The Scottish poet, Robert Burns, wrote a compelling and enlightening truth when he concluded one of his poems with these words:
“Oh, wad some Power the giftie gie us to see irselves as others see us—
It wad from many a blunder free us—and foolish notion.”
Blessed indeed are those folks who have family and friends who will jerk us up short and force us to take off the blinders occasionally and take a good long hard look at who we really are. It is so easy (and dangerous!) to give ourselves the benefit of every doubt. Over the years we are prone to give ourselves a role to play, and we play it to the hilt. It’s comfortable, flattering and easy to live with, and we begin to believe it ourselves. As the years fly by, we don’t bother to examine and analyze it anymore. We’re on automatic pilot. It’s who we are. Or is it? Or is it just a comfortable, role-playing rut? Honest self-analysis doesn’t come spontaneously or easily. We just comfortably coast along until some happening or change or honest person comes along and yanks us out of our deadly self-satisfaction. People do us no favor to let us reach a point of complacency and no-growth in our lives. Changing and growing are sometimes uncomfortable but always necessary while life lasts. What doesn’t change and grow, dries up and dies. Floating with the tide is dangerous. Honesty and re-examination remain necessary as long as life lasts.
And to my dear friend who said to me, “I’ll hold the reins while you get down off your high horse,” Thank you. I’m climbing down.