I think that we tend to think of ourselves as a competitive people and we will always find some way to measure ourselves against someone else. But Lau-Tzu lived around 500 BC and was addressing a Chinese audience, so it seems that people have been doing this for a very long time! And this is still very wise advice – just be yourself – and that will be enough. Besides, “respect” is what everyone really wants anyway,
November 2nd in Mexico is a celebration called “The Day of the Dead” when people celebrate the lives of their loved ones who have died in the past year – or simply to remember loved ones who are no longer with them. It sounds grim but in reality one ‘celebrates’ the life of someone who is no longer with us. It seems like a nice tradition. It is difficult to get over the loss of a loved one – perhaps we really never ‘get over it’ – they are always with us in some way. This quote by Tolstoy is a good reminder that the very thing that can bring us great joy – loving deeply – also brings with it the chance of great sorrow – and yet, ironically, also the ability to heal. It’s all part of that thing that we call “love”.
I was speaking to a woman yesterday who was on the Queen Elizabeth 2 ocean liner. She was taking a tour and this was her first time taking a curise alone. She had been married 53 years and her husband had died three years ago. She thought it time to do something again so she was taking a cruise - but she wasn’t having a great time she told me. It was OK, but you could tell – she missed her husband. My guess is that her marriage was a good one – not perfect (is there such a thing?) – with its ups and downs, like all marriages. But that’s marriage, isn’t it? Good times, bad times, ordinary times – and until we can look back and reflect, sometimes one can’t tell because you are just too close to it. But I like this quote by Browning – it’s wonderful to think that the best is yet before us. And I think he is right!
The impulse to create is one of the greatest aspects of being human. I believe that this desire is in most of us. Unfortunately we often get too caught up in the “are we any good at it?” My feeling is - who cares. The question should be “does it feed your soul?” If not, move on to something else, but if it does, then please, keep doing it!