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The Voice of the Black Community

Life and Religion

9 principles for dynamic living (Part 3)
Sacrifice for the greater good
 
Published Monday, July 28, 2014 6:06 am
by Lyndia Grant, The Washington Informer

This week, I’m sharing Les Brown’s third principle, which says, “Each of us must take responsibility for our actions, our well-being and the attainment of our maximum potential.”

Romans 12:1 reminds us that our bodies are to be sacrificed for the good we can bring to this earth by helping others; we are to be busy doing what we were sent to this earth to do. Our bodies are not our own. We are to sacrifice it by taking responsibility for our actions. We are to eat healthy and exercise daily to do as scripture reminds us to do when it says, “Treat our bodies like the temple that it is.”

Wayne Dyer, Ph.D., a renowned author and self-development speaker shared this story during his PBS special about the Monarch butterfly. In essence, here’s what he said:

The Monarch butterfly only lives up to six months, but flies 3,000 miles each year, even though their tiny little wings and bodies seem so fragile. Talking about maximum potential. This should astound us, to ask, what we too could do that is extraordinary.

The Viceroy is another type butterfly, but it looks remarkably like the Monarch butterfly. Monarch’s are poisonous and make birds and other predators become sick when they eat one. When birds, frogs, and lizards eat a monarch, if they have not encountered one before, they have a severe reaction that causes them to lose their lunch (quite literally), vomiting everywhere. This experience is remembered, and the predators learn to not eat Monarchs again.

The Viceroy butterfly, on the other hand, is more palatable, but in nature it looks so much like the Monarch that predators treat it as if it is equally as toxic.

Birds, frogs, and lizards will leave a Viceroy alone if they have ever tasted the Monarch because they don’t want that horrible experience ever again.

Monarchs and Viceroys are two entirely different species, yet they look so much alike, that you cannot tell the difference by looking at them.

So what’s the butterfly metaphor? How does it pertain to this column? Let’s review the question. Each of us must take responsibility for our actions, our wellbeing and the attainment of our maximum potential.

The butterfly metaphor is this: For the sake of this column, let’s just say the Monarchs, the poisonous ones, look beautiful, and like me, 40 years ago, when I was unhappily married and used my personal appearance to make myself feel better. I never missed spending a payday out shopping and would put expensive suits on lay-away.

One day when I was a secretary at Children’s Hospital Oakland, I remember coming to work, walking toward my office, and one of the male employees said to me, “You look like you just stepped off a plane from attending an important business meeting in New York.”

I was flattered. I looked really corporate, but inwardly, I was broken and suffering domestic violence, financial burdens and pure misery. I was unhappy. I didn’t have a church home at the time. My outer appearance and my work were all I had to make myself feel better, a Monarch. I cried, complained, shopped and wasn’t good company. Like Paul said, “O wretched man was I!”

Today, my inner-self is much more important to me than my outer appearance. Shopping is irrelevant and done only when absolutely necessary.

Here’s another true story about twins raised by an alcoholic father. It shows how each turned out differently as an adult. One became an alcoholic. When asked why, he said, “I was raised by an alcoholic.” The other brother wouldn’t touch alcohol. When asked why, he too said, “I was raised by an alcoholic.” The choice is yours, good or bad, take responsibility for your actions and work toward being all that you can be. Are you a Monarch or a Viceroy?

Lyndia Grant is a radio talk show host on 1340, WYCB AM, Fridays at 6 p.m. Visit her website at www.lyndiagrant.com, call her at (202) 518-3192 or email lyndiagrant@lyndiagrant.com.

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