Friday, August 3, 2012

Things That Count

Not everything than can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.
-Albert Einstein

So my last two blog posts were about the commonness of cancer and the permanence of forever. Two topics that came up again last night at dinner. I met up with some former co-workers from a TV station in the Midwest. One lives nearby now and we keep crossing paths in the most unlikely places..sort of like we better take the hint already that we are meant to stay in touch. The other, still works at the station and came for a Florida vacation. The last time we caught up seven years ago, I was still single, working and only had one child. She has since added more grandchildren to her brood and beat ovarian cancer. 

Paula has only ever worked at one station in her hometown. Thirty years in the same place, is a feat almost unheard of in the fickeled, attention-deficit disordered world of television news. A length of time that she admits she never imagined. Now that station would be unimaginably different without her. Her reach in the community is unlike anything I have ever seen. Curiously, she never questioned why she got sick. It was like she instinctually knew that she was in a unique position to help others by sharing her experience. If you ever need a dose of inspiration and hope. Watch this five part series Paula Sands Journey
Paula’s take on my new experiment to Be More Childlike, came from a person who has a strong faith in God. She talked about Matthew 19:14 Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and stop keeping them away, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to people like these.” She talked about how her grandchildren take her hand with such unquestioning trust. She said when she was sick and weak, that childlike faith came easy. It’s the everyday that is the tricky part. So she had questions for me about how I am going to achieve my goal. Like a diet versus a lifestyle, my very vague answer is practice. Being aware that focusing an intention for just one month (as I am doing with this blog) is just a start. The conversation brought the realization that in order to transition from occasionally childlike to forever pure of heart, there will have to be some form of measurement. 
I have been fighting this idea for a while.There is a lot written about Benjamin Franklin's tremendous success as a statesman, inventor, writer and businessman. That success is credited with his constant pursuit of living a more virtuous life. Franklin started societies to help keep himself and his counterparts accountable to their goals. He also obsessively measured his daily efforts in a little notebook that was never far from his pocket. There is an enlightening blog post that talks about Franklin's 13 measurable virtues, Why Benjamin Franklin was a Stud My new hero on personal improvement, Gretchen Rubin, borrowed Franklin's methods of measurement for her happiness project. You can download a resolutions chart to use for example at The Happiness Project

I am off to Office Depot for supplies. Looks like I know what I'm doing this weekend!

Do you have virtues you strive for every day? If so, how do you measure them?

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