“Every person on this earth has a bright light inside of them. Sometimes it shines easily to those of us on the outside, and other times it’s entirely hidden. It’s our job to look for the light when we meet people…to seek the brightness, and once we find it, nurture it and feed it and help it get brighter and brighter.”
A friend recently shared this perspective in a conversation about the principles that guide our lives. Her kids go to Quaker school (commonly known as the “friends schools”), and this is one of the school’s core teaching philosophies. In short, it’s the belief that education is about drawing things out of people, not just putting things into them.
The simplicity and elusiveness of this guidepost has stayed with me ever since my friend shared it. What might the world look like if each of us grew up looking for the brightness in people, versus getting stuck in patterns of criticism and comparison and frustration? How would our relationships change? Would we be kinder to the people around us, and to ourselves?
Definitely easier said than done, shifting toward this way of thinking…this way of being…is worth some serious effort. It’s something we can all build toward. It’s something we can try on for size until it becomes our way of walking through the world…seeking and celebrating all that burns uniquely bright within ourselves, our children, our colleagues, our neighbors, our friends, and our foes.
So this weekend, as the hope and rejuvenation of Spring draws closer, may each of us strive to both be the light, and see the light. And make the world a little bit brighter.