The following article is my answer to The Sandbox Writing Challenge — Exercise 7
SHINING THE LAMP
Kelvin M. Knight
What makes me shine?
I am never aware people see that light shining within me. I am not truly aware I see that light shining in me. I know it’s there, in times of reflection, I feel it’s there, deep inside, part of my being, part of my whole, that light coming from my soul.
But life is not solely about reflection. Life is about action. Life is doing and making a difference. Life is the here and now of our existence. When I smile do people see that light in my eyes? When I laugh do people hear that light? When I write my stories, these articles, is that light illuminating my words and their true meaning? Or are people just too busy getting on with the business of their lives, ticking those boxes, until that next holiday arrives?
That sounds judgemental. I am meant to be non-judgemental. I am meant to be accepting.
I accept that when I am down a hole, shoulder to shoulder with people who have asked for my support, who need my encouragement as they face those demons that have become themselves, smiling and laughing are the furthest things from my mind. Yet that is when I must shine my brightest to help these individuals find hope, to help them find a reason to continue, if only for another day.
But if I spent my life living down those holes we make of our lives, what about my life? I cannot spend my life helping other people all the time, can I? Surely the stresses and strains of such a life would eventually take their toll on me, my wife, my family?
I shine in adversity. This much I know. I should shine in everyday life. Other people should see me shining when I smile, when I laugh, when I sing. They should. I should. That is when happiness becomes joyfulness. If I was authentic, if these parts of my life were integrated, joyfulness would flow through me, would overflow from me, and effect all those around me. Wouldn’t they? Couldn’t they?
Or could I have this all wrong. Perhaps I am shining how and when and where I am meant to shine. Perhaps joyfulness, for me, is overrated, after all, the biggest miracle of all is a smile, a smile on me and a smile inside me. A smile which lights the world, especially when the darkness in this world does not light a smile.