Sunday, July 12, 2009

My guiding principle

Two bits of wisdom from my past converged this week resulting in an epiphany of my life's philosophy.

My Father and Tennyson
My father read Tennyson and I have his book, The Works of Alfred Lord Tennyson, copyrighted in 1892. When I was a mere child, Dad had my sister and I commit to memory a portion of Lady Clara Vere de Vere. This portion is underlined in Dad's book:
Howe'er it be, it seems to me,
'Tis only noble to be good.
Kind hearts are more than coronets,
and simple faith than Norman blood.
This week I was reminded of the verse when my husband wrote a parody for a friend based on The Lady of Shalott and we pulled out Dad's book for reference.

Proverb Plaque
A few days later, I noticed a plaque hanging in my house. I hand-carved a proverb 25 years ago as a gift to my ex-husband, trying to encourage him to live a better life. When he left, he left the plaque. I put it away, but when my husband found it years later, he loved it because of the sentiment and because I carved it. He insisted that it be hung. This is Proverbs 21:21, Revised Standard Version:
He who pursues righteousness and kindness will find life and honor.
The Epiphany
Is there anything more winsome than kindness? Righteousness connotes that one is living a life that is pleasing to God and the root word in Hebrew means upright, just, straight, innocent, true, sincere.

Can I live a life of kindness? Can I live a life that pleases God? I often fail, but it will not stop me from pursuing kindness and righteousness.


the Provident Woman said...

Never stop pursuing it. It's all we can do. Strive to live better and better. Get back up after we fall.

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Carol, May Dreams Gardens