(Photo Credit - Lisa Meece; Thank You)

Today is December 23rd and I am writing in the wee hours, that wonderfully still time when all is quiet in the world. Between the early hour and the time of year, I've found that this always makes me thoughtful.

Many of the people I know and care for are terribly hard on themselves. They seem to feel that if they aren't perfect, they need to beat themselves up for that lack of perfection. And I get being self critical – trust me, I really, really do but it simply isn't necessary, that's what the world does for you. There is no need to rake yourself over the coals; the world and your detractors (and we all have detractors) will do that for you. Now, while I find Ernest Hemingway often problematic, this is something that he really understood. I read his novel, a Farewell to Arms over 30 years ago, and this quote has been floating about in my brain ever since:

“If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.”

― Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms