What do YOU think?
Does this question engage you or take you out of your comfort zone? Does it put you on the spot? REFLECTIONS is award-winning author and former educator John Fioravanti’s answer.
Offering his interpretations of fifty quotes by contemporary and ancient thinkers alike, John dives deep below the surface of words and explores the deeper meanings that shape his view of the world.
Deeply personal and presented in a self-effacing manner, these self-aware reflections will encourage you to dig deep within yourself and to discover more about the underlying truths that guide you.
Without trumpets or fanfare of any kind, John Fioravanti aspires to inspire you!
About This Book:
By: John Fioravanti
Published: December 2016 (Print & Ebook)
ISBN: 978-0-9936558-6-9 (Print) 978-0-9936558-7-6 (Ebook)
Excerpt From Reflections
Grow Up and Get Wise!
“So you made a mistake in your past? Who among us, was never young and stupid at one time or another? So, you have a few skeletons in your closet…who doesn’t? I don’t know anyone whose closet is that clean. Your past does not define who you are now. It is what you do, and how you live going forward that will ultimately define you and leave a lasting impression on those around you. When you grow from your mistakes, you have gained that cardinal virtue called wisdom.”
~ Nonnie Jules
Nonnie Jules, the fiercely competitive founder and President of Rave Reviews Book Club, is a visionary, a creative administrator, and a gifted writer. In addition to writing poetry, novels, non-fiction and her blogs, Jules also showcases a collection of original quotes on her website booksbynonnie.wordpress.com. It is there that I discovered this quote. I find most of her quotes thought provoking, so I visit her site regularly for pearls of wisdom.
The people I prefer to associate with, both online and offline, are positive individuals who honestly try to grow as time marches on. I believe that it is this kind of personal development that Jules is encouraging with these words. I admire my daughter who is an insurance executive professionally, and a wife and mom in her personal life. She refuses to hire negative people or include such individuals in her personal life. She adamantly maintains that negative people just drag her spirit down, and she won’t allow it. I see that as a choice for personal growth.
The first section of the quote points out that none of us go through life as angels. We have hurt others or done things we’d prefer to forget about. Often, when we were younger, we did stupid things. As I read that, I smiled thinking about all the older folks who never grew up and persist in their foolish, self-centered behavior. In my experience, stupidity is not the sole province of the young. For the record, I define stupidity as the refusal to learn. I don’t believe that Jules is saying that only the young act foolishly, but it is true that many people do grow out of such behavior as they age. This kind of growth is no accident and it won’t happen just by wishing for it.
We all have skeletons in our closet. According to Jules, that doesn’t mean anything. We do not have to be prisoners of our past. We should never define ourselves by, or lock ourselves away with, the skeletons in our closet. Who we were and what we did are certainly part of who we are today. However, as Jules asserts, who you are now as a person is defined by how you act now – how you live as you navigate the present, and move toward the future. The key idea here is movement. If we stay tied to past mistakes and poor choices, then that’s who we’ll continue to be. Just as the body needs movement to function well and remain healthy, so does our spirit. Some people call it our soul, but whatever you name it, it is our spirit that propels us forward, or not; seeks to learn and improve, or not. Our choices will define who we are now. That intangible force within us needs to be directed by a mind that is determined to overcome whatever obstacles stand in the way of personal development. Growth is an act of the will.
Growth is all-important. The alternative is ugly and tragic. I’ve seen elderly people who are angry and bitter, and choose not to see good in anything. These people may have chosen to be negative, not to grow, only to discover that negativity begets more negativity. It is a never-ending cycle of unhappiness. Jules talks in terms of leaving a lasting impression on people. That strikes a chord in me because I believe that we all have a responsibility to make this world a better place. Living as a wholesome and caring individual will not only impress people but has the potential to inspire them as well. What a great way to improve our world – to be the agent of positive change for those with whom we have contact. As we grow and become wiser, this enables us to leave a lasting, positive impression on others. Wisdom, what a powerful, enviable legacy.