On Being Useful

January 7, 2015 — 2 Comments

I came across a recent short piece by Paulo Coelho titled, 10 Second Reading: Do You Feel Useful? His direction seemed to be: Don’t try to be useful. Simply work toward who you are.


Initially the message didn’t sit well with me. It was feeling too simplistic. You are what you are.

I’ve always battled with essentializing. There’s judgment in it. But we judge and interpret and act on opinion every moment, I said to myself.

The challenge I suppose is to do so with careful thought and vigilance in understanding others. Understanding ourselves.

Alas, more often than not, we see examples every day where most people jump to simple adjectives. Good. Bad. Smart. Stupid. And act accordingly.

I tend to believe people aren’t inherently good or bad. They may at moments behave well or poorly but aren’t good or bad people.

I went back and forth like this before settling on this interpretation of Paulo’s message.

Look inward and reflect on who you really are. With thoughtfulness and vigilance. I would add: Then do the same with others.

Maybe you came to this faster than I have… Good. You is who you is. I yam what I yam!


2 responses to On Being Useful

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