“act well your part. there all the honor lies.” (alexander pope)
this feels like a life mantra. a reminder that no matter what you do, where you find yourself, who you are…to do the best you can, to be the best you can. no spoke is uncounted.
the moment i heard this line i took out a scrap of paper and a sharpie and wrote it down. it so resonated with me that i could feel my heart beating in my chest. i thought of all the times i tried to do the best i could, to be the best i could, in every role….partner, daughter, mother, sister, friend, artist, colleague, sharer-of-the-planet. and i thought of all the times i didn’t do the best i could, i wasn’t the best i could be, in every role….partner, daughter, mother, sister, friend, artist, colleague, sharer-of-the-planet.
i wish, at every turn, someone had repeated this to me. good turns. poor turns. turns that i can account for, that have intention and educated thoughtfulness. turns that i shrink away from thinking about, that are spontaneous, ill-conceived moments, that have no grounding. turns that were reactionary, that stole safety, stole time to patiently stand in the fire and think. turns that i did not make, that felt too scary, too risky, too alone. and turns that i should have made, that would have tied me to the earth’s gravity and kept me steadfastly feet on dirt.
i wish, often now, as i look back over last week, last month, last year, the last decade, my whole life, that someone had repeated this to all human beings. as we stand in the turns we make, the decisions we decide on, the actions we choose…were we to judiciously filter them through “act well your part. there all the honor lies” we would be reminded that it all counts. the ripples spread. the pebble we throw will, indeed, touch others.
just as others will count on us to act well our part, regardless of any part’s so-called import, so too, do we count on others to act well their parts. standing together. thinking. recognizing. choosing. moving with wisdom. every spoke counts. there is honor in each one. for a wheel without spokes…..