Jody Williams, winner of the 1997 Nobel Peace prize, advises that the winners this year ‘Stay true to themselves’. This is advice we often here is kids or in movies, but what does it really mean?
First of all, how do you discover who your true self is? It seems many people don’t quite know who they are. Second, most people have some qualities that they wish they didn’t have, such as jealousy, envy, insecurities or prejudices. Staying true to those things wouldn’t seem to be in our interest.
What does it mean to you to stay true to yourself? Which part of yourself to you think about?
Living someone else’s dream can be a terrible predicament, in which to find oneself. I think that is to what we default most of our lives. Staying true to ourselves, is a relatively easy task if it weren’t for self-discovery. As we grow, it seems we continue chase after “our dreams” and “who we are” only to find our it isn’t really us or what we were meant to do. so we adjust our lives to align more closely who we think we are. It feels like such a moving target! Or maybe it’s more like a lens trying to focus our lives. it turns, pushes, and pulls trying to get a crystal-clear image of us: both who we are, and who we want to be. We catch a split-second glimpse of clarity only to find ourselves adjusting again. I wise man once said ,”For now we see in a mirror, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know fully even as also I was fully known.”
I may not know exactly who I am, but I do know (at least I “know in part”) that the thing mentioned in the earlier question: jealousy, envy, insecurity, prejudice; aren’t the true me. The writer of this quote about self-discovery, wrote just a few lines earlier that, if he could speak beautifully, if he possessed all knowledge, and even gave up everything to help the poor; but didn’t have love he would be nothing at all. Then the writer ends by saying that love is the greatest of these three eternal values: Faith, Hope, Love…
I think that is what our “true selves” look like. I know that isn’t very specific but like he said, right now we can only see “in a mirror, darkly” but I think our faith, our hope, and our love offer big clues to who we really are. That thought can be comforting or a little disconcerting, depending on what we find when we dig into these. When you are alone and honest, What do you REALLY have faith in? What do you REALLY hope for? Who are those you REALLY love? Is it anyone at all?
Perhaps, asking these questions is the beginning of what it means to be true to our selves. We are so good at lying to ourselves about who we are. Out of all the masks we use to hide the real “us”. The ones we use to hide “us” from ourselves are the most elaborate. But we can’t afford not to constantly strive to be honest with ourselves. Motives can be disgusting little things, but eventually we have to examine them. To truly “know thyself” is a seriously daunting task, that can’t afford not to be attempted with all our persistence and discipline.
Then, what do we do when we find that in our finally being true to ourselves, we find ourselves to be demons? Born of pride, and greed, and the devil himself; we are nice enough to live in society, but all the time we hate our insides, knowing just how corrupt they are. Perhaps, we need to be changed in a way that we are incapable by ourselves, Maybe all things in us need to become new. We need to completely start over. perhaps the best way to put it is we need to be born again. Weighty words for sure. but anything less than becoming completely new would just be putting a nicer, fancier mask.