Bernie Parent: Live in the now, and you may become immortal

The statue of Bernie Parent and Bobby Clarke was unveiled on Saturday. (Ron Cortes/Staff Photographer)

You wake up in the morning, on the wrong side of the bed. You are in a rotten mood. You get in your car, you turn on the radio, and all they are playing on your favorite station is some crappy music. You change the channel, but it’s a commercial. Some guy cuts you off. You hit every single red light on your way to your destination and you are forced to pump the breaks.

And it goes on and on and on.

So now, you find yourself bitching about all of the bad things that are happening to you, and your day just keeps getting worse.

Congratulations, you’ve figured out the easiest way to build up anxiety.

Be grateful that you have a roof over your head. Be grateful that you have a bed. Be grateful you have food. Be grateful that you have a car that runs, and if it doesn’t, be grateful to have friends that will help you fix it. Be grateful that you can see the road in front of you. Be grateful that you can hear that crappy music. Be grateful that you have a chance to “pump the brakes,” slow down, and take a look at your surroundings. Be grateful that you can read this article. Be grateful that you have your health.

And most importantly, be grateful that you woke up this morning. It is the little things like this that you may forget, because your mind is focused on something you lack.

I preach the law of attraction every day, and being grateful is a great way to attract good things and open up new doors in life. A lot of people are going to read this and think, “Well, what the f*#k am I grateful for?”

There’s always something positive you can relate to. Gratitude is a great step towards positive thinking and living in the now, and you can change the negative outlook that has you cursing every thing in existence while you’re on your way to work in the morning.

Do you know what I’m grateful for today?

For starters, there are few (real) people in this city that can say they have a statue built for them, including William Penn, Doctor J, Kate Smith, Gary Dornhoefer, and Mike Schmidt; but these statues can’t talk. They definitely send a message and have a meaning to each individual Philadelphia sports fan. But this new statue of Bobby Clarke and I, means more than just 400 lbs of bronze dropped in front of XFINITY Live!

This is an award, an accomplishment.

Having said that, I’m grateful that six more teams came into the National Hockey League in the expansion draft of 1967. I’m grateful that Philadelphia was one of them. I’m grateful that I played here in Philadelphia. I’m grateful to have had the ownership of Ed Snider. I’m grateful for the GM, Keith Allen. I’m grateful for Fred Shero. I’m grateful for the great team we had, and I’m grateful for, last but certainly not least, the greatest fans in the world.

All of those pieces formed a puzzle, and the unveiling of this statue has added another piece.

When you look back at my journey, it wasn’t always uphill. I wasn’t always at the top of the mountain. Many times, I crawled in the swamp. And while I was in that swamp, I never thought that someday a statue would be standing in one of the most prominent spots in the city of Philadelphia, right in the middle of all the action.

WATCH: Flyers unveil statue of Parent, Clarke, and the Cup

The beauty about dreaming is that it creates other opportunities that you don’t even know exist. The most famous statue in Philadelphia - up until this past Saturday - was the Rocky Statue, who just so happened to be a fictional character from a movie.

When the Flyers organization called to notify me about the new statue about a year ago, I thought about how this statue very well could be Philadelphia’s real “Rocky.”

And looking back, this is the reward that I never expected, the reward of having a purpose and reaching it. When you live this lifestyle, things and people will come into your life that you don’t even know exist. This statue is one of those things.

Ten years from now, one hundred years from now, that statue is still going to be in the center of all the action. Generations and generations of sports fans - fans that haven’t even been born yet - will walk by, touch it, and Clarke and I will just be standing there, watching all of the fans pile into each stadium.

It is a great honor and an incredible feeling.

When Freddy said, “We win tonight, we walk together forever,” he wasn’t just addressing the players. He was addressing the entire city, the whole Delaware Valley, and as a family, we get to share this special moment. I look at this statue as a representation of the Delaware Valley and the support we received from its inhabitants. It’s not about me and Clarke, it’s about the whole tri-state area.

The statue depicts the picture of the very first cup that we won in 1974.

In today’s world, the Stanley Cup is presented to the captain and he skates with it around the arena. But the most amazing thing about this statue is that Bobby Clarke said to me, right after Clarence Campbell presented the cup to him, “Grab the Cup. Let’s skate.”

He wanted me with him. That was not predetermined. It was spontaneous. He did not skate around with the Cup by himself like the captains today. It was a very special moment, and I think it shows the bond we had among the players and the city.

That is why 40 years later, people still relate to us. It wasn’t just the team that won; the whole city won that Cup. I don’t look at the statue as me and Clarke holding the Cup, I look at it as the powerful family we created with the Flyers organization and the city of Philadelphia.

People can stop by, touch it, and truly believe that they own a piece of it because they are a part of it. That is what the statue truly means.

I am honored and grateful that this moment will now be standing in the center of Philadelphia for hundreds of years to come.

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I am making myself available for readers to submit their questions pertaining to sports/life/current events/relationships/etc., to Submit your questions and I may randomly choose yours to be the subject of my next article!

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Twitter: @BernieParent | Facebook: Official Fan Page |

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More from Bernie Parent:

Be a participant in life, not a spectator
Passion, vision, purpose: Your journey to success
Enrich and nourish the mind, body and soul will follow

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