When we are young, we plow through our days. Most of us wished time would just hurry up already. We wished for fewer rules. We wished to get that class behind us.
We wished to be “free.”
What happens with age is that all of those wishes sneak up on us, and we start taking inventory.
We start taking inventory of everything we have accomplished in that blur we’ve left, trailing behind us like we’re all comets.
Something I have realized lately is that not only do we start turning our thoughts towards these things, we also start taking inventory of all of the people we have met over the course of our lives.
To me, people are both wood and sandpaper. We get shaped by everyone we meet, and we also shape everyone we meet.
Some you met and they made a comment that changed how you originally viewed a certain thing, place, or idea. Maybe they were only in your life for a brief time, so they didn’t make much of a noticeable difference in your shape.
Some people have a little more grit to them and they shape you a little more into the person you’re supposed to become. Maybe they were a bigger part of your story with time, or perhaps they hurt you deeply. They could have even helped you in some tremendous way.
It’s funny how as we are making our way, clumsily, through life, there’s no way to check the tag on someone’s shirt to know what grit of sandpaper they may be. Nope. Only time gives us the pleasure of knowing that information.
It’s also important to remember that you and I are also sandpaper. As we go about our daily lives, we are shaping everyone who may cross our path–we are also shaping ourselves.
As you get older, you not only see what you’ve been sanded down into, but you also get to look back at all the people you’ve shaped along the way.
To some, you will have been a light passing of fine grit with a kind word that made them smile, or you could have said something that caused them to briefly deflate.
To some, you will have been medium grit and sanded them down more with your words or actions.
To others, you will have been coarse grit and you will have had an enormous impact on whether they got sanded down into something useful and beautiful…or sanded down to dust.
We all have grit. Remember to use yours for good.