A few thoughts that are not my own.
From Music and the Spoken Word last week:
"Throughout our lives we interact with many people who form their own opinions about us. But at the end of the day, we are alone with ourselves, deciding who we really are and who we really want to be. No matter our circumstances, we can choose to live honorably and compassionately—or not. We can choose to change and become a better person—or not. In a sense, each of us is our own best critic. And despite our blind spots, we know more about ourselves than anyone else. When we open our hearts in sincerity and truth, we see strengths and weaknesses, areas of accomplishment and areas that need work. And that’s life: trying to improve, progressing and growing, learning and becoming all that we are capable of becoming. Instead of avoiding the truth about ourselves, let’s look ourselves “straight in the eye” as the well-known “people’s poet,” Edgar A. Guest, wrote almost a century ago:
AM I TRUE TO MYSELF?
I have to live with myself, and so
I want to be fit for myself to know,
I want to be able, as days go by,
Always to look myself straight in the eye;
I don't want to stand, with the setting sun
And hate myself for things I have done.
I don't want to keep on a closet shelf
A lot of secrets about myself,
And fool myself, as I come and go,
Into thinking that nobody else will know
The kind of man I really am;
I don't want to dress up myself in sham.
I want to go out with my head erect,
I want to deserve all men's respect;
But here in the struggle for fame and self
I want to be able to like myself
I don't want to look at myself and know
That I'm bluster and bluff and empty show.
I can never hide myself from me;
I see what others may never see;
I know what others may never know;
I never can fool myself, and so,
Whatever happens, I want to be
Self-respecting and conscience free.
From Challenge to Become by Dallin H. Oaks:
"The Final Judgment is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts—what we have done. It is an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and thoughts—what we have become. It is not enough for anyone just to go through the motions. The commandments, ordinances, and covenants of the gospel are not a list of deposits required to be made in some heavenly account. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a plan that shows us how to become what our Heavenly Father desires us to become."
Thanks little Ethan for helping me to see me today. "Teacher! I love you!"