Fun being myself . . !

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QUITE a few years back, I remember a flag hoisting: I watched as my dear friend slowly made her way across to hoist the flat. She was eighty-four. “Bob,” she used to say, “In Jalandhar where I lived with my husband, I used to be known for who I was, here I am known as someone’s mother or the children’s grandmother!” And as the frail hands pulled the rope that held the flag I whispered to her, “Now you’re famous.”

“Yes,” she whispered back, her eyes twinkling, “from today people will point to my son and say that is her son and to my grandchildren; those are her grandchildren.” We both laughed and I steadied her as we stood straight and sang the national anthem. US Congressman Tribble told a story about teaching his daughter that she was her own person. Wherever she went, the little girl was constantly associated with her father. “Oh, you must be Congressman Tribble’s daughter,” well-intentioned adults would coo.She explained to her parents that she wanted to be herself, not simply known as Congressman Tribble’s little girl. Her father told her not to worry about it. Her mother, who perhaps understood the problem better, suggested, “The next time that happens, just stand right and say, “I am Constance Tribble!”

The opportunity arose just a few days later. A group of people met her and when they heard her name, they said, “Why Congressman Tribble must be your father!” Constance looked right back at them and said, “Oh, no! That’s not what my mother says!”

Ooops! Here are two instances of people who wanted to tell the world they were their own persons. And yet there are so many of us who go through life either imitating others or living up to the expectations of those around.

For many years I felt in a party I had to be like some of my friends; cracking jokes, talking at the top of my voice and generally being noticed. I did a pretty bad job of the whole thing. I never remembered any jokes at party time, couldn’t muster enough volume over the others and am not sure I was noticed.

Today I have a reasonably good time at gatherings just being myself. I love sitting and observing the crowd, instead of pacing all over the room with a glass in hand. I avoid the joke cracking crowd and generally chat with people I find interesting, and quite often leave after making a new good friend.

I learnt it was fun being myself. Try doing the same. Don’t just live under the shadow of a father or husband or wife, be yourself, and have fun doing the same..!