As a lion is to his Pride, so is a man to his Kingdom. So it is that a man’s duty is to provide for his family, protect them, and guide them throughout the often perilous wilderness of life. While it is important to provide these things, unlike the lion, a man’s duty is to offer more than the what. The what ensures your family’s immediate survival, it does nothing to ensure the longevity of your kingdom and its people–your legacy. The way to ensure your legacy continues is highly dependent on how you govern your kingdom. And this how lies in knowing yourself.
As the ruler of your kingdom everything falls upon you. From the grand to the minute. When other “Prides” come to invade your land, or when you have to settle disputes among your people, your inhabitants look towards you for answers. You are expected to protect and rescue them from imminent danger, to reaching a fair judgment in dispute matters, and to do so wisely. True wisdom comes from knowing your true self, the one God intended for you to be. In knowing yourself, you’ll be able to face any unknown--from the day to day to the unbelievable-- with confidence and conviction.
So, how do you get to know yourself?
Getting to know your true yourself is a simple but arduous process, which is why few ever bother. I’ll break it down into two steps: Time and Sincerity, and The Question. Time and Sincerity go hand-in-hand. Just as you would imagine, to get to know something is to invest time in it. Whether it’s dedicating yourself to a profession, practicing your favorite sport, or spending time getting to know a loved one, the more time you spend on something, the more knowledgeable you become on it. As for Sincerity, it is essential to improving in all things in life. Sincerity means that you are genuinely trying to uncover a knowledge or understanding previously unknown to you. When spending time performing any activity, if done in sincerity, the results are immeasurable.
Now that you are prepared to invest your time on yourself and be sincere about it, you are ready for The Question. What is "The Question" you ask? It is truly a simple one: Why?. Why helps to evaluate, in this case, yourself. To start with, Why is best applied to a behavior you perform that you do not like, or are not sure of the reason you repeat it. Preferably right after you notice it. Take a moment and ask yourself, Why did/do I do this? You’ll find that the behavior connects to a feeling, good or bad. The feeling connects to something that happened to you in the past, typically in your childhood. I believe that our behaviors, especially the ones performed as if on auto-pilot, are connected to events from childhood. As you discover the birth of your behaviors, you are given a chance to see it from the perspective of a third party: the current you. At that point you get to make a decision. Are you going to repeat the same behavior or choose a different path? Whichever you choose, at least now you are aware of the reason you behave the way you do. This awareness is very powerful as it distinguishes between the weaker--auto-pilot you-- and the new, more powerful, improved, self-aware version of you. This process is repeated as often as necessary and undoubtedly soon enough, you or someone close to you will notice your changed behavior/temperament to similar stimuli. When you perform a good deed you’ll know why. The same goes for a selfish one.
Remember, this is not an exercise in self-deprecation. The idea is to go to previous experiences and observe the decisions you’ve made, knowingly or unknowingly, good or bad, as you are currently, and decide if the effects of those decisions are worth the ramifications you are living with today. Basically, are you happy being the person you are today or do you want to choose to be different? Unlike the first time around growing up, you’ll get to choose who you are. This is what awaits you: You’ll be made anew, shedding past hurts and insecurities. You will become grounded, confident, not in passing or trivial things but in an inner knowing. You will be in the image of your Creator, learning to navigate through any and all things, even things unknown to your intellectual mind. As you thrive, so will your kingdom, ensuring not only your people’s survival but the passing of your legacy to oncoming generations.
That being said, this is not an easy process. It is a lifelong journey with painful moments. You
will likely unveil things you have repressed for many years. Not only are the results worth it, but I truly believe it the duty of every man to know himself, his true self, as he was created to be, because so much rests upon his shoulders.
Brothers, it is time we perform our duty!
Food for thought: You ever notice that no matter the circumstance: intruder, financial crisis, family health problems, zombie apocalypse, or any unreasonable situation where no one could possibly know the right way to go or what to do, your family, your community, looks to you to lead and make a decision nonetheless?
That should be an indication to how much power and ability God has given you, even if you don't yet realize it.