I am one of those guys who grasped for the brass ring and chased after the ever-elusive dream only to learn that my value to society is not in becoming famous, or recognized, or wealthy. To be the best I can be very simply is to be genuine, to be myself, to be true to my beliefs, values, and standards.
I would guess that through the years I have written thousands of bulletin articles, newspaper columns and blog posts. Sometimes through strained effort I have written on a topic where there just wasn’t a fire in my belly. I have been assigned topics for lectureships, or spoken on issues by request, but almost without exception I have had the greatest impact on the world around me when I speak the truth in my heart without fear or reservation.
If you read my last post you realize that I am not given to political correctness. My views of faith, equal rights, gender equality, homosexuality, gun rights, and dozens of other topics are strong indications that I should be living in the 1950’s when mom stayed home with the kids, dad went to work to provide for his family, and killing animals for sport and food was an acceptable recreational pastime (but I digress).
I have tried to fit into a ever-changing world, but in the last few years I have realized there are a lot of people who feel the way that I do – and I mean a lot of people. The problem we face is the same one I have been guilty of for years – fear of offending someone. Forget that, I don’t give a flip what people think anymore, my best chance at inspiring and changing the world is to be true to myself and my values.
You want to be the best you can be – quit worrying about what your employer thinks, or your neighbor thinks, or the guy sitting on the pew next to you in church thinks – as Shakespeare said, “To thine own self be true” and to that I would add “to God and thine own self be true.”
When I write on topics like gun rights, or free speech, or go off on one of my religious rants and my belief that God’s word is authoritative and divine – I get some negative feedback, but far more positive than negative. I think I have figured out why. A couple of years ago I was out hiking and left my water bottle in the truck. It was supposed to be a short hike, so I figured I would be fine. I somehow managed to get off the trail and lost my bearings. A few hours later, in the heat of the summer sun I found my way back to the truck and downed my water bottle faster than a jack rabbit on steroids. The absence of water made it all the more precious.
There is a shortage in this country of “The Cleaver’s, Father Knows Best, and Duck Commander” values in this country. Why did Duck Dynasty skyrocket to #1? Why are most politically incorrect posts the most popular? Why is my greatest ability to make a difference come with remaining true to my values – because people are thirsty and I am carrying the water bottle.
Imagine if all of us who feel this way would simply carry our water bottles and be unafraid to share them whenever we get the chance. Want to be the best you can be – be true to God and yourself and share it with others.