Monday, July 4, 2011

Fireworks and Light Bulbs

Here in USA it is once again Independence Day. The sky will fill with bright colors and loud noises as the fireworks paint the night and the crowds ooh and ah. Then as the festivities end families will come home, they will retreat from the night behind the walls of their home and banish the darkness with the steady reliable glow of electric light.

The fireworks from earlier in the evening got the glory and the adulation but the light bulb gets the trust. For all their flash and glory the fireworks are only there for a moment. They chase the darkness away but then are gone and the darkness rushes back in. They are precious for their ephemeral nature, but they are not reliable.

The light bulb on the other hand is there day in and day out. It works in the background, only becoming evident when it burns out, when the switch is flipped and there is no warm comforting glow. But even then, even in the moments when they fail it is but a moments work to replace them.

In personal growth we need to be light bulbs. We need to work every day and when we burn out and falter we need to be able to marshal ourselves and in just a few moments get back to work. We cannot afford to be fireworks making sudden, aggressive attempts to change and then giving up as soon as we fail.

Also like the light bulb our work on growing and changing should not be a show for the crowd. Instead our growth should be quiet. The purpose of our work is for us to be better, not to be praised for trying.


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