10% belong to me. For every dollar that I earn 10 cents belong to me and 90 cents belong to others. That is why I gladly and lovingly

share my earnings with

…my nuclear family (Bette and Adriana)

…my family of origin (Amber and Irshad, my nephew and nieces and their families)

…my Family of the Heart, my close friends

serve my community by helping my clients and their families


share my creativity with humanity at large through my writings.

The more I reflect on my life, the more I realize that I am lucky to have a mutually respectful and loving relationship with my family, community and humanity. How more lucky I can be ! How more fortunate anybody can be !

In the final analysis I feel that life has given me far more than I have given life.

If I was born with a mental disability or physical deformity, never sent to school or did not receive love from family and friends, my life would have been completely different. If I was born five thousand years ago I may not have lived 64 years.

I am not sure how many other people reflect on what they receive and what they give to life.

I believe that if people can acknowledge and appreciate all the free gifts they have received throughout their life, they would develop a profound sense of gratitude. Such gratitude will help them enjoy giving and sharing whatever they have with their dear ones and humanity at large and live in their peaceful Green Zone the way my sense of gratitude helps me live in my peaceful Green Zone. My honest reflection on my 64th birthday was a humbling experience.                                    July 2016    Words 528