The Two Great Objects

A few days ago I read this post entitled “6 lessons of an influence seeker.  It was written mostly to people that write, speak, or teach.  The idea is that if you truly want to influence people you need to do the 6 things described.  The post really has nothing to do with parenting or raising a family but the more I think about it the more I hope to apply its first concept in my life.

Lesson one is “know your two great objects” the author sights a journal entry from British politician William Wilberforce that states, “God Almighty has set before me two great objects, the suppression of the slave trade and the reformation of manners [moral values].”  These two objects were the driving force behind Wilberforce’s life work.  Everything he did followed from these two passions.

The moment I read this quote I asked myself the question, “What are my two great objects?”  A number of things came to mind right away; family, faith, and work were at the top.   I tried to get more specific, what are my two great objects at work, for my family, and in my community?  As I began to think more deeply I discovered that I had no clue what my two great objects were.  There were lots of things that I thought were important.  But I was finding it difficult to narrow down the two things that really set me ablaze, got me excited, and drove my passions.  I found that so many things were important that nothing was really important.

So, I have set out to more clearly define the two great objects in these areas of my life.

  •             Family
  •             Work
  •             Faith
  •             Community

I am hopeful that clarifying these objects and more intentionally focusing my energy in these areas will increase my sense of purpose and improve my ability to positively influence those around me.

Will you join me in this endeavor?  Leave a comment and share your two great objects!

5 thoughts on “The Two Great Objects

  1. I've been thinking about this question for 20 minutes, and this is what I've come up with. My most important people in my life are my wife and daughter. They are ongoing love and dedication but not the great objects of which you speak, I don't believe. Over the years, I've worked in jobs that left me frustrated and longing to do the things that I really wanted. I always ended up making my “wish list” of the same things, more or less. Now (the past year) that I am able to do what I want with my time, I have actually begun what I will say is my first “great object”. This is to make an impact with early childhood education and development. Over the past 26 years I have accumulated much knowledge in this area, and it seems i am a natural, as people over and over talk about the 'connection' I have with young children. To me it has always come quite naturally. I have begun a blog sharing insights to nurturing children's spirits. The next step is to begin to write children's books of poetry and short stories, a la “Maurice Sendak” and “Shel Silverstein”. I've been writing poetry for 35 years and love good humor. This could be the second “great object”, so I'll cheat and add a third one (or the first two could be combined into one as they both related to children – what do you think?). I enjoy 'games' tremendously and have always wanted to create all types of games for publication. Fun, challenging, and creative games. Perhaps this is my second “great object”.So, to summarize: Wife, daughter, Early childhood education, children's books, poetry, games. What do you think?

  2. This is great… taking some real time to think this stuff through is possibly the most difficult part. We all tend to be so busy that we don't have the time to reflect on what our great objects are…thanks for really taking this seriously and letting me know how what your thoughts are. I would love to hear an update when you have published your children's book (or before that)Mark

  3. Thanks, Mark – I'll do that. I receive your posts. I have added photography as that is a new one that my wife and I share as of this year. Good luck to your great object focus, as well.

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