Daily Thoughts, January 27, 2016
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I remember our conversation of thirty plus years ago as if it were yesterday.

“What are your priorities?”

“To enjoy every moment with me at the center.  Life is first and foremost about me.”

I have never forgotten the conversation.  As good as he was as a friend, I knew we were only friends for the moment.  Since I moved away, I have wondered what became of the man and his priorities.  What happened in the context of time, experiences, and life?

As I reflect, I can see three distinct individuals across the spectrum of priorities.  Each has a unique persona, one that I recognize within myself at my best and worst moments.

At one end of the spectrum, there is an individual that is defined by “I”.  S/he is at the center of their world.  Priorities are dominated by a relentless focus on responding to wants and needs.  Everything else, family, friends, and individuals and communities in general, are secondary to the individual.  Self and selfishness defines the framework through which they see life and opportunities.  One cynically observes their behavior in words the psalmist used; “They brag and boast and crow about their crimes!” (Psalm 94.4) In reality, many who fit this description as as normal as you or me.  Additionally, as must as I want to say that I am different from this caricature, there are moments where I find myself looking at the same in the mirror.

On the other end, there are individuals that live and breathe for others.  They see life in terms of community and family.  Compassion and caring are good friends.  While others may take advantage of them, they relentlessly embrace to the defining values close to their heart.

In between, is where I often find myself.  I aspire to one extreme, yet often catch myself looking longingly at the other.  If there is a lesson with time, it is that we leave a trail of actions that reveal where we are.  In understanding our position, a window of learning, turning, and growing opens.  Next comes a choice.

January 26, 2016
January 28, 2016