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Be Yourself!

By:Ada Mckay
Date: Wed,05 Apr 2023
Submitter:Ada Mckay

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I recently came across the following quotation and I thought how true it was.

“One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else.” Of course we all want to “fit in” and “be one of the crowd” and this can be difficult if we see things differently from others and have our own opinion. It is made extra difficult for us when others, especially parents try to push us into activities in which we are not interested or worse still prevent us developing and using any talents or gifts we have been born with. W. Somerset Maugham wrote a short story called “The Alien Corn” which illustrates this very point and Gray’s “Elegy in a country churchyard” has the line “full many a flower is born to blush unseen and waste its sweetness on the desert air.” The saddest thing in life is wasted talent.

We must remember that God created us and gave us our individuality. How could civilization exist if we were all the same? We need people who are good at different things, who will move to live in different places and live a different life from others. God has endowed you with certain gifts and talents special to you alone. You are a gift from God and you can give that gift back to the world. What does the Bible tell us about God and His gifts?

1 Peter 4:10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others.

James 1:17 Every gift is from God.

How we think of ourselves starts in our childhood and the environment in which we grew up. Parents can be responsible for how we regard ourselves and over critical parents can damage our self-esteem. They expect us to be like them in our likes and dislikes. Sons may be expected to follow father into the family business or follow the same trade or profession. Daughters may be expected to be exactly like mother and to marry, produce children and run a home. A future so planned may be completely opposite to what the son or daughter wants and moreover it is ignoring any talents or gifts that the child may possess. This attitude continues even today where many girls are forced to leave school early because “it is not worth educating girls who will only get married.” The film “Educating Rita” is a good example of someone who wants to rise above her background and environment and just look at how the Taliban is treating its female population!

I have often thought that the world would be a much happier and better place if everyone was allowed to work at a job or in a profession that really appealed to them. There would be no “square pegs in round holes” and the world would gain from such dedicated people. Many people live their entire lives allowing others to control their goals, dreams and aspirations. We must all learn to stop caring about what others think, stop trying to “fit in” and do what others are doing. Be yourself! Stay true to yourself! You are responsible to develop and use the talents that God gave you and you alone. Stay focussed on what you are drawn to and what you think you are best at. One of our Seven Principles of Spiritualism is Personal Responsibility. When you arrive in the next world and see the review of your life don’t think you can explain away errors in your life by saying that “everybody else was doing it!” You and you alone are responsible for your behaviour, decisions, and actions. Whatever gifts God has given you, you must use these gifts to help others and brighten up their lives. We can’t all be in the entertainment business, we can’t all write wonderful books or create wonderful paintings, or compose music. Let us discover what we can do with our more humble gifts and talents to enrich the lives of others. Perhaps you are thinking “but I don’t know what I am good at!” The things you enjoy doing, are good at, and make you feel accomplished and fulfilled—these are your God-given talents and abilities. The truth is we all have hidden talents—the skills we possess that we never knew we had. Often it is others who will point out our gift to us. Here are three personal examples from my own life said to me by friends and colleague. “I will always be grateful to you for the notes you gave me.” “You have the gift of explaining things in understandable language” “When Ada asks me to do something she explains it properly and I don’t make mistakes.” So evidently I have the gift of good communication!

Remember the great social reformers of our history, those who have dared to be different and did not “go with the flow” and who have made our country a better place. Our world today needs all the help it can get. Let us use the gifts God has given us to improve and enhance the lives of others, fight to correct the wrongs and inequalities in our society and support our charities. Let us not have lived in vain. May we look forward to God’s “Well done!” when we arrive in His heavenly kingdom.

I am offering a free copy of my paperback book “Why I am a Spiritualist” to anyone interested. (Postage is free). Please contact me by email. [email protected]
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