To Thy Own Self Be True…

I think most of you know that the title above is from Willian Shakespeare. But, do you actually know what it means? A longer quote is in the header above this post. I admit that I was a weird kid who actually enjoyed reading Shakespeare! It was a challenge trying to put his Old-English words into today’s language. I really don’t remember how old I was when I started read him, it was probably in my early high school years.

Getting to the main idea of this post, I think these words mean different things to different people. They likely also mean different things to the same person, depending on circumstance of life when they come upon them. I found the following interpretation some time ago and it is pretty close to what I think they mean at least at this time in my life.

When we follow this fad or that one, we are like sheep who just follow the herd. In my mind that is the lazy way to go. Herd mentality in itself is a dangerous way to occupy. Yes, thinking for yourself is hard and opens you up to criticism, but it also allows you to be the person you were meant to be. If you go about life trying to impress others you are bound to fail. One reason is because most people, despite what you think, just don’t care or even notice what you do. Another is that trying to impress others likely takes you off the path that you might have been destined to go.

Don’t spend your life trying to impress others. Applause is a very short-lived thing. Just be who you are and that is mostly defined by the causes you take on to support. Be your own person. Think for yourself.

It is human nature that all of us want to think we add value to this world by what we do. We want to leave a legacy that survives us. That is hard to do when you follow the herd. All you do is leave footprints…

2 thoughts on “To Thy Own Self Be True…

  • As we age, we either become more of who we are and more comfortable saying what we think in a nice way, if possible or we have lived so entrenched in following the crowd and going with the flow of who we are with at the moment, that we have lost forever who we really are.

    I see it in people who will tell me how they feel about say politics or religion, but when they are with someone who feels different, they talk as if they agree with their views. So you never know their true feelings and I doubt if they do either.

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