It is hard to measure up to ideals. I think the greatest battles that emerge from trying are not the one anyone fights externally. When someone demands that I measure up, it is easy to rationalize my behavior and push back at the same time. After all, we are human, we struggle against the odds, and you (the other) are failing as well (even if you cannot see it). The battles that we cannot dodge occur in the quiet darkness of the night within our hearts and souls. The battlefield is within you and me. We know where we failed and it hurts! We know we could have done more, however small it might be. Even if we did everything possible, we imagine that a gap exists.
When I look to my heroes, some public and others who are known only to friends and those that love them, I find two common traits. Each is aware of their limitations and failings. They see them with varying degrees of clarity. The key is that they recognize them. In trustful moments, they are willing to talk about them with honesty and humbleness.
The second shared trait is the impact that they have on others. My heroes have compassionate reputations and love people. Their methods of engagement bring hope and leave those around them changed. Speaking broadly and without limitation to blood relationships; “every day he’s out giving and lending, his children making him proud.” (Psalm 37.26)
As I think about my heroes and the traits they share, I find myself circling back to a recurring set of actions I want to embrace.
Forgiveness starts within. If you cannot forgive then it is impossible to be forgiven.
Acceptance is never optional. While closely linked with forgiveness, acceptance follows and takes one to a place where action is possible. Every hero I know starts where we are. It is always about today, never tomorrow.
Do something with experience. Experience opens a door to actions that are smarter, wiser, and better.
To the heroes in life; thank-you for living Divinity’s ideals.