Set Yourself In Perfect Order

noun_snow house_2085964

“Don’t complain about the snow on your neighbor’s roof when your own doorstep is unclean.” -Confucius

I read a story last night from The Biggest Lie In The History Christianity that went something like this:

A man was preparing for a speech to deliver to the company he had founded. He was also responsible for watching his young son that evening. His son kept distracting him, so the man set out a problem that would keep his son occupied while he worked on his speech. The man found a map of the world inside a magazine. He ripped up the map into many little bits and asked the boy to put the world back together, knowing that the boy had no reference to what the world truly looked like. To the mans surprise the boy came back not 10 minutes later with the map completed. When the man asked how he did it, the boy told him: “There was a picture of a person on the back of the map, I recognized that and put it together. Once the person was put together I simply flipped the page over and had the world together.” After his son told him this, the man knew he had the lesson he wanted for his speech.

This story packed a punch and reminded me of Resume Virtues vs. Eulogy Virtues. As we get ready to set goals for the new year, it is important to not lose sight of the core of our being: kindness, honesty or faithfulness, bravery, or the relationships you have formed. As Jordan Peterson states, set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world. 

It is important to have lofty goals, of course. Just as important, we must set small goals and to attend to our character. That is what will take us far.

snow house by Rakhmat Setiawan from the Noun Project

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