It’s a funny world we are living in. Most of us will laugh at a kid chasing his shadow without recognizing that as grown-ups we pretty much do the same. Let me paint a scenario of how most of us live our lives using a fictional classroom. Its worthy to note that although this exact case may be a pure product of my imagination, it is however the true life scenario of most classrooms around the world.
My story is about Taye. He is a young bright kid but he is somehow dis-satisfied with his life and is always trying his best and doing all he can to be like david his class mate. David is a cool boy, but he believes sam is ‘cooler’ and so he is trying to be like sam. Sam hasn’t been having the best grades in school and his parents are not too pleased with him. In fact, just the other day his mom compared him with his classmate Biodun who happens to live 2 blocks away. Ever since then, it has been Sam’s life goal to be like biodun. Biodun on the other hand is not the smartest in the class. Though his grades have been high, they are still nothing compared to Mofe’s grades. Mofe is the class leader. He always wins the prize but seems to be nothing more after that. He craves to be more sociable and so he is trying hard as well to be like Taye who in Mofe’s opinion seems to have a good balance of a social life while doing well on his academics.
Well, most people would probably not get the gist of the story here but if you followed the story well to the end without getting lost with the names and all, you’d notice that we began this story with taye and ended the story with that same taye. The point here is that Taye, the dis-satisfied boy who was trying to be like somebody else was all along only trying to be himself because down the line those he was trying to be like were all trying indirectly or directly to be like him. The disastifaction he felt indicates that he wass failing terribly at it. He was chasing his own shadow!
Truth is God made everyone of us as originals but many people die trying to be fakes; who we are not. The easiest thing to be in the world should be ourselves but ironically it is the singular thing many people fail at. The problem with trying to be what we are not is that we do a really poor job at it. And the problem with trying to be ourselves( by looking at our shadow) is that we end up being someone else. The best we can be in being someone else is second best.
One thing I’m absolutely sure you can do better than everyone else in the world and everyone that has ever lived is being yourself. And we should not struggle to do it. Once it becomes a struggle, then you’ve probably gone off course. What I’m trying to get across is- just be yourself. Don’t try to be yourself; just be it. Its the best thing you could be. At the peak of maslov’s theory of human need is self actualization. Its everyone’s basic goal. However, Foundational to that is self discovery and self expression( being one’s self and nt someone else). Without these, self actualization is totally imposible. Your life is a gift from God. Accept it, embrace it and treat it as such. Succeed!
Soaga Afolabi Olusegun
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