Two words I try hard not to put in the same context.
But success and life… now that deserves some thought.
To consider success in l ife I have to go back to my goals.
1. Charlotte’s Web.
2. A Sycamore Tree.
3. Makeup Artist
4. Follow The Yellowbrick Road
Charlotte’s Web: Charlotte took that thing she did best and used it to draw attention to a humble pig, who would otherwise have spent his life in preparation as an object for consumption. No one noticed Charlotte, no one asked who spun those words over Wilbur… she just did what she did. And people loved Wilbur because of her words.
A Sycamore Tree: Last summer in Ottawa we were part of the crowd that was trying to get a glimpse of Kate and William. Some even climbed onto the roof of the johnny-on-the-spots to they could see over the crowd. There’s a short story in the Bible about Zacchaeus. The story is not about the Sycamore tree. But the Sycamore Tree is in the story of Zacchaeus. You see, there was such a crowd around Jesus that anyone who wanted to find out what Jesus was all about had a hard time seeing Him. The tree was the place that enabled Zacchaeus to see Jesus. Clearly. Beyond the crowd. A cool thing happened. Zacchaeus did not stay in that tree. He didn’t become a member of The Sycamore Tree branch AD30. Jesus went to Zacchaeus and actually told him to come out of the tree because “I’m going to your house now.” No one built a parking lot around the tree or posted a dress-code or made anyone boss of the tree. No one wrote a book about how to get people into your tree. It was just a great place – for a time – that allowed a man to see what Jesus was doing.
A Make-up Artist: No one ever complimented my daughter’s eyes or cheek bones until… she got a job modeling a new fashion line. A very skilled artist outlined those eyes, hi-lighted her cheeks, added specific elements that didn’t change her face but just showcased what was always there. Beauty. Unleashed. And we have no idea who the make-up artist is.
The Yellowbrick Road: because once you look back on the road you’ve traveled you’ll see that what you think you lack, what you would ask the Wiz for, is that very same thing that gave you the ability to make it along the Yellowbrick Road to Oz. Had Scarecrow never traveled the Yellowbrick road he’d never have known he had a brain. Same for Cowardly Lion. Same for Tinman. The journey revealed the true self. And Dorothy, wow, Dorothy found home among her friendships that were tested and tried along the road.
For me success is when a Wilbur is blown away time after time when he is ‘seen’ and his life is valued, a life that would normally end up being used or consumed, or worse, go unnoticed.
Success is when a Zacchaeus moves along, finds home, and is ready and see what can happen in his own house.
Success is when I can skillfully hi-light and unleash the beauty that no one else can see… yet.
Success is when I can love the Yellowbrick Road, even in the midst of pain and discomfort, danger and all.
“Why did you do all this for me?” he asked. “I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.”
“You have been my friend,” replied Charlotte. That in itself is atremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. Afterall, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.”
May 10, 2012
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