Be yourself

What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separate us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless, but disastrous.–Thomas Merton

I can really identify with what Merton writes of here. How often do I present to the world the person I’d like others to see and run from who I really am. Even in this blog I find myself holding back and not completely expressing myself. I love George Carlin’s humor and sometimes I’m afraid that I’ll offend some of the readership because a lot of what Carlin writes about is ribald and raw. I’ve posted clips from Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young because there is within me yet the rebel, the bankrupt idealist who rails at injustice. The following poem written in 1934 by Dale Winbrow expresses the same thing in a slightly different way. It’s called “The Man in the Glass.”

When you get what you want in your struggle for self,
And the world makes you King for a day,
Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that guy has to say.

For it isn’t your Father, or Mother, or Wife,
Who judgement upon you must pass.
The feller whose verdict counts most in your life
Is the guy staring back from the glass.

He’s the person to please, never mind all the rest,
For he’s with you clear up to the end,
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may be like Jack Horner and “chisel” a plum,
And think you’re a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you’ve cheated the man in the glass.


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