Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Text Size

We all are significant

“Who do you think you are?” someone asked me. “Who do you think you are?” past memories reminded me. “Who do you think you are?” ego accused me. The critic’s voices are loud whether audible, written, or internal. “Who do you think you are?”

I snapped a picture of a delicate white flower in a mountain meadow this summer. It was exquisite, yet simple. Not sharing its beauty with many, it freely gave to the world nonetheless. This tiny flower grew in the shadow of beautiful mountains. Its height was far surpassed by numerous towering, majestic trees. Nearby, the vastness of a still, clear, blue lake dwarfed the span of its little petals. Nevertheless, the masterpiece of all of creation was appreciated in that moment, none more significant or beautiful than another.

Researcher, author, and speaker Brene Brown introduced me to Theodore Roosevelt’s quote called ‘The Man in the Arena’ which was delivered in Paris, France on April 23, 1910:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds...”

At times my role has been seemingly hidden from view as I spent days at home as a stay-at-home mom. Other times, my role has loomed high as I was entrusted with the task of teaching young minds. Smaller roles have spanned moments of quiet conversation with a friend. I have been one who has stumbled, and certainly one who errs. So, I have an answer to the question, “Who do you think you are?”

I am me, imperfectly present in the arena of life. I am loved, forgiven, and valued. I am someone who encourages others who have heard the critic, audibly or internally, to believe that he or she is appreciated as a masterpiece...none more significant or beautiful than another.