I was not around yesterday to blog… My ezine went out as usual on the Thursday and instead of the usual joke of the week, I included a wonderful poem by Dale Wimbrow that really struck a chord with me. I absolutely love this, have a read… Because then I am going to have one heck of a rant…
The Guy In The Glass
When you get what you want in your struggle for pelf,
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 feller 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 guy 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 guy in the glass.
© Dale Wimbrow, 1934.
It rings so true with many underlying aspects of my work and I thank my friend and member of my inner circle for posting it in there first.
I interpret this in several ways and I am certain you’ll interpret it in your own way.
For me, it is about being honest with yourself and for me, being honest with yourself is about being the true you, being an individual… I want to quote an article I wrote last year just after Shrove Tuesday:
I did some fun things this week. Here in England we have Shrove Tuesday which is the beginning of Lent in religious terms and that is when people should use up the remains of their larder before they fast. Typically, this would be flour, eggs and milk — Pancakes! Yay. I love eating pancakes. Heck, I also ran a 20 mile race through green belt Hampshire this weekend, so I had worked those pancakes off.
So indeed, we had pancake day and I made pancakes with a variety of toppings. I have been to a great deal of pancake celebrations and I want to tell you about one particular occasion that serves as a very interesting metaphor for what I am going to talk about today.
I made a big load of pancake batter — I made it with wholemeal flour so the pancakes were not as they usually are. They were received well and eaten by all. In England one of the traditional ways to eat pancakes is with lemon juice and sugar. We had all kinds of toppings and things laid out — I mean lots and lots of choice.
One of my friends is very English and fanatically kept on saying how wonderful it was to have Lemon juice and sugar and everyone agreed and the vast majority of people there ate the pancakes I made to my recipe with the topping sold to them by one of my friends. Interesting. I piled on strawberry jam, natural yoghurt and toasted almonds on to mine and scoffed the lot down. Yummy!
This week I finished reading a brilliant book entitled “The Fountainhead” by a favourite author of mine, Ayn Rand.
The lead character has red hair, so I liked him instantly! The real reason I liked the main character is because of his sense of individualism. I am not going to get political ttoday, I just want you to think about how much you think for yourself because this is important in so many aspects of our own personal development.
How individual do you allow yourself to be?
Thousands of years ago, the first person discovered how to make fire. What a moment that must have been! That person was probably considered an evildoer, or a sorcerer who had dealt with the devil in some way. However, from then on humans had fire to keep them warm, to cook their food, to light their caves. There was a gift they had not conceived and had lifted darkness off the earth in many ways.
Centuries later, the first person invented the wheel. Heck, they were probably put on the rack and maybe considered a transgressor who ventured into forbidden territory. But thereafter, people could travel past any horizon. The world was left a gift that they had not conceived and had opened the roads of the world.
Whatever the legend, somewhere in the shadows of its memory mankind knew that its glory began with an individual and that that individual often paid for their courage in some way. They often paid for standing up, standing out and for shining.
Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision. Their goals differed, but they all had this in common: that the step was first, the road new, the vision unborrowed, and the response they received was very often problematic. The great creators—the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors— often stood alone against the people of their time. Most great new thoughts were opposed. Many great new inventions were denounced. The first motor was considered foolish. The aeroplane was considered impossible. Anaesthesia was considered sinful. But the people of unborrowed vision went ahead. They fought, they suffered and they paid. But they won.
I want to suggest that we can all make a unique contribution to the world and life — in the way we are and the way we allow ourselves to be. We do not have to invent anything other then our own existence with our own vision.
So many people that I work with in my therapy rooms are afraid of failure or success. Afraid of what others might think. Afraid to do things differently to their friends. Afraid of doing things that their parents would not have done and subsequently all have lived a life filled with dissatisfaction.
We humans cannot survive except through our minds. Our brain is what we are armed with when we are born. Everything we are and everything we have comes from a single attribute — the function of our reasoning mind. So why not be in control of our minds and allow them to be free for us to use as we choose? I believe this is so important to find true happiness.
Now the mind is an attribute of the individual. I bet my mind is different to yours and yours is different to everyone else you know. There is no such thing as a collective brain, collective consciousness maybe, but that’s a discussion for another day… We are each unique. Our mind is unique, isn’t it?
Many of us find safety and protection in numbers and I understand that, how about getting naked every now and then though? Please, not literally…
The next time you leave the house, or the office, have a very good look around you. How much of what you see would have existed if someone had not designed and built it? Wherever you are reading this now — look around you — all of that stuff was an idea in someone’s mind once. Someone who thought their own thoughts.
We inherit the products of the thoughts of other people, don’t we? We inherit the wheel. We make a cart of some kind. The cart becomes a car. The car becomes an aeroplane. But all through the process what we receive from others is only the end product of their thinking.
How much of your creative, critical thinking faculty are you using today?
Generally, we can survive in one of two ways—by the independent work of our own mind or as someone fed by the minds and influences of others. How much of what you are doing today is because you truly chose to do it?
We are often taught that it is a virtue to agree with others. How often have you thought critically this very day and have disagreed? Of course, we do not have to go around arguing for the sake of it, however, have you disagreed with something because you felt differently in your mind?
We are often taught that it is a virtue to swim with the current. How many times did you go against the current today? Again, I am not suggesting that you be different just for the sake of it, just that you do what fulfils and inspires you.
We are often taught that it is a virtue to stand together. When was the last time you stood alone? Metaphorically, when was the last time you chose not to have lemon and sugar on your pancakes and had your strawberry jam, natural yoghurt and almonds?
What films have you watched recently? Have you noticed that TV has a very high density of Police or detective based programmes? How do you think that affects our reality? If all those programmes were about something else, how do you think life and the public consciousness would be affected?
This is the tip of the iceberg — what other areas of our lives are we programmed by in emails, on the internet, on the TV, on the radio in our newspapers? By opinions, thoughts and feelings of other people close to us? How much are you really thinking for yourself?
For today, I am just going to suggest that you police your own mind and look at what you put into it. Do you wake up and have the radio programme what you think about from the moment you open your eyes? Do you choose what you do with your life? Do you feel capable of satisfying what you want?
How often do you take just 10 minutes of each day and think your own thoughts and really tune in to what they are and who you really are.
I recommend everyone learn self-hypnosis and really tune in to their own mind… go get my book and learn how to programme your own mind with good material regularly if this has struck a chord with you today.
How about spending some time really being an individual and see how you like it?
Thank you Dale Wimbrow for reminding me… And thank you for explaining the importance of being honest to yourself… Able to look in our own eyes… And value being an individual… Many years before I was even a twinkle in my mothers eye… Have a great weekend. 🙂
Adam, I’m not usually given to read such long posts but that poem struck a chord with me too. More of the same please.
It also reminds me of an old Beatles song written by the late George Harrison called “Think for Yourself” which if you hear it will put a lot of what you’ve written into perspective as well.
Thanks for this!
Thanks Shaun, warmly received comments 🙂
I am going to track down a copy of the George Harrison song this weekend… Will let you know…
Have a great weekend, Adam.