Have you ever had a series of observations or events make you stop and think? I have.
Recently, three things happened in close order that made me stop and wonder about how we might be living our lives in a more fulfilling way.
The first was a presentation at a meeting of the Fairfield-Suisun Rotary Club. Their (our) meetings are always worthwhile; sometimes more than others. The presentation I refer to is “Full Life Balance: The Five Keys to the Kingdom.
The speaker was William K. Wesley, an attorney with a master’s of business administration degree. What impressed me about the event was that Wesley had gone through a genuine life-changing experience and was sharing it with us. He described his transformation from a selfish self-serving person with a most unhappy life to a servant of God who had found the pathway to happiness. He organized his experience into what he called the five keys to the kingdom: the physical key, the emotional key, the professional key, the spiritual key and the charitable key.
Recognizing the roles that each of these facets of our lives plays can lead us to a life of greater contentment. I’m not sure that’s the right word, but it’s close.
Next I have been seeing and reading about the relationship of faith to our personal moral compass; the ability we have to recognize what is right and what is wrong and act accordingly. Those folks who substitute ego for faith also reject the moral and ethical codes that accompany systems of faith. Perhaps reject is too strong a word. But whether it is rejection or ignorance of basic moral and ethical tenets , the consequences are the same – winning or losing become of utmost importance at the expense of right or wrong.
If I seem to be too philosophical. I don’t mean to be. I’ll try to tie it together with my third observation
I walk each morning about dawn. I regularly notice at sunrise, with the sun at my back, I cast a very long shadow – maybe 200 feet. I believe that casting that long shadow in life means that you act in ways that are bigger than yourself, which is following your faith-based moral compass, doing what is right and opposing what is wrong in all areas that are keys to the kingdom.
The thought struck me that the shadow you cast can outlive you. Ethically and morally you are a role model for those around you – your family, friends and the community. Living a robust and healthy physical and emotional life are parts of that. Doing right radiates out of your professional life and personal kingdom. The shadow may extend for generations into the future through the lives you change in your charitable life.
It is unfortunate that some folks choose to live lives that cast no shadow at all.
The underlying factor is genuine humility. It’s OK to recognize and use those skills and abilities that make you unique. But it is also important that you accept what you are not: immortal and infallible.
Embrace humility. Only then can you find your way into the kingdom.
Do you have a shadow?
Murray Bass can be reached at 427-0744 or firstname.lastname@example.org.