The Illuminated Life: How Shiny Are You?
I am so happy-happy to share this person with you!
Truly one of the shiniest people I know, I met Lisa at a writer’s conference, attracted by her purple pixie cut, hipster glasses and Chuck Taylor’s. Her personality is made of sunshine and her plum cake is positively eloquent.
How Shiny Are You?
by Lisa Bogart
Are you a floodlight? Do you shine on big issues and pour light into dark places with great force for all to see? Are you a twinkling little Christmas light? Flashing on and off illuminating just enough space for one person to find their way.
Which one sounds more appealing? The big bold powerful light or the small gentle lamp? If you are like me, you probably would pick the floodlight, the power to be bold. These lamps have to be plugged into a power plant size source. Those twinkly little lights on the other hand don’t seem to pull much power.
But does it take more power to be a floodlight than a twinkle? It looks like it, yet when both are plugged into the power source of God it’s equal. The twinkle lights shine just as strong as the spotlights. One may be shining with a wide reach and the other beaming in a small space but each one has to be connected to the source to keep going. Plugged into the power grid of God and his will each lamp finds it can go on for hours and hours lighting the place it’s mean to be.
Floodlight feels synonymous with spotlight. As in, Look here! Little twinkly lights feel synonymous with candlepower. As in, glowing just enough. Spotlights have big messages to deliver. They shine on social injustice. They make us see hidden issues. They are powerful. Twinkle lights beam on little things, small issues, dainty ideas.
I am jealous of the floodlight people.
I want to be a floodlight. I want to have an important job to do. I want to have big ideas, strong opinions, and bold actions. Turns out I am more of a twinkly light. My shininess is small. I have a little idea that takes small actions. My big shiny message to the world is: Be Kind. That’s it. Be nice. Show compassion. Think of the other guy. But you know what? It’s just as important. We should all be kind yet it’s hard for us to remember.
So I try to shine on kindness. That means I try to act in the kindest way possible every chance I get. I fail over and over. It’s hard to be nice all the time. And that is why I twinkle and sparkle a little at a time. I flash on and off. Sometimes I reach mega wattage and am nice and compassionate. But just as often I get cranky and am a dim bulb. So I’m glad I’m a small light that can recharge daily and start over and over again.
I admire the spotlights of this world. And I have discovered they need the help of us twinkly little guys. They need to know we are shining along with them. No message, however important, can get out if there is only one light is pointed in that direction.
As long as the powerful beam of the floodlight does not become apersonal spotlight and as long as the twinkly little light doesn’t get discouraged and extinguish there is a place for both. The spotlight folks are offering a chance for many people to become involved in a cause, see a problem or join an important movement. The twinkly light folks offer a chance for connect one-on-one and give comfort, change, or peace. God designed the world with all kinds of light from megawatt to candle flicker. We need all the illumination we can get for our world to shine properly.
Today, shine as you were intended.
Lisa Bogart is knitter, writer and keeper on kindness. She is married to her college sweetheart and mom to Zach. She lives in Northern California and radiates love wherever she goes. Her glass is always half full, and you cannot be near her without feeling better about the world in general.