As I teeter into my second half-century, I have very few words of wisdom. What works for me varies for others who are not me. And what works for you may not be how I go about things. But I think we can agree on a few things.
Be loving. Love is the glue which holds the species together. Without love, without empathy, we are even less than animals, who do exhibit those traits. Without love we are nothing but demons, seeking only to fulfill our own desires. Love is the thing which tells us that there exists more than us, that others matter. We are not meant, most of us, to be alone. As Fred Rogers said, love, or it’s lack, is what forms a human being.
Be kind. It takes no effort to be kind, or it shouldn’t. Kindness is a corollary of love. It’s what you offer to others to let them know that you acknowledge their humanity. A moment of kindness, of openhearted kindness, can save a life. Every time your proffer kindness to another soul, you’re helping to save the world.
Be fearless. This one is hard. We’re humans, and we’ve evolved to be fearful. It’s a defense mechanism. And fear is a useful emotion, as it helps to preserve your life. Being fearless is not a lack of fear; it’s knowing you’re afraid, and going ahead anyway. Get up and sing karaoke. Travel. Write that book and get it published. Expose your heart to someone whom you love and doesn’t know it.
I close with a couple of links. As I’m a man of a certain age, this really spoke to me when I was younger. It’s also where I got the title for this piece. Now it speaks even more to me. You can read the original article here. And now, what Baz Luhrmann did to those magnificent words.
Be loving, be kind, be fearless. It’s what will get you through any dark time.
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