Set Your Own Standards..!

By Robert Clements. Dated: 2/7/2019 12:45:23 PM

The two men; both neighbours of mine entered my study this morning, they held out a sheet of paper for me to sign. It was a signature campaign! I looked at the signatures on the sheet of paper and found that of my friend John.
"Why did you sign?" I asked John later, "you'd told me you didn't agree to what these people wanted!"
"I still don't!" said John sheepishly, "but I didn't want to offend them by not signing! Did you sign?"
"No," I whispered, "I didn't!"
A little later I met others who had signed on the piece of paper, "Why did you sign?" I asked them, "you know it isn't totally true?"
"Because John did!" they said.
"Who sets your standards?" I asked them, though they didn't hear my helpless question, "John signed because he didn't want to upset some people and you all signed because you saw John's signature?"
A true story has it that one day an elderly man decided to jog around the local high school football field. As he huffed and puffed along, the footballers were in practice. Suddenly the players started running sprints up and down the field. The man told himself, "I'll just keep running until they quit."
So he ran. And they ran.
And he ran some more.
And they kept running.
And he kept running until he could finally run no more.
He stopped in exhaustion. The players also stopped and one of them, equally exhausted, approached the old man, "Boy," he said breathing heavily, "I'm glad you finally stopped sir. Coach told us we had to keep running wind sprints as long as the old guy was jogging!"
He was watching them. They were watching him. He was letting them set his standard. They allowed him to set theirs.
I turn to the phone to call my friend John and silently ask questions which trouble my mind, "Who are you keeping pace with John?"
"Are you allowing other people to set your standards for you?
What about your standards, or principles, for moral behavior? Or guidelines for what kind of attitudes you want, or how happy your relationships should be? What about when the whole world signs a sheet of paper?
"Do you keep pace with those around you, or do you decide yourself just how you will live your life? The truth is...only you are qualified to determine what your standards will be John."
"Ah my friend," I say sadly, "Set your standards too low, and you'll know only discontent. But when you have the courage to set them high then you live an immeasurably full and worthwhile life. For only when you reach for the best that is within yourself, will you experience great living!"
Who my dear friend sets your standard?
bobsbanter@gmail.com

 

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