You know what’s really tough? Loving people for who they are. Not for who we want them to be. Not for who we think they can be. But loving them exactly as they are today.
It’s tough, because we have our own expectations by which we measure others. We focus so much on whether the other person is meeting our standards that we forget to love them for being uniquely flawed and evolving, just like ourselves –- perhaps at a different pace, in a different place. But when we actually succeed, when we love someone for who they are, we see how quickly they begin to transform into the greatest, most inspired version of themselves.
You see, the truth is that we don’t know a thing about the silent battles fought by those we admire; battles that are perhaps compensated for by their very bravado we respect. We do not see the pain hidden behind their smile. We do not see the suffering and loss they have endured. But more importantly, we do not know what wisdom is hidden in the hearts of those who go unnoticed. Recognizing this humanizes our role models, flattens our egos, and gives us reason to treat every person with compassion and kindness. The most broken people have taught me more about life than some teachers ever could. They’ve taught me hope.
Now, one of my favorite things to do is give that hope to others. To understand their fears, and assure them that their dreams are much more powerful than their demons. To dissolve their insecurities and remind them that they don’t have to have it all figured out in order to move forward.
These are my favorite things, not because I have more to share than anyone else, but because it is so often that I, myself, need to hear the words I speak. By offering hope to others, I develop hope for myself. See, the reality is that no matter how insightful someone may seem, they are equally clueless. Enlightenment begins here, with the sobering reminder that there are no masters in life… only helpers.
Be a helper. Inspire someone. Empower their soul. Awakening to this journey is the treasure. It is the only treasure. Because cemeteries are not just where we bury those who have passed, but also where we entomb the treasures of our future. Think, for a moment, of all the untapped wisdom and love. Think of all the books that will never be written, hugs that will never be given, and dreams that will never come to light. In this light, the cemetery is the most valuable place on Earth — for it is here where our regrets come to rest.
Think of this when that voice in your head says you’re not good enough, or convinces you to start tomorrow instead of today. Think of this when you’re holding a grudge. Think of how fortunate you are to have another day to share your gifts with the world. If for no other reason, think of this — be humbled by this — before you do the things you wish. I assure you, if you think as often as you should, you’ll never postpone another day.
So think. And spend every ounce of your life in the passionate pursuit of that which moves your soul. Let your treasure be known.