Have you ever seen Gollum walking with a straight back? In German we have a word called “aufrichtig”. Aufrichtig is a synonym for honest. Its literal meaning, though, is to have a straight back.
People who walk through life with their back straight and their head up high are considered honest people. Gollum is the personification of the opposite. Gollum is a cheater, a liar, a manipulator. He cannot walk with a straight back.
Life is full of Gollums. For them, honesty is only a word in the dictionary, not a value. Ruthless people fighting their way up the career ladder, hardnosed people selling nothing but lies, coldblooded people destroying dreams with a signature. Apart from these obvious Gollums, there are people who walk through life protecting their inner self with a mask and armor. Those people don’t have a straight back either.
And then there are the Gandhis. People who enlighten us with their sincerity. People who inspire us with their vulnerability. People with the head up high who have a higher purpose than life. Those are the honest souls who blow heart into the balloon of falsehood.
Can anyone become a Gandhi? I believe so.
When we lay down the mask and armor that protect us, we straighten our back. When we share our emotions and failures, our dreams and weaknesses, our pride and vulnerability, we walk through life with a straight back.
It requires strength to straighten the back. But ask yourself…
Do you want to die as a Gollum or live as a Gandhi?