“Know thyself…”

Know thyself, and God will supply the wisdom and the occasion for a victory over evil. Clad in the panoply of Love, human hatred cannot reach you.
– Mary Baker Eddy

Have you ever been accused of something you didn’t do? Have you ever been accused of THINKING something you weren’t thinking, or of being motivated by something that wasn’t motivating you?

Yeah. Most of us have probably found ourselves in that position at one time or another. I know I have. In fact, I know this kind of thing happened 2000 years ago, too, because there are references made to it in The Bible. “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour…” is one of the ten commandments, after all. And the story of Job is pretty instructive in this regard: There was Job, afflicted with all kinds of crap – disease and pain and horrific loss. And there were his three “friends” – Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar – all having a great deal of fun plastering Job with labels, and telling him that God had brought these troubles to him because he deserved them somehow.  Zophar says: “But oh that God would speak, and open his lips against thee; And that he would shew thee the secrets of wisdom, that they are double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth.”

Ooh baby!

But in the story, Job knew his innocence. He recognized his real identity.

And this all brings me to Chris, a young man I met in Bellingham a few weeks ago.  I saw Chris standing outside the restrooms at the top of the ramp leading to the boardwalk, and smiled and wished him a good morning. He wished me a good morning back and then told me he was homeless and asked me if I had any money I could give him to buy breakfast. I invited him to join me on my walk and told him I’d buy him breakfast down at the coffee shop in the park. The park is about a mile away, so Chris and I had a lot of time to chat. He told me he hadn’t finished high school – and I told him about a program I knew of that could help him get his diploma at the local community college. He told me about his favorite high school teachers – an art teacher, a special education teacher, and a math teacher –  and said that he enjoys making art and writing. And then he shared a piece of life-wisdom that I thought was worth preserving for posterity – and that he graciously allowed me to record on my camera. (Click on the words highlighted in blue to hear Chris’s life-quote.)

Chris explained his quote this way: “Be known in life for what you do do, and not for what people say you do.”

And that – right there! – is a man who recognizes his identity isn’t based on what other people think of him. He isn’t going to let other people define who he is.  And neither should we.

defining you

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day! May your employer appreciate your talents and skills. May you be treated with respect, and have work that’s meaningful. May you be recognized as a valuable resource. May your employer be grateful for you. You may be a public servant, but you are not a public slave. Amen.

labor day

photo of the Seattle skyline by Karen Molenaar Terrell

A Career

A career is a precious thing. And those times when I’ve been inspired to go beyond the duties, responsibilities, and orders – those times when I’ve been more concerned about doing the right thing than “meeting expectations”  – those are the times when I most honored the gift of my career, and claimed ownership of it.

A Career

photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell

‘…you own your career!”

The biggest mistake you can make is to believe that you are working for somebody else. Job security is gone. The driving force of a career must come from the individual. Remember: Jobs are owned by the company – you own your career! – Earl Nightingale

Don’t ever let economics alone determine your career or how you spend the majority of your time. – Denis Waitley

Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success. – Paul J. Meyer


A career is a precious thing – a gift I’m not sure I’ve always appreciated when I was  performing “A Job” – following orders, meeting “expectations,” carrying out “duties” – encumbered by the fear of losing my job if I didn’t follow orders. But those times when I’ve been inspired to go beyond the duties, expectations, and orders, and to overcome the fear of losing my economic security – those times when I’ve been more concerned about doing the right thing than “meeting expectations”  – those are the times when I’ve felt ownership of my career, and gratitude for it.  Those are the times when I honored the gift that had been given me.

And when, a couple years ago, I found myself in a position that no longer felt useful – and that didn’t build that “human connection” that Paul J. Meyer refers to in the quote above – I had no reluctance in leaving that financially-secure position for another that pays less, but gives me the opportunity to help my community. It took me awhile to reach that point, but once I did it was the most natural thing in the world to move on from one thing to the next. Without fear.

In Retrospection and Introspection, Mary Baker Eddy writes, “Each individual must fill his own niche in time and eternity.”  Note that Eddy doesn’t say an individual “might” – but “must” – fill his own niche in “time and eternity.”  It’s not like this is an optional thing. We all MUST be where we’re meant to be.

And in the book, Lectures and Article on Christian Science, Edward Kimball writes, “It is probable that there will come a time when you will be in quest of professional or business occupation; when you will be in want of a situation. Let us assume that you will be entitled to it and that it will be right for you to be employed righteously and profitably. Such an assumption as this carries with it scientifically the conclusion that if it is right for you to have such a thing, that thing must be in existence and must be available…One of the most influential human conditions is the one which I will call expectancy…You are entitled to the fullness and ampleness of life, but you will need to learn that gloomy foreboding never solves a problem and never releases the influences that make for your largest prosperity and advantage.”

It’s natural for us to fill our own niche, to find the gift of our own careers. We shouldn’t be surprised to find ourselves in the “right place.” We MUST fill our own niche. You were meant to have the career that brings you joy and satisfaction, that uses your talents, and that brings good to the world.