There is a famous old Peanuts cartoon. Linus, ever philosophical, quotes “It is better to light one candle rather than curse the darkness”, whereupon Lucy, ever the pessimist, says something like, “You stupid darkness!”
Before you choose your favorite (and yes, one choice is more ‘socially desirable’) consider the advantages of being a Lucy.
You never have to expend much energy finding the candle and lighting it.
You don’t have to actually achieve anything, so you don’t have to put forth any effort.
You won’t have to challenge any of your old beliefs, even the ones that make you miserable.
Are you with me? There is a choice here to be made. To do something positive that causes the light to be lit – or to curse it for not lighting itself.
Make no mistake about it: there is a lot of darkness in the world. You may not be feeling very positive about searching for light, especially if this has been a particularly dark time for you. If it has, the only positive thing may be that you are tired of cursing it.
So here are my three best suggestions for making sure that even in the darkness, you leave room for some light.
- One candle might not seem like much in a sea of darkness, so find other holders of light. They are all around, but even if you can’t see them, their flames will keep yours lit.
- If you find yourself surrounded by cursers, refuse to join. Instead, consider turning their curses into kisses by thanking them for their caring about whatever it is that they are cursing.
- Remember, curses pass the tongue quickly but linger in the atmosphere. Before you are tempted to curse the darkness, look around. Do you really want to snuff out other people’s candles, or would you rather let yourself be warmed by their light?
Just one more reminder: the direction a leader takes is the direction in which their team will follow them. Make sure you lead them to the light.