Clarity is … courtesy

“It is good to toil for others’ sake, and happy is he who learns to make the joy of others – cure his own heart ache.” ~ Dr. Norah Perkins, Sunshine and Shadows, 1917

My most cherished possession is now a little book, self published by a female psychologist in Brooklyn New York in 1917. It was my Great Grandmothers. It’s called Sunshine and Shadows. It’s a reflection of life as it must have been at the turn of the last century. Not much has changed in our present quest for understanding the dark side of life and the light. The Victorian era had it’s perks. Manners. They mater.

She reflected on love, hope, gratitude and the like. She shared her advice on ‘good advice’ ‘becoming great’ and ‘the grouch’. It’s as if this little known author with her powerful words was the original positive psychologist.


One of the key messages in this tiny inspirational book is that the shadow of our world, that inner voice, that whisper of society, is to be as loved as our sunshine. It is the original dark vs light. An ancient concept of accepting both sides of our true selves.

As we manifest our destiny into what we want our lives to look like, we have to realize that only we will know our true self. That is why working on our clarity is so important. When we know our authentic selves, we will be equipped to face all aspects of what life throws at us.

I bring this up as I am often reminded that my path is not the easier one. I lead a simple life, on purpose. When I’m asked, “Who are you? Are you somebody I should know?” I will often simply say “no”. If that person doesn’t have the good manners to ask me a question that reflects pure intentions, then they are already somebody that I have no interest in knowing.


The gift of being raised by women which above all else, had impeccable manners, was knowing what is polite and what is insulting. Some people were not afforded that advantage. When someone is crass, direct with an insulting tone of superiority and blunt in their need to be in the lime light, they have a great deal more to prove to themselves, than to anyone else.

I would rather convene with those who already know that all people are somebody. There are shadows in all of us. The person asking, “Are you somebody” is also the person who is clearly seeking to walk among the illuminated masses.

I prefer to understand myself and illuminate from the inside. The sunshine that balances the shadow is always there. It’s simply hidden from obvious view. I have no interest in the obvious. I surpassed that on my path of truth years ago. Seek and ye shall find. Internally. Fall more in love with both halves of your personality. The message written in a time when manners were trending.



About the Author: Karen Henry (Daly) is a positive psychology practitioner, blogger, author and speaker. She is a coach/consultant who writes both fiction and non-fiction about loving one’s best life, thriving, recovery and post traumatic thriving. Box 586 “Creating the life we want to live.”



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