“Lying through your teeth does not count as flossing.”
I just received a reminder from my dentist that I’m due for an exam and cleaning. This job gets easier for him as the years roll by because I have fewer teeth for him to look at now than when I was in my twenties. I must not have been listening when the comedian Soupy Sales gave this advice, “Be true to your teeth and they won’t be false to you.” And it turns out I’m also a long time member of the liar’s club when the dentist asks if I’ve been flossing everyday.
What could possibly be more important than being true to your teeth? Here to answer that question is a man we all know and love, William Shakespeare. He said in his play Hamlet, “This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as night and day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”
And to add some flavor to what Shakespeare is telling us here is a poem that has been making it’s way around the world since 1934. It was written by Dale Wimbrow, a composer and musician.
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
Just go to the mirror and look at yourself
and see what that man has to say
For it isn’t your Father, or Mother, or Wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass
The fellow whose verdict counts most in life
is the one staring back from the glass
He’s the fellow to please—never mind the rest
For he’s with you clear to the end
And you’ve passed your most difficult, dangerous test
If the man in the glass is your friend
You may fool the whole world down the pathway of years
And get pats on the back as you pass
But your final reward will be heartache and tears
If you cheated the man in the glass
I believe in a God of second chances. And more than once that has helped me face the man in the mirror. We are going to make mistakes. We are going to have some setbacks. We are going to lose our way. But if your heart is in the right place there is no disgrace in failure. You’re being true to yourself when you learn from it and get back in the game.
One of my favorite authors is Leo Buscaglia. He said, “Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift to God. Being true to yourself is finding that gift and sharing it with the world.
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“If you’re true to yourself, you may not have all the friends in the world, but you’ll be more at peace with yourself – and that’s a very strong and secure place to be.”
Annie Fox, author