Are we always the people we want to be? I believe in love and justice, forgiveness and second chances and generosity – but I don’t always live up to the ideals I profess.
It helps me to think of sharks. We’re told that some kinds of sharks can’t breathe unless they swim. They get oxygen from the movement of the sea over their gills and they can only make this happen by constantly moving through the water. In other words, they must keep moving forward to live.
Likewise, humans who want to live well must also keep moving forward. Forward toward the people we want to be. Forward toward our goals and ideals. Change is almost always incremental – a little bit each day. But we must keep moving forward.
As author Marianne Williamson says, “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” But I find great passion in stretching a little farther than I think I can. I hang on to the belief that it is better to reach too far and fall short than to settle for mediocrity and succeed.
Yes, I don’t always give peace a chance and I don’t always choose love first. And more often than I care to admit, the person I am today doesn’t wholly resemble the one I hope to be tomorrow. But all of that is all right, so long as I keep moving forward, little by little, every day.
Life demands that sharks and people keep moving forward.
— Steve Goodier