Friday, July 24, 2009

Defending the (animated) Sailor Man

"Just be yourself", "people love you for who you are", "you are who you are, don't ever change that". People claim they love individuals and people who are comfortable with who they are. Throughout history the adage has always been be yourself. Going all the way back to Homer who said "Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another" and Shakespeare himself who said "God has given you one face, and you make yourself another". The idea was if you try and be who you're not, you're doomed to fail. Poet and writer E.E. Cumming stated "It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are" and even Dr Seuss said "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind". So, basically, they say, if you have the courage to be who you are, those that are important will love you for it no matter. More contemporary, Judy Garland famously said "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else" and Denholm Elliot said to Eddie Murphy in Trading Places "Just be yourself, sir. Whatever happens, they can't take that away from you"

So, you're saying, "what's with all the quotes Rich"? Well, I've always been myself, maybe to a detriment. You always read about how important it is to be true to yourself. When some of the things you hear people say about you include nice, kind, funny, honest, caring, loyal and smart(I swear, I've heard people say these things...seriously...) along with sarcastic, moody, and other less favorable things, you'd think that being you is a favorable thing as the pluses tend to outweigh the minuses. Yet, when you look back at a solitary life you start to wonder if just being you is enough? Oh, sure, it's more then enough for your friends and family, but is it enough for the "special someone" that's been absent from your life? What if the singular thing that attracted someone to you, your ability to be 100% comfortable with who you are was then the exact thing that drove them away? Would I indeed be better off trying to change or mask some of who I really am? Naw, I don't think so. I've made it this far being me why change now? People will continue to either like me or dislike me based on who I really am. If you accept that, groovy, if not, well frankly, go pound sand. I'd rather remain an individual and alone then become another sycophantic drone towing the line and being "happy" with someone else. It's just not who I am. I think my favorite philosopher of all time put it best when he said "I yam what I yam". That Popeye had it right all along

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