HCH (1,103)

April 1st, 2011

It’s all a matter of doing the wrong things at the right times—or would that be the right things at the wrong times? Something like that.

The reason we spend most of our life journey a little bit frustrated is that we try to simplify our work and complicate our resting times. In other words, when we should be relaxing, we fret, fume and worry about what we’re going to do about our work, and then when we work, we try to take short cuts and find easier paths to accomplish our goals—often dissatisfied with the results.

That said, merely acknowledging this as a fallacy in our race is not very helpful in resolving it. That’s why I’d like to introduce you to HCH.

All of us have a past. All of us have a present. And the future is unknown—as well it should be. We share this in common with each other—whether we’re conservative, liberal, black, white, Asian, American, European and “innie” or “outie.” It is our common ground. And what we do about it determines whether we become a functioning part of our society or an inhibitor to progress.

Let’s deal with the past first. What should our profile be about things that have already happened? That is the first H: Honest. The only way to guarantee failure in your life is to be dishonest about your past. Someone knows the truth. Someone has a picture. Or even nowadays—it’s probably available on You-Tube. So being disingenuous about our past is an exercise in stupidity. But it is still considered virtuous to be candid and forthcoming about the details of our history. Isn’t that interesting? Even though we really can’t lie about it, we still get brownie points for being truthful. Aren’t we blessed?

You can always pick out someone bound by insecurity—and therefore limited in their possibilities—by the fact that they lie about events in their background. I used to do it. I was ashamed of the fact that I never went to college. I’m a self-made man. So I would occasionally manufacture a very-carefully-worded pedigree in academia to make myself look more intelligent. Or maybe it was to confirm that the intelligence I had actually came from some university. It was a shame to God, who was my provider and teacher. It was a slap in the face to my experience, which had so graciously brought be to my present status. And the minute I stopped lying about it, the freedom I gained and the respect I achieved was immeasurable. Of course, there are those who are impressed by the tradition of a college education, who probably have a mission to prove that I am ignorant. It shouldn’t take them long.

Which leads me to the present. What should my profile be in the present? That’s the C in our HCH proposal. Confident.

The time for confidence is not when we’re discussing our past, nor when speculating on our future. The time to be confident is in the here and now. The season to establish our goals, value, purpose and to display our energy is today. It’s all we’re promised, so it’s all we have to project positive energy in any way, shape or form. This is the problem I have with conservatives and liberals. Conservatives have confidence in the past and wish to return there. And liberals have confidence in the future and have no idea how to travel there. Useless. We aren’t going back—that’s for sure. And we aren’t going forward unless we do something now.

If I am confident about the past, then that’s where I will live. That turns me into an outdated fossil. If I’m confident about the future, then I’m projecting ideals which may or may not even have an opportunity to come to fruition, rendering me ridiculous.

But when someone turns to me and says, “Can you do this now?” my response should be a confident “yes” or a confident “no.” The lack of confidence in the moment is what causes us to delay the opportunity that is granted to us by others to confirm our worth. We human beings are just geared to steer away from nervous folk. Confidence should be used in the moment—and never flaunted as a laurel of the past or an aspiration for the future.

Which leads us to the future. Since I don’t believe the future actually exists, but unfolds by the choices we make, I think the only profile that is significantly powerful is the final H: humble.

It is well stated in the Epistle of James that when we are talking about what we’re going to be doing a year from now, we should always add, “God willing.” Because as much as I would like to stay productive and fruitful for many years to come, a single illness or a moment of tragedy could change that—rendering me at the mercy of the kindness of others. Humility is powerful when it is used to talk about the future—which none of us are promised.

Humility in the present is often false, phony or a sign of an unwillingness to pursue excellence. And humility about the past is basically fruitless, because what has been done has already been done.

So what is the problem with our generation? Instead of honesty about the past, most people try to re-write their history, inserting facts not in evidence, eventually making themselves look idiotic. Instead of being confident in the moment, people choose to be tentative—hem-hawing their way through conversation to try to avoid the work necessary to allow us to sleep in peace. And then we will arrogantly turn with great pride and make claims about our plans and direction for the future as if we do not think anybody will remember our boasting and bring it up to us later—when the future has become the present, or worse, has slipped into the past.

Do yourself a favor. Learn the ways of the heart and mind of human beings by becoming the kind of Godly creature that ministers to those around you with your life instead of muddying the waters of perception.

Concerning the past—be honest. It’s not that hard—and you’ll be surprised at how forgiving people are of former childish deeds.

When you find yourself in the present, be confident, and bring your gifts with a bit of joy and anticipation of success.

And if you must look ahead to the future, remain humble, knowing that you cannot change one hair from white or black, or make yourself taller just by standing up.

HCH—honest, confident and humble—just something I thought you might like to think about on this Friday as you enter a weekend of activities. Get it in the right order and you will see some decency return to your life.

Published in: on April 1, 2011 at 2:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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