May 24

Today's quotation:

To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never; in a word to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is to be my symphony.

William Henry Channing

Today's Meditation:

I really admire the fact that William actually sat down to write such a creed, such an approach to life--most people never take the time to do so.  But in these words here that are defining words of his life, we see a person who cares about what he is and what he is to become, and who is willing to express his desires about both for the entire world to see.

In these words I see a synthesis of thoughts and ideas from many people who have written about how to get the most out of life.  And if I look at my life as a symphony, then I realize that it is my symphony to compose--and not something that outside forces of the world should determine how it sounds.  It's for me to determine the melodies of my symphony, and for me to determine which instruments should appear in which order and for how long.

William has recognized many things that other people in the world think are valuable in others--riches, respectability, luxury, fashion--and realized that there are more important things in life, such as worthiness, wealth, and refinement.

What goes into your symphony?  Is your current movement based on fulfilling the expectations of others, or upon your own needs and desires?  Have you decided how you want it to sound, or are you allowing others and their thoughts determine how it sounds and which instruments are being played?  Is it completely unique, or are you composing a symphony similar to ones that millions of others are composing right now?  Your life is your symphony, and if you treat it that way you will find that you'll be proud of the uniqueness of the wonderful life that you've been given to lead.

Questions to consider:

Do you know any people who are creating symphonies of their lives that would sound exactly like those of other people you know?

Why might some people fear trying to create a completely unique symphony of their lives?

What would be the elements of the "perfect" symphony of your life?

For further thought:

Life, like any other exciting story, is bound to have
painful and scary parts, boring and depressing
parts, but it's a brilliant story, and it's up to us
how it will turn out in the end.

Bo Lozoff


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