Recently I heard a poem by Alice Walker. The words were captivating and memorable and the themes so simple yet overtly true that I had to share it.
When You See Water
When you see water in a stream
you say: oh, this is stream
When you see water in the river
you say: oh, this is water
of the river;
When you see ocean
you say: This is the ocean's
But actually water is always
and does not belong
to any of these containers
though it creates them.
And so it is with you.
"But actually water is always only itself..." If this is true for us what are we to take from these words of wisdom?
How many "hats" do you wear during the days, weeks, months? At home, at school, at work, there are so many various pieces of our lives that we are a part of, that the people who know us in that setting may think of us only in a specific way. The important thing is to make sure that in all the variety of containers that you create, you are always only yourself. No mater what the role or responsibility you have from day to day, you must be like the water.
So what is it that makes you, you? How do people know its you, no matter what setting they see you in?
In Sipe and Frick's book, The Seven Pillars of Servant Leadership, they say the first pillar is being a "Person of Character". Part of the way you accomplish this is by, maintaining integrity, demonstrating humility and serving a higher purpose. When we apply these concepts to our words, thoughts and actions, we can be like the water. We can be the water that is not defined by the containers, though we create them. Water is always only itself...and so it is with you.