Who Are You?

Who are you, concept words on blackboard.“There is a period of life when we swallow knowledge of ourselves and it becomes either good or sour inside.” –Pearl Bailey

A few weeks ago I participated in an interesting group activity. The participants were distributed in groups of twos and instructed to face one another. One person was directed to ask the question “Who are you?” The other person would then respond with one word that describes him/her. This sequence would be repeated as much as the 30 second allotted time frame would allow. Once the activity commenced, a cacophony of vocabulary rhetoric ensued that mimicked that of the unpredictable clamor of thunder and lightning during a harsh electrical storm. When my opportunity came I spewed out words like “strong”, “intelligent”, “confident”, “visionary” etc. However, at the end of the exercise the instructor posed a thought-provoking question that hit me like a pillow case full of bricks. He asked, “Did anyone give any negative responses?”

“One secures the gold of the spirit when he finds himself.” – Claude M. Bristol

As humans we prefer to accentuate our positive qualities while neglecting or masking our faults. As we paddle down our river of life we experience feelings of insecurity, fear, confusion, or brokenness.  We choose to leave our weak areas hidden so that we will not be at risk of having to face the brunt of society’s harsh criticism and ridicule. We all have negative traits that could use some polishing, buffing, or a good scrub.

We must first know who we are, before we can make the changes needed to become who we want to be!

So ask yourself, WHO ARE YOU?

Comments are welcomed

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Service with no Smile!

serving-others“The man who gives little with a smile gives more than the man who gives much with a frown.” – Yiddish Proverb

A few days ago I was granted the esteem privilege of volunteering at a homeless feeding center. For some unknown reason, I felt as though I got ran over by a greyhound bus and immediately steam rolled into a freshly paved road. Needless to say I felt sluggish, out of whack and had a slight scrooge-like grumpiness coursing through my veins. As time progressed, a group of guys that frequent the shelter attempted to convince me to play in a pick-up basketball game with them. Initially, I was hesitant and didn’t have an ounce of desire to frolic up and down a basketball court in an attempt to heave a spherical shaped, air filled object through a sun beaten, and rusted orange hoop. After a repeated one hundred and twenty seconds of recruitment, I decided to lace it up and mix it up a bit on the court.

Within seconds I found myself cracking jokes, giving high fives, and building a rapport with a group of homeless guys I never met before. This game represented hoped hope, or a getaway from the reality of the hardships of life which they face every day. A single game served as the combination that opened the vault that contained the thoughts and feelings which they graciously shared with me. I almost allowed my selfishness, laziness and personal agenda to cost me an opportunity to be a positive influence and a blessing to someone else.

How often do we allow our own interests, agendas, and our lemon extract-like attitudes to contaminate the reservoir of joy, and gratitude we can experience from serving others.

“To serve is beautiful, but only if it is done with joy and a whole heart and a free mind” – Pearl Buck

Don’t allow your opportunity to make a lasting impression on someone’s life to bounce away from you!

Comments are welcomed!

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