Monday, January 28, 2008

Be yourself

In the Taiwan variety show 国光帮帮忙 I watched recently, they accounted a very casual and short encounter in a toilet. An advice by 孙鹏, who is a more senior artiste, to 林宥嘉, who was participating in 超级星光大道, a singing competition, is taken seriously by the latter. The advise is be yourself (做自己). 林宥嘉 eventually won the champion of the competition.

However, this phrase, when used unqualified, might encourage people to do all sort of funny things, immoral things, or evil things. This phrase should not be seen as an excuse for doing wrong things.

On one hand, we dislike people to tell us how we should live. On the other hand, we ourselves need to be very clear how we should live. "Be yourself" doesn't mean it is up to each person's choice with no regards to the society. As what is said below, the essence is if our life is honorable or not.

The late Mormon church president Hinckley said in an interview with The Associated Press in late 2005. "We're a little different. We don't smoke. We don't drink. We do things in a little different way. That's not dishonorable. I believe that's to our credit." Quoted from the news report of his death.

Be yourself means don't be overly dictated by what others tell you, but it doesn't mean there is no guideline. It means you have to make up your own guidelines consciously and in accordance to the societal norms.

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