Saturday, August 11, 2007

Is It Not Better?

"Is it not better to see yourself as you truly are than to care about how others see you?"
--Master Kan to Kwai Chang Caine in Kung Fu

I have spent most of my life being far too concerned with how others perceive me. I have wanted them to see me as bright and capable to make up for my seeing myself as dumb and inept. But if I was truly dumb and inept, the only way I could hide this from others was to hide from them as much as possible and to avoid placing myself in public situations that revealed my stupidity and ineptitude to the world. The result is a man who has confined himself for decades to a prison of his own making and is now being forced to leave that prison and make his way in a world for which he feels ill-prepared by both ability and experience.

It seems to me that the only hope he has of succeeding is to take fully to heart Master Kan's advice, see himself as he truly is, and strive to be himself at his best without the paralyzing concern that others will not see him as more or better than he is.

Paradoxical as it may seem, the only way I can be and do better than I have been and done is to stop trying to make others think that I am and can do better than that now even as I try my best to be my best.

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