“Monday 5 Things”™….. Four Letter Words …..

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Photo: D. Paul Graham, ‘Four Letter Words’, Savannah 2022

 “Monday 5 Things”™…..Four Letter Words…..

Sitting in my office in the wee hours of a Thursday morning, I heard two men loudly arguing on the sidewalk right under my window. It seemed that every second word from each of them was a expletive that rhymes with buck. I looked down from my window to keep an eye on them until they parted ways. As I sat back down at my desk, the heaviness of their anger, the violence of their speech, and the use of their profanity got me thinking about other four-letter words. This morning’s M5T considers four-letter words to live by.

1. Open.

As in eyes wide open, to be aware of every circumstance you face. To seeing what others don’t. And then doing something about it. Being open is to uncover what is hidden. It’s living the real you by fostering and developing your personal vision for your life. To taking responsibility for your actions. To confronting your fears and understanding what’s holding you back from how you really want to live. To being honest, first with yourself and then with others.

2. Live.

In the Moment. What a gift we can give ourselves when we can feel alive and able to enjoy the moment. The here and now. To being awake, not woke. Shunning worry about the past mistakes, failures, or disappointments, but learn from them and then moving on from them. To appreciate all the people that cross our paths every day. Yes, all the people. Learn from them. Express gratitude for the smallest of things in our lives.

3. Lead.

Be the head not the tail. Moses had a lot to say about this. Choose how you want to live. Be the chess player not the chess piece. Lead. Refuse to live as a victim. Take control. Be aware and accountable. Reveal what is out of balance in your life. The head decides where to go, what to do. The tail has no choice but to follow. Don’t take yourself for granted. Give what you can. Give more than you take. Think for yourself. Avoid the crowd; they’re not always, in fact rarely are, right.

4. Life.

I want an examined life. Socrates said that “an unexamined life is not worth living”. An examined life requires honest introspection, a deep awareness of your strength and weaknesses. An examined life will unveil root causes of your behavior, good and bad. That just might be called growing up and taking responsibility for you and your actions. Take time to reflect and pray. An examined life allows for the freedom to take personal authority with courage and constancy. It reveals what inspires you and then lets you be inspired. Modify, transform, alter, and change direction as required.

5. Sage.

As I have grown older, I’ve come to understand the value in seeking wisdom over knowledge. Wisdom is a product of experience; knowledge is a process of learning. It’s the difference between knowing and understanding. It’s beyond merely processing learned facts. Wisdom fosters humility, foresight, judgment, and prudence. Wisdom is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and is vastly more useful and fulfilling than simply having knowledge. Wisdom generates positivity. Wisdom should be imparted to others. Give what you can. Give more than you take. Reflection and prayer. Wisdom grants you the freedom and courage to make solid decisions.

Here’s to a week of four-letter words that uplift rather than drag down, that inspire rather than discourage, that keep you positive and that leaves room for the peace and courage to seek and apply wisdom in your life and in the lives of others.

© 2022 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

For over 10 years, D. Paul Graham has published “Monday 5 Things” ™, also known to readers as M5T ™.  Each Monday, Paul shares his observations, thoughts and passions on people, life, and culture.

You can find M5T each Monday here on www.southmag.com and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook. Paul is a contributing photographer to South Magazine. His photographic work can also be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at  www.imageGRAHAM.com . Your feedback is always welcome. Email Paul at dpg@imagegraham.com