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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



     In any good business, as in life, you will often hear the phrase, “set the standard high”. For many of us it isn’t something we think about very often, however, we all to one degree or another tend to live life based on that principle. Think for a moment about your own life and the high standards you have set.

     For many people who have high standards they get confused by that thought and spend their entire lives trying to keep up with the “Jones’”. You know the people I am talking about don’t you? The ones who have to go right out and buy a new car because someone they know just bought a new car. Or that neighbor that has to mow his yard just because his neighbor did. Or even the people who spend all of their money just to have the very finest furniture and gadgets surrounding them as if to show off their wealth to those around them. These misdirected individuals tend to make life a rat-race and spend most of the time wondering why they are talked about and have very few real friends.

     It isn’t that they aren’t nice people. Oh no, they are some of the finest people you would ever meet. But, they have a skewed sense of setting the standard high. We all have our standards. Ask any 40 something who is single and playing the online dating game. Ask them about their standards. They search and pick through profiles as though they are shopping for a pair of pants that will fit them just by looking at a picture and never really trying them on. They get so wrapped up in their own high standards that they miss out on great opportunities to meet people.

     Some of us set impossibly high standards for ourselves. How many of us…now, don’t lie here…have ever said to someone who dropped in for a visit; “don’t mind the mess- the house is a wreck”, but have been mortified the entire time the visitors were there. How many people shut themselves up in their homes because they are embarrassed about a high standard they feel they haven’t met, either in goods or in self worth? The fact is, the visitor was there to see YOU… not whatever lived in clutter that you call home. If you lived in a “van down by the river” and I wanted to stop and see you do you think that just because you lived in a van that would stop me?

     We all need to stop and think and take a deep breath… “Be still” (right Jenn?) We need to reevaluate our “high standards”. The high standards we should be worried about are the ones we truly can control and in the end of our lives will mean much more. Live honestly, keep your word, be true to your ideals and principals. Stand up for yourself from time to time. Get in an argument and yet know when to say you are wrong and apologize. Take care of each other, be kind and make sure that “Love thy neighbor” isn’t just a phrase. Give of yourself, even if it is only your time that you can afford. Speak softly and always look for someone who needs a hand up. Those are the standards of our lives that we should be setting high…and living every single day. For end the end, it won’t be how nice your house was, or what kind of car you drove, or even who you knew and how much you made that will be the thing you are remembered for. No, it will be the standards that you lived your life that will be your legacy.

     See you next week…Remember, we’re all in this together.