This is Life Philosophy #1 in my Life Philosophize Your Age Facebook Challenge. On Facebook or other social media platforms, list one life philosophy you believe in or live by for each year you have lived, with optional commentary. I am doing my challenge here to share with a broader audience my Facebook friends.
There is no doubt in my mind the best “thing” you can give anybody is not anything material, but rather immaterial, and priceless. While one can argue that might be love, forgiveness, faith or whatever, “a chance” covers all that. You can show faith in someone by giving them a chance. You can forgive someone by giving a chance. You can express your love for someone by giving a chance to do or be something, especially something you wouldn’t tolerate in someone you might not love or love as much. However, the most important part of this life philosophy, is the proactive part about yourself. If you constantly wait around for someone to give you a chance at everything in life, you’re going to die disappointed no matter how rich and/or loving those around you might be. You wouldn’t feel as great about yourself and your ability to take on life and the world, either. I personally guarantee you both those things. People just don’t give each other nearly enough chances in life, so often, you’re going to be the only one who’s going to give you a chance at something. Think of it that way and give yourself some chances in life when no one you know would at the time, or when you’re not sure whether you could or would want to do something. Most people don’t do that often enough in life, either.
There is a quote that goes “The best thing you can give someone is a chance”. I can’t believe Google can’t tell me who said it but that’s not all that important. I made my own quote and life philosophy with that all important subjunctive clause,“including yourself”.
I first saw the original quote in 1991 at a Youth for Social Justice camp with Oxfam-Canada. I was still under 20 years old and volunteering as a camp counselor. I loved the quote from first sight. However, it barely took me a minute to add the subjunctive clause from my own life experience. I realized that while I gave lots of people chances, my many successes in life came against the constant doubts many around me had expressed towards me. I realized that I was where I was then because I had given myself a chance to do or be something and succeed at it. I was more driven to do or be something I wanted when someone doubted me, which meant I didn’t do or be something just because someone doubted me. That’s living life at the will of others rather than your own. But given I had those negative forces against me, I was the only one who was going to give myself a chance, and that was better than anything else I could ever give myself.
Since that time, I’ve learned to minimize the number of people around me who could doubt me and be a negative energy source or influence on me. I’ve also learned to distance myself from those I can’t eliminate. However, I still have more than my fair share of doubters for any number of reasons. I constantly try many new things in life, things rather different than anything else I’ve done in the past so I wouldn’t have “qualifications”. It’s my joy in life, to experience new things, and I have to be the one who gives me the chance to do that because I don’t expect anybody to give me a chance to try these things. In the process, I meet new people who are or are already doing those things, and there always seem to be some doubters them. Why they doubt me, I don’t always know and don’t generally care. When I give myself a chance to do or be something, my doubters should take their doubts and stand aside if they know what’s good for them.
This life philosophy is listed as #1 on my list because it’s the first life philosophy I consciously adopted. I repeat it quite often, though I don’t know if most often would be true. I wouldn’t say I believe it more than any other life philosophies I will list. But since it was the first I adopted and had created a part of it, it’s #1 on my list and life any time someone asks me for it.
I will post a link to a page with a list with my other life philosophies in this Life Philosophize Your Life Challenge when I post more than one.
What’s your #1 life philosophy? Or how’s about just sharing one?
I’m sure the other readers would love to hear it as much as I would. Please share in the Comments section below. Thank you.