To Your Better Self Be True

There is an old cliche that is no longer vogue. It is, “Root hog or die poor.”

It is interpreted to mean as a hog has to work to get what it needs, so do we. If it doesn’t, it will die without achieving. The expression isn’t vogue, but it is valuable. 

Achievers are “rooters.” Adam and Eve were the first assigned work to do. It is an intended task for all. This is not only true in order to achieve, but to achieve in order that it might be gratifying, fulfilling. To avoid it is to avert gratification. 

Find your niche and be yourself therein. Be the original you. There is no other you.  If you try to be someone else you keep from the world your true self. Don’t strive to be anyone else.

Consider the lilies of the field. They are lilies. No lily has ever borne an olive. A lily is that, a lily. Does a stalk of corn ever bear a watermelon? Has an apple tree ever produced an orange? Neither are you ever going to be a better, more productive you by striving to be someone else. 

You don’t choose your calling, your calling chooses you. It is sad to see a person try to be what they are not gifted to be. It is good to aspire, it is better to assess your gifts and fit them to a suitable task.

Young David volunteered to face the giant Goliath. Upon doing so the king offered him his uniform and weapons. David said in effect they are not me, they don’t fit. He wanted it to truly be David on that battlefield not with the king’s sword, but with what he was capable of using, a sling, a simple deadly sling. It worked.

Be what you are capable of being, all you are capable of being. Prepare yourself to be your best by reading, training, studying, to groom yourself. Associate with people of like faith. Don’t be afraid of people who know more and have achieved more than you. Learn from them how to improve on your traits similar to theirs, but without trying to be them.

You have no obligation to succeed. You have only the obligation to be true to the self God created you to be.

In Shakespear’s “Hamlet” Polonius is bidding farewell to his son, Laertes, who is leaving Denmark for France. Polonius, like any concerned parent, gives his son some advice before the young man leaves home: “This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12: 2)

“I, therefore, … beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4: 1)