Who do you owe a debt of gratitude?
There really are no “self-made” men or women. That’s an illusion at best and self-deception at worst.
As a nation we celebrated “Memorial Day” yesterday…Wikipedia helps us remember the origin and why of the day.
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military service. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War (it is celebrated near the day of reunification after the Civil War), it was expanded after World War I.
According to Professor David Blight of the Yale University History Department, the first Memorial Day was observed by formerly enslaved black people at the Washington Race Course in Charleston, South Carolina. The race course had been used as a temporary Confederate prison camp in 1865 as well as a mass grave for Confederate soldiers who died there.
Immediately after the cessation of hostilities, formerly enslaved people exhumed the bodies from the mass grave and reinterred them properly with individual graves. They built a fence around the graveyard with an entry arch and declared it a Confederate graveyard. The work was completed in only ten days. On May 1, 1865, the Charleston newspaper reported that a crowd of up to ten thousand, mainly black residents, including 2800 children, proceeded to the location for included sermons, singing, and a picnic on the grounds, thereby creating the first Decoration Day.
Many people observe this holiday by visiting cemeteries and memorials. A national moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. local time. Another tradition is to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff from dawn until noon local time. Volunteers often place American flags on each grave site at National Cemeteries.
The original intent covers a wide spectrum of life: the realities of sacrifice, hard-history, and freedom and the unofficial start of a new season…Memorial Day.
The bottom line: many people are a part of your story and a response of gratitude keeps us living in reality.
Perhaps you are returning from an extended weekend or early summer vacation as you read this. But my conviction about personal growth and success is built, in part, on the practice of remembering:
The best predictor of future success is the ability and willingness to learn and change achieved through consistent reflection on truth found in one’s Story.
Your ability to grow and change depends on your willingness to learn from history… your Story.
“That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons of history.” –Aldous Huxley
“If men could learn from history, what lessons it might teach us! But passion and party blind our eyes, and the light which experience gives us is lantern on the stern which shines only on the waves behind.” –Samuel Taylor Coleridge
“What experience and history teach is this – that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it.” –G. W. F. Hegel
“Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” -George Santayana
To gain greater freedom you must create space. Creating space is a disciplined use of time and place and resources to reflect on the truth in your story.
What is the alternative?
Loss of freedom. Without space to reflect you will live with some limitation.
The Next Level Journey is about engaging in your story for truth so you may achieve your purpose in life.
How much space are you creating for reflection?
What part of your story is bringing you greater freedom…a new season?