Thursday, August 20, 2009

More or Less

When I was doing my reserve gig at Andrews AFB earlier this year, we had to go watch this financial/motivational speaker. I can't remember his name, but he wore crazy shirts and boots and yelled alot.

One thing I do remember about him is this quote:

"Humans are the only living beings who wake up every morning and make a choice to be less than their potential."

It's true. Every other living thing does exactly what its DNA tells it to do until an external force intervenes. There is no tree that decides to be shorter than it was meant to be and no dog who decides to be less friendly.

There's another side to this, though. I think we are also the only living beings whose potential is not limited to our DNA. We can be/do better than we are naturally by being in proper relationship with God and others.

What do you think?

4 comments:

  1. I think you are way too deep for me at 8 in the morning :D But I will read again in a few hours and maybe then it will sink in. :)

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  3. This is my brother, Tim's, email response:

    Ya, I completely disagree with his statement.
    I don't know any human that makes that choice intentionally.. especially every morning. Something to think about might be that other beings don't use words like "potential" that imply there is an unknown possibility (but not necessarily probability) for a different or better outcome based on exerting more effort. If a person is not living up to another's standards, then perhaps they truly lack the "potential" and the other person that forecasted the standard not being lived up to has assumed inaccurately as to said person's ability...
    Hmmm...

    Oh yeah, also... potential is one of my least favorite words in our language.

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  4. Tim makes some good points and I think the statement could be just as effective worded a little differently. Such as, "Humans are the only living beings who CAN make the choice (and often do) to do/be less than they were created to/be."

    I realize no other living beings have the choosing functions we have, so it's really not fair to say imply that we're somehow lesser because we choose to be. Maybe they would, too.

    But the idea behind this statement resonated with me because for me, there are many times when I coast or don't apply the full power of my self. I have often settled for 50-60% effort because it is acceptable and it gets the job done. I have relied heavily on the grace of others, choosing to be selfish with my time and unthinking with my words. I have let fear or laziness stop/delay me from taking steps that would use my gifts in a mutually beneficial way with the world around me.

    (And I think I'm not the only human who has done this.)

    For me, it's just an encouragement to use that power of choice responsibly, to engage with the powers that make me better than I can be naturally and to be 'all in' as much as it is up to me.

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