I believe nothing happens by chance. So, when I hear so many people state that they have not accomplished anything in their life – well let’s just say I begin paying attention. In TV shows, movies and in my reading this sentiment pops up repeatedly. There is a crisis of self-worth going on everywhere you turn.
Here I am about to hit my 60th birthday and I am sure that attitude’s not for me. I have been through that in the past. And I am sure that it is long dead and buried. Yeah right! Since when are feelings ever totally laid to rest, particularly those negative ones? It takes constant work.
Just like the namesake at the end of the movie “Saving Private Ryan” we are often overcome by a fear that our journey through life has not proven of value. That we did not “Earn it.” That perhaps when measured against that great yardstick in the sky we somehow won’t reach the standard.
What criteria should we use? Is there anyone on the face of the Earth that is qualified to look at another’s life and judge or evaluate it? Of course not. And perhaps the very feeling of not having done ‘enough’ is brought on by attempting to compare ourselves to others.
If there has been anything written by man that helps give a fair appraisal – or at least offers a place to begin, it is the famous quote on success by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
“To laugh often and much,
to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children,
to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends,
to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others,
to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social
to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.”
The core message in his statement is contained in the line, “to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better.” Then there are the words of another, one who was not of the Earth, which relate the same sentiment. In Matthew 22 36-40 (KJV)it says, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
In the final analysis, we are the one we need to satisfy – while here. How to go about it? One way is to focus on these central questions. Has your life honestly made things better for anyone other than yourself? Do we work toward the causes we say we belive in or only talk about them? Are others glad to see us arrive, or happier when we leave?
You know the best part of looking at your life with an honest eye? It is never to late to start! It is not over for you yet! If you do not think you have done, been, seen, accomplished etc. etc. etc. While you are alive it is not too late.
Take your own measure. YOU decide who you want to be. And FOCUS at least part of the day, each and every day on BECOMING that person. Give it your all, hold nothing in reserve….SELL OUT to the concept of being the very best you that is possible to be. And you simply can not lose. Never forget one thing, the Past does not determine the Future.
Till next time. Good luck and God Bless.
Remember, you have the choices.