Much of my youth – though vibrant and energetic and eventful and passionate – was marred by a stubborn inflexibility, a self-centeredness, insensitivity, and immaturity. Recognising and accepting that this was true has been a vitally important part of the process of growth. If I am not willing to acknowledge the worst of what I have been, how can I begin to correct the mistakes of the past, and rebuild my life and its living on a surer and more honourable foundation? In this process are the seeds of integrity, and of humility. These qualities are desirable in a man of my age, I believe. I am not yet in possession of them, but they are ideals that I strive towards. They form the cornerstone of my values just as surely as material worth, influence, and social status do not.
The man I see in the bathroom mirror is just that – a man – and none of the trappings and accoutrements of a life built on material values will change the essence of who I am. Neither do these things, as bright and as shiny as they are, have the power to make me happy if I am not, or give me a greater sense of self-worth if I have none. The best I can hope for, I think, is to live honestly and well, in accordance with those values and principles that befit me, and to love deeply and truly those who mean the most to me.