This is the 4th guest post from my Grandfather, Clyde Kirkman (1915 – 1989). The photo at above was taken in October, 1944 and is of him and his mother, my Great-Grandmother, Ada Chrisco Kirkman before he left home for WWII.
These guest posts are from a set of articles he wrote for the company newspaper where he worked (Burlington Industries).
Before we can succeed in any relationship, we have to know and understand ourselves. That means knowing and understanding the emotions that churn inside us, the desires and needs that motivate us, the fears we must cope with, how we want to spend our hours and days, and what activities will bring us the most satisfaction. It also means that each of us must learn to know and understand another person and to function in relationship to that person – in friendship or love. We can learn all our lives from our successes and from our failures.
Individuals who remain vital to their community have learned not to be imprisoned by fixed habits, attitudes, and routines. We build our own prisons and serve as our own jailers. If we build the prisons ourselves; we can tear them down also. If we are willing to learn, the opportunities are everywhere. We learn from our work and from our friends and families. We learn by accepting the obligations of life.
By suffering, by taking risks, by loving, by bearing life’s indignities with dignity we learn to live with the things that we cannot change. We learn to avoid self pity. We learn that most people are neither for nor against us, but rather are thinking about their problems. We learn that no matter how much we try to please, we will not always succeed. Among our obligations is an appointment with ourselves. Take a complete inventory of yourself. One of the most valuable things you will learn is that ultimately you are the one who is responsible for you! So take charge – and if you are going to keep on learning, your best allies will be high motivation and enthusiasm!
Some people, somehow keep their zest until the day they die. They care about people around them, they reach out, they enjoy life, they love – above all they know how important it is to have meaning and goals in their lives. People can achieve meaning only if they have made a commitment to something larger than their own little egos. Whether made to our loved ones, to our work, or to some moral or religious concept, by doing any legitimate job the best one can is, in itself, an admirable commitment. People who strive for such excellence, whether at public work or at home binging up a family, make the world a better place just by being the kind of person they are. So always remember when making decisions that it is not wealth or prestige that count – instead strive for love and contentment, and with them you will achieve happiness.
Clyde W. Kirkman
See my Grandfather’s previous guest posts here:
– The Greatest Sale in America
– Have We Forgotton.
– Progress Never Begins for Any Man until He Substitutes Dreams and Talk with Action.