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An Uncommon Way to Express the Real You

pepper.jpgI picked up the kids at school the other day, taking Pepper the puppy along. As I watched children burn off their 3:05 p.m. steam, the dog played his usual icebreaker role, tangling his leash around the legs of a nearby Dad who stooped to pet him.

So nearby Dad and I struck up a conversation, and amid the warm glow of afternoon sun and laughing daughters and sons, our chat soon transcended the usual pleasantries. As light drew lower in the sky, Eric, my new acquaintance, produced something that looked like a business card.

“This is me,” he said.

I examined the card, which had a photograph of two polar bears and these words written beneath his name:

— Man of Peace —

Husband to a Superb Wife

Father of 2 Amazing Sons

Devoted Son

Faithful Friend

Alpha to a Great Dog

Defender of Rights of All Sentient Beings to Happiness and Freedom from Suffering

Now here’s someone with his priorities straight, I thought. What a charming and unusual practice—not just the card itself, but the thought behind it. I told Eric so.

He smiled with evident pride. “People always hand out business cards with their job titles and organizations,” he said. “I figure these things say a lot more about me than my profession does.”

I nodded in appreciation. Eric had gently revived the calling card. Still, I couldn’t help inquiring after his profession.

“I’m a lawyer,” he replied.

We both laughed knowingly, as I pocketed what seemed, at the moment, the planet’s most un-lawyer-like card.

* * *

Now, days later, at home on a dark November evening, I’m pondering the design of my own personal card. How will I describe myself? How would I like others to know me?soul_shelter_greenhouse.jpg

As a husband? Yes. As a father? Yes.

After those two, other descriptors seem featherweight in comparison. But whatever my card ends up saying, Soul Shelter will be there.

What might your personal card say about you?

* * *

“Your true colors are beautiful, like a rainbow.”
Billy Steinberg and Tom Kelly

* * *

You may also enjoy:

Measures of Success

A Moment of Fulfillment

The Risk of Happiness

4 Comments to An Uncommon Way to Express the Real You

On Nov 27, 2008, charles faris commented:

1 girl
1 boy
1 beautiful planet

blessed beyond belief

how can i help?

On Nov 27, 2008, Val commented:

I love this card idea. Mine might say something like:

Follower of Jesus Christ
Wife to Gordon, my best friend
Mom to 5 delightful children
Lover of Peace and Simplicity
Blessed Beyond Belief (copied that from Charles)

On Nov 29, 2008, KS commented:

teacher and learner
restless enthusiast
musician and scientist
very lucky

Although I consider myself a wife, daughter, aunt, sister, and friend, I’m not sure how much those attributes define me, anymore than my job does, so I’m slightly reluctant to put them down. After all, they are still definitions in relationship to someone else.

Nice story!

On Dec 4, 2008, by Tim commented:

@all: Beautiful thoughts. I’d love to see your cards posted online. Hmm, should we do a non-business card exhibition? …


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