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One of the most disappointing experiences is to hold someone in high esteem because of his demonstrated skill and expertise only to discover that he is actually quite unkind and unjust.

It is not that you expected this person to be perfect; rather, it is simply that you assumed that someone so skilled and accomplished in a particular field would also possess other admirable qualities such as kindness and fairness. To be forced to face a truth that counters your assumption is, simply put, very difficult.

The reality for all of human beings is, though, that we often place so much energy into becoming adept at certain skills and at becoming highly knowledgeable in various disciplines that we act as if we are only mind and only body. However, can we not say that we are also souls? This is not a question of whether we consider ourselves, at least individually, to be people of faith or not.  Rather, it is about acknowledging that we are more than mere flesh and blood. We cannot neglect our souls any more than we can neglect our bodies.  Just as we must properly feed and exercise our bodies in order to maintain their health, we must do likewise with our souls. Some define the soul as the eternal part of humanity; others suggest that it is the part of humanity that gives life to the body.  However we describe it, can we not agree that, at the very least, it is the part of us that has the capacity to reach for a higher way of living, that enables us to identify the humanity of others and to give them what Aretha Franklin called R.E.S.P.E.C.T?

No matter how we choose to do it, whether through prayer or meditation or staring at the stars or listening to a favorite song or fishing— let us tend to our souls so that it can rightly inspire our minds and our bodies, motivating us to live a life of authentic kindness and fair play.