Tomorrow, January 12th, is my birthday. While I won't celebrate with a big party, or even make my usual public announcement to my friends and loved ones, as I've done in days past, I will take the time to reflect. The truth is that I've been doing nothing but reflecting. I am always measuring where I am against my idea of where I should be. I am always looking for ways to challenge and stretch myself. Just recently, I read one of my favorite quotes in a popular women's magazine:
This is our purpose:
To make as meaningful as possible this life that has been bestowed upon us;
To live in such a way that we may be proud of ourselves
To act in such a way that some part of us lives on
(Oswald Spengler, German Philosopher)
Ultimately, this may not be the objective of every man, but long ago I came to understand that, generally speaking, this is a purpose in which many of us share. The worst case scenario is that all of us who claim this pseudo-proclamation for ourselves, might succeed in making the world a little better in spite of what may be our own human failings and shortcomings. In fact, maybe, we can encourage others to focus on the good and the great within, as a means of neutralizing our own flaws and weaknesses. So with that in mind, and as I say good bye to my roaring twenties, and cross the threshold of the "thirtysomethings", and official "adult acceptance", here's some things that I have learned on this past leg of my journey:
What you practice is more important than what you preach
If you've "been there" and "done that"
A more fulfilling life reflects that.
Love is relative to the experience of that love
It is full of joys and sorrows, highs and lows
You have to judge whether the experience is worth the risks.
Understanding is more important than tolerance
Tolerance allows you to remain ignorant
Understanding promotes the acquisition of knowledge.
The big picture is greater than ourselves
It is extends further than our own backyard
It is a divine plan that encompasses every living thing.
Knowing yourself is the key to understanding others
When you know the long and short of what you are capable of
You tend not to underestimate others.
Knowledge is not limited to ability
The only limitation on knowledge
Is your desire to get more.
Insight goes beyond the here and now
It comes from the three thresholds of life:
What was, what is, and what is to be.
We are self sufficient
We should be in pursuit of internal self actualization
Not external praise and superficial accolades
We are all a part of the Master's plan
We all have a role to play
Understanding your role keeps those of others in perspective.
These are some of the things that I have learned. I hope that that these lessons and more continue to teach me the value of life, and further reveal to me the beauty of the human experience. In the meantime, we all must continue to explore and to challenge ourselves to be the people who we were designed to be.
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