UNcommon Sense: Being Is Greater Than Doing

by Corey Holland

Tuesday evening, I had the privilege of getting to speak at the Marlow High School Academic Banquet held at the Simmons Center in Duncan. The banquet honors those ninth through twelfth-grade students who have achieved academic excellence over the course of their high school career.

Honoring academic success is an important part of celebrating our students. These celebrations occur at all grade levels and in a variety of ways throughout the year. While most community members are likely aware of how talented many of our students are in activities and sports, our students are equally gifted in the area of academia. Our school consistently graduates students who, because of their academic achievements, receive scholarships to further their education. More importantly, these scholarships lead to graduates ultimately finding professional success in numerous careers. Tuesday night’s banquet was a small way of celebrating those who are about to graduate and also encouraging those who are early in their high school careers.

During my address to the students, I wanted to challenge each to consider another way of looking at life and their future. For many, they are flooded with the message of “do this or do that” on a regular basis. Ultimately, if they are not careful, they may come to the conclusion the most important thing in life is what you do. While I agree what we do is important, I wanted the students to consider for a moment that who they are, as a person, maybe more important.

I don’t have the space to share fully what was discussed, but I wanted to provide a brief overview of my speech. My challenge to the students focused on three things: Be Vulnerable, Be Humble, and Be Curious.

Being vulnerable allows us to connect with others and be seen for who we truly are, not who we pretend to be. Vulnerable people acknowledge their feelings, live with integrity and are not fake. They also are willing to ask for help from others when in need. Being vulnerable allows us to build stronger and more meaningful relationships.

Being humble helps grow our ability to be grateful. People striving to live in humility consider they might be wrong. They also understand they are not fully in control of everything they experience in life. Instead, humble people understand life is 10% what happens to them and 90% how they choose to react to it.

Being curious causes people to ask questions and not just accept stereotypes and rumors. Curious people are slow to make judgments and instead try to see the best in others first. Curious people seek understanding before developing opinions. This allows them to see each person as unique and having value. Curious people look at the heart of people not what just what they see on the outside.

We all likely spend a lot of energy, emotionally and physically, focusing on what we do. Whether it’s career goals, hobbies, seeking influence, or climbing the corporate ladder, what we do is not really who we are. Maybe if we all spent a little more time on being vulnerable, being humble, and being curious we might just experience more peace and fulfillment in our life. If we did, I think the world would be a better place for all of us.

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