Thursday, May 13, 2010

So my friend Paul Stefan is an amazing man of integrity and wisdom. A few days ago he shared this on his blog here. It caused me to look at my life in a different way and resolve to make changes. changes in my lifestyle, words, attitudes, and actions. May our Father bless you as He has blessed me through Paul!

On the Present Reality of Reaching 21 Years of Age with Respect to Appropriate Future Developments in the Life of a Young Man:
While a thorough catalog of the past is a useful tool for self evaluation purposes and can serve helpful purposes in the formation of conclusions for the future and the recommendation of appropriate courses of action for others, the formation of an objective purpose for the realization of future ideals based on present realities rather than the comprehensive enumeration of historical events is sometimes of tremendous benefit, so I am undertaking a synopsis of the latter rather than the former.
The device of the resolution has served others well in the past, so it seems prudent to endeavor to exploit it for my own purposes rather than to develop an alternative concept at this time.
1) Resolved, to live every moment as though it could be my last, for one moment will be my last, and prudence throughout the course of life is best fostered by a solemn attendance to the end of life even during what many consider to be the prime of youth; lives may be cut short abruptly, and it would be foolish to presume that this could not be the case with me.
2) Resolved, to zealously guard the moments of each day, not only for noble causes, but also for a wholesome distribution of attention to various matters in such a way as is prudent and most appropriate for any given season of life with which I am presently concerned.
3) Resolved, to pursue and endeavor to maintain a healthy disposition of magnanimity toward others, recognizing that to exclusively serve self is to be subject to the cruelest of masters.
4) Resolved, to boldly embrace responsibility, avoiding all excuses for incompetence and apathy and instead following a path of indefatigable dedication to duty.
5) Resolved, to practice healthy habits of thorough contemplation and evaluation for the purpose of leading a life that is freed as much as possible from the vicissitudes of haste and ignorance.
6) Resolved, to avoid all comparisons not serving to illustrate personal insufficiency; using wholesome examples where appropriate to spur myself to greater achievement, but refusing to derive any pleasure or illusion of progress from the criticism of those who may seem to be inferior in points.
7) Resolved, that the chief areas of knowledge of concern in life are the knowledge of God and the knowledge of oneself, the former being the lens through which the latter is made possible and the latter being the necessary agent for the progress of humility.
8) Resolved, to neither terminate ventures merely out of frustration with increasing challenge, nor to vigilantly cling to enterprises out of prideful assertion of personal adequacy for the realization of high ambitions, recognizing that both errors are dangerous and must be avoided.
9) Resolved, to consider the welfare of the body (while secondary to the welfare of the soul) to be an important matter worthy of thorough study and application, being a matter of personal stewardship of divinely endowed resources.
10) Resolved, to develop the health of the mind by pursuing a disciplined course of continuous learning in a broad range of subjects, viewing the acquisition of knowledge as a noble endeavor worthy of the greatest dedication and avoiding all justifications of intellectual laziness (particularly those which veil slothfulness of mind with the garb of personal religious piety).
11) Resolved, to embrace the potential of the present, neither excessively bemoaning past failures nor inappropriately worrying about the future, knowing that the present is of immediate concern and that present actions have future implications of tremendous consequence.
12) Resolved, to think and act as a leader, not waiting idly for orders to be issued but rather seeking out opportunities and maximizing them, for the good of any whose service in which I happen to be.
13) Resolved, to respect the institution of the family by neither hastily and unwisely rushing into the establishment of one nor needlessly delaying it, knowing that much is required in that noble enterprise and that a postponement of it until one presumes to be fully prepared for it can only be disastrous, as it wastes time and forms false pretenses of personal adequacy.
14) Resolved, to grow in matters of self expression, knowing it to be an important concern for the development of attributes pertaining to leadership and an essential element in the formation of one’s own character and knowledge, for it is in communication that intellect is matured.
15) Resolved, to consider every moral profession to be of value and worthy of interest, avoiding unfounded elitism of vocation and seeking to recognize the valuable of a broad range of disciplines.
16) Resolved, to measure personal growth not in terms of speed and numbers of resources explored but rather by thoroughness and application of study, knowing these to be far more valuable indications of progress than other metrics.
17) Resolved, to actively develop friendships with those who are older and wiser than myself, maintaining an awareness of the need for growth and the incredible potential insight available from others, seeking to minimize the amount of personal error experienced in the development of personal ventures.
18) Resolved, to pursue sacrificial giving in friendship, seeking to be a blessing to all with whom I come into contact, desiring their good above personal gain, knowing that this perspective is entirely appropriate and is established as the measurement of true friendship according to divine fiat.
19) Resolved, to pursue wise stewardship of every aptitude and opportunity made available to me, neither wasting skills by permitting them to rot, nor diminishing the possibility of true mastery the the excessive compounding of simultaneous and unrealistic ambitions, for the purpose of realizing the best possible uses in my case for a broad range of interests in such a way as maintains consistency with the divine affections.
20) Resolved, to follow a process of thorough learning, refusing to make assertions on a concept prior to accomplishing a substantial level of proficiency in it and maintaining a humble disposition with respect to personal opinion even when the opinion is firmly held, so as to promote intellectual credibility rather than the disdainful dogmatism of delirious dilettantism.
21) Resolved, to value association by actively forming and strengthening connections, serving to advance the state of ventures I consider to be of importance, with the intention of serving as an agent in the compounding of interests and accomplishments for the realization of effects transcending those possible from a single cause.

Thanks Paul!

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