Early in my thinking about the idea of becoming by being I ran across Nathaniel Hawthorn's classic story, The Great Stone Face.
As I read the story, a childlike fancy came to me, a vision of one becoming, imperceptibly yet irrepressibly.
The story is a simple one cast in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Ernest, the hero, was a young boy living in constant view of a mountain that reflected to all the world the face of a man, an image that bore confidence, serenity, stalwartness, compassion, understanding and grace.
The face became the young man's daily companion and through the years the youth learned from the face the deeper truths of living.
To make the story warm and believable the author weaves a legend into its fabric.
Someday a man would come to the valley bearing the likeness of the Great Stone Face.
From time to time a great man would appear, once an illustrious statesman, once a wealthy industrialist, a famous soldier, each hoping he would be the one whose likeness most resembled the face on the mountain.
None qualified and the villagers were beginning to believe the tale was only in their imaginations and would never come true.
As many would guess the ending, Ernest grew, through the years, to become the village patriarch, a man unpretentious but noble, humble and self-effacing.
One day, in the twilight of the fading glow of the sun, the young man, now old and wise, stood to preach.
As he did the rays of the sun caught the old man's profile and cast it across the chasm onto the mountain.
In a breath of utter amazement the sun revealed that the sage old man was indeed the likeness of the Great Stone Face.
The young man had become what he had most admired, what he had best loved and revered.
He became the face on the mountain.
Ernest was a becomer, and we can learn from this beautiful story.
What we most want to be can, indeed, be fulfilled in our lifetime.
It may well be our only chance of truly becoming and quietly achieving te real turn-key person.
To be today what we want to become tomorrow is the simplest process for growth I know, and the idea hold subtle dynamics, quiet perseverance, gentleness and modesty.
The formula holds: we can become tomorrow what we want to become by being it today.