Monday, June 10, 2013

Candle Lighter

Last Thursday, the Mess participated in the (Almost) Perfect Daughters Blog Tour with author, Nonnie Jules.  In her thank you remarks at the end of the post, she used the phrase, “candles out there willing to light other candles.”  I’m not sure if she coined the phrase or borrowed it, but I love the image and meaning behind it.  It’s an image that leads to a brighter world where everyone is reaching their dreams with the help of each other.

Imagine being in a dark room with eight other people.  You’re the only one with a candle that’s lit, although everyone else is holding a candle, as well.  Theirs, however, are mere cold sticks; useless.  Yours radiates a bubble of light and a very small pocket of warmth.  Now take your candle and use it to light one of the others.  The wick sparks and catches flame.  The room has become brighter and a tad warmer.  Now both of you reach to another cold candle and bring it to life.  It’s brighter.  Warmer.  You can see a little more clearly.  The four of you then turn and ignite the remaining four candles.  The room is now aglow with light and warmth and everyone’s vision is more focused.

This little exercise didn’t cost you anything, either, but a little effort.  You’ve lit two other candles and your flame never diminished.  Actually, you increased the clarity of your vision by making it brighter for all.  You gained light by giving of your flame.

I don’t agree with Big Business that we are in competition with others.  I sat in a marketing meeting once where it was stated that their goal was to put another big name in their industry out of business.  To me, that’s counterproductive to success.  I’m not in competition with other writers.  I’m in competition with myself.  I want to be the best writer I can be, and if I can accomplish that the readers will find me.  I take great joy when other authors, such as Taylor Fulks and Margie Miklas, have fantastic success with their books, and I’m grateful that I can help promote them.

I have been surrounded my entire life by people who have kept my candle lit - teachers in school, my parents, the girls, close friends.  They’ve encouraged me to go after my dreams and never give up.  Some have made sacrifices, so that I could write, and many have helped share that writing.  Furthermore, at times when Life has blown that candle out, they have stepped in to ignite the flame once again.

It helps motivate me in the pursuit of my dream when I help others take off after theirs.  We need to be encouragers and motivators because there is way too much negativity in the world.  It’s one of the reasons I have opened Saturdays here at the Mess for guest bloggers.  I want to give others a chance to promote their work, no matter what it is.  Everyone needs a helping hand and I believe where one succeeds, we all succeed.

We are not in competition with our dreams.  Holding onto our flame keeps our light dim.  The world would be a brighter place if we exchanged negative competition with positive encouragement.  Decide today to be a Candle Lighter and spark someone’s dream into action.


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For Further Reading ~ Social Media and Politics
                                 A Self-made Cage
                                Jumping from the High Dive

Thanks for visiting The Mess!

15 comments:

  1. Robbie, This is a great post! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. This is the main reason I put Indie It Press together, I want to help others promote their work and share their journey's. I think of all the people that have helped me throughout the years, kept me motivated, and gave to me freely. Not just family, but people who are writers, like me, who barely know me. I would love for you to guest blog on my eZine. I follow your blog and love the work you do. I will get in touch on twitter with you and if you are interested I will feature you as a guest writer. Thanks for being YOU! Leisa Greene

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  2. This is a great post! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us on this. It is for this reason that I started my eZine, Indie It Press. I want to help others to reach their dreams, and share their talent and journey with others. This post makes me think of all the people in my life that support me, lift me up, encourage me, and help keep my spark alive. These people are not only family and friends, but some of them are people I hardly know. We are not alone, but in this dream catching together! I follow your tweets and blog on a regular basis, since the day I heard you on Lydia's Literary Lowdown. I would love for you to be a guest writer on my eZine. If you are interested please let me know and we can set something up. Thank you for your generosity, your words, and inspiration. Leisa Greene ~ aka IndieItGal

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    1. Thank you, Leisa, for the kind words and your support. I agree that in catching our dreams we are all in it together and success comes in helping those around us. It's been great having you as a friend :)

      I'd love to do a guest spot on your eZine. Thank you for the offer. I'll reach out to you. Thank you for visiting and sharing :)

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  3. I love the message in this blog.. I too try and push same message. I never understand why people feel like it is good thing to be greedy, when really helping others will give you the same result and maybe even better. Keep doing what you do seems like you have some good people around you.

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    1. I think I have the greatest people around me. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your kind words :)

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  4. I love this post! I 100% agree with you.
    Growing up, I've never had anybody light my candle. Hell, I didn't even know I had one. Everything I've accomplished, was on my own, and I know what it feels like to be lost in the dark. I'm an author myself and do whatever I can to help other author's out as well, hoping I can at least ignite a spark on their behalf so the world can get a glimpse of their awesomeness. :)

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    1. Thank you, Rebekkah! It's great to have you here, sharing your light. If we can do anything please just let us know :) Thanks for visiting and commenting!

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  5. I absolutely loved your post! It is wonderful to know there is a group of us out there who enjoy helping others. You've put a smile on my face! I wish you the best of luck and success in all your future endeavors.

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    1. Thank you :) I'm glad that you appreciated it! And I wish you all the same, as well.

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    2. I almost did not read this post. I'd answered several others and was... you know the feeling.
      Thanks for sharing your deep insight. Your's touched home in some many different ways. We are all one but have been separated, but we now have the means to let go that which separates us. My candle is lite but there have been so many who have put it out. Anyhow, I am going to spend time on your site. Thx again.

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    3. Frank, I'm glad you visited and commented. It is sad when there are people who want nothing more than to blow our flames out. However, I'm glad you overcame and kept pushing through. May you always do so.

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  6. This. Just this. I can't even articulate how true this is. We need to stop being so focused on competing with each other. It takes more effort to snuff out another's candle than to keep it lit. It serves us better for us all to be in the light. I've heard this metaphor used before, but not with the clarity and extra poignancy as this. Thank you for that.

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    1. Thank you for visiting and commenting, Peter. It means a lot when people take that time. And you are very right. It does take more energy to snuff out a flame than to light one. I'm glad to know you are one of the torches!

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