This was originally posted in February 2013. I ask for your indulgence and your forgiveness as I re-post it. I have had an unforgiving few weeks with my health and I have nothing new prepared. I think this is still appropriate.
“. . .to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”
Hamlet Act I scene 3
Well you must admit that words written more than 400 years ago, and still relevant, today must be pretty incredible words!
I for one admire William Shakespeare and his works. As he so aptly demonstrates it’s the human condition that we all agonize over. And being ‘yourself’ is perhaps the hardest lesson we try to teach our children. With the cacophony of advertisements that try to steer us in one direction or another is it any wonder we’re all screwed up?
Who was it that said you can never be too thin or too rich? Well if you’re too thin you die and if you’re too rich, ummmm, I’m thinking. Okay I got it! If you are too rich then you become insulated from the human condition. Okay maybe not. I’m not too thin and I’m not too rich. What I am is too damn tired of Hollywood and its environs telling us how to look, how to act, how to live. They’re trying to mould us into perfect little automatons.
In order to be yourself you often have to disregard the advertisements that tell you what shampoos to use and how your makeup is to be applied, how to dress. If we can be true to ourselves and honour the person we actually are and not the image that society wants us to project, then I believe we have a chance. We need to raise children to be forward thinkers and not backward thinking sheep.
I don’t have any children so why am I so concerned about other people’s offspring? Simply put other people’s kids are our future. If I love this world then I should want it to continue. The only way that will happen is if we have people at the forefront who care.
I was raised by parents who loved me. They never taught me to hate. They did teach me to care. And I do care. I care about the atrocities I see happening in other parts of the world and here at home. I care about the horrible greed that exists around so many of our politicians. I see hate, I see rage, I see iniquities, I see despair and I see fear. What I also see is love, understanding and compassion.
We can give up or give in and wallow in our own self-pity, or we can look forward with anticipation and with optimism. We need to believe in ourselves and in each other. It only takes one step at a time to keep moving forward. Are you with me?