Sunday, March 7, 2010

Risky Business


“Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself.”

Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923)

I got new glasses on Friday, and that’s me up there at 6 on Saturday morning. The new specs are kooky and they look like upside down glasses. They’ll take some getting used to. But it was fun to take the risk, trivial as it is, and not to care for the opinions of others. (But what do you think?)

Katherine Mansfield, who’s quoted today, was a brilliant short story writer who lived a brief but bohemian life. She was risk taker who flaunted social mores and she became, in acting for herself, one of the preeminent writers of her time.

“I want, by understanding myself, to understand others,” she said. “I want to be all that I am capable of becoming.”

When I perceive how my thought processes and motives work, when I can clearly see my flaws and strengths, I can be more understanding of your efforts to become what you want to become. I can be empathetic toward you when I am considerate of myself. If I don’t understand my own humanity, how can I appreciate yours?

All of this is a risk. I could make a fool of myself by putting on dorky glasses and risking your poor opinion. I could try to be what I want to be, but what if I fail at it? How can I become what I wish I were if you think, he thinks, they think I’m not good enough?

It comes down to courage. We have to have the courage to change, to take action. If I’m willing, I can think for myself. I can set goals and work for them. If I have courage, I don’t have to live in the fear of what if.

I get that courage by testing the water in small things. The world’s not going to come to an end if what I try doesn’t work out. Keep plugging away at it. It may be the hardest thing in the world to be yourself, but the garment you weave will fit you perfectly.

How are you taking care of yourself today?

~~~~~~
A Sunday 160
In which we say something profound in 160 characters (counting spaces). See Monkey Man for more.
At 5:45 a.m. on a winter day
When the night sky lightens to navy blue
I can see the bare bones of naked trees
The hope of morning swells in me
Like a red balloon.

~~~~~~

29 comments:

Brian Miller said...

i love the glasses personally...i agree, failure can be a hindering factor, bc we make it personal...being oneself, priceless...

Woman in a Window said...

Here you are! I like your glasses. They're bold. It was a few years ago I had hoped to wear glasses as they are so character driven. And then I realized I was my own character. Took some time.

You are gorgeous. All of you.

It takes courage to live well. Let's do it.

"If I don’t understand my own humanity, how can I appreciate yours?" YES!

Have a wonderful Sunday!
xo
erin

Berowne said...

"If I’m willing, I can think for myself."

This above all, to thine own self be true...

Scott said...

I do like your glasses (not that it matters to you ;-) )

I am going to wear my Cub Scout uniform to church today because we have Pinewood Derby right after Mass. I suppose people will think I am a dork, but the uniform and all of the patches I have earned, mean something to me and I am proud ot serve my son and his friends as their Cubmaster. Then, I won't have to race home and change right after Mass, so there is a bit of pragmatism involved. We are talking about Scouts after all... "Do Your Best" and "Be Prepared!"

e said...

Nice specs, and you are indeed gorgeous...courage is a wonderful thing sometimes, other times it is terrifying...

Madison said...

You look great to me.

Secretia said...

Today I am going to have a slow motion day, strolling thru a flea market, sitting in the sun in the afternnon, some relaxing piano playing, a little lovemaking when the mood strikes.

Secretia

lakeviewer said...

Great glasses! They fit you! Very insightful reverie, btw.

Patty said...

Great glasses and great question. I am going to take of myself today by taking it easy on Patty and give her a break. I am going to allow her to not be perfect, all day today and see how it works out!

Kim A. said...

The glasses rock! I have taken risks at the wrong time and not taken them when I needed to. Today I have a better way of deciding when to jump and when to wait. I got a tattoo on my 45th and am going to get another one this year. A risk I can take!!

Namaste

TechnoBabe said...

I like that you say you want to think for yourself. Yes! Absolutely!! We all need to do that. Not be led like sheep with no thought of our own. Push ourselves to think and feel and get in touch with our own thoughts. Just putting on your new glasses shows your decision to be yourself. Choose something you believe is a little risky. Of course you have to know the glasses bring out your great eyes and you look great in them. You have eyes to see for yourself. And now you have to glasses to see even better. Use this exercise to your advantage and move it into other aspects of your life. Feels good, huh? I like your quote today very much. And your post.

Magpie said...

It's been a hard and long lesson for me to learn, but I have finally decided (as you said) the world will not end if I do something other's find foolish, stupid or silly. It is freeing to feel this way. Something I strive to instill in my daughter daily.

I love your glasses and your smiling eyes behind them!!!

Kristin H. said...

I dig the glasses. Those are what I call Attitude Glasses. Just putting them on changes your whole attitude.

Perfect!

Susan said...

Interesting question. I will ponder it. Nice glasses. I could use a new pair as well. :)

Monkey Man said...

The glasses look fantastic. Great 160 as well. What's the next big risk?

Marla said...

Love the glasses!

LadyFi said...

Love your poetic Sunday 160! And I loved to read Mansfield when I was younger.. thank you for reminding me of her and of her courage for us to become all we can become! Such inspiration!

Tracy said...

I think the glasses look great!

Matty said...

The glasses become you. A perfect fit. It does take courage to be yourself, especially when we've been conditioned all our lives to fit into what others think we should be. That social expectation of how you should be. You took a risk and it paid off. You look the way you should.....like you.

Sherry said...

I think the glasses look artsy and bring out your beautiful eyes!

Karen said...

Love the glasses and the poem!

Syd said...

Nice glasses. The opinions of others don't run my life as they once did. I think that people pleasing is such an emotionally depleting thing.

Beth said...

Hey - I LOVE your glasses! You look brilliant!

Judy Sheldon-Walker said...

The glasses accent wonderful eyes. Great choice.

Prayer Girl said...

Dare to be all that God intends me to be....that is a tall order for me and I am still working on it - with God's help.

PG

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Shadow said...

conviction counteracts the fear factor in risk....

i loooove your glasses, funky!

sarah said...

I love the specs....And I think they look great. Way to go on taking the risk...Have a gentle week. Sarah

Poetikat said...

I like the glasses, Chris; they're dynamite! You look great!

Albert Einstein Quotes