Last Thursday, the Mess participated in the (Almost) Perfect Daughters Blog Tour with author, Nonnie Jules. In her thank you remarks at the end of the post, she used the phrase, “candles out there willing to light other candles.” I’m not sure if she coined the phrase or borrowed it, but I love the image and meaning behind it. It’s an image that leads to a brighter world where everyone is reaching their dreams with the help of each other.
Imagine being in a dark room with eight other people. You’re the only one with a candle that’s lit, although everyone else is holding a candle, as well. Theirs, however, are mere cold sticks; useless. Yours radiates a bubble of light and a very small pocket of warmth. Now take your candle and use it to light one of the others. The wick sparks and catches flame. The room has become brighter and a tad warmer. Now both of you reach to another cold candle and bring it to life. It’s brighter. Warmer. You can see a little more clearly. The four of you then turn and ignite the remaining four candles. The room is now aglow with light and warmth and everyone’s vision is more focused.
This little exercise didn’t cost you anything, either, but a little effort. You’ve lit two other candles and your flame never diminished. Actually, you increased the clarity of your vision by making it brighter for all. You gained light by giving of your flame.
I don’t agree with Big Business that we are in competition with others. I sat in a marketing meeting once where it was stated that their goal was to put another big name in their industry out of business. To me, that’s counterproductive to success. I’m not in competition with other writers. I’m in competition with myself. I want to be the best writer I can be, and if I can accomplish that the readers will find me. I take great joy when other authors, such as Taylor Fulks and Margie Miklas, have fantastic success with their books, and I’m grateful that I can help promote them.
I have been surrounded my entire life by people who have kept my candle lit - teachers in school, my parents, the girls, close friends. They’ve encouraged me to go after my dreams and never give up. Some have made sacrifices, so that I could write, and many have helped share that writing. Furthermore, at times when Life has blown that candle out, they have stepped in to ignite the flame once again.
It helps motivate me in the pursuit of my dream when I help others take off after theirs. We need to be encouragers and motivators because there is way too much negativity in the world. It’s one of the reasons I have opened Saturdays here at the Mess for guest bloggers. I want to give others a chance to promote their work, no matter what it is. Everyone needs a helping hand and I believe where one succeeds, we all succeed.
We are not in competition with our dreams. Holding onto our flame keeps our light dim. The world would be a brighter place if we exchanged negative competition with positive encouragement. Decide today to be a Candle Lighter and spark someone’s dream into action.
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