Copying Others…

“Life is the most difficult exam. Many people fail because they try to copy others, not realizing that everyone has a different question paper.”

Jeremy McGilvrey


I am constantly on the lookout for quotes such as this one. I think one of the major problems today, and perhaps always is that too many young people don’t think enough of themselves to see the unique traits they have to offer the world. Part of that problem is the lack of mentoring that they get. When I was in high school, way back in the middle of the last century, the word “mentor” was, for the most part unknown, but fortunately, it is happening to at least some fortunate ones today.

All kids and all people for that matter, have some heroes in their life who can help them realize their personal capabilities. Instead of just trying to emulate them they need guidance in developing the base skills that they so admire in that person to make their personal lives and contributions better. Since my wife and I were childless, I really don’t have any knowledge of what is happening in the field of education today, but I hope things have changed since I was a naive teenager.

Looking back, I should have been able to recognize that I had a fascination with “words”. I loved reading, especially from my personal heroes including Steinbeck, London, Will Rogers, Woody Guthrie and many others. I started writing a personal journal at a young age and always go “A”s in my English Composition classes. That should have shown me where I belonged in life. Unfortunately, due to my inherited low esteem I failed to see the possibility that I could have been a “person of words”.

I love the quote that started this post, and I hope that at least a few young people, and maybe not so young people will see it and discover that copying someone else is not your path through life. In my old age I am convinced that each of us has our own unique gifts, and it is up to us to discover and develop them to the fullest, no matter what they are. If we just did that the world would be a much better place wouldn’t it?

2 thoughts on “Copying Others…

  1. You’re right. Each of us has a unique perspective and bundle of gifts. I’m glad you’re blogging. Have you thought of expanding into other types of writing?

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    1. Thanks for the thoughts, Linda. Since you brought it up I am currently trying to become proficient at poetry. I wrote a lot of it in my youth, but gave it up when I was told that poetry is for sissies, and I didn’t want to be viewed as a sissie (even though I was 😎)

      One of the things that got me to thinking about getting back to writing poetry was a record that Sebastian Cabot in the 1960s entitled “The Poetry of Bob Dylan”. I think it was kind of the poetry of it that drove me to folk music. I would love to be able to create some of that myself.

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