Monday, August 23, 2010


Disclaimer to the following post:

If there are two virtues that I pursue actively on a constant and daily basis, they are self-mastery and self-honesty. This drive comes somewhat second-nature to me, I think, since I have always been my own best drill sargent and my own toughest critic. I've recently discovered, however, that self-honesty is not only an awareness of your flaws and how and where you need to improve yourself, but also recognizing one's strengths and attributes. This not being to inflate one's ego or to put one's self above the others, but to hold your head high and know that God has endowed you with these gifts with which to bless the human family. We may feel conflicted when we hear lessons in church and in the scriptures about our individual worth as children of God, but then moments later hear that we are no more than the "dust of the earth." Which are we? Perhaps both.

My brother Percy, who is one of the dearest people I know, has a gift for championing people and an ability to see and love people the way God loves us. This, I believe, is a spiritual gift. My dad has it as well. I believe this gift enables people to see others as a whole, almost from a bird's eye point of view, as opposed to defining them by isolated actions or individual qualities or flaws. Yesterday he commented on my post and dared me to post his comment. I'm reaching far, far out of my comfort zone by posting this and do it more for myself than for those that may read it. As I read this, I didn't feel "inflated," but loved. Thank you Percy for your words.

You don't have to post this one if you don't want to. I dare you to, but you don't have to. You my beautiful sister, are stunning & gorgeous. Every person that lays eyes on you comments on your perfection. Like my roommates who all won't forget you & cousins at wedding receptions. I challenge you to HEAR the blessings your loved ones gift you with. To RECEIVE their love with open heart. Inside. This is a hard thing to do for one who has grown up in a culture where self-depreciation is more socially accepted than acknowledging one's brilliance. AND being as kind to YOURSELF, as you are to everyone else, is perhaps one of the most significant acts of benevolence. You are beautiful & Dennis is a fortunate man to walk by your side. I have heard him say this. Attractiveness is partly inherited. And part of it is really hard work!, as you know. Having a nice body is the result of proper eating, an entire lifestyle of preparing and planning, hours of exercise (hopefully done in the spirit of fun too), nourishing the soul in the body, educating oneself on options, creativity in meeting goals, years of perseverance, dressing optimally, taking daily time to arrange oneself in a pleasing way. People might say, "oh I wish I had your good looks" but often aren't willing to put in their effort to radiate. Your life accomplishments & traits reflect part of who you are. You grew up in multiple countries & cultures learning to navigate & adapt. You are the offspring of a veterinary doctor & a registered nurse, both bilingual & accomplished in their own right. You've continued some of their interests in writing, world cultures, deep appreciation for the worth of every human being, faithfulness to a religion that asks alot, physical activity, diplomacy, event planning, leadership with people & groups, getting large numbers of individuals to follow your lead on various endeavors, a heart to help suffering with action, delight in culinary activity, agricultural labor, not being proud about working with your own hands, humility, eyes quick to flow with tears (I love this one & think it sound in many ways), an appetite for reading, a spotless home, a continuing desire to connect with family and be together. Additionally you've cultivated more: proven financial soundness in adhering to a strict budget of your own making, a determination to live within your means, asset wisdom in savings, retirement & debt reduction, have darling disciplined children who say thank you, refer to your siblings with the endearing title "uncle" or "aunt", & show high facility from home vocabulary mentoring, your physical prowess demonstrated in marathons and triathlons, a love of youth & scouting & the outdoors, a unique classiness in your home & personal decor, an eye for colors & creating beautiful spaces, an ability to foster & maintain close friendships with local friends, your college degree, professional competence, wage-earning ability, an openness in difficult situations, an honest introspection, a fierce competitiveness. You also cast a tall shadow. The world has a powerful person in you. When I look in the mirror I sometimes see it in myself, sometimes I don't... at times I must remind myself to see what is in front of me. Your spouse did not marry a trophy wife, gorgeous as she is, he married an impressive equal. One capable & strong. In some areas you are more capable, & you have gone first. In others areas he. What aim does keeping score & comparing serve? Fortunately life in general is not a race, & getting there first, though sometimes fun, is not the most important. It takes a subtle yet profound sense of self to be married to another spectacular person. For both. To sit appreciatively while your loved one is praised, thankful. And then to sit still and take it in when it comes your way.


jonandrachel said...

Wow! What a great (and completely true!) post. Everyone needs a Rita in their life and a Percy in their life. Luckily, I do! Love you both. Rita, thanks for being YOU. You are beautiful and inspiring. XOXO!

Cody & Brittany Hawkes said...

what a great post and such a great tribute to! I am glad that we got to spend time with you and your family this weekend. I can now say that I know Rita and not just that she's cody's cousin :) I found your blog from cristina's by the way...I hope you don't mind. I love you're family picture at the top too...cute kids. well I hope you all have a great week-take care


Cher said...

what a sweet brother. such a long long list of your awesome qualities. you can tell how much he loves and admires you. it IS good to hear that once in a while and know it's all true.