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"Every Mind Is Its Own Universe"
by Carlos Canas
published August 2015

This is an old Spanish saying that my mom often mentions. In other words we all have our own way of seeing the world around us. We all experience life differently.

I was reminded of this while visiting my son in Los Angeles recently. While there, I had the opportunity to watch people interacting and going about their own business. As I sat and observed thousands of people walking around, sitting, eating, relaxing and looking at their cell phones I thought about how each of us has our own worries.

One morning while on my way to McDonalds to pick up breakfast I passed a homeless woman sitting on a curb. Her expression was one of desperation and hopelessness. I thought about the fact that at one point in her life she'd probably had a good life with a mom and dad. She was a daughter, possibly a sister, maybe a mother, but this morning she had no one. I bought her a breakfast burrito and the genuine thankfulness on her face was more rewarding than any thing else she could have given back to me.

Earlier this month as I dropped off last July's issue of The Valley Spotlight at some doctor's offices, I saw people sitting and waiting for results, their normal everyday lives interrupted by sickness. Back at home, watching the news on television, I heard about families having to come to grips with the fact that their loved ones will not be returning home due to fatal accidents.

I recently visited a friend who at age 56 suffered a stroke leaving him bedridden and unable to speak. We all live in our own universe affected by circumstances most often beyond our control, yet we are all interconnected somehow.

I guess what I'd like to say is that we need to pray for each other even for those we may not really like. Everyone while here on Earth suffers in their own way. Maybe if we could understand that this is not our final home we could bear the pain more easily. And yet so many, many people today have NO belief in God and an eternal after life. How I wish I could help those who are the most hopeless see that there is One who loves them unconditionally.

Unfortunately today's Christians are often looked upon as backwards, ignorant fools. How did we turn our backs on God and our faith? The break up of the family and the normalization of fatherless families is, I believe, one of the major reasons some people have lost sight of Faith. How can children believe in a Heavenly Father when they have never known the love of an earthly father?

It is my hope that men who father children will be man enough to provide for their children and to stay in their children's lives to show that they love their children regardless of how their marriage ended up.

I pray for all those who have no one to pray for them, the forgotten, the marginalized. I pray for those who suffer in silence, those who suffer from depression and anxiety. I pray for those finding out today that they have an incurable disease. I pray for those who are treated badly by bosses who seem to have no compassion or understanding. I pray for those who have yet to realize that they need God.

Today I ask you to pray for those you know who need prayer, your family, friends and our country.