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‘Be Yourself’

I have a charm on a bracelet that I wear often. It has a clasp on it so I can easily wear it on a bracelet, or hook it onto a necklace chain. It says, “Be Yourself.”

I like that motto. I supposed when I wear it as a necklace, for all to see, it is more of a message to others who may read it, but when it is on my arm, I doubt others really notice it, so then the message is for me.

This motto can be taken a couple of different ways. If we take it at face value, it seems a bit selfish, that we can act however we want, ignoring respect for others. To be yourself is important as long as your attitude doesn’t hurt or hinder others. For example, if you have been invited to an event with a dress code of formal attire, and you hate dressing up, then to “Be Yourself” may mean you must stay at home. Wearing a t-shirt to that party may drastically change the dynamics of your relationships (at least temporarily).

I think to “Be Yourself” is important, but our lives are constantly changing, hopefully for the better, and as we undergo changes in our lives, we need to learn to be more aware of the feelings of others. So, if to “Be Yourself” means to be genuine, then you can be a comfort to others and not an annoyance. My hope is that I will continue to be myself, with a goal to continue to improve myself. There is always room for improvement.

My husband recently told me he read a list of things that were “out” of style. Wearing socks with sandals was one of the items on this list. Personally, I have never thought that was an attractive thing anyway, but lots of people (mostly guys) are in the habit of wearing socks with their sandals. My husband never wore sandals at all, so I don’t have to worry about his breaking that habit.

Another thing he mentioned that is “out,” is wearing Hawaiian shirts. Can you believe that one? Obviously, there are many people in Madera who haven’t gotten that memo. And I’ll tell you what; I’m not getting rid of the Hawaiian shirts I have. I love them! My husband wears them, too. We have a few of them, both of us have, and we can do the look-alike thing. (That’s probably out, too, couples who wear look-alike shirts).

I also have noticed parents trying to wear the types of clothes their kids wear. I know parents think that shows support, and perhaps it does for some kids. For other kids, it is a total embarrassment to them for their parents to try to act like them. Kids mostly want their parents to be their parents, and not another friend.

We should all try to be who we are, and not try to copy the lives of others. I’ve seen people who try to “keep up with the Joneses,” and maybe we all do a little of that. Relationships are important, and how we adjust to other people may mean that sometimes we do what they do. This is how we get along in this world. However, my suggestion is that you never sacrifice your faith, beliefs, and ethical standards in order to be like others. Be the example, and not the sponge.

— My love to all,


• • •

Don’t answer fools according to their folly, or you will become like them yourself.

— Proverbs 26:4


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