“Looking foolish does the spirit good. The need not to look foolish is one of youth’s many burdens; as we get older we are exempted from more and more, and float upward in our heedlessness, singing Gratia Dei sum quod sum (by the grace of God, I am what I am).”
-John Updike, U.S. author and critic
Life Lesson # 1
Ah, my first post! Seeing as how it is my first time doing this, I’d like to be as honest as possible: I love to write, I write to inspire, and I write because a huge chunk of my soul would be lost if I left writing behind. I wanted to start my first post with something fresh and exciting – an interestingly unique quote that makes for an awesome life lesson.
To start, when I first read this quote in an Approaches to Lit class in college, I had no idea who John Updike was or any idea of the things he’d done for the writing community. All I knew was that I liked what he said and that anyone who had the guts to say something in Latin, surely was saying something with some wisdom attached to it.
Oddly, it turns out that I love this quote.
Updike certainly had a precious idea in mind, and one that is rich with meaning: Live from your most authentic, “silly,” goofy-toothed, wide-eyed, ever-glowing self and don’t give a damn. This is a life lesson that suits everyone. Often, it can be ridiculously hard to maintain a natural sense of ourselves when the world so ardently tells us who we ought to be. Let me be clear, I do not mean, “Live frivolously, wildly, radically, crazily,” (an underwhelmed version of Y.O.L.O). What I mean to imply is that living from your most genuine, authentic self
[whether you are the silly girl who smiles awkwardly at the most handsome gentleman in a room, or the confident yet humble leader who makes faces at himself in a mirror before an important speech]
Helps you connect well with other people and live a full, satisfied life. It is by the grace of God that you are who you are, and He loves you with every awkward smile, weird quirk, and intimate desire you possess!
Thus, live with purpose, freely being your authentic self for as long as you are on God’s green earth. This is a lesson that literally takes a lifetime to learn. That’s just the ironic beauty of things:
It takes a lifetime to learn how to be ourselves.