Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Being Ourselves Always

Only when we truly are ourselves, resist undue external influence and challenge convention can we get the most out of life.



“To be nobody but yourself in a world that's doing its best to make you somebody else, is to fight the hardest battle you are ever going to fight. Never stop fighting.”

- E. E. Cummings

Be Yourself


The End of Something. The Beginning of Everything

As our stay in High School came to a close and we prepared for our final examinations, a much different reality was inevitably coming upon us.

After the examinations, all of us parted ways to go and start the next phase of life, where we would meet new people, possibly go to different lands and ultimately become different persons.

Timeless Words

In view of this change, we wrote autographs - small books in which we bid one another farewell with indelible words. These would mainly include a recap of memorable moments together, well wishes in later life and a word of advice or two.

My 'autograph' has since been misplaced, but I do recall most of what some of my friends wrote a dozen years ago.

Our dormitory Captain, Felix Kimani, left me with very deep words from the Bible, from Ecclesiastes 9:11 and Proverbs 30:25-27 and 33.
This was when he was almost done with school in 1996 [he was in Form 4 while I was in Form 2], but I digress.

My good friend and our School Captain Herman Ekea wrote me the following enduring words:
Be Yourself Always.

Challenging Convention

These three words have singularly defined most of the seemingly unconventional and somewhat unpopular things I have done so far. They have really helped me in standing my ground, in sticking to what I believe is right, in my best interest and adds value.

Thinking about these words last weekend, I realized that many of us live lives which are far from ideal, largely because we are striving to make ourselves acceptable to the society, trying to fit into others' expectations, or simply trying to belong owing to pressure from our peers.

Reading an International Herald Tribune's 2010 Highlights article about our search for equilibrium, I cannot help but agree with the writer that the world is [indeed] long on worry and short on happiness.

Happiness, it emerges,
"comes not from the raw pursuit of income but from a judicious equilibrium between gains in material comfort and growth of the mind and spirit in a just and sustainable environment."

Minding only what matters

It is my considered opinion that only what matters most to us is worth our time.

Always be Yourself


By being oursleves always, we leave no room for pretense, play acting, submitting to others' demands, and even worse, living other people's dreams.

That said, now is the time to actually focus on living our authentic lives the best way we should, making the most of every opportunity and becoming our better selves each day, every day.

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