I am what I am: an individual, unique and different, with a lineal history of ancestral promptings and urgings; a history of dreams, desires, and of special experiences, of all of which I am the sum total. – Charlie Chaplin
I AM ME. If you can’t be a pine tree on the hill, be a bush in the valley – but be the most beautiful bush on the shores of the creek. Be a bush, if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a bush, be a tuft of grass. And stand there cheerfully at the roadside. If you can’t be a pike, just be a perch, but the smartest perch in the lake. Not only the captain, also a team must exist, there is place for all of us.
If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill
Be a scrub in the valley–but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.
If you can’t be a bush be a bit of the grass,
And some highway some happier make;
If you can’t be a muskie then just be a bass–
But the liveliest bass in the lake!
We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew,
There’s something for all of us here.
There’s big work to do and there’s lesser to do,
And the task we must do is the near.
If you can’t be a highway then just be a trail,
If you can’t be the sun be a star;
It isn’t by size that you win or you fail–
Be the best of whatever you are!
This poem by Douglas Malloch teaches a lesson that applies to each one of us. Everyone can not be the president of our country; who would pay taxes to support our government? Everyone can not be the boss; who would get the work done? There is no dishonorable work — all is necessary. If we were all doctors and lawyers, who would keep our streets clean and in good repair? Who would keep our trash carried off? Although we may not have as good a job as we would like, we need to take pride in our job and be the very best at whatever we do.
I have heard women apologize when asked what they do by saying, “Oh, I’m just a house wife”. But to me there is no more an honorable thing that anyone could do than to be a full time wife and mother. Raising children to be good citizens, productive adults, and Christian men and women is as valuable as anything we could chose to do.
I have often struggled over what I can do to make a difference in my life. Yet if I can only be a loving husband and father, a good example and provider, then I can at least make a difference in the lives of my own family. However our influence reaches far beyond our immediate family. We touch people’s lives at work, at the store, at the service station, at the restaurant, or wherever we come in contact with people. We may not be able to be as rich or as influential as some, we may not have, in our view, as honorable a job as we would like, but we can be the very best of whatever we are!
It’s so easy to feel insignificant and worthless in this world that constantly tells us that we aren’t good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, rich enough, healthy enough, spiritual enough and on and on. Well I say, enough with the expectations because no matter how hard we try to be perfect it will never be enough because as Buddha taught us this very existence is imperfect. It’s so hard to remember this sometimes but it’s so true and when it does click for us it is so liberating from our suffering and self-doubts. We must remember that while we might be comparing ourselves to someone else–they are comparing themselves to someone else too.
Much work needs to be done and little. But the duties we have are the same. If you can’t be a street, just be a path. If you can’t be the sun, be a star. It’s not the size that makes you a winner or a loser. Be the best whatever you are. Douglas Malloch. So many things happen depending on the picture we have of one another, we make of one another, we impart to others about us. But how real and true are the pictures? Which colours are they painted with?
With the colours of our personality, our naturalness? Or with the colours of deception, of self-deceit? Let’s detach from the wish to act differently from who we are and see others how we want them to be, instead of how they really are. Let’s say Yes to ourselves, let’s say Yes to others. It is especially the uniqueness of everyone making our relationships so beautiful and vivid. Let’s take off everything, which is not really a part of us and let’s be brave enough to be ourselves.
Because the people who are looking for us with their hearts, would like to love us the way we are. And it is their burning desire to be accepted by us the way we are. Being accepted… just the way we are… Who does not want that… But are you willing to accept yourself forgivingly and lovingly just the way we are?
Pictures are quickly painted, all kinds of pictures, all forms of art– but just artificially… Let’s take off our masks… and remind us again and again to do that because masks are quickly put on… I open my heart and look into yours – are you willing?
Just something to think about!
Whenever a building is constructed, you usually have an architect who draws a blueprint, and that blueprint serves as the pattern, as the guide, and a building is not well erected without a good, solid blueprint.
Now each of you is in the process of building the structure of your lives, and the question is whether you have a proper, a solid and a sound blueprint.
I want to suggest some of the things that should begin your life’s blueprint. Number one in your life’s blueprint, should be a deep belief in your own dignity, your worth and your own somebodiness. Don’t allow anybody to make you fell that you’re nobody. Always feel that you count. Always feel that you have worth, and always feel that your life has ultimate significance.
Secondly, in your life’s blueprint you must have as the basic principle the determination to achieve excellence in your various fields of endeavor. You’re going to be deciding as the days, as the years unfold what you will do in life — what your life’s work will be. Set out to do it well.
And I say to you, my young friends, doors are opening to you–doors of opportunities that were not open to your mothers and your fathers — and the great challenge facing you is to be ready to face these doors as they open.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, the great essayist, said in a lecture in 1871, “If a man can write a better book or preach a better sermon or make a better mousetrap than his neighbor, even if he builds his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door.”
This hasn’t always been true — but it will become increasingly true, and so I would urge you to study hard, to burn the midnight oil; I would say to you, don’t drop out of school. I understand all the sociological reasons, but I urge you that in spite of your economic plight, in spite of the situation that you’re forced to live in — stay in school.
And when you discover what you will be in your life, set out to do it as if God Almighty called you at this particular moment in history to do it. don’t just set out to do a good job. Set out to do such a good job that the living, the dead or the unborn couldn’t do it any better.
If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well. If you can’t be a pine at the top of the hill, be a shrub in the valley. Be be the best little shrub on the side of the hill.
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are.
— From the estate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
We all dream of great deeds and high positions, away from the pettiness and humdrum of ordinary life. Yet success is not occupying a lofty place or doing conspicuous work; it is being the best that is in you. Rattling around in too big a job is worse than filling a small one to overflowing. Dream, aspire by all means; but do not ruin the life you must lead by dreaming pipe dreams of the one you would like to lead. Make the most of what you have and are. Perhaps your trivial, immediate task is your one sure way of proving your mettle. Do the thing near at hand, and great things will come to your hand to be done.
Through our decisions we define ourselves. Only through them we can give our words and dreams life and meaning. Sergio Baumbaren. You have the choice…Make a decision and enjoy its consequences… yes, with all your senses… and feel that this decision comes from your heart, your intuition, feel the warmth, the wellbeing, the flow… feel that it feels right… let go… and trust… in yourself and life!!
The principle of acting… I have found this powerful text, unfortunately without any author… The lines are unbelievably effective!!
Today is the day on which I am conscious that I can choose new actions at any time. I am confident that all my life situations are the result of my conscious and unconscious acts of choice. I know that my possibilities to choose are unlimited. If I see my possibilities too choose as limited, I am the only one to limit them. The past, yesterday is dead. The future has not started yet. Today I have the choice to change. Or I have the choice to accept whatever is. Today I can choose a new way, develop new ideas, create new life and job situations through my actions. Or I will choose the situation I am in right now consciously again – the way it is – and be 100 % behind it. I won’t complain about nor lament situations, which don’t comply with my expectations because I don’t want to waste my energy nor hurt my self -esteem. I will choose again and act or accept what is. I choose what I do in each case and so I always do whatever I have chosen. The more consciously I choose my life, the more conscious I live. I am a self-determined person. I have the right to choose my kind of life as long as I respect others in their right. I am not in this world to be as others want me to be. In my relationship to other people I will make clear that also they have freedom of choice. I will accept that. Today is the day on which I am conscious that I can choose new actions at any time. I won’t wait anymore for other people to change. I won’t wait for conditions to improve, become fairer or more loving. My future is today. Today is the day on which I am conscious that I am responsible myself for all my thoughts, satisfaction, feelings and actions. You have the choice… and know that – no mater what you choose, no matter how and what you decide for – it is always right and good.
If it’s the only way to myself, I will have to go it nevertheless… I slowly find my way in this world… I am happy… I am fine… really fine… but I will never be the way I used to be….the last years have changed me… and my heart too! Don’t only go smooth roads. Go ways nobody has gone before so that YOU will leave footsteps and not only dust… so that the world will remember you… Sometimes I lie to myself… maybe I have just arranged myself with some feelings… maybe I just didn’t have any other choice… maybe it is better this way… maybe the first right decision in my life because I have learnt one thing: making no decision is a decision too… a definitely worse solution… because if you make no decisions, others make it for you and you only have the possibility to arrange yourself with it… to accept it!!