Tuesday, August 11th, 2020

P Publisher’s Point by Jean Loxley-Barnard


We all want excellence in our lives. A great handyman, a favorite local chef, a true friend, a “Hazel” to come and clean. A doctor who truly knows us. And that can only be possible for all of us if we all want to be excellent.

I believe wanting to excel is so much more important than wanting to be seen as excelling. True excellence rises up from our souls. We may not achieve it but we can strive for it. And the thrill of going for it sure beats just pretending we are something we aren’t instead of doing whatever it takes to learn how to do what we want to do.

I think excellence is within all of us. Sadly, not everyone finds their passion. Not everyone even looks for it. Those of us who do what we are passionate about are fortunate indeed. Passion generally means we are good at what we do. Genuinely good. Sometimes excellent.
The first sign that someone is following their passion is joy. No one has joy about doing what they don’t want to do. They may be joyous. We can choose to be a joyous person or a curmudgeon regardless of what we do. But it is so much easier to be joyous when we follow our passion.

We can choose to be
a joyous person or a curmudgeon
regardless of what we do.
But it is so much easier
to be joyous when we follow our passion.

Mothers who wish to stay home with their little ones and get to do that are fortunate indeed. The child who grows up to play a sport he or she loves and makes a living at it is fortunate. It is fantastic when sports stars make gobs of money but it is even more fantastic when they exude the joy it gives them.

Artists and writers are compelled to create and can lose themselves in their work. Doctors who can save lives know how much they are needed and the truly great ones are often humble. They do not have anything to prove. They know what they can do and are grateful for being able to do it.
Committed teachers remain in the lives of the children they teach forever. Do not most of us remember that “special” teacher? Coach? You bet we do. My freshman year in college gave me a history teacher so popular that he packed a huge room year after year with students who hung on his rhetoric that brought history alive. Then there was the English professor whose first class Monday morning had students waiting at the door. He was spell-binding. Then there was a literature teacher of a particular age that made a difference in my life. At the end of the semester he gave me a remarkable collection of booklets, which I still have. I wish I could tell him what that meant to me. I am hoping he knew.

I think of Dr. Bill Austin as a truly holy man. Both Bill in Virginia Beach and the late Rev. Charles Moseley in Great Bridge shared a profession and a wonderful sense of peace, love, and good humor. Bill Austin writes our popular column on relationships, accepts speaking engagements, is a published author and earned a Ph.D. in psychology. He is available through Tidewater Pastoral Counseling and also runs a grief counseling series.

The people I mentioned all loved what they do or did. The good news is none of us need to be famous or rich to be happy or excellent. We just have to do something we feel good about doing. If everyone did, as the song suggests, “What a wonderful world this would be.”

Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 39 years.