Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"Be brilliant"

            When I was growing up my parents each had a standard good-bye for their children.  In the morning as my sisters and brother and I would leave for school, my mom would always see us off with the reminder, “Use your heads.”  My dad would tell each of us to “Be brilliant.”  I could probably write a very long blog post about the wisdom of my mom’s words to “use our heads” and the importance of thinking before we acted.  It is my dad’s words that have been in my thoughts today though.

            My sister once told me that “Be brilliant” made her feel pressure.   Not me.  When I heard dad’s words I heard nothing but encouragement.  As I left each morning, going from the security of our home and out into the world of school with its tests and peer pressure and teasing and long boring lessons, I knew no matter what anyone else might think about me, my dad knew I was capable of great things.  To me the words, “Be brilliant” meant "do your best" but they meant so much more too.  They meant "I believe in you" and "I am proud of you" and "you can do it." “Be brilliant” was a daily vote of confidence in my life.  “Be brilliant” made me believe that I really was capable of brilliance.  

            As I ponder my dad’s words today, I think I appreciate them even more.  As a child, brilliance was all about being smart to me.  I thought brilliance was a measure of intelligence and it meant good grades and a positive report from my teachers.  Now I see brilliance is more than intelligence or good grades.  It is about being a light to others and a reflection of God’s goodness and love.   

It is about splendor and magnificence and brightness.

Brilliance is about learning to shine in the world. 

I cannot think of a better vote of confidence 
or a better way to start the day than with the encouragement to 
"Be brilliant".
(thanks dad, for everything but mostly for believing in me and reminding me always to "be brilliant")

1 comment:

  1. Kari,

    I enjoy your blog posts very much.

    This story reminds me of a Bible meditation I was reading the other day. A famous person was quoted as saying something like, "Of course I am gorgeous! I am a child of God!" We could also say, "Of course I am brilliant. I am a Child of God!" Yes, I hope our children will shine in the world, reflecting God's love and goodness. Aren't a parent's words so important?

    God bless!



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