Volume 58: Less IS More

Posted on 07/12/2011

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This has been a remarkable week for me in a somewhat unremarkable summer. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am enjoying my summer; at the same time, it can be described as unremarkable. What made this past week remarkable is that I derived the same lesson from multiple sources. When this rare occurence happens, I realize that God is really trying to make His point. Sometimes He just provides a nudge, and sometimes He hits you over the head. This week, it was the latter. The first experience came from church. The sermon was about humility and how, by showing it, you can get more of your promised blessings. The second was the Atlanta Public Schools cheating scandal and the revelation of the investigation. The systemic cheating and disgusting display of undeserved praise and promotions for ill-gotten scores is enough to make this parent home school his kids. And, finally, I had a family disagreement that almost got out of hand due to poor communication and outright stubbornness. Each of these events made me realize that, in all phases of my life – spiritual, professional, and personal – the less I focus on what I want, and what I can get out of it, the more I can and will receive as a result. Let me say that again. The less I focus on what I want, and what I can get out of a situation, the more I can and will receive from it. Yes, we’ve said the cliché thousands of times, but we still don’t seem to truly follow it. However, after this week, I’m waving the banner that says, Less IS More!

The American Way

It seems a bit counter-intuitive to ask someone to reduce, or even set aside, their personal needs and desires for someone else’s. I mean, this country was founded on the principles of satisfying your own desires, wasn’t it? Be it economic, religious, or personal freedom; American culture has always been fortified by the mantra of independence. But, wait a minute, are we truly independent? Can we “pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps” if we didn’t make the boots? Frankly, is our “independence” purchased by, and predicated upon, the work of someone else? For example, I can’t be a successful blogger without readers choosing to spend their time reading my musings. I can’t grow my blog without you sharing what you’ve read with others (hint, wink). Now, I could claim that I built this by myself, but that wouldn’t be completely honest, would it?

More from Less

Theres a powerful word in the English language that most people don’t recognize as powerful until the opposite happens to them. That word is ‘acknowledgement’. Think about those times where you’ve worked hard on a project only to have someone else get acknowledged for the work you did. How did that make you feel? How do you feel when you get credit for something you didn’t do? Acknowledging someone creates a truer sense of community in whatever sphere you’re operating. People work harder when they know they have a boss that will acknowledge their efforts. Families communicate better when their feelings are acknowledged. Acknowledging someone doesn’t take away from you. In fact, just the opposite occurs. It enhances your ability to connect and create synergy because your goal has become a part of theirs. Therefore, less of you as a pseudo-individual, inevitably creates more of you(r) peers, coworkers, and/or family working towards a common goal. (Did you just have an “ah-ha” moment? LOL)

Conclusion

Despite my prayerful prose, I have a healthy dose of reality in me as well. I know I write about how the world (or people) should be, and not how they really are. At the same time, should I stop writing about the world I’d like to see? It’s been said that we create our own reality. My reality is this: As my readership grows, so does the world in which I want to reside. My friends and family are adjusting to the new “reality” that I am creating. Honestly, some of them have “adjusted” their way out of my life. But, I’m okay with that. There was a time when having a lot of “friends” meant so much to me. Now, having true friends means more. I work at being less of me because that’s the way I can get more out of life.

That’s just my three cents…

Sill-E

“Peep my ver-na-cular cuz I don’t know how to act…”

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