I was struck by the initial characterization of those individuals who radiate light – an aura of goodness and happiness. Ever known anyone like that? I am lucky enough to have a dear friend who is exactly like that. She shines so bright it even radiates in pictures, I kid you not. I call her my sunshine and I’ve always wished I was more like her in that way. You just feel better being in her presence, it’s that profound. In secret it makes me wonder if I radiate anything but pessimism. Not that I am particularly pessimistic, but I certainly am not a beacon of optimism either. Am I shiny at ALL?
What do you bring to the table? Ah, isn’t that the question of the introspective journey to which I find myself on. I mean, that is what it’s all about, right – finding your purpose? Defining your talents and treasures that help you to give back to the world -leaving your mark on others for the better…
It occurred to me that there were two sets of virtues, the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The résumé virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral — whether you were kind, brave, honest or faithful. Were you capable of deep love?
Interesting comparison, don’t you think? Ever wonder what people would say at your funeral? As morose as it sounds I do think about that once in a blue moon. Did I take more than I gave? Was I a good friend? Did I possess virtues that were felt by others? Hmmm, I look at my children and think I must have some virtue, because they certainly do, and obviously I have taught them a majority of these things, right? A good mirror for sure, but I still am inspired to look more closely at my true reflection.
Individual will, reason and compassion are not strong enough to consistently defeat selfishness, pride and self-deception. We all need redemptive assistance from outside.
Who or what, collectively, inspires you to rise to your better self? I know my faith guides me a lot – but in truth I don’t walk as faithfully as I should. My family. Some friends (not all friends in life inspire you to rise, for some it is not that which fulfills that particular relationship). My colleagues. My books. My therapist (hahaha).
Recognizing her limitations, the stumbler at least has a serious foe to overcome and transcend. The stumbler doesn’t build her life by being better than others, but by being better than she used to be.
I am a stumbler. And I want to be shiny.