“Stay the same age until you turn a different age. Nature versus nurture; honor your parents. Learn how to forgive while you’re still young.” – Larzell Washington
Each and every one of us goes through this life with our own individual paths and purposes. We find our clarity and direction by being guided by our principles and values. Personal philosophies help us to see the path in front of us and make certain that the steps on the way are filled with harmony. Things are not always going to be wonderfully happy, but with a strong personal philosophy, you can often find the most joy possible.
For Groundcover News vendor Larzell Washington, the above quote is what he uses to get through the good and the bad times. Each part of the statement holds its own set of significance to his life.
‘Stay the same age until you turn a different age.’ For Larzell, this means staying in your lane; finding comfort with your time and current understanding. A huge feat when much of the world seems so focused on either the past or the future. However, for Larzell, he works to remind himself and others that there is beauty in the present moment. There is value in knowing who you are and what you have. For Larzell, it’s about gratitude, the ability to cherish and respect one’s life and life’s decisions, to be happy and love others for all that they are worth. Larzell, in trying times, works hard to focus on the here and now and appreciate the living of life, not just the building of it.
‘Nature versus nurture. Honor your parents.’ Larzell calls the attention of college students in this piece of his philosophy. When asked his understanding of the difference between the two words, Larzell states that nature is the act of carrying, delivering one into the world; whereas, to nurture is to be there. While there is a special space for nature, and we must give homage to our parents, he calls on all to respect the nurturer, reminding us that this extends further than a mother and or father. Many in our lives work to fill us of the things we need to get by. It takes a village to raise a child, and one might say our continued learning makes us, in a way, always children. We never stop needing our village, and Larzell reminds us to respect and hold gratitude for that.
‘Learn to forgive while you’re still young.’ Forgiveness is a virtue, but it can be hard. It can be difficult to forgive others of their trespasses, and perhaps even harder to forgive yourself for yours. For Larzell, forgiveness is key. He reminds us that adverse situations are happening all the time and if we don’t learn to forgive it can become a sticking point. Going forward in life depends on being able to move on from the moments that harm us. To integrate difficulties into the spirit of who we are, not as to wear one down, but instead to build one up and make us stronger. We are better for the challenges that we face in this world, each obstacle working to build resilience — a teaching of how to get by. Don’t dwell on the things that can be changed by exercising forgiveness. According to Larzell, the younger you start this practice, the easier it will be when you are faced with the need to offer a big forgiveness.
It is important for all of us to find our unique personal philosophies. These guiding principles shape everything we do from the way we speak to ourselves and others, to the duties we fill our days with, and most importantly how we see ourselves in this world. Our understanding of who and what we are to our communities, societies, and ultimately the universe will construct how much we achieve. Sometimes we must remind ourselves that a successful life isn’t about constantly moving upward, but instead, moving forward.
You likely already live by a set of values or a personal code whether you realize it or not. However, if you can’t articulate your personal philosophy, start by asking yourself the following questions:
- What am I passionate about in this life?
- What things bring me joy? (Try thinking outside of the material here. Cars and money are great, but isn’t there also joy found in making someone smile?)
- What is my/what do I want my mindset to be?
- What do I value?
Make a list of these things and see if you can’t find some clarity on what you believe is important in life. Happy philosophizing, and thank you Larzell for sharing this powerful bit of perspective for us all.