This I believe: people come into our lives with definitive purpose. They come to be a lesson, a blessing, or sometimes they come to be both. The philosophy may be clique and perhaps a bit overzealous, but nonetheless it is mine. I honestly believe that there are no accidental meetings. I believe that every single individual we encounter in this life has something to offer us. We may not always like what is being offered, but there is always a value and necessity to it. I believe that the best way to see this offering is to look at everyone who enters our life with kindness and with love. And it is those who are willing to take this offering who grow to reach great heights.
When I was in sixth grade I read a book series that changed my life. Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty trilogy impacted me in many ways, such as inspiring me to be a writer for instance, but one quote in particular has always found a place in my mind:
“To those who will see, the world waits.”
Over the years this phrase has had many meanings to me, but over time it has evolved to a place where it speaks of seeing what is not always obvious. It speaks of looking for the value we do not always see at surface level, finding that value, and then celebrating it. Now I will be the first to offer that the moment a writer puts a thought to paper, something is lost in translation. I am fully aware Ms. Bray’s quote can have an infinite amount of meanings, but to me her words have come to mean the above. And it is this philosophy that has come to drive me in life.
Now I have always been an extrovert who loves people, but what has changed since I have obtained this philosophy is that I find myself looking at people with kinder eyes. I have, or at least I hope I have, become someone who is gentler, softer, and radiates love in everything she does. And perhaps this is why I believe what I do. Perhaps I want people to see that it is love that drives me to reach the emotional extremes that I do, be it happiness or anger. Perhaps it is because I want people to see me and the world I hold within me.
Of course, I’m fully aware I’m not always perfect. There are days when I don’t want to look beyond the surface or see the value that everyone has to offer. There are days when I get miserable and fed up and deteriorate to a mindset which says ‘I can do things better than anyone else and don’t need anyone else’s help.’ I use the word deteriorate because I know this is a lower level of thinking. Life is very much a team sport and to go it alone, especially when one is an extrovert whose happiness is brought on by people, is to condemn oneself to a lifetime of stress and misery. I’ve come to realize I cannot do everything by myself, as much as I’d sometimes like to. So in order to succeed I must be willing to share the proverbial ‘load’ as it were, and this act of sharing starts with getting to know those around me. It starts with me being ready and willing to look for the value in others. It starts with me using love to overcome apathy.
Such love does not come easy. It a channeled, focused thing that thrives with determination. It is a love that breathes best when given purpose, so I feed it with a philosophy built upon just that. I love best by getting to know those around me, and I know people best when I am in the mindset that our meeting is a purposeful, planned one.
I believe every person brings something to be learned and to be loved into the paths of every individual they encounter. I know it is not always easy to see this, but I also know love can overcome selfishness and pride and apathy should it be channeled properly in order to see the value of everyone. I know I am capable of this and every day I grow better at finding that value. I know others see the value in me. But most importantly, I know every day I can choose whether or not to look for this value, and it is the act of choosing to see purpose and to live with love that will propel me forward to be the best version of myself that I can be.