Margaret Fuller, Journalist and Women’s Rights Advocate
“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it.”
Interesting metaphor, knowledge being like fire, huh? Fire is interesting in that a very small quantity can do very large things when it is allowed to grow. It needs air and fuel, and for good or ill, it’s off to the races!
Knowledge is one of the things you can give to other people that costs you nothing, but can have a tremendous impact on another’s life. Sometimes you can change a person’s life direction or circumstances dramatically just by giving them that missing piece to the puzzle, allowing them to complete the picture.
There is nothing more exciting than that look of comprehension and triumph when they suddenly get it. Really get it. You just handed them the tool they didn’t know existed, and it made it possible to complete their project, or even change their life.
It’s really cool for you to realize how much you’ve been able to help. Not that smug pride that shows your immaturity because you knew something they didn’t, but being honestly happy to help is a great feeling and sorely lacking in today’s society.
Another obvious benefit is the fact I have mentioned a few times before: everybody knows something you don’t. It is therefore a good bet that other people will want to reciprocate and do you that same favor when you have hit that proverbial brick wall.
It’s simply golden rule stuff. “Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you.” It’s kind of hard to be consistently mean to people who are nice to you all the time.
A quote from Sonya Sotomayor, Supreme Court Justice
“Don’t mistake politeness for lack of strength.”
Being nice is not a sign of weakness. It is actually a sign that a person has enough strength to not be afraid of the consequences of being nice if they encounter a generally mean person. You know, a user.
The main problem users have is that once they have made their rounds on all those supposedly weak people, getting what they could with no intention of giving back, they eventually find themselves with no friends when a really big crisis happens. Not very funny.
Be free with the knowledge you have gained. You will eventually form a network of reliable friends who know what each is best at, and who to ask advice of when it counts the most.
“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
Robert Downey Jr. Actor
“I don’t drink these days. I am allergic to alcohol and narcotics. I break out in handcuffs.”
There for a while we were all wondering about Robert Downey Jr. He seemed to be getting in a lot of trouble when he had so much going for him. Being arrested can be a pretty demeaning experience, especially for the rich and famous. It can occasionally be a career busting event.
This being said, have you ever made a big mistake? You know, a really big, public, can’t get-away-from-it-every-time-somebody-sees-you mistake? Totally embarrassing, even humiliating, it makes you want to move to a new town. Now, the big question is this. Did you learn anything? Robert Downey Jr. learned that when he performed a certain act when he was sober, it followed that as he got more drunk, his behavior deteriorated, and he always woke up with handcuffs on.
Oh yeah, he was also at a police station. While I have a lot of respect for those officers who diligently and honestly keep us safe from evildoers, I do not wish to spend my weekend evenings with them if I can help it.
It’s simple math. Alcohol + Robert Downey Jr. = handcuffs.
Don’t do anything that you know has a regular bad outcome if you do it. Once you have learned this lesson, what is your next step? Fortunately you have options.
Another Robert Downey Jr quote:
“The lesson is that you can still make mistakes and be forgiven.”
Now one from Bruce Lee:
“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.”
Psychologytoday.com has a cool post on forgiveness. Check it out. The link will be included in the show notes for Episode 42 at daggersofthemind.com.
Don’t forget to check out the new show I am doing with my wife Dee. It’s called the WV Podcast. Hollywood and the national media seem to portray West Virginians as illiterate, and otherwise ignorant hillbillies.
While we know this exists, the purpose is not to whine about it, but to tell the actual and factual stories of the people who make our beautiful state their home.
While we will occasionally have stories about traditional music and lore which is a proud part of our heritage, we also want to meet people who have passions and hobbies that don’t quite fit the traditional mold. Real people live here, and their real stories will be interesting and informative to those who are fair minded enough to want to know us for what we really are.
You can find the show at wvpodcast.com. Check it out. If you know of a clean West Virginia related story that would be good for the show, let us know. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.