So yesterday I got this quotation in an e-mail from our district superintendent. He’s good at finding quotes. I immediately put it out there for you, because it gave me pause, but I needed to PAUSE to think before I wrote.
“Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best.” –Henry Van Dyke
My thoughts ran and ran. It has so many applications, and three of you have already added your own thoughts.
My mind immediately went to all of the kids that I teach. We certainly want them to reach their potential. For some of them, that potential is an auto mechanic, or a checker at Wal-Mart, or a nurse, or a trash collector, or a semi truck driver, or a lawyer. It’s different for every kid, but our society tends to measure success by how high ranking our profession is, not by how successfully we’ve used our talents and how happily and completely we live our lives.
I also thought of the people (read *I* in here) who don’t try something they CAN do because they might not be THE BEST at it. We always want to strive for excellence, but the problem comes when we begin comparing OUR degree of excellence to someone else’s degree of excellence.
Every day our principal does the announcements, leads the pledge(s), and directs the moment of silence. After all of that is done, every single day, she says, “Be the best that you can be.” Not “Be the best,” but “Be the best that YOU can be.”
Each of us have our own best, and when we get discouraged that our best isn’t “good enough,” we must remember that Jesus is our standard, those we love and respect are our examples, those who love and support us are our inspiration, but we are the only ones to whom we can compare ourselves.