Homeschool Conference!!!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Look at all those beautiful little feet two people can create!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Individual Worth

Many have probably seen the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”…my husband and I watch this every year around Christmas time. There is a valuable lesson to be learned from this movie. The story revolves around the life of a particular man, named George ~ showing his victories, his struggles and his failures ~ at one point in the story, this man is overcome with the weight of his burdens and basically runs away from his family and his life. He is so distraught that he is ready to take his own life by jumping off of a bridge ~ he feels he is at the end of his rope and just cannot continue on with the pressures of life…that is when a perfectly wonderful, chubby little guardian angel named Charles arrives…this little angel has been desperately trying to “get his wings” and George becomes his new challenge…Well, the angel jumps into the water and George, without hesitation, jumps in after him to save his life. After his rescue, as they are warming themselves by the fire, Charles, the angel keeps prodding about George's life and finally tells him that he was sent to be his guardian angel. 
George, in frustration states that the world,
his family,
would have been better had he never been born.
The angel asks him if that is his wish…
and voila…
the wish is granted and the world is as if George were never born.

This is where the beautiful lesson is taught…the angel takes George back through the little town he lived in and showed him how life would have really been had he not been there, had he not been an influence in the lives of others…

George doesn’t like what he sees and comes to the realization of just how many lives he had a direct effect over, it was staggering to me the first time we watched this movie and has actually made me ponder the many, many people who have made me who I am today simply by their influence, it also makes me want to be a better person so that I can have a positive influence on those around me…
Well, back to the story…George is finally able to “come back” to living his life,
struggles and all…
BUT this time his countenance and his outlook on life has completely changed. He is able to see things in a new light, I believe he was able to see his individual worth in this great big world.
Oh and we can’t forget his little guardian angel ~ he did get his wings.

We are much like George in this story…There may be times when we feel like giving is hard...we may feel people would be better if we were never born...BUT what if we could have just the smallest glimpse of life "without us"...what a gift George received.  We may never truly know whose lives we have made a difference in ~ but I believe that every person we come into contact with will leave with something from us, just as we do from them...

Following is a quote by President David O. McKay ~ I took the liberty of changing it just a bit to make it a little more meaningful and personal...

"There is one responsibility which no man  I cannot evade; that responsibility is his my personal influence.   Man’s  My unconscious influence is the silent, subtle radiation of his my personality – the effect of his my words and his my actions on others. This radiation is tremendous. Every moment of life man is  I am changing, to a degree, the life of the whole world.

Every man has I have an atmosphere, which is affecting every other man. He I cannot escape for one moment from this radiation of his my character, this constant weakening or strengthening of others. Man I can select the qualities he I would permit to be radiated. He I can cultivate sweetness, calmness, trust, generosity, truth, justice, loyalty, nobility, and make them vitally active in his my character. And by these qualities he I will constantly affect the world.

This radiation, to which I refer, (He refers) comes from what a person really is I really am, not from what he I pretend to be. Every man by his mere living is radiating either sympathy, sorrow, morbidness, cynicism, or happiness and hope – or any one of a hundred other qualities.

Life is a state of radiation and absorption.
To exist is to radiate;
to exist is to be the recipient of radiation."

Those are some pretty powerful words...if you didn't really get it the first time, re-read it, let it sink in...YOU radiate!

I would like to suggest to you today that each of you is of more worth than you could ever imagine or believe. Sometimes that may be hard for us to believe of ourselves…we see possibilities in others, but do we ever dream of the possibilities within ourselves?

Do we truly recognize the way we radiate to others?
Do we see value and worth in ourselves…
do we see value and worth in those around us?
Do we take the time to recognize and appreciate the worth of each individual.
When you look around …
do you see others who have touched your life and changed who you are?
Can you think back to those who have made a profound difference to you?

I think of my parents, my sister, my extended family,
I think of my Husband ~ he truly helped me to see who I am and to recognize my worth,
I think of the many friends I have had throughout my life,
I think of the missionary who spent countless hours in my behalf,
I think of each one of my children,
I think of the Young Women I work with each week,
I think of all the boys I have worked with in Scouts while I served in Webelos, I grew to love and admire them,
I think of so many of you and I thank all of you…I am who I am because of each of you!

How much do you personally think you are worth?
Do you value yourself?
Do you love yourself?
Our Savior has shown each of us just how much we are worth ~
he gave ALL for us ~
He believes in us and sees in us our true value, our true worth as individuals in this life.

I heard the following quote many years ago, when our oldest daughter was preparing to graduate…she used this as her favorite quote on her plaque…it is quoted from Nelson Mandela:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your playing small does not serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you…As we let our Light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

So go out there and shine…Radiate your light to others…make a difference ~ YOU have it in you…share it.

People are a lot like stained glass windows. They glow and sparkle when it’s sunny and bright, but when the sun goes down their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.

I want to share a beautiful quote from Barbara B. Smith:

“Like the caterpillars who will one day become butterflies, you have the magnificent potential to develop the powers within you and become greater than most of you dare to dream…You have the power and the capacity to perform so well that you can inherit all that our Father has if you begin the process and continue until you become what you are really meant to be… You can choose to use the powers within you to have a happy life of continual growth and development that leads to eternal progression.”

During this past week I had the opportunity (not that it was wanted, but it was present) to learn firsthand just exactly what the worth of an individual is...
My dear friend Beckie, endured what I have to believe was one of the hardest things sit by and watch, not being able to do anything but hope and pray, as her husband underwent surgery for a brain aneurysm.  My heart broke for her...I thought of all of the many times she and her husband had been significant in my life...I hoped and prayed for all I was worth for Beckie and her family, I prayed that her husband Robert would be able to pull through and would come out on top of the world...and much to our joy and amazement he returned home just days after his surgery.  Our lives would never have been the same if this special man didn't remain a constant, positive influence of good.  And to think, he probably has no idea how much he really means to our sad that we don't share these thoughts.  I have to wonder if he knows how much others value him...

After "watching" this experience I found myself realizing that each person I am in contact with from those I love most dearly to those I know only briefly have a place in my world...and I in theirs...I want to be able to look at others and truly "see" them ~ deep inside, not surface, not the easy to judge stuff, but who they really deeply are, inside.  Life throws us a few surprises now and then, I've come to look at them as blessings because through these surprises we grow and change and become ~ and that is what life is really all about.

Have a beautiful week and next time you look in the mirror,
love the person looking back at you,