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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Being Of Use

Because I'm in the habit of writing a great deal in my books (including the dates I read them), I know that the last time I re-read M Scott Peck's classic "The Road Less Travelled" was April 2006. This was a period in my life when I was feeling particularly useful to many others. Peck asserts in all of his books that being of use is a big part of what makes life meaningful. That assertion has always resonated for me.

This past week I saw someone who I met with regularly around that same time. He told me I'd been "right" about many things we'd discussed. Later as I was writing in my journal about how gratifying our conversation had been to my ego, I glanced up and saw "...Road.." on my bookshelf. I stopped writing and read a few pages, as I have many times before. I suddenly realized how un-important it was that this person thought I'd been "right". I also knew it was no coincidence that "...Road.." was right there in front of me that moment as I was journalling about both our recent conversation and our earlier time together.  

As I resumed writing, I reflected on what is important: I'd been of use to that person and many others at that time. It's so much more important to be of use than it is to be "right". I went back to my journal, refreshed (again) by Peck's wisdom, grateful for the clarity of my insight, and rejoicing in a future filled with being of use.

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