There's a saying about 'leaving this world a better place than when you entered it.'
I've always instinctively believed this - and probably will until the day I do 'leave'.
Certainly, I'll never know if I've made a real difference overall, but would like to think my personal 'nett input' has been positive.
Among the important things I've learnt, and tried to apply, are 'passion', 'courage', 'honesty', 'loyalty', 'common sense', 'objectivity' and 'compassion' … and I rate them equally highly.
Perhaps the greatest discovery of my entire life is belief in myself, which kinda encompasses the above values. It's never been about 'putting myself first' (see below), but about trusting my own judgement.
Among the notionally important things I've never learnt are faith in a deity … and ambition.
I recognise the widespread craving for a god of some kind. It gives people a reference point or (a term I'm fond of) an anchor.
I also appreciate the positive impact of 'believers' in the real world which, on balance, is greater than the negative.
To generalise for a moment, there are two kinds of believers: (a) those who use their faith for personal aggrandisement (the selfish), and (b) those who obey their god's direction to serve humanity (the selfless).
A subset embracing both kinds? Do me a favour!
Walk your camel through the eye of a needle first, then we'll discuss it.
Alternatively, try shedding your skin, starting anew and standing naked in the face of an infinite cosmos. I did it at 14 and haven't looked back.
I'll have more to say on this from time to time.
Moving on …
'Ambition'. Hmmm. Sorry, I've never understood it. So much so, in fact, that I've started to think I'm missing a gene!
I'll probably die with my working boots on, wondering how to pay the next electricity bill.
In the meantime, I'll continue to count my blessings.