Saturday, September 26, 2009

Do You Have Any Good Qualities?

In our ongoing "Drive for Pride" campaign, sharing the good news of self-esteem with all God's creatures, we turn to the personal qualities we have. It is our firm hope that all your qualities will be qualities indeed, that is, good ones.

We know enough about the bad qualities that manifest themselves in human behavior. I've been known to manifest a few myself, if I may be so forward as to admit it. Am I ashamed? Yes, I am. Does that mean I can forever show only good qualities? I'm afraid not. Maybe I can, in the sense of having the potential -- we all do. But practically speaking, I'm no saint.

Still, you don't have to be a saint to have good qualities. And it's a good thing, too. Because do you realize how hard it is to become a saint? One thing, you're dead when it happens. That's a long time to wait. Another thing, you have to have a lot of people willing to say you performed miracles, even if you wouldn't know a thing about it.

Fortunately for those who are potential saints, there are plenty of people out there whose imagination lets them think all sorts of things happened. Bless those people. Maybe one of them has been watching you. If you don't think you have any good qualities, one of these simple souls does!

The more people you know, of course, the more people there are who may be touting your good qualities. Pay your bills on time, you'll have a good credit rating. It's kind of the same thing. Greet people when you meet them, enjoy or appear to enjoy their company, care or appear to care about what's going in their lives. If they say something about their life, follow up with a few curious questions. Next thing you know, they'll be crediting you with turning their lives around.

Then you'll start thinking, Hey, maybe I'm really something. The danger in that is that you should be as grounded in reality as much as you can be. Plus, humility is a good quality, even when people say they don't want to hear it. Because the secret is, they really do want to hear it. They'll praise you till you're 10 feet tall. But you'd better be humble, or they'll bury you just as deep.

One of the things about self-esteem, though, is that you should know the true nature of yourself. And that you be very forgiving of yourself. Because the honest truth is you're not going to be perfect. But there's no reason to beat yourself up over it. Just accept it, hone what you have, and march on victoriously.

So -- in our "Drive for Pride" -- we want to recognize our personal qualities. Are you a nice person? Do you appear nice? Do you have a nice smile for people? One that at least appears nice? Do you care about people? Do you appear to care about people?

You're noticing that "appear" in there, aren't you? Because there's nothing wrong with appearances. Appearances give consistency to you, so you're not dependent on moods being just right. Appearances speak of discipline, that you have the discipline to govern your actions and appearances, despite how you really might feel.

Plus, if you keep appearances consistent, it's more likely -- as that consistency goes on -- that your moods will stabilize and your good qualities will become more and more obvious.

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