Of Circles and Spectrums and Balance


In describing the human condition, some have used the concept of a "circle of life." The general idea is hardly an uplifting one. It holds that we enter the world as helpless infants, dependent upon others, pass through a cycle of decades where we first are nurtured by those around us and grow by taking from them, then pass on our own nurturing and growth momentum to others. At last, we end life as elderly persons who have the same dependency on the kindness of family and friends and strangers with which we began.

To me, evidence refuting this circular idea of life is everywhere. When you enter the world, you have a certain DNA pattern that will enable you to grow, learn, develop and contribute to others. You progress through life contributing mightily to others in a variety of ways. The greatest contributors continue to do so until they die. UCLA basketball coach John Wooden, who contributed to and shaped lives for virtually a century, is a case in point. His teams had a degree of excellence that is mind-boggling today. "Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable," Wooden once said in explaining such performance. No circle of dependence here.

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