Okay: when I was in 7th and 8th grade and Thriller was the hot LP, I liked Michael Jackson. By the time Bad came out, I was in college, and liking Michael Jackson was not so cool. At the same time, I was pretty involved with my service fraternity, and idealism ran through me like ExLax through a widow woman (don't ask, it's a long story but a damn funny visual). And "Man in the Mirror" was a good song to remind me that as much as I wanted to change the world, the first place to start was with myself. And so here I am .... dare I say it? twenty-three years later (23??? REALLY?) and the song is still applicable.
Tonight in our meeting, we spoke about the buddy system .... and I mentioned that while I don't want a drill-sergeant "enforcer" I do need someone who will be honest enough with me to tell me when I am slacking, when I am hiding behind an excuse, who'll give me the real deal and love me anyway...... and someone who feels safe enough with me to know I'll love them for their honesty. And the first person who needs to do that for me.... is me.
I need to hold that mirror up to myself. I need to admit that there are days when I give myself too much slack, when I find a handy excuse or reason. It's too cold, I don't feel like it, it's Arbor Day in ... uh, Finland, yeah. To quote Roberto Duran: "No más!"
I need to start with the one in the mirror ..... and asking her to change her ways. To really take stock of what is happening and to find ways to make it better instead of just saying, "Well, I do the best I can." Not that the oil in my lamp has run dry --- never! --- but occasionally it needs filtering and refilling.
And the best part is that I know, beyond any doubt, that I have the power within me to do just that. And I have friends to rely on when I need a boost, who love me more than I sometimes love myself.
When life is that good and paths that clear, how can you lose?