The Eiffel Tower is My Touchstone


With Bastille Day on July 14th, this Francophile is already celebrating French National Day vicariously.

Today I'm paying tribute to my favorite cultural icon in the City of Lights -- the Eiffel Tower.

I'm grateful for this irreverent tower that was initially ostracized by some of France's leading artists and intellectuals. It was erected as the entrance of the 1889 World's Fair, and many people just didn't know what to make of it.

The iron latticed tower seemed to shrug off the criticisms and rather boldly dig in to its new digs. Today it's revered as the world's most visited monument that charges a fee.

I love this indignant monument -- first criticized, then praised. It encourages us not to heed our critics but rather carry on boldly.

When I'm in the midst of a challenge and I feel like I've lost my footing, I just look at a picture of the Eiffel Tower and remember my determination to be as unwavering as that tenacious tower.

I have more replicas of the Eiffel Tower in my house than I can count, and sometimes they seem to find me.

One did last night, and as my eye caught its shimmering lights, I smiled. It's as though it shrugged and said don't be swayed by your critics or your fans. Just dig in and stand your ground