Archives for posts with tag: wisdom

We're Broken People in a Broken World but there's Beauty in the Breaking that Makes Us Whole

A friend asked for an example when I told him I’ve been learning a lot lately. In light of that conversation, here’s today’s original Ink in Pink adage-in-the-making:

I have learned that I can face my fears and not die; but I cannot ignore my Hope and live.

Last week, we reflected on the past and how our view of it affects our present. We revealed that each of our pasts extends beyond ourselves, born of a combination of all those who have gone before us. That was the easy part.

Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20. From the past we reap many lessons and levels of understanding. It might require some digging, but the past is nothing if not known. The future, on the other hand, frustrates even the most carefree spirit with its inability to be grasped and mastered.

Though many have tried to divine it, the future remains largely unknowable. The very reality of that great unknown breeds anticipation, which, in turn, manifests in two forms: fear and hope.

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A few months ago, I wrote a post encouraging you to savor the moment. Since then, I have been trying to practice what I preached. As it turns out, in order to truly appreciate the present, one must maintain a healthy reflection of the past and an unwavering hope for the future.

How many people do you know can honestly claim to consistently approach life this way? Hopefully, you can name a few. I can think of a handful of people who encourage this kind of thinking in my life. While a few select peers pepper the list, the lion’s share consists of men and women who have experienced so much more than your average Gen Y-er could even begin to imagine.

And why should we?

I’ll tell you why.

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Trent Reznor may have originally recorded it, but great gravity exudes from every note and rest of Johnny Cash’s version of Hurt. At first, the quake in his voice might seem to signify deteriorating vocal chords, a weakness that comes with old age, but listen closer. Every tremor gives a sense of experience, of life-long reflection, of years upon years of rough epidermal tissue, accumulating like the bark of a tree—building girth and strength. His roots and trunk run sturdy and deep, obstinate to the changing world, while his outermost limbs have been whipped and whittled by the wind into switches, pliable enough to sting in foul weather. His face is set as a stone embankment eroded and crevassed by centuries of lunar-driven tides.

I often wonder what I’ll look back upon when I’m older: what I’ll have learned, what I’ll wish I could have changed, if only I knew now, or better yet, last week or last year. That’s one reason why I didn’t mind having to sit in on Board of Directors meetings. Read the rest of this entry »