Today’s the birthday of my friend, Gary Gunderson. Staying at his house recently, I saw a quote on his desk. It was on a half sheet of paper, typed on a typewriter, so it’s been around for a while. I’m guessing he’s read it many times. Having just posted about knowing your purpose this subject was fresh in my mind. I know no one who more lives out the notion that “my life belongs to the whole community.” I can’t even begin to fathom how many lives his actions and words have touched in both subtle and powerful ways.
So instead of a birthday candle, we’ll celebrate with the splendid torch!
This is the true joy in life—that being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. That being a force of nature, instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die. For the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It’s sort of a splendid torch which I’ve got to hold up for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations. —George Bernard Shaw