“It’s better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”
(Motto of a group called “The Christophers” founded in 1945)
The quote above is attributed to many people. Just Google it and you’ll see what I mean! It’s been used by former first ladies, the head of Amnesty International, and others. The oldest record of the entire quote anyone can find is in the paperwork created when “The Christophers” was founded by Father James Keller.
The fact that this statement has been quoted over and over says something. Something powerful. And it perfectly sums up my focus for the year 2015. It’s easy to rage on social media about things that annoy us. We argue with one another in the “cyberworld” really well. But it doesn’t fix things. And it tends to leave the individuals involved in the argument all worked up.
Maybe it’s just me. Maybe others get involved in the argument and then walk away, never to think of the issue again. Maybe. But I doubt it.
So my goal for this year is simple. Whenever I can, where ever I can I am going to “light a candle”. It may take the form of a financial donation or a shoulder to cry on or educating myself on a particular cause and then sharing what I know with others. The actions may vary, but the purpose will always remain the same. I’m tired of the arguing. I’m tired of watching people make ugly assumptions about total strangers they are arguing with online. I’m tired of the stress and grumpy attitude that tends to accompany that kind of negative engagement. So I’m choosing, in 2015, to be a “candlelighter”, for lack of a better term. It is my intent to brighten up my own little corner of the world one candle at a time.
I don’t really do resolutions. At least not in the traditional ” tell everyone what my resolutions are” kind of way. I tend to write goals down somewhere private and date the list. Then I can pull it out in December and see how I did.
Without getting into the details, I will say that two of the areas I’ve set goals in are my use of and planning for “discretionary” time (aka time I’m not at work) an the summer theater program I work with. There are others of a more personal nature and I’m guessing some of that will show up here!
For now, I’ll simply wish you all a blessed 2013!
Nothing too profound tonight. Just more thoughts crowding my mind regarding the passage of time and the growth of my kids, both biological and honorary.
If there is one piece of information I would embed in the brain of every high school senior, college student – let’s just say every young adult – it would be this: life is one big improv exercise and we are ALL living by the creed “fake it till you make it.”
My youngest daughter is a senior this year. She and a number of her classmates have expressed some dismay and stress over having to have life all figured out. Yeah, I’m still waiting to get there.
I know of more than a few 20 somethings who are stressing about “what they want to be when they grow-up.”
Let me lay it out in simple terms – I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in music education and a Master’s degree in Education. Yes, I’m using the Master’s as an adjunct professor and I use my musical training all the time accompanying the choirs in the local high school as well as teaching private voice and piano students. I have also taught music in literally every grade K-12 – general music, choral music, even some instrumental music instruction.
But along the way I’ve also worked as a cocktail waitress in a country club and on the banquet staff at the same facility. I was a successful salesperson with a home party business. Did some substitute teaching, clerical temp work, retail work . . . in other words, my career path has been nothing close to a straight line.
And I wouldn’t trade any of the lessons I’ve learned or experiences I’ve had.
If you are a young person in college, looking to go to college or wondering what to do with your life, give yourself a break! Most of us are just making it up as we go along! The maturity comes in when we learn to dance as often as possible, smile at every opportunity, and laugh whenever we have the chance! Don’t get so focused on the destination that you miss the fun on the journey.