I initially read this work of George Bernard Shaw in 1994 – and it started a fire in me that helped me get myself back on track with a sense of purpose and direction. I had begun to drift – becoming a reflection of what others expected of me rather than living my own passions and truth. While I’m far from perfect, I’ve tried to live by this credo since then – and my life today is so much more amazing that I ever thought it could be. Perhaps it will ignite someting in you too.
This is the true meaning and joy in life:
Being used for a purpose that I recognize and accept as a mighty and Divine one… Being a force of Goodness instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making me 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. My pathway was ordained before my birth by the Creator. But only I can walk in the pathway that stands before me. Without conscious effort and persistence, I will never realize the vast greatness of the journey.
I want to be thoroughly used up when I die. For the harder I work, the more I serve, the more I give – the more I live.
I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a splendid torch. And I have been granted a marvelous opportunity to hold this torch up — even if only for one brief moment in time. I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
After I return to dust, my success will be measured only by the lasting impressions I leave with those who remain to carry the torch.
–Adapted from George Bernard Shaw by Michael R. Burcham, 1994.