Some 350 years ago a well-known Japanese poet named Matsuo Basho wrote these words in one of his poems: “Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought.” It was his way of saying, “Be yourself.” Too many people today spend all their time trying to imitate others, whether if be in how they look, dress, live, what they like, or even how they express themselves. In so doing, they keep the people around them from getting to know their “real-self.”

As children of God, our heavenly Father does not want us to be mere cardboard cutouts of each other. He gave each one of us a unique personality, gifts and talents. Trying to be what others think we ought to be is often a waste of time because it covers up our true abilities. As this venerable Japanese poet said, we should all seek what those whom we admire are seeking, and Jesus told us that this should be to seek first the Kingdom of God and what it requires living our lives for God. To do that, we must all strive to be what God wants us to be, not what we are told be in order to imitate others. – Dr. Robert R. Seyda

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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