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I was taught early that each man among us has a duty, a personal and civic duty, first to God, then to ourselves, our family, our neighbors and fellow citizens. That duty is that each man should perform whatever it is he is doing the best that he can. In doing so he makes his family, community, and a nation stronger.

There always have been, always are and always will be, men that are better at, more versed and experienced in certain facets of life than I have been, I am or I ever will be. That is just a fact.

There are also those less versed and experienced than I in some facets. It would be arrogant to assume that one less versed in a topic or skill than I is any less, or I any better. When in reality they most certainly hold experience in or have skills that I have not even begun to try or master. And as long we both do the absolute best we can when we are doing what we do, then everyone succeeds.

Max HorkheimerIt is not in competition that one  chooses to do this. It is in harmony with others doing the same. Like a team. As we approach and make our way through the day, let us do so in a manner that is in keeping with our God’s standards, and our personal standards and principles. In doing so we may be able to raise the bar a notch higher for another to try and attain and exceed. As a result we all grow, strengthen and prosper.

The outcome of our own self determination is connected to the effort of our neighbors and family. It is for that reason that we have an obligation to be the best at whatever it is we do. We must do so because we owe it to ourselves. We must do so because we are someone else’s family member. We are someone else’s neighbor. We are part of a greater good. We are children of God and we need reflect that in our effort.

Then there is the antithesis to the idea that “effort begets gain”. So consider the two paths; one where there is personal gain at the expense of others, and then the other where personal responsibility lends to the greater outcome for us and of those around us.

Spending our personal energy in the course of the day  is much more rewarding and lasting when we gain from that effort by exercising our principles and standards in the process.It’s not as much about the destination as it is about the journey.

As long as we use self-honesty as our final filter for decisions made and actions taken, we will find the path to be one that is brighter to walk. Truth is the ultimate goal. And its reward is in the journey.

And at the end of today when the page has been written in the book of life, it will read that we gave our effort in total. It will read that we walked through the day in principle and we maintained our standards in keeping with what is required of us. There is more to life than a remuneration of fiat wealth. There is a wealth of character and knowledge of truth that comes from self-determination. It lights the way for us on freedoms path. It is ours to hold and ours to lose.

Just know that when you do your best, someone else will as well. Be a leader and lead by deed. Let your example of self-determination inspire others to raise their level and make today a great day.

~ Eric D. Miller – 2016