………..be a good one!
Pablo Picasso, the great Spanish painter and sculptor, once said this about his ability: ‘My mother said to me, if you become a soldier, you’ll be a general; if you become a monk, you’ll end up as Pope. Instead, I became a painter and wound up as Picasso.’ No lack of confidence here!
But he would have agreed with Abraham Lincoln. ‘Whatever you are,’ said Lincoln, ‘be a good one.’ He demonstrated the wisdom of that advice with his own life. And in this present age, which often seems to be contented with mediocrity, his words summon a yearning for improvement and growth.
I think it helps to remember that excellence is not a place at which we arrive so much as a way of traveling. To do and be our best is a habit among those who hear and understand Lincoln’s admonition.
Viennese-born composer Frederick Loewe, whom we remember from his musical scores that include – My Fair Lady, Gigi and Camelot, was not always famous. He studied piano with the great pianists and composers of Europe and achieved huge success as a musician and composer in his early years. But when he immigrated to the United States, he failed as a piano virtuoso. For a while he tried other types of work including prospecting for gold and boxing. But he never gave up his dream and continued to play piano and write music.
During those lean years, he could not always afford to make payments on his piano. One day, bent over the keyboard, he heard nothing but the music that he played with such rare inspiration. When he finished and looked up, he was startled to find that he had an audience – three moving men who were seated on the floor.
They said nothing and made no movement toward the piano. Instead, they dug into their pockets, pooled together enough money for the payment, placed it on the piano and walked out, empty handed. Moved by the beauty of his music, these men recognized excellence and responded to it.
Whatever you are, be a good one. If what you do is worth doing, if you believe that Who and what is inside of you is of value, then you can’t afford to be content with mediocrity. When you choose the path that’s worthy in this life, you will bring to it your best and receive the best it can offer in return. And you will know what it is to be satisfied.
Romans 14: 5-9
“One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.
For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.
For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. “