At a recent lunch with friends of over 15 yrs, in a somewhat reflective mood I asked, “What advice would you give your younger selves?” Surprisingly, these ladies in their 50s did not dismiss my question but spent time seriously musing over it. At last, one gave up and said, supposing you got past the problem of time travel, you won’t listen to your own advice. To which, another replied, “the idea is not to pontificate, but to then heed your own advice, and live your life differently”.
I’ve since used this as an ice breaker, among people I know well, and who would not mind being in a reflective mood. Use this with caution, as the mood, time, place, comfort level makes a difference.
What was the general conclusion: Take more risks and have more fun.
This reflective journey I am about to embark, tangentially aligned with the passing of LKY, whose shadow loomed heavily in the background of our growing up years, and especially the first 8 yrs of my career. I will in the course of 29 posts, write these reminders as gifts to myself, sign-posts if you may, for the next lap of my journey. I’m taking a pit-stop.
From Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Browning
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep
Why 29 gifts?
29 gifts is the title of a book by Cami Walker, who at 35 yrs old, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a neurological condition that made it difficult to walk, work or enjoy her life as she once had. Walker became depressed as she faced continual health and money problems. But then a friend and spiritual mentor challenged her to stop feeling sorry for herself and instead start giving to others. The friend challenged Cami to give 29 gifts to others in 29 days. (Huffington post).
The day I decided to write the post, the random bible verse reading for the day was:
Jer 29: 11 – For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy
3 A man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father,
4 By justice a king gives a country stability, but those who are greedy for bribes tear it down.
25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.
26 Many seek an audience with a ruler, but it is from the Lord that one gets justice.