Let Your Light Shine


There was a time when I dreamed of being famous. I imagined someone like Ellen or Oprah discovering my writing and asking me to appear on one of their shows. I thought of how wonderful it might be to have a grand following of readers who waited in anticipation of my next commentary. Once I thought things through I realized that I am a person who enjoys my anonymity. I like being able to blend in with a crowd and remain unseen. It allows me to be free to explore the world without worrying how I will be viewed. I don’t want the pressures of fame in which my every word and action is dissected and sometimes misinterpreted,

It used to bother me that I was somewhat invisible. I’m not the kind of person who catches the eye of the hosts on The Today Show even when I wait in line at six in the morning to get a good view of the show. Nobody throws beads at me in a Mardis Gras parade. I have to pick them up from the ground. I’ve been ignored in stores while waiting for help. I actually believe that I am so quiet and uninteresting looking that I don’t shine forth as someone who is outstanding in any particular way.

I’ve actually had teachers and professors tell me that they had to get to know me to realize that I had something worthwhile to say. One even admitted that his first impression of me was that I was dull. He apologized for getting thing so wrong. My appearance is that of common folk something that I used to hate but now seems like a kind of blessing because I can observe the world without interruption. In that role I get a window into truth. My ordinariness is a wonderful gift.

I don’t generally evoke jealousy. People feel comfortable around me because I don’t appear to be competition for attention or promotions or awards. I earn the kudos that come my way the good old fashioned way, with a great deal of hard work. Somehow I have reached a point of utter contentment in my life the allows me to celebrate who I am. I shine in the uncomplicated essence of my being.

Each person has something wonderful to offer the world, We have our stars who seem to outshine everyone around them, but it is often in the most humble ways that we find people who provide exactly what we need. I think of a lady in Arkansas who entertained me when I visited her with my grandmother. She lived in a tiny home devoid of decoration or modern convenience and yet she made us feel so welcome and so special. She was a great and beautiful person even though her circumstances were difficult beyond anything that I had ever before witnessed.

As humans we spend our lives attempting to find our true purpose in life when sometimes it is in the smallest of things that bring great joy into the world. The nurse who lovingly tucked me in with a warm blanket on the night after my surgery had a smile and an aura of kindness that I shall never forget. The neighbor who rescued frightened children from a terrible tragedy while the rest of us sat back and watched will always be a hero to me. The woman who sang like an angel at my wedding means more to me than a Grammy winning artist. It is indeed true that we each shine at something without even realizing the impact that we have on others.

The truth is that every person is extraordinary and it’s important that we let everyone see the light that illuminates them. Too many live with a feeling of worthlessness, never understanding the beauty that is theirs and theirs alone. There is nothing more rewarding than helping someone to see their own greatness, especially when that individual does not realize the wonder that lies within. Many lives have changed for the better simply because someone saw their potential. They no longer had to wonder why they were ever sent to this earth.

I have many talents that I have attempted to cultivate for the betterment of mankind. My impact has been small but as my influence on others is paid forward the rewards become incremental. It is not in fame and fortune that we find our true identity but in the impact that we have on family, friends, acquaintances. We never really know if a smile, a bit of help, or a wise word will help to reshape a life, but we should act as though it will. It’s unwise to dwell on what we don’t have. Instead if everyone understood what was best about them and then shared that talent or trait we would all be the better. Let your light shine. Someone needs exactly what you have to offer.


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