Mister Webster defines faith as, “complete trust – or a firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength – in someone or something.” What do you have faith in? Who do you completely trust? Your spouse, parents, siblings, a friend, God? Who or what can you say is reliable – that is, behaves or performs in a manner that is predictable and expected? Faith is not just a “hope” or a wish for something. Faith runs deeper, to the heart of a person’s being. A well placed faith is built on a reputation of honesty, integrity, steadfastness.
Faith can see you through life’s tough times, uplift you when you are worn out, and be an encouragement in moments of self-doubt.
There is a story about a great high wire artist in 1940 who was putting on a performance over Niagara Falls. A cable had been stretched from Canada to the US. He started from the Canadian side and was crossing to America. In front he was pushing a wheelbarrow. One foot at a time he crossed the wire, below millions of tons of water were crashing over the falls.
The artist with nerves of steel pushed his wheelbarrow across. As he reached the American side wild cheers were sent up, drowning out the roar of the great falls. He stood alone on the platform, hands raised high, and yelled to the crowd below. “Do you believe I can do it again?” The crowd went into a frenzied roar. He yelled again, “Do I have a volunteer to ride in the wheelbarrow?” All you could hear was the roar from the falls, the crowd was silent.
Real faith is lived out.
What’s your history, your genealogy, your ancestry, your bloodline? Why should you care about any of “that stuff”? Because it’s who you are, a little bit of all of them is in you. Your history gives you a foundation, a framework from which to better understand yourself, and who doesn’t need to know themselves better?!?– what makes you tick, act the way that you act?
Your breeding can contribute to your personality (dominant or docile), “confirmation” or your physical attributes, like strong bones, height, color of skin, hair, and eyes. And the environment in your home where you were nurtured also helped to further shape your character, speech, and behaviors.
Who your parents are is one of the few things in life that you have absolutely no control over. You might love them, resent them, or be somewhere in between. But, at some point in your adult life you will utter the phrase, “Oh, my gosh, I sound just like my mother/father!”
“In every conceivable manner, the family is a link to our past, bridge to our future.” – Alex Haley
You can tell a lot about a person by who their friends are, those that are the closest them. Most people have only a handful of really close friends. These are the ones you can share anything with – without fear of being judged or criticized. But, true friendship also has within it the expectation and permission to hold each other accountable for each other’s actions. These are the people that you can call in the middle of the night to come get you when your car is broken-down, in the rain, 50 miles away, on a holiday. Or someone who is comfortable with you crashing for the night on their couch.
Friendship is all about relationships with others, being vulnerable, and being honest – which is a small price to pay for the joy you can receive in return. Choose your friends and associates carefully.
“Nothing is perfect. Life is messy. Relationships are complex. Outcomes are uncertain. People are irrational.” – Hugh Mackay
For me, this is one of the most (if not the most) difficult human qualities to put into practice, especially when the other person is unremorseful. Holding on to anger and bitterness when someone else does you wrong will only eat away at you. Unforgiveness has been compared to trying to get even with someone by drinking poison yourself and waiting for the other person to die. It only harms you, the other person might not even be aware of the fact that they have offended you, which makes the weight of your suffering even more absurd. They could be completely oblivious (especially if they are of the male gender). Forgiveness is a process, a daily acknowledgement that I have given up my “right” to get even with another individual. Forgiveness seems to be contrary to my human nature. I want equity and justice when there has been an offence done.
“I can forgive, but I cannot forget, is only another way of saying, I will not forgive. Forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note – torn in two, and burned up, so that it never can be shown against one.” – Henry Ward Beecher
So much more could be written about this topic but, I went on too long as it is. I’ve listed just a few attributes in these 900 or so words that I view as being important contributors to becoming a success as a man and leader. I hope my son reads this.
Leave a comment if you dare.
As always, thanks for reading!
“He has achieved success who has worked well, laughed often, and loved much.” – Elbert Hubbard
See also, “How to Become a Huge Success” by Michael Schein