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Being a bucket or a candle

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Are you a bucket or a candle? I often get asked how I can keep pace with being optimistic on a constant basis day in and day out. How can someone look at the positive side of life even amidst adversity? Don’t things get you down? Don’t negative people pull you down?

Sure, if you hold a life where you see the glass half full, it can be a challenge at times but you have to ask yourself if you are a bucket or a candle. What I mean by this is that if you see yourself as a large bucket filled with optimism and those around you as smaller empty buckets around and you pour your contents into their container as you come in contact with them. In this situation, what is happening? As they are taking from you, you are getting depleted. This is not sustainable for anyone who might be that big bucket.

Instead, if you change your perspective to one where you see yourself as a lit candle and those around you as a room of unlit candles. As you engage and interact with them, your light will light their candle and there is a bigger flame and as they pull away, you both have an intense flame; however, your flame is no less depleted and still the same size. Before you know it, the room is lit fully and it is a warm bright glowing space. You are still the same and you can appreciate the radiance around you. If you take time to sit and stare at a candle, you will be amazed at the intensity that the flame holds. It is bright, constant and ever present.

Sometimes you need to focus on your own perspective and determine what makes up who you are. By simply choosing to be a lit candle and not a bucket, you have an easy descriptor to what makes up who you are and the ability to have a perspective on your life. By framing my life as a lit candle, it is what I strive to keep going. I then choose to not let people deplete me. I consider how I can enrich and enable those around me.

A lesson for me is if you see the glass half full or half empty…as community volunteer with a bright candle, I take the light from my candle and go in search with the glass and look for someone thirsty.


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