Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The measure of a man is what he does with power. -Plato

I’m thinking this morning about how one little episode or incident in our childhood can color our life-long journey in either a positive or a negative way.  Everyone has “little episodes” that have lingered within their memory and refuse to be dislodged.  Some were positive, like the time when someone told us we had the potential to become what we dreamed.  Others were negative, as when someone told us we didn’t fit in or would never succeed.  These episodes, whether positive or negative,  live in us, consciously or unconsciously, through the years and shape us into the person we become.  

1943--Mom (holding me) & Dad
(holding my sister) and
my  brother standing on his own.
What power [A person, group, or a nation having great influence and control over others] we have in every encounter with another person, young or old,  as a father, mother, teacher, brother, sister or friend!  We have the power to shape another’s future in every moment, in every incident, and in every word uttered.  What a monumental responsibility and what a tremendous opportunity it is to wield such power!  We all possess this power and we exercise it all the time.  

What manner of man was he—my father?  When I was barely out of diapers, I followed (without permission) my older brother and sister down into the woods.  I wandered off, following the winding brook that I would eventually come to know so well in my later years.  But I did not know it then, and in my wandering, I became lost as darkness came.  My brother and sister went back home, assuming I had done the same. The memory is hazy, but I can still feel my fear and dread. Then I heard a voice calling my name:  “Harold, Harold!”  It was my father’s voice.  He came to me out of the darkness, picked me up, and piggy-backed me home.  My brother and sister were punished unfairly for this incident and have never forgotten it.  I, however, received one of the most powerful [effective, influential] gifts of my life from that piggy-back ride home.  

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