I used to look at my elders, important figures and think to myself how wonderful it must be to know so much. To have so much information from the experiences of their life. I would think “man they must not be afraid of anything, because they know so much.” I often would think that people who have lived so long are extremely brave and confident people, because age had given them so much authority and wisdom.
For the most part, that is true; however, I know that we all have to start from somewhere and that we all have once before not known as much as we have come to know with age. That is something I am discovering as I grow older myself. I’m realizing that the more experiences you have; the more you learn. Learning and growing is what gives you the confidence to do more.
When I was younger I was terrified of getting on the stage. I felt that I would be laughed at or mocked. For a long time it was so intimidating for me. I would look at educators and performers and say, “dang they are so brave to be able to speak or sing or perform their truth in front of so many different people." Not to mention that this is something most educators or performers do all the time. I was envious of their ability to do that seeing as how I was so scared. I felt that I would never have the confidence to do those types of things and that I would always be one who settled for a more conventional lifestyle that didn’t involve getting on stage and speaking in front of large audiences. Little did I know that over time with small experiences like speaking in front of a few first then leading to larger groups would put me on a trajectory towards what I was so afraid of. Before I knew it I was excited to get on stage and couldn’t wait to address audiences.
That's why I feel that growth is such a beautiful thing. Everything in nature grows. A seed can turn into a beautiful flower much larger than it’s original form. A Great Dane starts off so small and eventually grows to be one of the largest dogs of all the dog breeds. It’s amazing how something can start off so small then, with time can become so much larger than it was before. And the funny thing about that is that often times you never remember a lot about those times of being small once you’re big. I believe that’s because your consciousness grows as well and doesn’t have room anymore for those old thoughts that you use to entertain. A human’s growth is also very beautiful. You can go from a small child fearful of the world to a strong adult ready to explore foreign lands on your own and speak in front of large crowds. Looking back at my own journey I had to realize that I had grown just like that. When your life has gained so much you then can be in a position to share some of that with others. I guess that’s why so many people acknowledge me and come to see me at my classes because of my growth. The growth that I have now is the same growth that I would admire from older people who I would see speaking on stage and traveling around the world. The same growth that I would admire and wish I could have is the same growth that I have now. The best part about that is that is doesn’t stop. The growth continues all the way until you are old and elderly. Everyday we venture out in to the world discovering new things having new and enriching experiences. We walk the world talking and speaking, observing, and feeling. We take in our lives and feed that growth that happens within everyone one of us.
All the things that I could see in those folks I would admire I now see in myself. Life, I feel, is a cycle where we grow and then feed the next generation’s growth and then they grow and feed the next. Of course we feed the next what our experiences have fed us so it’s also important to be aware of what you share and how you influence others. That's why they say in order to make a better world you must first start with yourself. You have to share positive and optimistic hopeful knowledge to influence a better tomorrow. Passing on negativity is just continuing that cycle that most of us don’t want to see anymore. When you look at our history you have a whole group that has influenced another with their own selfish gratifications, but how will we stop that cycle? Only by producing more positive to out weigh all that has been given from the past. That's also why history takes so long to change because it is through the growth of the next generation that we start to see the change.
Blacks walk around more confidently because of the sacrifices of their ancestors, gays are more liberated because of the actions and protests of the ones who came before them.
Yes growth is a beautiful thing and its also a beautiful thing to know that even though you may think you can’t today it is still very possible for you to believe you can tomorrow and before you know it your growth as sprouted out a path for you where you finally KNOW you can in your future.
Growth is inevitable. The only thing we need to figure out is which direction we want our growth to go.