Accentuate the Positive

The recent passing of Zsa Zsa Gabor at age 99 prompted a flurry of articles about her life, all of which focused on her nine marriages. There was little reported about who she was as a person. Instead, most of what was written about her defined her solely by her many relationships.  Wikipedia, for example, says she was active in her career from 1934 – 1998, or 64 years. 

“As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has or ever will have, something inside that is unique to all time.” ~ Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers, from the children’s television show “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood”)

This quote says it all. What defines each of us are our unique talents and gifts, not the number of relationships we’ve had. We all deserve to be remembered and appreciated for our gifts and contributions, not that we’ve been married X number of times, or have had “too many” or “too few” relationships.

Below are six things that can define us as individuals and can help us make an impact on the world in our own small way:

1.    Find a wrong and then right it: Become an advocate for what you believe in.

2.    Be an honorable person: Live with integrity, kindness and honor.

3.    Build up other people: Ask yourself each day, “How can I help and encourage those around me to succeed and grow?

4.    Be passionate: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Philosopher Howard Thurman

5.    Give back to others and the community: Do what you can, give with all of your heart. A life defined by generosity makes an indelible mark on the world.

6.    Be genuine: Share who you really are with others. Tear down the walls you’ve built, remove the mask you wear and be authentic.

Giving of ourselves and striving to make the world a better place in whatever small way we can is what truly defines us as individuals. We all make mistakes along our life’s pathway, but we also make positive contributions on our earthly journey, too. For that reason, each one of us deserves to be acknowledged and appreciated for who we are as a whole, unique individual and not judged by certain segments of our life that didn’t reflect our best judgment, or result in the best outcome.

So, the next time you feel compelled to judge a person for the number of relationships or marriages they have had or jobs they may have held, think about the positive things that person has contributed to your life or the lives of others.  You might be pleasantly surprised that the positives outnumber the times that person may have failed at something else…like a relationship or marriage.