True Virtue in Being You
I can honestly say when the topic of using your own words came up on this morning’s mindset call, I was excited, and decided to talk about the true virtue in being you… but before we go there… let me talk about Shakespeare quote on the side.
If you remember much about Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” ( I don’t) here is how this quote came about in his play. Polonius was giving this advice to his son as he (the son) was getting ready to board a boat to Paris… Here’s the actual passage:
This above all: to thine own self be true,
it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any
Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!
I would say that is pretty good advice to give your child.
(I personally love this quote, and have tried to drill it into my brain over the years.)
Many people would not consider being true to yourself a virtue, but selfishness…
Let me explain that. I grew up in a home where my putting others needs first was considered the norm. We were taught to give out of love, and do for others out of love…but we never came to the conclusion that we were to love others as we love ourselves. (I still believe we’re supposed to give, and do for others out of love.) So, changing this whole manner of thinking has been somewhat of a …. (you name it… burden, struggle, handicap), but I’m an adult now, so it falls on me.
The value of this true virtue in being you is that you’re living a life of honesty when you do. You are being true to yourself, and others around you. People know where they stand with you and what to expect. You live out of honesty (truthfulness to yourself and others), and integrity (a wholeness and consistency of character… notice the word “WHOLENESS”).
I remember an uncle telling me many years ago that he disagreed with this concept. He had been in the Korean War and told me, “The first thing the Army teaches you is self-preservation. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of others.”
This is where a change in my thinking started. Of course, there are those things that we want to change, and we want to live life on our own terms…
but accepting yourself, flaws and all, is the beginning to the true virtue in being you.
p.s. Sometimes I wonder if those quotes like…”You only have once chance to make a first impression,” makes us feel like we need to impress someone with what we’re not. Let’s hope it means…”Be Your Best!”
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