“The greatest good we can do for another is not to share our riches but to reveal to him his own.” Benjamin Disraeli
“Spread the light; be the lighthouse.” Yogi Teabag Quote
A cherished friend and mentor once shared something she’d heard from a beloved teacher of hers. She was having problems with her children and turned to him for advice. He looked at her and said in so many words that when it came to parenting, “You can be a lighthouse, but you can’t be a lifeboat.”
What a gift, what a gem of wisdom! And how beautifully it applies, not just to raising kids, but to so many pathways of life. And what a rich opportunities it gives us all to shine and to spread our light, especially when it comes to our writing.
Writing is a joyous and fulfilling calling, but it can also be lonely and discouraging; any of us who’ve traveled this path for a time know this all too well. That’s why having a tribe of kindred spirits is so precious a gift: They understand what we’re going through and can lift us up when we need help. And we can do the same for them. We can be the lighthouse. There are so many simple ways we can do this.
We can be the lighthouse by sharing through our writing what we’ve experienced and learned. We can light a path for others by illuminating our own stories and by finding the courage to go back into the dark places we’ve found our way out of and showing others how they can do the same.
We can be the lighthouse by conveying our enthusiasm and love for words and writing. Enthusiasm is contagious. It’s inspiriting. It lifts us up and others as well. When we tap into our own passion and give friends and fellow writers a dose of our joy and pleasure in the act of creation, we give them a shot of energy.
We can be the lighthouse by encouraging our fellow writers to keep going with their own work. As our fellow scribe Benjamin said so well, we can help those around us most by revealing to them their own riches –- their own unique gifts and pathways. What greater gift can we give our writing friends than to spur them on – to help them hang on until they catch on? Whenever we offer support, constructive feedback, or practical ideas, we spread the light. There’s plenty of darkness out there and it’s easy to lose our way. Let’s be lighthouses.
Every day as I sit down to pen these posts, this is my heartfelt intention. Write on!