What does it take to be admirable? I suppose we all have different views on this. I am, however, noticing that my perception of what is admirable in people is beginning to shift. External qualities, I am discovering, are not qualifying factors to make a person admirable. At my almost 30 years of life, I am realizing that the value of humanity relies on the beauty of their soul.
There is a correlation between what we love and our engagement with society. My relationship with God gives me a greater appreciation for what he has created: nature and people. The injustice and lack of care to the most vulnerable and our mistreatment of what is truly breathtaking as is the beauty of nature can sometimes push me to the edge– I am sure it does to many, but what have I done to bring about the change that I want to see?
I enjoy reading about the lives of historical figures and about their success and failures. It is a way for me to really submerge myself into their lives and learn about what they have done to bring forth a transformational change. The stories I find most inspiring and worth admiring are of those who have offered the beauty of their heart to society. The kind of leaders who have sacrificed more than their money or a pretty face, but rather have given all their energy and gave an outpouring of kindness to others. Connecting this to my faith, as I always tend to do, God teaches us to give attention to the spiritual health of our heart and gives us the definition of an exemplary heart– a heart after His (God’s) own; what is in our hearts and minds will dictate our behaviors. King David had a heart filled with passion for God. David’s connection with the Lord led him to live his life in a meaningful way, labeling him as one of the most admired in his time. His fight against Goliath (a giant) came from this love for his people, he risked his life to prove God was on his side and no one had the authority to humiliate or destroy the people of Israel. His brave spirit to defend the people he loved made him worthy of becoming King of Israel. *Refer to 1 Samuel 17 in your bible for the full story.
One of my favorite examples and one I speak about often, is the story of Harriet Tubman. It must have required a great amount of love for her people for Tubman to free thousands of slaves during a time where her unconventional behavior was not only wrong, but also illegal. Her dream to free those in captivity was stronger than the fear of what the law could do to her. She was far from being wealthy and her health was not in condition for her to manage such a dangerous mission. However, the only thing stopping her were the slaves themselves that refused to break free. She loved them enough to risk her own freedom in the process. Wealth, beauty, social class, or even good health were not in Tubman’s radar, but compassion, love, and passion were and it was enough for her to lead many to freedom. That is truly worth admiring.
I am certain that those historical figures we admire the most were not seeking admiration, but rather were seeking a change in the world. Martin Luther King Jr. was not pursuing popularity, he was fighting for a noble cause that gained him popularity and ultimately making him one of the most influential and admired leaders in the history of America. That wishful hope for change started within him and it transformed history. Today, many are living a dream that initiated in the heart of an ordinary man who made it his mission to fight for a better tomorrow. His love for others cost him his own life, but it was his vision to see those under oppression break free that led him to his battlefield, even if his life depended on it.
Living Deliberately (my blog site name) came during a time where I felt the need to change the course of my life in hopes of living intentionally– the kind of life that serves a purpose in the most generous way. The more I focus on this the more it pinpoints me to one thing: serving others. That’s it, we live to serve and serve to live. It’s like an unending cycle of talent sharing between one another for survival. People truly worthy of admiration are the kind that have a deep understanding of the value of living unselfishly and give much of themselves to see change. Unfortunately, I fall under the column of people who have not connected with this mindset and have lived most of my life believing that we must fight for our own personal gain. Nevertheless, God teaches us that we gain more when we fight for the cause of others before our own. When we take upon ourselves some level of responsibility to work for a better tomorrow. It will be then that we will experience living life from the inside out and really pour out a kind heart to those who need it.
I admit it, I have not reached this level of devotion to others, I am far from it, but I know if I remain in Jesus, he will teach me his ways and show me how it’s done the right way. After all, he is the master of admiration for all the right reasons!
“If not us then who? If not me and you, right now. It’s not enough to do nothing, it’s time for us to do something”. Matthew West