• May 2015
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Ethical Edge Letters on Integrity  

Click here for Russell Williams' bio

Tuesday, November 09, 2010
I choose to ...
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
I was wrong
Who are your LifeLighters?

“At times our own light is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.”
— Albert Schweitzer

There is a fullness, a reaching deeper, a purposeful clarity, an abiding regard that Thanksgiving brings to me. Surely, the vibrant, intensely mature colors capture my aesthetic eye, but it is more than nature’s bountiful landscapes that lure me inward – appreciatively and eagerly so.

Clearly, Schweitzer’s words point us – you and me – in the direction of understanding the subtle lure of this season of gratitude. Fall’s palette reminds us, again, of those who have come our way to light the flame within us.

Only a handful of you know one or more of the individuals identified below. Most readers will only see a string of names with no back-story connection. Thus, it would be easy to let your eyes quickly pass beyond the names to read on. I encourage you to resist that inclination, and instead, read each name, maybe even aloud, to give yourself time to recall significant voices from your life who have passed or are passing your way with their gift of influence, so that you can add their names to the list below. In doing so, you will connect your mind and heart to the timeless story of LifeLighters:

Penny, Ed, Ethel, Chester, Bob H., Frieda, Glenn, John D., Jimmy, Martha, Virginia, Eknath, Don, Judy, John H., Frank, Danaan, Doug, Bob J., Jeanne, Howard, Alicia, Robert, Callie, Marianne, Leo, Elizabeth, Joseph, Roberta, Renee, Al, Muktananda, Olga, Norman, Joanna, Marcus, Shirley, Phil, Flower, Jim, Elizabeth, Gladys, Margaret, Peggy, Bill, Betty, Jill, Wayne, Pauline, plus your names …

These are LifeLighters – mine and yours. Their storylines are the threads that help define the colors of our life tapestries. They come as influencers and wear different masks – parent, coach-mentor-teacher, spiritual guide, friend, student, casual acquaintance, professional peer. Their significant presence appears at home, at work and in the community to serve the good.

Mission Integrity Action

Approaching Thanksgiving, we notice that LifeLighters communicate two essential messages: Every individual holds worth and dignity, and we are called to live our discovered dignity and worth as LifeLighters to others. Purposefully take action in this next week to make a handful of LifeLighter connections at work, appreciating the special contributions that others are bringing to you in your life.

Russell Williams,
Passkeys Foundation/Ethical Edge