A while back I asked a question on FaceBook. The question was, What do you wish you were taught or understood better when you were younger? I asked because I love to interact with people, I learn through others experiences, thoughts and feelings…and quite frankly I was little bored and needed human connection!
The responses I got back were varied and interesting, simple and complicated. I loved hearing back from the brave subjects who participated, so thanks.
So do you want to know what they said?
I discovered people who learned the hard way, people who are still learning, people who are still recovering from making mistakes or living in regret. To be an honest, regretful, vulnerable and accessible person are noble character qualities. Yes, even regretful. It admits to having made mistakes, that’s humility.
I scaled down the essence of responses. Here is the list I compiled:
- Learn what money is, and isn’t.
- Don’t avoid doing something just because you are worried that others are watching and will judge you.
- Everybody is not always thinking about you.
- Discover the importance of relational boundaries and exercise them.
- Everyone is messed up. Everyone struggles. Know this truth.
- Handle money responsibly.
- Reading can be fun.
- God really does desire for us to be on an adventure with Him and it’s not about perfectionism.
- Parents know more than you think they do. Respect them and ask them for help more often.
I love it! I love the honesty and candor of these insights. Each contribution shares a chapter from a persons life. Some seem to suggest to have survived hard knocks. Others imply a deep gratitude for the simple, genuine, non-tangible practices of life. There are a few things on this list that speak immediately to my soul. Perhaps the same is true for you? But honestly I was struck by something all together different. I found myself moved and surprised not by what people shared, but rather that they shared something personal in the first place.
People’s desire to be better, to live better, to know better, touches me deeply. Exposing wishes, hang ups, painful lessons or regret with someone else is not easy. To be vulnerable enough to share personal thoughts and feelings exposes the soul. When we are exposed, rejection or scoffing is always a possibility.
In spite of this, they shared anyway because they believed in something bigger than their own personal discomfort. Setting aside inhibition to benefit someone else, regardless of the response, is powerful. Living with a communal mindset, a perspective that our lives are best lived shared and together, through the good and bad gets my attention. And these things are what I experienced when reading the reply to my question. The people who took time to respond gave something to me. They shared themselves with me.
What did they give? Hope. These Ambassadors of Hope showed me that where there is willingness to grow, Hope is alive.
Hope believes that we are not done, that good change is possible, and that it is never too late to experience blessing. Hope challenges what is stale and believes that a new purpose or possibility can emerge. To learn from the past, no matter how frightening or humbling and move forward is courageous.
This list, this exercise of confession, has given me fresh eyes today. Re-energized to dwell within Hope I turn toward my day. The Author of Hope surprised me through these unsuspecting Ambassadors of Hope and I am grateful.