Thursday, March 10, 2011

Who do admire enough to emulate?

I am working with Lama Willa Miller's book, Everyday Dharma, and the last two days she has focused first on asking the reader to consider who they admire and on the second day what qualities do the people you admire have that you would like to emulate? She asks the reader to pick three people and  focus on some specific qualities for emulation. The people can be living or dead, real or fictional, she even allows animals.

There are so many people I admire and they have so many qualities that I would like to emulate that I have found the exercise much more difficult than I would have imagined it would be.

I have always admire my ex wife Angela's determination to do things and her persistence in getting things done, sometimes to a fault, but she pushed me to do things that I would never have done had it not been for her. I would like to have her determination and persistence. I am often too quick to find an excuse and to doubt myself, or the project, or to think of reasons it won't work out.

I admire Rev. Dr. Tom Chulak, the former St. Lawrence District Executive Director who gave me advice several times about how to go about working with others to start BUUF, the Brockport Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. When Tom retired, I was surprised as my sense of loss, because Tom had been a very wise source of counsel. His words are still repeated in our steering committee meetings, "How you begin is how you will finish." I admire Tom's wisdom, his ability to cut through the nonsense and get to the heart of the matter and his respectful way of working with people. He helped us start GUUSTO, Genesee Unitarian Universalist Societies Together, which is our cluster of Rochester area churches.

The third person I admire the most is Jesus of Nazareth. There are so many things I admire that it is hard to choose one. I guessed it is his love for everybody and his sense of connection with the divine. He lived a heart felt life and shared it with others in his words and deeds. It is hard to believe he was only in his early 30s when he was involved in his public ministry.

Emulation is a good thing, I think. For me it feels a little like positive competitiveness. I want to be as good as if not better than the person I admire and want to emulate realizing with humility that I could never do this because I am not that person.

I like Lama Willa Miller's book very much. I recommend it to you.

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