by Stan Faryna
I’ve been trying to write a blog post to wrap up the year. It’s not coming easily to the keyboard. My mind is distracted by pain. I am surrounded by it in a manner of speaking. My stomach, my bowels, my back, my legs, etcetera. I have several challenges to overcome and my recovery from salmonella is slower than I like.
The one human being that stands out this year. The one man that stands above all others for me. The one young man this year for which I am most grateful of another’s service to me is Christian Hollingsworth. His Week of Faryna rocked my world, his very generous donation to Nisha’s water project rocked my heart, and his personal card of encouragement that I received by post -it lifted me up.
Not because the Week of Faryna is fresh on my list of people and things for which I am grateful!
The timing, however, is perfect. Because it was a difficult year set with many challenges and, yes, even traps and petty conspiracies. Nonetheless, it is good to end the year overwhelmed with gratitude.
But beyond the timing, Christian has lifted me up like no other. Like so many others have done this year and to them, I am also grateful with all my heart. But Christian carried me in his arms more than once.
Like an angel may carry us through a overwhelmingly difficult moment. Like Christ who carries our cross when we stumble under its weight.
Thank you, Christian. You shine bright, Christian Hollingsworth. The world is your oyster. You lift others up!
You lifted me up.
And lifting others up, I believe with all my heart, is living out a key in the most profound mission that defines why we are here and what we are supposed to be doing.
Being appreciated for who we are and what we do is the greatest encouragement we can get from others. But it must be earned in a manner of speaking. And I have to mention that Bill Dorman, for example, is one who pays the dues and earns it. Like Bill Dorman does, each of us must endeavor to do things worthy of the admiration and appreciation of others. I speak a little about admiration and love in a previous pod cast slash blog post.
We must endeavor to do good, beautiful and true things. And yet, even when the endeavor is made, we will wonder if we have succeeded. Or failed.
Without others to provide their judgment (oh- how we all seem to hate to be judged) upon our efforts, we must question ourselves, our existence, and wrestle with considerable doubts. Or ignore those doubts under cover of self-deception and self-defeating lack of self-awareness.
It is an existential dilemma to be sure. All of us seek judgment but none of us look forward to the penalties and sentences that our own conscience knows to be deserved.
Let me be the first to confess that I am desperate for human judgment. I do not need glory, but I do need to know if my existence is meaningful to others. If I have served others in a way that lifts them up – if only for a moment. And, at least, profoundly – if only for a moment!
Having failed to serve others is one of the most profound failures each of us can ever know. Nor can such service be fulfilled by a single heroic act or several but with ongoing consistency across the days and months and all the years of our brief lives.
That said, I thank you, members of my jury, who have considered my case this year. I appreciate each of you – even those who never speak with me but regard me in their silence. Those that found me lacking and those that found me useful, helpful, and inspiring. Thank you from my heart.
It seems a cliche, but the wisdom is so profound that I cannot repeat it enough:
No man is an island unto himself.
At times, we may think of those who inspire us as juggernauts. They crush the obstacles in their heroic path like juggernauts and they roll forward gloriously ever inspiring us and ever fueling our own ambitions, aspirations, and hope. But for most juggernauts, their momentum which seems to be as perfect as a celestial motion or divine countenance… their momentum is often fueled by the encouragement and love of others. Often, without that encouragement, the juggernaut would come to a stop and crumble like a powdery clay. Scattering in the wind. Melting under a gentle rain or melting snow.
I am not a juggernaut. Jack and Gini are juggernauts and I can say so even if they don’t like me or my blog. But I do have hopes and aspirations to do amazing things. But, most importantly, like a juggernaut, whatever good I have done and whatever good I do is fueled and sustained physically and emotionally by the encouragement, love, and friendship of others.
Thank you from my heart for your encouragement, love, and friendship.
Thanks be to God, divine servants of God’s Kingdom, and to so many wonderful people for helping me get through 2011. I list those whose contribution was greatest this year, but my gratitude goes out to many more. I can only hope that you do not take offense and injury if you do not find your name here.
This list does not include bloggers whose blogs I often read with much enthusiasm. In fact, I have featured them in several of my blog posts under the blog soup series.
If you are injured in fact, let us, you and me, renew and deepen our friendship in the coming year. I welcome you with open heart.
Bonnie Squires, Elizabeth Cross, Jack King, Christian Hollingsworth, John Magnet Bell, Amber-Lee Dibble, Carolyn Nicander Mohr, Bill Dorman, Aaron Biebert, Eugene Farber, Yomar Lopez, Marcus Baker, Dino Dogan, Janet Callaway, Saul Fleischman, John Garrett, Tim Celan, Margorie Clayman, Phaedrah Ellison, Jayme Soulati, Kaarina Dillabough, Lumi, Marianne Worley, and (last but not least) Daniela Mitulescu.
I know, I know! A few of you may be surprised to find yourself named here!
Sometimes, our unintended contribution is more size-able than our intended contribution.
Mom, Nicoleta Mocanu, Mihai Coman, Daniel Fanache, Bogdan Coman, Adrian Klein, and (last but not least) Madalina Cristea.
Above all, I wish you very special people – much joy, love, kindness, and much, much more for 2012!
Thanks also to the members of Triberr, The Castleville and Cityville Gazette, my Facebook friends and fans, my Twitter followers, and, yes, the Rockstars!
If you ask me what I believe was my most important blog post and podcast this year, I will say it was One Christian’s Letter to OWS Protestors. Sadly, it was the least listened to podcast that I published. And it was my least read blog post of the year! I can, however, appreciate the irony.
Irony helps us to keep humble, indeed.
But here is the podcast- just in case you want to hear what I’m making much ado about.
Play the soundcloud player to hear the podcast. Or download it here. The podcast sounds awesome with earphones or played on hi-fi speakers. Try it and tell me what you think.
Mobile users: you should be able to hear the podcast here.
If you think that this blog post sucks, let me know in your comment and don’t forget to include a link to YOUR favorite blog post.
If you think this blog post rocks, tell me why it rocks in the comment. “Awesome,”"Great post,” etc. works for me. Don’t forget to include a link to YOUR most recent blog post.
31 December 2011
I love you. Be well. Shine bright. Lift others up! Be amazing…