Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.
As you know I have focused on finding yourself over the last few days. I should not have been surprised by the responses I have had, especially from those who have learned that they have spent most of their lives trying to be someone they are not.
It is not surprising that so many of us are molded by conforming to the dreams, objectives, and views of others. We are brought up by parents and teachers who impose on us their beliefs, prejudices and sometimes their personal ambitions. I don’t mean they do it out of malice, but rather out of either their commitment to convention or as the result of how they have been molded by society. I think it may even be becoming more prevalent as more educational institutions focus on rigid models without releasing our inherent curiosity and creative ability. We are taught rules and concepts that help assure that we will get along by being as much like everyone else as everyone else is. Once we get into the work place and to society we are told exactly what we need to do to get ahead and how we must behave in order to please the most people. That is not to say that we all end up being the same but we are often lured into the tribal thinking that polarizes society into the self-perceived righteous who believe they can do and everyone else who they believe can do no right.
I don’t know about you but my trying to be like everyone else does not interest me at all. How awful it would be if we all became the same. I don’t mean that I advocate anarchy, what I mean is that I don’t feel comfortable always marching in the parade to the same tune as everyone else. So what can we do, we can declare our independence. We may chose the same job or life style but we do it by choice and not by default. But what I think we must do is be ourselves and not live lives prescribed by others.
Here is something that Ralph Ellison wrote in “Battle Royal” that is true for far too many of us.
All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory. I was naïve. I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: that I am nobody but myself.
The good news is that it is never too late to reward yourself by being who you really want to be. It just requires a willingness to adventure out knowing that you have paid your dues, done what others have told you or rewarded you to do and now it is time to do what you want to do. But if you have read the Daily the past few days you know that I believe that you first need figure out what it is you really want to do. If you’re willing to do so you may find that the rest of your life will be truly wonderful.
Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.
A Mother’s Dictionary
AMNESIA: Condition that enables a woman who has gone through labor to make love again.
DUMBWAITER: One who asks if the kids would care to order dessert.
FAMILY PLANNING: The art of spacing your children the proper distance apart to keep you on the edge of financial disaster.
FEEDBACK: The inevitable result when your baby doesn’t appreciate the strained carrots.
FULL NAME: What you call your child when you’re mad at him.
GRANDPARENTS: The people who think your children are wonderful even though they’re sure you’re not raising them right.
HEARSAY: What toddlers do when anyone mutters a dirty word.
IMPREGNABLE: A woman whose memory of labor is still vivid.
INDEPENDENT: How we want our children to be as long as they do everything we say.
POW: The first word spoken by children with older siblings.
PUDDLE: A small body of water that draws other small bodies wearing dry clothes into it.
SHOW OFF: A child who is more talented than yours.
STERILIZE: What you do to your first baby’s pacifier by boiling it and to your last baby’s pacifier by blowing on it.
TOP BUNK: Where you should never put a child wearing Superman pajamas.
TWO MINUTE WARNING: When the baby’s face turns red and she begins to make those familiar grunting noises.
VERBAL: Able to whine in words.
WHODUNIT: None of the kids that live in your house..
WEEKEND: When Dad gets to play golf while Mom catches up on the laundry, cleans the house, runs errands, etc.
Did you know that the biggest sellers in the bookstores are cookbooks.
The second biggest seller is diet books about how not to eat what you’ve just learned how to cook.
I don’t think I’ll ever have a mother’s intuition. My married sister, Anne, her twelve month old son, Timmy, and I were having lunch together in a restaurant one day. All of a sudden my sister gets up and announces she needs to excuse herself from the table to make a telephone call and would I please keep an eye on Timmy.
I said, “What do I do if he cries?”
She said, “Give him some vegetables.”
It turns out that jalapenos are not his favorite.
She said: I have the most marvelous recipe for meat loaf! All I have to do is mention it to my husband and he says, “Let’s eat out!”
The Pope is visiting town and all the residents are dressed up in their best Sunday clothes. Everyone lines up on main street hoping for a personal blessing from the Pope. One local man has put on his best suit and he’s sure the Pope will stop and talk to him. He is standing next to an exceptionally down-trodden looking bum who doesn’t smell very good.
As the Pope comes walking by he leans over and says something to the bum and then walks right by the local man. He can’t believe it, then it hits him. The Pope won’t talk to him, he’s concerned for the unfortunate people: the poor and and feeble ones.
Thinking fast, he gives the bum $20 to trade clothes with him. He puts on the bum’s clothing and runs down the street to line up for another chance for the Pope to stop and talk to him. Sure enough, the Pope walks right up to him this time, leans over close and says “I thought I told you to get the hell out of here!”
It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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