September 21

Today's quotation:

It's better to be known by six people for something you're proud of
than to be known by sixty million for something you're not.

Albert Brooks

Today's Meditation:

Numbers.  Somehow we learn as we grow up that more is better, that quantity somehow trumps quality, even though we have many sayings and refrains that remind us that just the opposite is true.  How many people do you know who want to have all the movies they can in their collection, or all the baseball cards or cd's or even cars?  The more the better, right?  The more people, the merrier the party?

Nope.  What people know about us is much more important than the number of people who are familiar with us.  There are many people who are considered to be the life of the party, who everyone likes to be around, but whom nobody would trust with their money or possessions.  There are people who are popular actors or performing artists or athletes that many parents wouldn't allow to come anywhere near their kids, because they know that these people are horrible role models when it comes to ethics and values.

We all have our spheres of influence.  For most of us, that sphere is pretty small, and it includes relatively few people.  But what do these people know us for--our honesty and integrity and helpfulness, or our dishonesty and lying and selfishness?  If we're truly going to be making positive contributions to the world, then we must consider what people know us for when we try to contribute, rather than focusing on how many people know of our actions and deeds.

Life's not about numbers--life is about quality.  And when we come to know this fact truly, we can limit our attempts at affecting more people and then affect fewer people much more deeply, in much more positive ways, as we focus on being honest with ourselves and others and committing acts of which we're very proud.

Questions to consider:

How do people live who try to please everyone?

How large is your own sphere of influence?  Would you rather make it larger, or make your influence at its current size more effective?

What kinds of things are you most proud of?

For further thought:

Be more concerned with your character
than your reputation, because your character
is what you really are, while your reputation
is merely what others think you are.

John Wooden

  

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