Three little words – grow through life –

lToday’s three little words post was actually inspired by a longer saying:

“Don’t go through life, grow through life.”  – Eric Butterworth

It’s oh so easy to fall into a pattern of just going through life. One can easily fall into routines and find a comfort zone that required little growth mentally and emotionally. I believe that this leads to people getting prematurely “old”. They may not be old in years, but they’ve become stagnant and old in their outlook on life and they act like it. Their answer to “How’s it going?” is always, “Same ole, same, ole.” They become boring to know and to be around, because they never try new things. Even worse is that, left unchecked or unchallenged, this behavior becomes a self-reinforcing spiral into old age and withering away. Avoid that fate by committing to grow through life.

Do you know people like that? Are you becoming a person like that? Maybe yo already are a person like that. How do you escape this trap? The key it is be committed to growing throughout your life, not just going through life. people with booksThat continuous growth can take many forms. One of the easiest is to remain committed to learning new things. That doesn’t have to mean taking classes in a school all of the time; it can be as simple as committing to reading books and magazines and newspapers and Internet Blogs to keep up with what is happening around you. What is happening around the world right now? What is happening in the U.S. that might affect you? How about in your state or your town; what’s happening locally? Now that you know about more of these things, what are you doing about it? Once you commit to continued learning you are committed to grow through life.

Growing also means doing. People who are doing more than just mailing it in with their lives are usually busy people. They are out volunteering at church or with community groups. These are the people who make things happen, who run the local events in your community. They collect food and raise funds. They serve the homeless tutoringand protect the weak and abused. They build houses on the weekends. They tutor and mentor at-risk kids.These are the people that you wonder how they can do it all; all the while they are wonder how you can see the same needs and not do something. They aren’t just out there working; they have committed to grow through life.

A wonderful and reinforcing side-effect of all of the education efforts and work and service that these people do is that it brings them in contact with so many others who are also committed to growing. They meet a diverse cross-section of life and have experiences that broaden their perspective on things. They begin to understand other cultures and races better through a shared commitment to serving others. They grow emotionally and intellectually because of those experiences. They do not settle into a dull routine; they just don’t have time for that. Ask them and they’ll tell you that they can’t imagine not doing what they are doing, because volunteer builderthey have committed to grow through life.

So, you have a choice. Do you settle in where you are in life and stop learning or participating in the community activities that are around you; or, do you grab a new chuck of life every day, every week, every month and never stop learning, never stop moving, never stop helping. When you are gone will people really miss you because they knew that you’d always be there to help; or, will they hardly miss you, because they couldn’t remember that you were still alive. You will always be alive in people’s minds when you commit not to just go through life, but to grow through life.

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