“Make small commitments and keep them. Be a light, not a judge. Be a model, not a critic. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.” ~ Stephen R. Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People …
Day in and day out, we choose what we wish to be. We can find it in the many small decisions we make–the ones that determine what kind of relationships we will have with those around us. We can find it in the attitudes we embrace–the smiles and joy that spread happiness and love, or the unfriendly, sour, and withdrawn demeanor that serve to take away from the beauty of the world instead of adding to it. We can find it in the knowledge we seek, and that which we share; and in the hope, compassion, and concern we offer to others. For it is what we give, not what we get, that lasting purpose and fulfillment is attained in life.
Realizing our potential is an empowering thing. It firmly places us at the helm of our ship, giving us the power to control our journey and our destiny. Each day, we have the choice to be a light that shines for others in the dark, or to bring others down and keep them there in the dark. With each word we decide to speak, we are forging our character–our personhood–and becoming either a light or a judge, a model or a critic, part of the solution or part of the problem.
What do I desire from others in life? Would I like them to build me up or tear me down? Do I prefer them to offer compassion or cruelty; to give encouragement or discouragement; to show me how to succeed or criticize me until I give up in frustration or shame? And when I understand what I want others to be for me, then I also know what others would like me to be for them; I have a very powerful guide to assist me when I am faced with making decisions in life.
If I desire to be a light that shines for others, then I have to decide to be that light each time I am faced with decisions, regardless of whether they are difficult or easy ones. The rigorous decisions I make time and time again are what will define me. And people who see the light I give off will either come to say, “He is a wonderful person and a great example to emulate,” or they will say, “This man is a terrible role model… one of which I wish to be the opposite of.”
This world needs more light… light that both you and I can provide. And regardless of whether that light is a single small candle, or an luminous lighthouse up on a hill, every single particle of light we add to the world is our light, and it makes it brighter place.
Make decisions that benefit the world around you.
Questions to consider:
What are some of the ways in which you provide light for the world?
What things tend to prevent you from sharing your light and your encouragement with the world?
What are some of the guides you use in your decision-making processes? Do they have a positive, negative, or neutral net effect?
For further thought:
“Where you end up is not the most important thing. It is the road you take to get there. The road you take is what you will look back on and call your life.” ~ Tim Wiley