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No Excuses! Live, Give, Laugh! - an Open Letter to All My Friends

Sean is a teacher who is writing about his spiritual adventures to help other people find balance and self-respect.

no-excuses-live-give-laugh-an-open-letter-to-all-my-friends

While you are trying to find excuses, you are losing time from your dreams! No excuses! Live, work hard, serve, laugh and dream.

— Sean Dragon

The Three Musketeers

Strange things! Many people come to me, asking for advice about their lives! "Sir, you are a role model for me!" A phrase I often hear from my students!

Am I a life coach? No, sir, I am surely not! I am a simple man. I am fighting my demons every single day. I love my demons, they are my best life coaches. I believe that, soon enough, I will understand that they love me too.

Do I know all the answers? No! Absolutely not! I have only three answers, and I use them depending on the issue. Sometimes I use them all three at the same time! As I said before, I am a simple man with simple answers to any question. Ask me what you want. My answer is Love, Serving and Humour. I don't know about you, but these "three musketeers" keep me happy until now!

Am I a teacher? If you ask my students, they probably will say that I am; though I constantly tell them: "I am not your teacher, I am your helper". So please don't confuse my typical professional title with a quality so exceptional and important. How can a simple man be a teacher? Some great teachers have walked on this planet, and some still walk. I have been blessed by their footprints. I found my three answers in their teachings. I was so lucky to become a disciple of such one. So, I know, first hand, and teacher, I am not!

I don't see difficulties. I see only challenges and opportunities!

— Sean Dragon

Solving the Mystery

Well, what is the case then? How can a simple man like me become a life adviser or a role model? I am not rich, not famous nor successful, according to the standards of this modern society of social media and virtual life! I am not a YouTuber, neither and Instagram influencer.

Trying to solve this "mystery", I asked about it some of those who have come to me seeking guidance. Some of the answers I've got are:

"You are always happy, no matter how things are!"

"You don't talk about Love, you live Love!"

"You never whine, and you always have time to listen!"

"Your smile, my friend! It was there when I needed it most!"

"You are the most positive person I've ever met!"

"You stood by me when nobody else did, neither parents, neither friends!"

I'll be honest with you. While I am rereading these answers, I feel proud. But it is not an egoistic pride. I feel proud of labouring Love all these years since I understood that if you want to serve, first of all, you've got to be happy! And yes, I am a happy man because I have been blessed with the knowledge, when I was still young, that a happy life doesn't mean an easy life. Not at all!

Nobody can live a life without difficulties and pain! Jesus didn't! Buddha didn't! So many sacred figures didn't! Even in the best novels doesn't exist such an experience! The sooner someone understands it, the more happy days can live. In fact, happiness lies in the way we deal with these difficulties and pain.

Smile, no matter what. It makes your difficulties worry!

— Sean Dragon

Me, introducing new teaching methods, including dance and standup comedy! It ended up more like Greek Tragedy! Ha! Ha!

Me, introducing new teaching methods, including dance and standup comedy! It ended up more like Greek Tragedy! Ha! Ha!

No Excuses

I will always remember my Master's words:

"Give up any convenient excuse makes you feel miserable and self-pity. Be grateful for all the gifts, no matter the ways they chose to come. Some will come through troubles and pain. Accept the challenges and learn to deal with Love and humour with them. Then you'll have a joyful life and not just some happy moments."

So, many years ago I gave up the sweet and poisonous addiction of "I have a perfect excuse to be miserable" and with great help from my "friends", the "three musketeers", I became the positive person I am.

I decided not to see difficulties but challenges and opportunities to become a better person. Someone who can love more, smile more, give and serve more, day by day. And life has been generous to me, giving me a few hard times to practice; and still does. Let me tell you about some of those.

I love, I serve, I smile, therefore I am.

— Sean Dragon

Father’s Gift

I was never too close to my father until the time he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He had a dream about me, to work with him in his business, but I wanted to become a physicist. So he had made it crystal clear to me that if I wanted to follow a teaching career, I would be on my own. I had to start from zero with no financial help from him. He just lent me a small amount of money to start my science tutor school, and I paid him back some months later. It was his way of preparing me for the hardness of life, his way of loving me.

I am grateful for the lessons I took then. It was the first time that I decided to follow my Master's advice, and it changed my life. I used it as an opportunity to learn to deploy my potentials and to establish a strong relationship with God within me. I worked hard, not only as a teacher but many parallel jobs. I worked as a salesman, as a worker, as a farmhand and other. So I managed to pay my dues, but more importantly, I learned to value everyone's work. There is no higher or inferior job, everyone has its significance! I also learned that the smile and a positive attitude make your day and not the other way around.

When the doctor said to my mother and me that my father has no more of three months of life, it was a shock! I knew that it was the beginning of a tough era for all family. I decided not to accept anger and pain as an excuse for whining. Instead, I chose to try to find ways to make Love to take the first role.

I had to miss hours of my work accompanying my father to all the trips to Athens for treatment. There were days that I had to drive over four hundred miles in the morning and then to teach until late at night, and the next day the same. I had to manage the family finances, which were in a ruinous state after the extortionate cost of the treatments.

I did it with love in my heart and smile on my face. The three months turned into almost two years. And they were the two years I found and loved my father, and he did the same with his son. For the first time in my life, my father said that he was proud of me and of the path I had chosen to follow. I saw my love to heal a lot of broken pieces in him, but unfortunately not the cancer. It may sound hard, but by losing my father in this world, I found him in a spiritual one, and now I know that he is by my side every day. This is an excellent gift in a great loss!

So many things happen that we can't control. It is the way of the Universe to weaken our ego!

— Sean Dragon

Daughter’s Gift

Ten years ago, we lost a child. It was the hardest thing I've ever faced. A piece of my heart was gone away, forever. Too easy to give up, surrendering to grieve and depression. My wife almost did it, accusing herself of not being a mother competent to keep her child alive! I knew that no matter how tough it was, I had to accept this challenge too and keep smiling for the sake of my wife's mental health and our three little boys. No excuse for misery, not even for such a strike.

We cried, we prayed a lot, and we experienced the miracle that love can heal any wound. We learned to value every moment with our children, and that nothing is for granted. So we have to offer as much love as we can, while we can. I believe that this challenge made us better parents, and we proved to ourselves and to our kids that Love is the best host for happiness, no matter what. Now we are happy to know that we have four sons here on Earth and a daughter in Heaven. We are never apart.

I will always love her…

I will always love her…

Job’s Gift

I live in a bankrupt country. One of the many around the globe. Greece has ended up in a financial, social and finally humanitarian crisis because of political corruption and human greed. More than one-third of the population has lost their jobs and business in the last ten years. All these people are long term unemployed, living in poverty. I have seen many times, and I still see, children, searching for food in the garbage cans of the supermarkets.

The education and the healthcare system are operating below the needs of the population because hundreds of thousands of young scientists have left the country, looking for decent jobs and payments abroad and the governments have money only for bank rescue! Last three months, we faced a severe problem with my wife's health, and we had to pay for the doctors and medicines a considerable amount of money. If you can't find that money, better luck next time...

I work as a freelancer science tutor, and that does not give a steady family income. We are a big family with constant expenditure, and I talk only about the basics. At the same time, many of my students need my educational help, but I know that their parents can't pay me regularly or even not at all. I can't deny my support to them though. I think that is at least unfair for those kids who have all the potentials to succeed and the lack of the public education system doesn't let them. Therefore, I have to work more and more these last years and get paid less!

This year I have reached the upper limit! I work seven days a week, ten to twelve hours per day. I have only one or two free Sundays each month. Even so, my incomes are less than one thousand euros per month. It is evident that it leaves me a short time to spend with family and even shorter to do things I love, like writing and reading.

It sounds like a good excuse for someone to complain about life's hardness. Isn't it? Not for me, though. As I said, I have decided to always look for the blessings in all conditions. I have found many.

First of all, I've learned to value every single moment. I get up early in the morning, and I devote at least half an hour to God –and keep to communicate with Him all day long– and one hour to physical exercise. I hug my four Suns –yes, my sons are also my Suns– before they go to school. I eat breakfast with my Sunny, and I leave home for work only to come back late at night.

I spend my day with teenagers, and that is truly a blessing! A blessing to see them grow up and become good and successful people, knowing that you have been a positive part of this miracle. The gratitude I see in their eyes and receive from their words and deeds is more valuable than all the money in the world. And really, all those hours of work are full of joy. So when I return home, I have still love to share and not fatigue to whine about. Finally, we not only find quality time as a family, but we also find time to help others in need!

Family, the source of my magic power! (May 2015)

Family, the source of my magic power! (May 2015)

Of course, we are not above money! They are necessary. We have needs. But until now, God always has a way to offer us His gifts. We had also been helped by other good people at the right time. So, we are not rich, but we have what we need. And my boys have learnt to be humble, to be joyful with the basics, and the most important to share. They are proud of my work and of the words they hear about me. They are proud of their mother, who works even more than me to serve right her five men. We are also proud of them when we hear their teachers tell us how kind and helping young men they have become.

I know that when I am no more able to work so much, God will open a new path for me to follow, and I'll do it. Until then, I will fill my days with love and humour, with no excuses. Only with gratitude for the blessings!

Priorities build happiness!

— Sean Dragon

Gratitude

I think that there is no need to say more. I believe you can see now why I am such a positive person. I have all the good reasons to be, despite the difficulties. And do you know what the greatest miracle is for me? It is that I know that out there, in this troubled world, there are so many people more capable of me carrying the Light! I have met some here in this community of HP! That's why I am so optimistic and grateful to the God of Love!

Just a Heartbeat Away…

PS: I hope now that you can understand my "absence" these last months. I really miss a lot to read your beautiful works and commenting. It is not an excuse, but as I say to my students "priorities build happiness". A piece of my Heart is always here, and I will write and read in every chance I have!

I Love you all! I miss you all! I thank you all for the beauty and the Light I have found here!

Gratitude!

Sean Dragon

Comments

Ioannis Arvanitis (author) from Greece, Almyros on December 27, 2019:

Oh, my dear Peggy, I can't find words to thank you for your beautiful comment! It is an exceptional and priceless gift for me. My dream is to serve Love, with every thought, word and deed. You give me hope! Gratitude!

Much Love from Greece!

Sean

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 26, 2019:

Dear Sean,

Thank you for sharing your story and your family with us. Your positive philosophy must be such a help to so many people! The ripples you create with your words go much farther than you, perhaps, even know. It is a pleasure to read your wise words and try to abide by them as well.

Ioannis Arvanitis (author) from Greece, Almyros on December 21, 2019:

Yes, my brother, Chris, that's life. But no complaints. Life knows better, and Love never let us down! Thank you for all the good things I have learnt from you and for your kind and helping Heart!

We send you Christmas wishes!

Sean

Ioannis Arvanitis (author) from Greece, Almyros on December 21, 2019:

My sweet Li-Jen, your comment is so precious to me! Thank you from my Heart! You know well what means to me to call you daughter! My love is always by your side.

Greetings from your home in Greece!

Sean

Chris Mills from Traverse City, MI on December 20, 2019:

Sean, I get it. You are a man of unusual focus. Your three answers have served you well. Governments disappoint us. Family and friends often let us down. Each of us has to find a way to positively face the future with or without these supports. Thank you for telling us how you do it. I totally understand how this takes you away from the things you enjoy. But that's life. We will see you when times are better.

Li-Jen Hew on December 20, 2019:

Hi Sean. Thank you for being open in sharing your past experiences. As you mentioned, your experiences have shaped you but I believe that you are kind by nature nonetheless. It's a good thing to be proud a bit like you said because you know you tried your best I guess. Thanks for sharing and for being my Greek father.

Ioannis Arvanitis (author) from Greece, Almyros on December 20, 2019:

Thank you, Umesh, happy to see you here! Life has a unique way always to be interesting. Our choices may make it more enjoyable.

Blessings from Greece!

Sean

Umesh Chandra Bhatt from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on December 19, 2019:

Good article. Interesting reading. Thanks.

Ioannis Arvanitis (author) from Greece, Almyros on December 19, 2019:

My dear sister, Chitrangada, your words are always so beautiful as the flowers you photograph! Thank you!

Love always protects us in hard times. The more we offer, the more we are safe! I send you my Love, blessings from the family, and gratitude!

May the world enjoy the aromas of your Heart!

Sean

Ioannis Arvanitis (author) from Greece, Almyros on December 19, 2019:

My dear brother, Venkatachari, thank you for your beautiful and wise words. Your comments always add positive elements to my work. I am grateful for your blessings.

Blessings from the family to you!

Sean

Ioannis Arvanitis (author) from Greece, Almyros on December 19, 2019:

My dear Pamela, thank you so much for the sunshine you always bring to my hubs with your comments. I am sure you are a happy person and more confident that you make people around you happy. Your words are wise and cheerful at the same time! I will follow your advice. Gratitude!

May God smiles at you!

Sean

Ioannis Arvanitis (author) from Greece, Almyros on December 19, 2019:

My dear sister, Dora, all parents, we are only transitory parents to our children. They are His children in eternity, and He knows better! I do, for them, the only thing is eternal too. I love them! All children, not only mine. And I bleed for the loss of every child anywhere on the planet.

It is my privilege to know and love your beautiful Soul through your work. Thank you for the Light!

God bless your luminous Heart!

Sean

Ioannis Arvanitis (author) from Greece, Almyros on December 19, 2019:

My dear brother, Manatita, you are one of these magnificent Souls God has sent to us for lighting our paths! You are a great help to me, both spiritual and material. The only way to thank you is my prayers for you, to the God of Love! I wish you strength and courage to keep on carrying the Lantern.

Some Souls, like yours, are the best evidence that God loves this world?

Sean

Ioannis Arvanitis (author) from Greece, Almyros on December 19, 2019:

My dear Crezyl, God has prepared you for great things through the difficulties of your childhood. First of all, to offer the love you "envy" to your children, when they come. But also to anyone who needs it. You've been blessed with talents, writing is one, so use them to serve Love.

Thank you for your kind words about my family. They are my magic power! I wish you the best!

Who is ready for a life without difficulties?

Sean

Ioannis Arvanitis (author) from Greece, Almyros on December 18, 2019:

Oh, my dear sister Audrey, you sing Love even when you writing a comment! Thank you for the Light of your Heart!

I want you to know that I pray for Todd and his legacy, his children! I believe that through them, he made this world better! We can't lose those we love, so he is with you and loves you every day!

Much Love and admiration!

Sean

Ioannis Arvanitis (author) from Greece, Almyros on December 18, 2019:

My dear brother, Rodric, my Heart and prayers are with you. Your little princess is with Jesus, just like mine. And Jesus is with you my brother, I can tell for sure. I am proud of you! Thank you for your words; they've touched my Heart!

Love the world for her!

Sean

Ioannis Arvanitis (author) from Greece, Almyros on December 18, 2019:

My dear sister Linda, you have a very special place in my Heart! Your presence here is a blessing! Thank you for being always inspiration and encouragement for me.

God bless you!

Sean

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on December 18, 2019:

Thank you for sharing your personal life with the readers.

I am deeply touched by knowing about your family. God bless each one of you, your wife and the dear children. So sorry to learn about your lost child. Must be so painful for both of you.

Life is like that—there are good times, as well as the not so good times. Having faith, patience, perseverance and love, can help you cope with each one of the situations, which God gives us, at different times.

Have faith in the Almighty, and keep doing the noble work for the society.

May God Bless You. Thank you for sharing.

Venkatachari M from Hyderabad, India on December 18, 2019:

A great message from you through this wonderful article on "Live, Give, Laugh". Your life's story is a good example of all it.

All of us have problems in our life. But, it is the way that we face them that matters. Be not afraid of those disturbances or challenges, but march on boldly through them without losing confidence but with an optimistic approach.

My blessings to you and your family.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on December 18, 2019:

We all have to deal with the priorities of our lives and sometimes that is difficult. I really like your "Live, Give and Laugh" philosophy as those priories in life will make you happy.

I am a happy person most of the time also as it feels so much better than misery or self-pity. The fact that you teach teenages is definitely of job of giving something of yourself and to the people who need to hear it the most. I am sure the time with your father was difficult, but you learned so much about each other and the love rules. I would encourage you to spend as much time as possible with your family as children grow so quickly and you treasure those memories as you age. This is such a good, thoughtful article and I surely enjoed it. I wish you easier times in the future.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on December 18, 2019:

"I love my demons, they are my best life coaches." I've learned much from your positive spirit. Thanks for sharing your struggles and your strength which results from them. You've suffered the worst--the loss of a child, but you still breathe life into other people's children. You're no ordinary soul. You are dedicated to your life's mission and I'm privileged to cross paths with you. Continue filling your world with love and humor. God loves you; me too.

manatita44 from london on December 18, 2019:

Helpful and informative piece

Thanks Bro. Keep being the shining Light of Faith, acceptance with dignity, positivity, strength, family and humour. A great combination. Merry Christmas to all the family.

Ioannis Arvanitis (author) from Greece, Almyros on December 18, 2019:

You are a mentor for many of us, my brother, Bill! That is your quality! You have climbed your Golgotha too, and you turned it to Love! Thank you for being the burst of sunshine in my Heart and mind every time I think of you!

This beautiful family sends you Love!

Sean

Ioannis Arvanitis (author) from Greece, Almyros on December 18, 2019:

My dear brother, John, thank you so much for your beautiful and heartfelt comment! It means a lot to me because you are a person I admire and love! You are my Rainbow poet, and you know that. I am too proud to call you brother and knowing you it makes me also a better person, opening new beautiful rooms in my Heart. Rooms I didn't know were there! That's the magic power of your poetry! I am grateful for your friendship!

Love from all the family to all of you!

Sean

PS: I pray for a lower temperature in Australia and some rain for the fires.

Crezyl from Philippines on December 17, 2019:

Sean, in my young age, I've experienced poverty, the time when my mom had no work and papa seems to not give care to us at all and my parents separated, mama worked abroad to support us. I envy your love for your children, I had wished for that kind of love when I was younger, but now I truly understand how unfair life is, and I never pushed myself towards impossible things, but I always believed in God. Right now, I am blessed, though, we are not rich my mama was able to send the four of us in school, three in college. The tuition fee in the Philippines is expensive as we are studying in private school but I thank God everyday that we can survive it. I love your family Sean. Your family is an inspiration for me. Thank you.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on December 17, 2019:

You are love, my precious brother. I'm very touched and inspired as I read your story. Your family is so beautiful; you are a rich man. The way you have handled the loss of your child has brought a realm of light to my own situation. Losing my boy, even after all these years, I feel that I have lost the best part of myself.

I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. I kneel to show respect as I talk to God. Thank you, Sean, for the words of wisdom, for your loving example and for your humility.

Rodric Anthony Johnson from Surprise, Arizona on December 17, 2019:

I needed to tead this epistle of positivity and love. It helps to return my focus on what matters most: to endure this journey of life well. I lost my little girl nine years ago along with my hope. Thanks to my faith in Jesus and my faithful spouse Hope again fills my heart. Thanks for sharing this.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on December 17, 2019:

Thank you for sharing a few more details of the path you have walked. Our life on earth is not without troubles or sorrows. No one is exempt, but how you live in the face of adversity is your choice and yours alone. You will never know how many find inspiration and encouragement in your words.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 17, 2019:

I had a mentor who said something to me which I've never forgotten: Have a good day, unless you've made other plans. It boils down to that. I can choose happiness each and every day...and I do.

Losing a child...I cannot comprehend that kind of pain.

You have a beautiful family, my friend.

Peace and blessings always

bill

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on December 17, 2019:

Sean, my brother, thank you for sharing your heart with us and letting us into your life. What a humble and giving person you are. When you base your whole life on love, you can overcome any situation and God doesn’t burden us with more than we can bear.

I am proud to call you a friend and it makes me a better person by knowing you. Your presence has been missed here but i know you will make every effort to read and write whenever you can, but your life and family must take priority. Love and blessings to you and your family.

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