Wednesday, August 15, 2012

EARNING MY STRIPES...

 EARN ONE'S STRIPES:
Meaning:  To gain specialty for the performance of a service, labor, or work through accumulated experience and hard work; a recognition for accomplishments; to do something to prove that you have the skills or ability.

 Example: She earned her stripes by serving for 30 years as the World Vision coordinator.  

Origin: This 1800s expression initially referred to a military promotion or award, indicated by strips of chevron or braid added to the recipient's uniform and known as stripes.
 The other day I was bitten by the green eyed bug of jealousy.  I am totally not proud of my reaction to another persons success, in fact, I firmly believe in applauding others success and cheering them on.  I had the whiny thought of "Why does all the good stuff always happen for her and not for me?"  I was abruptly brought up short by a gentle whisper of a thought as it flitted through my mind, "She has earned her stripes." 
 It is true, her success is based on her hard work, not by happenstance or luck of circumstance.  She has labored over her artistic process and accumulated experience and knowledge proving her unique skills and abilities as an artist and is now receiving the reward of recognition for her accomplishments.
 Creatively speaking, I am not heading where I want to go and obviously I need to work on my character flaw as well as my artwork.  I had to ask myself some really hard questions, one of them being, "Have I really earned my stripes?"  The answer to that is a resounding, "NO!", at least not to the level where I will obtain my own creative goals and not covet those of others. 
 Ephesians 4:32 says that we are to be kind towards one another.  I believe this applies in both thought and deed.  I am to strive to possess a good or benevolent nature or disposition as a kind or loving person in my actions, words, and thoughts. I have a really long way to grow.  So, I have began from the beginning with a repentant heart, a note of sincere congratulations, and earnestness in earning my stripes of humbleness, humility, and creative growth.  Kermit the Frog said it best, "It's not easy being green."  
 I and my art skills are still very much a work in progress... 
 But, we are both back on the right track of earning our stripes.
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