To be transparent is important because it let’s others see the human side of who we are. On that note, this past week has been challenging for my wife and I as yet another house offer fell through. Like most things tend to find me when I need them most, I woke up this morning to a message from a friend with the parable below:

There were two young fish swimming in a river and they cross paths with an older fish swimming the other way who nods at them and says “good morning boys, how’s the water?” The two young fish continue swimming and eventually one of them turns to the other and says “what the hell is water?”

This shorter blog (you’re welcome, Uncle Peter) has no agenda and in fact, is just me writing to me. It’s a reminder of the simple truth that we are often the fish, unaware of the very current that carries us through life. More than that, this thought is about the ultimate human power – the ability to choose our perspective despite circumstances. I hope that you find the concise message below encouraging, inspiring and valuable.


We tend to live as if the world revolves around us (let me know if that’s not the case for you). This default mode of self-absorption can make it hard to adopt a bigger, more meaningful perspective in times of hardship. In other words, we are at the absolute center of our world, but that doesn’t me we are at the center of the world. When life is hard and things don’t go our way, it can be easy to get lost in the conversation between our ears and bogged down in the struggle that surrounds us. It’s in these moments, where the awareness of water affords us the opportunity to choose our perspective. For me, it’s the awareness that while life is hard right now, it’s also good and in the grand scheme of things, I’m the same person with or without a house. While I don’t understand the meaning of our home search struggle now, I am choosing to believe that it’s happening for a reason. I’m tapping into the message behind my only tattoo: always planted, never buried.

“Sometimes when you’re in a dark place you think you’ve been buried, but you’ve actually been planted.”

Christine Caine

I couldn’t express it better than David Foster Wallace who expressed that many of us strive to “lords of our own tiny, skull-sized kingdoms alone at the center of all of creation.” The really important kind of freedom involves attention, awareness, discipline and the ability to care about and sacrifice for other people over and over and over again. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting – the constant gnawing sense of having known and lost some infinite thing.


Life isn’t about us and but that doesn’t make us unimportant; we are small and still significant. This blog is a simple reminder that when life doesn’t go how we wanted, we are presented with the chance to choose our perspective with intention. I’m not sure what you’re going through, but if you’re nodding your head in agreement, read this.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Viktor Frankl

Thank you for reading!

Joe Rinaldi

IG: @joearinaldi

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  1. Went to see a friend of mine yesterday who had a stroke 3 months ago. Although some improvements still could not move his entire right side (he is right handed). I never felt so lucky. Hang in there the best house is still waiting for you, Uncle Peter

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about your friend but encouraged by your perspective! It was great seeing you this weekend Uncle Peter! I appreciate the well wishes!

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