Having been quarantined for over a month now, I’ve grown accustomed to the view from my third floor. Having set up a little desk in my bedroom, I watch the shadows shift and grow across the yard throughout the day. There’s this one little tree that stands erect, a ways off from the other bigger trees. And as I peer out the window every now and then, I’ve realized that this little guy has become a sundial to me. Then, I began thinking about how truth is like a sundial.

You see, when there’s one steady source of light, the sundial is completely trustworthy. I believe what I see and can plan around what it tells me. But in the darkness, the sundial is of no use at all. At night, anyone can shine a flashlight from any direction, and make this sundial read whatever time we want it to.

Sundial in the dark

So, how can we discern truth in the darkness?

Sometimes when it’s dark, people seek to slander or tell a different truth about us. They politic and maneuver to make things appear differently. So, how can we discern the truth? Let’s take inspiration from the sundial. We can remain grounded in our personal purpose and consistent in our behavior. While they may shine a flashlight in the dark, we allow the ever-reliable sun of our character to show who we are, day after day.

John Wooden quote

Be the sun.

Most of us have been attacked at one point or another in our career. The majority of us have suffered some unjust treatment or accusation. So, what do we do when our reputation comes under attack? Be the sun. Focus on your character and consistently reflect who you are. That consistency, particularly when grounded by clarity of purpose, will shine through.

Kristin Hannah, author of The Nightingale, wrote, “If I have learned anything in this long life of mine, it is this: in love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are.” I hope you live the majority of your life in love. That you may find out who you want to be and invest all your energy and passion against that vision. But when in war, when you find out who you really are, may you be the sun. Because truth is like a sundial.

For related article:

More on John Wooden and one of my favorite leadership books, “Wooden.”