“I am a part of all that I have met.” — Alfred Lord Tennyson
Experience shapes you, and through it, you contribute to the shape of others.
Genetics play a part to be sure, but consider two copies of a person exposed to vastly different experiences. You end up with two different people in every meaningful way.
You are the sum of external and internal influences in your life. They include interactions with other people, the consequences of your decisions, the triumphs, the struggles and the wisdom you gain along the way.
You influence the lives of other people with every interaction, often in ways you will never know or understand. The wake you leave behind touches even more people indirectly. A small piece of you is left with each of them.
Your impact on the world is in direct proportion to its impact on you. What a strange but immutable fact.
The headline quote is from Tennyson's Ulysses. It speaks to me of living a life full of many and varied experiences. The boldest, most adventurous life yields the richest wisdom. Such a person must be the wealthiest among us.
“Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’
Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades
For ever and forever when I move.”
Many people “want to see the world” or “want to travel.” I want to EXPERIENCE the world and the people who populate it. From those interactions...
I become something more.
Others become something more.
We both grow from what we gather from each other.
“How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!”
Life is not simply breathing. Experience the never ending extent of this world.
Live an inspired life.