“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
One of the hardest things to do in this world is remain true to yourself. In this day and age, everywhere we turn, it seems like we have someone or some system trying to sell us an easy button, the next best thing, or the secret to success. Look like this, acquire this, and you will be happy. We all fall for it too.
I watch my kids and my partner’s kids get sucked into letting the system tell them what’s important, what will make them cool, and most importantly, happy. Generation X, which is my generation at least had a chance. There was no internet. Just a boob tube, magazines and some advertisement boards.
The Millennials on there other hand, have it rough with evolved appendages like cell phones and Apple watches. You know, status symbols that are only cool for so long until the next dangling carrot comes along. And it doesn’t help that everywhere they go, they are plugged in.
How do we compete with that? We don’t. I suppose I could tell my kids until I’m blue in the face that the stuff they think that matters doesn’t matter and will only lead to short-term gratification. Pause. Did I listen to my mom when she tried to warn me about the horrors of the world? Hardly ever. I was hardheaded and had to feel it to believe it. Still am in many ways. My partner can vouch for that.
One thing I know I won’t do is give up. I may not tell my kids constantly about how the system is set up to keep us consuming, but I can sure model what it means to stay true to yourself.
I can show them what I value and how it can genuinely bring joy into ones life. Things like love, appreciation, connection, service, and living a life filled with passion and purpose. Things you can’t put a price on.
The way the system is set up keeps us and our families wanting more. Nothing will ever be enough if we continue to play this game.
Now I know we all lead different lives, and many of us come from different economic, and cultural backgrounds, but what if we changed the game? What if we placed value and importance on the things that truly matter like love, connection, friendship, INTEGRITY, etc. You know the things that are actually abundant in our lives if we choose to see it that way. What if we modeled these values a little more in front of our kids?
I’m not saying they are going to be forever changed right there on the spot. They are kids and just like us, they will have to figure it out on their own, but at least they will have something to come back to.
Something handed down by us.
They will be able to come back to that inner voice who is aware of the values that can genuinely lead to happier lives. The things you can’t put a price on. These will be the tools passed down to aid them in staying true to themselves.
My mom and I sure had our moments. I’ve strayed away many a time as I was growing up. One thing for sure is I was always able to look in the mirror and come back to those values that she and my family so lovingly passed down.
I still comeback and honor that inner voice now more than ever. If something does not allow me to stay true to myself, I just keep it moving. No loss. I’m always grateful for every path I have taken, good or bad. Plus the only way to figure shit out is to jump in and figure shit out. Right? Stay the course.
“This above all: to thine own self be true.”