Living and Giving

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A reflection I wrote about living excellently…


Living Excellently

I have a glimpse of myself.  A small idea of the kind of person I envision myself to be.  And for the first time, this picture, this concept—is not defined by activities.  The best way I can put this is: “I want to be a beautiful person who strives to live excellently.”

To a lot of other people that will just sound like a horribly arrogant want-to-be perfectionist.  But I do not focus on wanting beauty.  Long hair, a straight nose and striking cheekbones…  I want beauti full  Beautiful means that in looking that person in the eye you can so clearly feel their soulfulness—their devotion and wholehearted givingness to whatever they are involved in at that time.  You see clarity.  You see devotion, and care, and giving.  But you also see strength.  And unbendable values.  Uncompromising tempered with compassion.  It is possible.

My concept has changed to not “what have I done” but “what do I express.  The dos and dones will result from the expression.  I have to believe this.

Living excellently.  To many this will mean a lavish home with every conceivable comfort provided and the latest Jaguar in the driveway.  Rich foods, sloping green lawns, maids.  To others this will mean trying to live each day never making a mistake.  Being painstakingly accurate and correct.  I did not say perfection.  I meant living excellently……


If you took a walk today, and saw how the breezes blow the tree branches, and said hello to an old woman with an old cart walking down the street, and ate fresh fruit and asked the gas station attendant how his day was going as you fill your car up on gas and then settled on your couch with your favorite blanket given by your grandmother and read a book which made your heart glow and then called an old friend because you felt they needed to talk—then you have lived excellently.

If you surprised your roommate or your spouse and cleaned the whole apartment and cultivated your plants and wrote in your journal and read the newspaper and felt you understood someone else’s situation better and organized certain letters or articles which meant a lot to you—then you have lived excellently.

If you worked a 14 hour day because you loved what you were producing or who you were affecting and then came home and took care of yourself and took a long hot shower and had some cinnamon tea and then went straight to bed—then you have lived excellently.

If you walked along the beach and listened to the waves and acknowledged a homeless person by saying “hello” and thanked God for all the direction in your life—then you have lived excellently.

So then “beautiful” and “living excellently” are not such arrogant words after all.


“I want to be a beautiful person who strives to live excellently.”