Monday, September 1, 2008


Early Light oil pastel 10x10"

"Enable and nurture; be one who helps other achieve their own selfhood. Act in such a way that others will feel better for knowing you."

(From Have I Told You Today That I Love You)

People can be categorized into two general types, those who shine a light on others, and those who cast others in darkness.

Persons of light, my dear friend the Rev. Hal Owens refers to them as “star people”, interact with others in ways that encourage, nurture, comfort, and support. Their behavior is consistent through all manners of encounters, from the brief and casual to the more involved and formal, and and with few exceptions is directed to all their encounters. Those true to this behavior do not apply it selectively.

Persons of darkness, Owen’s “shadow people, generally cast an air of negativity around their encounters. They discourage and disrupt with their pessimism and criticism, and their effect is to undermine and threaten self confidence and self esteem. In its extreme form this can be very harmful to others. Critical opinions are often necessary, as are healthy reminders of reality, to dampen over abundant and unrealistic enthusiasm, but they can be offered in a positive and constructive manner, without darkness and doom.

I don’t believe people consciously select to be one or the other of these types, rather their behavior evolves naturally into who they are, the result of influences far beyond the scope of this brief essay. But, once the pattern is recognized and acknowledged, I think we are capable of some degree of change if we are willing to make the effort.

I have been blessed with a generous share of star people in my life, beginning with my parents and our extended family. This good fortune has followed me as I traveled the years of my life, and contrary to my earlier views, I don’t believe it was all luck. Without heaping undeserved praise on myself, I have come to understand that we have choices in our life, and some of those choices determine the relationships and friendships we foster.

People of darkness drag others down. People of light lift others up.

Gray landscape oil pastel 10x10"


Brenda said...

A great post!

Laura K said...

Of course I love these....