Friday, November 27, 2009

How Do You Measure Up?

Hello Optimists,

We often measure the "greatness" of a person by things like their profession, the car they drive, the size of their house, where they go on vacation....all of these factors are an big part in determining someone's status. And these things can be quite important to us. I don't think anyone would terribly mind being seen driving a BMW or Lexus around town or coming in to work each day with a brand new suit. I mean, I'd like that..why not? But what do these things actually say about a person's life? Well, not much, really. Sure- it can be a representation of how hard they've worked at their job, the title under their name on the company business card, or how much money they've inherited from their rich relatives. But not in any way do these factors tell us what kind of character this person has, what respect they carry for their peers, or what kind of personality they have.

That's why we sometimes need to look past the outside shell of a person and take a moment to look inside to a place where we can find the true person. Of course, there are a lot of people who are great on the inside and on the outside, and if you know someone like that, you should be very happy to have them in your life. Some however, think it is enough for the outside shell to create an image for their whole life, which is where we need to be careful in determining the true characteristics of a person.

Today's quote perfectly sums up the point I am trying to get across.

The true measure of a man is how well he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good. 
-Samuel Johnson

This is probably the best way to measure someone's true character. All too often people allow themselves to only treat people with respect if that person can be of some help to them in the future. This really isn't the best way to be. We need to realize that our character is determined in many ways- including the way we treat every person that we come in contact with. So are you willing to do a little favor for someone today if you may never see them again in your life? Or will you pass them by, thinking that they're crazy to think you'd waste your time on a stranger?

It's just something to think about...something to help us remember how to be a better person.

Keep Smiling,
Optimal Optimist

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