I remember hearing that phrase while growing up. It was always used with the understanding that being “of substance” generally meant “successful”, “classy” and so on. Being a man (or woman) of substance meant to be and act like one from the upper echelons of society. I’ve learned something different, which is my understanding. What I’ve learned about the pre-conceived ideal of “substance” is, it usually is met with shallowness and haughtiness. Not of “substance” at all…rather a LACK of true substance. All is done for face value, with the desire to succeed and be noticed.
The last couple of weeks has definitely opened my eyes to the RIGHTFUL definition of “substance”. One is phony, the other is real and cannot truly be faked for “face value”.
Perhaps this is due to my experience with the Monster, as well as my own natural level of empathy. I don’t know, but I think this is something we all should strive for in our own lives.
Being a person of substance is showing consideration for others, first and foremost! It doesn’t mean faking it to get what one wants. It means understanding others’ shortcomings and helping where ever possible. It means putting yourself LAST on occasion for a friend, partner, co-worker or even someone you don’t know. How hard is it to take the brush and help clear a car of snow? How hard is it to make one extra pie for someone who needs their day brightened?
Substance means that you are one that someone can count on to support and build them UP! Not tear down to make them look smaller than you, to others. It means showing empathy toward grieving people, without judgment or ridicule.
It means being compassionate and caring. It means being HUMAN, in all of its wonderfulness.
Don’t get me wrong, people come from all walks of life. The thought of going to a bar, for some, is absolute TABU. That’s a personal preference, which I understand. I just happen to be ok with going once in a while. But to live that life while playing “compassionate” and “caring” for the cameras, is nothing short of sickening. Oprah comes to mind, here. I can’t pretend to know that woman, her life off camera, or anything about what she does in secret. Granted, she has done some amazing things for others…but was it REALLY for “others”? The way to determine the heart behind the acts, is the CAMERA and the BRAGGING…but whatever. Even the bible says that charity should be done in secret. “Don’t let your right hand know what the other is doing…”. Ok, that’s a tangent I didn’t intend on touching.
Please, please, please… be real. Be a REAL friend. Be a REAL lover of people. Be a REAL lover of yourself, which shows in your compassion and consideration for others. But be so, in a balanced way. We all know what being a martyr is like. Not nice or fun. It’s like putting ourselves on someones chopping block, to be examined with a tooth-pick. However, if you can make someone else’s day brighter in some way…what is stopping you?
I wish everyone a great day and a wonderful enhancing NEW YEAR! 😀