Actions and decisions you make today, you’ll have to sleep with tonight and live with tomorrow. They are reflections of who you are and the foundation which defines the depth of your character. Fight for every inch and earn every ounce of respect, then offer it freely and give it often. Weigh your options, envision the possibilities and let no one influence your decisions regarding what is right and wrong. Make many mistakes, do not fear them, but learn from them to elevate your own attributes though it may not live up to you own intentions and expectations. Face the consequences of your actions alone, standing tall with pride and dignity. When days are dark and times are tough, stand by your convictions regardless of outcome and uphold your family name with honor and respect.
Accept your imperfections and know your limitations, yet strive for nothing less than excellence and perfection. Because we live in an imperfect, self- preserving and cynical world; this cruel, unfair and unjust society will not meet you halfway, and there are no points for second place, therefore reach for that which is unreachable and do not let adversity dictate your limitations, rather rise up to the occasion by being an example to follow, not an excuse to hide behind. Do not let greed, money, power or self-ambition be your focus, instead let performance centered on moral ethics and values be the driving force to fuel your quest to reaching your personal dreams. Live life as if you will die tomorrow, but thirst and hunger for knowledge as if you will live for eternity. Success and accomplishments worth remembering are paved with honesty, integrity, pride, hard work and perseverance in the face of uncertainty, morality, self-preservation and utter failure.
In the event of my demise, let it be for a cause bigger than myself, let it be for a principle I believe in and let it be for God and country for there is no greater glory. Let me be known as someone who fought the fights that needed fighting, not just the fights I could win. Let me be remembered as someone who was no more righteous and no less of a sinner than that of a pastor or a common thief. Let my life be a reminder of a man who fell short of many things, who never achieved all his goals and dreams, but never walked on anyone’s shadow, nor take the path of least resistance. And let my epitaph read, here lies a God fearing man who loved and shared, a faithful husband, a victor who have lost, a failure who have risen to the challenge, a sinner who needed forgiveness, a slave who defied a titan, a sheep among wolves, a friend among kings and beggars and a man who lived life with honor and principle.
There is good and evil in my heart, it is in my nature. Therefore I honor God with obedience, humility and loyalty without question, unconditionally surrendering to his will, following his teachings and trusting in him blindly without hesitation and with unwavering conviction. Jesus is my refuge, with him I am sheltered. He is my fortress; with his love I am secured. He is my captain who will not lead me astray for his grace will grace will protect me wherever his will takes me, therefore show strength through mercy to those less fortunate with no expectations. He is my great sacrifice; in his suffering and death, I am saved. He is my advocate who speaks in my behalf before my father in heaven. Let God’s righteousness be the beacon of light which guides your path and his truth be your sounding voice in the journey of life. The importance of personal relationship with God far exceeds the traditions we practice for God, for he who worships with all of his heart, mind, soul and strength, God dwells within him. Jesus said, “I love you this much.” He stretched out his arms as far as the east is from the west and died so that I may live.
Learn to love and love well. Love perseveres through the challenges of life and faith, trusts the unworthy, gives hope to those who have lost everything, strength to those who are weak, patience to the easily angered and keeps no records of wrong from those who rejoices in the misfortunes of others. It’s easy to love those who loves you, but true love is loving those who is undeserving and unworthy of your love, for it is the single most selfless and greatest act a person can do or give to a complete stranger or even an enemy. In death, a person’s self-worth is not defined by their social status, professional or personal accomplishments, worldly possessions and riches acquired in life, but by the lives they touched with love as they lived. Let love be your life’s testament and the legacy you leave behind for those willing to listen and follow, for it is the foundation behind the Basic Principles of Life……… Paul Rodriguez
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