Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"The Sand Beneath My Feet"

I often go to the beach to watch and listen to the waves.  Not having grown up near the ocean, I never knew much about the tides and how they affect the beaches. Now that I’ve lived in Laguna Beach a few years, I’ve begun to notice how storm tides erode and then rebuild these sea-side landscapes: first there will be endless sand and then there will be only the rocks that were previously hidden beneath.

The same can be said about the lives we lead: we think we know what’s going on and then things change.  And like the sand on the beach, most things are not entirely what they seem and subject to change. Take a moment on this Thanksgiving weekend to notice and be thankful for all that you have.  And realize that like the sand on the beach, all that you know and have can change in an instant.

My message this week is about loyalty – something to give judiciously and to then be thankful (especially during this holiday of Thanksgiving) for all that it gives you in return.

“Loyalty is something you give regardless of what you get back and in giving loyalty, you're getting more loyalty; and out of loyalty flow other great qualities.”
 -Charles Jones

All of the great values we read and write about seem to be interconnected and loyalty may be the one at the hub of them all.  Think of the people and things you’re loyal to and then note the other great qualities that come from that loyalty.  Friendship, success, pride, professionalism, integrity, team spirit and passion are a few that immediately come to mind.  These are the qualities and values that you hope to find in others, and certainly they’re the ones to which you aspire.  But to get loyalty you need to give it and that means you must be true to your work, forgiving in your nature and understanding in a complex and competitive world.  Look for ways to give loyalty today and then start to see the loyalty (and all those other great qualities) that comes back to you in return. And if I didn’t know better, I’d swear this was another way to describe and define The Golden Rule.

Colonel Charles Edward ("Chuck") Jones (November 4, 1952 – September 11, 2001) was a United States Air Force officer, a computer programmer and an astronaut in the USAF Manned Spaceflight Engineer Program.  He was killed in the attacks of September 11, 2001, aboard American Airlines Flight 11.

PS: a Google search produced several individuals with the name of Charles Jones, and while I am not exactly certain which one was the author of this quote, my head and heart wanted it to be the adventurer noted here.

Happy Thanksgiving. 

Stay well!

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