Along these lines, I came across David Brooks' 30 May 2011 column in the New York Times entitled It's Not About You.
He begins his article with by observing how poorly we, their elders, have served this year's graduating class, but he goes on to discuss not just the challenges and obstacles this presents to them, but the opportunities, too. He uses the opportunities to build up to his main point, which he captures beautifully in his final paragraph:
Today’s grads enter a cultural climate that preaches the self as the center of a life. But, of course, as they age, they’ll discover that the tasks of a life are at the center. Fulfillment is a byproduct of how people engage their tasks, and can’t be pursued directly. Most of us are egotistical and most are self-concerned most of the time, but it’s nonetheless true that life comes to a point only in those moments when the self dissolves into some task. The purpose in life is not to find yourself. It’s to lose yourselfI urge you to take a few minutes today, amidst all the tumult, to read Brooks' article in which he truly lights a candle. Thanks Mr. Brooks.
Besides, the One we follow tells us: "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven (Matt. 5:14-16- ESV). As my dear Don Gius put it, we are to be protagonists, not antagonists, in imitation of the Lord.
UPDATE: Speaking of lighting a candle, Jim & Cindy McConnell's pastor shows us what it means to gently shepherd his flock, see The Deacon's Bench for more. You might also wish Deacon Greg a happy birthday while you're there.