The older I get, the most wisdom I see in the qualities I learned when I was eleven years old. Some days I struggle to maintain any of them. Other days only a few give me pause. These are ideals. I do not claim perfection, I claim effort.
Trustworthy. I pride myself on being trustworthy. I will do what needs to be done when I have people counting on me. I will maintain my end of an agreement if possible. I am there when I am needed, even to my own detriment on occasion.
Loyal. Above all else, I am loyal. Loyal to my friends, loyal to my beliefs. There are some things that I will allow to slide, but those are the things that are not important to me. You do not challenge my ideas or my people unless you are prepared to back it up.
Helpful. The simple act of being present or listening is one of the most powerful things that a person can do. I have a few talents that I find being tapped regularly, and I offer them willingly most of the time.
Friendly. I am not by nature an outgoing person, I do not seek out constant interaction with others, but when I do, I try to be friendly. To be a friend. To let other people into my life.
Courteous. This one is harder for me at times. I tend to be very results oriented, very action-based, and as a result, I can forget about the toes that I am stepping on, or the people I am dismissing to make things happen. But I try. Basic politeness and a flexibility of thought help quite a bit, never discounting anything because of who is behind it.
Kind. This is another quality I often have difficulty seeing in myself. My preference for cold rationality has always made me think that kindness is out of my reach, but I am often told that I am kind. I just do not always know how.
Obedient. I have problems with authority. When someone says “Jump!” my immediate reaction is not to jump, or to ask “How High?” My first impulse is to ask “Why?” However, the authority that I do recognize, that seems to be looking out for my own best interest in addition to that of anyone else, that is the sort to which I am obedient.
Cheerful. This has always felt a little out of reach for me as well. I am by nature, not a cheerful person. I prefer to think of myself as stoic. Better to say nothing than to complain, and in that sense, I feel I am cheerful. There is a positive side to everything if you are willing to look for it, and it is from that silver lining that I find my cheer.
Thrifty. With time, with energy, with money. It depends on the day, to be honest. Sometimes I feel like the master of thrift, other days I look at my checking account balance or at what I have accomplished with my time, and realize that I have a long way to go.
Brave. I cannot, in good conscience, say that I am a physically brave person. I tend to shy away from things that can hurt me. But I will stand for what I believe in, for the things to which I am loyal, unfalteringly. I am of brave mind, if not brave body.
Clean. I might be a dirty hippy who hates doing dishes, I might not have the purest mind to ever grace the world, but I do think of myself as a clean person. I remove that from my life that which I do not need, or do not want. I keep life and my ideals as simple as possible. Some might call this a stretch, but at least I feel like I am trying.
Reverent. Similar to obedience, this is one that I follow in an unusual way. I do not respect people. I respect what people do, I respect what they stand for, but I do not respect people. Similarly, I am not reverent toward rank, but of accomplishment. I revere ideas that work. I revere actions that are difficult, whether I agree with them or not.
Some of you recognize this list, I am sure. Call me out. Right now, call me out on any of these it seems I do not maintain. On a daily basis, remind me. Perhaps defend me if you think I sell myself short on any of these. Am I worthy of the rank of Eagle? Convince me one way or the other.