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Gazing out over the Great Smokey Mountains, I marveled at the beauty of the sun disappearing behind the horizon as I snapped the picture above. The limits of my sight were clearly defined from this vantage point.
But the more I contemplated that thought, I realized that the horizon is not the end of the beauty, just the furthest point I can see from where I stand. The power to move my horizon and expand my view was available to me, I just had to change my position to change my perspective.
My self-reflection continued with the setting of the sun and I watched the end of another wonderful day disappear before me.
The metaphorical opportunities grew as the light before me dimmed.
Every morning we awake and go through the motions of what will be our legacy for the day. A simple collection of 1440 minutes grouped together uniquely for the sake of letting us know we are a perishable entity. Once the sun sets and the colorful lights fade, the moments allotted us for that period once again merge with the timeline of eternity.
But during our day, what we accomplish and who we touch and what we say; these all play together to create memories of yesterdays and hopeful dreams for new tomorrows both for ourselves and those with whom we interact.
I like to think these contact moments are the lifeless lumps of clay that we give away for others to work with. We leave them with something; good or bad, which they mold into their own life stories. We are handed the same working clay through the lives of others and we decide how we will allow these personal moments to impact our own life story.
Once hardened in the kiln of memories, and glazed with emotional color, these timeless impressions are set to be appreciated for as long as we continue to care for them.
Through their power, even in the dark of the coldest night, the positive ones give us the opportunity to feel comfort from the warmth of growing friendships and kindred spirits.
Likewise, negative impacts can tarnish our timeline for days or years to come; and we can do the same to mar the journey of others.
And so we must focus on the positive, reflect on the beauty and uniqueness of the world around us, and remind ourselves we are not on this journey alone. Our actions are never conducted in a vacuum of existence. How we act and how we perceive ourselves influences how the world around us envisions who we are.
Mahatma Gandhi summed this thought up best; “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.”
Sometimes this is misquoted as a shortened idea, “be the change you want to see in the world.” Nonetheless, the intention is clear.
So as you travel your life’s journey, always carry the knowledge that you are a unique individual, but never alone. By mere existence, you have the chance to touch another life and spark an ember of warmth that will continue to glow and spread a spirit of joy; always connected.
Typically we must move very large things in very small increments. We too possess a power to do great things by making small and deliberate actions every day. The time between each sunrise and each sunset is ours to work with to look beyond our horizon and expand our impact on the world around us.