black t shirt
Be Yourself, Your Best Self
Imitation is Suicide. Insist on yourself; never imitate. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
We love to imitate others. Karaoke proves it, as does the air guitar and Rock Band.
We love to imitate, repeat after me, political commentators; much easier than taking the longer road and formulating our thoughts and responses based on our deeper values and guiding codes.
We love to imitate those ‘above’ us in business. We buy the cars they have, live in similar homes/neighborhoods, vacation in the same spots, and wear the same costumes (like the costume gives us an added boost of super powers, which maybe it does).
We love to imitate those that lead our religious groups. This is extremely obvious, as well as a bit embarrassing, when someone who cusses like sailor (no offense to sailors, as I am not sure they really cuss more than, say, a banker) imitates what their perception of a good religious person is when around a priest, a rabbi, or a minister.
We love to imitate by being a part of the group that uses the ‘right’ items. We love wearing a certain brand of shoes, using a certain electronic device, drinking a brand cup of coffee, and watching the ‘in’ TV shows.
We love to imitate by thinking like a part of a group. The herd mentality of said group keeps us safe and clear of having to do any of the heavy lifting it takes to have thoughts and the corresponding actions of our real political, spiritual, social, relational, and financial core values.
In some areas we must imitate. We know that financial success almost always comes with slow and steady, not winning the lotto. To not imitate those who have gone before us, in some fashion, is not wise. We know that to lose weight diets do not work so we must imitate those following a sensible diet, healthy lifestyle, exercise, and lower, powerfully packed calories.
No one cares about an artist who imitates Picasso. His is not art, simply knockoffs. No one cares who sounds like the Beatles in 2011. The Beatles are the Beatles and no one else should try to sound like them.
What would happen if you quit imitating in just one area?
(Please, keep showering, mowing your yard, and stopping at red lights-you know what I mean).
Who are you imitating at work and it is killing you?
Who are you imitating in your religious setting and it is driving you crazy?
What cultures are you imitating that are boxing you in and keeping you from growing up and out?
Whose thoughts are you imitating that are keeping you stuck?
Go ahead and insist on being yourself. I dare you.
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write by Jesse LaSon