Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Unwrinkle your soul...
"Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm," wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson. It is the paste that helps you hang in there when the going gets tough. It is the inner voice that whispers, "I can do it!" when others shout, "No, you can't!"
We are all born with wide-eyed, enthusiastic wonder - as anyone knows who has ever seen an infant's delight at the jingle of keys or the scurrying of a beetle. It is this childlike wonder that gives enthusiastic people such a youthful air, whatever their age. At 90, cellist Pablo Casals would start his day by playing Bach. As the music flowed through his fingers, his stooped shoulders would straighten and joy would reappear in his eyes. Music was, for him, an elixir that made life a never-ending adventure. As author and poet Samuel Ullman once wrote, "Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul."
Enthusiastic people also love what they do, regardless of money or title or power. Someone remarked once,"I never made a cent until I stopped working for money." If we cannot do what we love as a full-time career, we can as a part-time avocation: like the head of state who paints, the nun who runs marathons, the senior executive who handcrafts furniture.
How do you rediscover the enthusiasm of your childhood? The answer, I believe, lies in the word itself. "ENTHUSIASM" comes from the Greek and means "GOD WITHIN" And what is God within but an abiding sense of love - proper love of self (self-acceptance) and, from that, love of others.
Our time here on earth is precious, we can't afford to waste tears on "might-have-been"s. We need to turn the tears into sweat as we go after "what-can-be." We need to live each moment wholeheartedly, with all our senses - finding pleasure in the fragrance of a back garden, the crayoned picture of a six-year-old, the enchanting beauty of a rainbow, the elation that a gospel chorus brings. It is such enthusiastic love of life that puts a sparkle in our eyes, a lilt in our steps, a song in our heart and smooths the wrinkles from our souls...