Being successful in today's world takes more than abilities. One never operates alone. In everyone's world are customers, dependents, and a community that works along side, with, or for another. Regardless of the circumstance, confidence and courage are required. However, these are never enough. Even being good at what we do is not sufficient. In order to know success, one must engage with and in the community. The question is never if, but when, not should, but how.
I catch myself focusing on the content of fitting in. I need to do something! Usually this plays out when I take on a task that someone else does not want to do. Contributions are easier if one is not competing with others. My goal is to contribute by demonstrating my abilities so that others will see my potential.
Candidly, I think I have gotten things backwards. Communities are about people and relationships. Everyone has the ability to do something. We may not know where we fit. Candidly, not knowing is ok. In time, the community and its elders will let us know where we can contribute. I keep rediscovering that building relationships one at a time is the best way to discover the community and my nice in it.
I am not the first one to make this discovery. Back in Jerusalem, he [Saul] tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him. They didn't trust him one bit. Then Barnabas took him under his wing.” (Acts 9.26) In that time and now, life is one moment and relationship at a time.
I am in the process of starting a new chapter. In many ways, the challenge is fresh and new. I find myself needing to remember that it is not what I do but “who” I am that is important. The priorities are not about doing; they are about building relationships one at a time. The challenge is to let go of the future (worry), discard anything that is not useful from the past (guilt), and live fully and completely in the present.
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