… I have little to no ambition.
The irony is I have little to show for that desire. In terms of production, I have four lifetimes to go to achieve a Shakespeare, Faulkner, or Ogilvy.
A blog post here. A sales letter there. Some poems, lots of Google+ posts. Emails. Short stories. Comedy routines with the children.
Nothing else really matters. Just carving out my spot in the pantheon of great writers. But nothing else really matters, except this: being humble and generous.
I can not think of two virtues I want to cultivate more than those two (except compassion, but that’s another story), because they do NOT come easy to me.
I am stingy and critical. Forceful in my opinions, fierce in my opposition. “What you just said is not true. Here’s why.”
Steamrolling people is not beyond me. Yet, by the grace of God, I can restrain the self-righteous punk to allow room for more than one idea to exist.
To allow the best idea to win, even if that means my idea dies.
To allow differences, but not division.
And ultimately, quoting Will Rogers, to “never miss an opportunity to shut up.”
It is these two virtues — humility and generosity — I want spoken over my grave, about me. I would give up ambition one for that to come true.
Fortunately, the two ambitions can co-exist, except where it is necessary to demote one ambition for the other. Always the lesser to the greater.
And it’s not a far-fetched idea to believe that cultivating those two virtues (the greater ambition) will actually help me become a great writer (the lesser ambition).
Regardless of the outcome, I meander on.
Image source: Rachel Bone