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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

To Be or Not to Be

To Be or Not to Be

It’s such a darn famous quote. I can’t count all the times I’ve heard it or a reference to it. Trouble is I don’t even really know what it means. See, it’s not like we have a choice. You’re pretty much stuck ‘being’, as Miss Dorothy Parker pointed out:

Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.

But back on topic. You’re stuck being. The question isn’t whether or not to continue existing in my opinion, because no matter how horrible the world gets you always have a chance if you are only alive. I’ve nothing against Shakespeare; in fact I rather respect him. He was a great comedian and a good writer in his time. But when it comes to me, the question is not ‘yes or no’, but what. What should you be, that is the question!

Every day, every minute of our lives is a choice. Who am I going to be? What am I going to be? What we are is the choices we make, nothing more, nothing less. I choose to snap at my family, I choose to explain myself and apologize later. I choose to write, to create and to practice my art, because an artist is something I want to become. I choose to try when it comes to my sister, to fight for her, because our relationship means the world to me. I choose to be there for my brothers, even after they throw fits and scream, because they’re gosh darn cute and so very, very sweet. I choose to be who I am, because whatever someone thinks or what they say or how they feel, it’s their actions that define them in the light of history. It’s what they do with themselves that should make you decide whether or not to bother.

Everyone has excuses, and near everyone deserves pity and love for one reason or another. That doesn’t make what they choose to do any better; only more understandable. I’ve had the luck to grow up in a world that loves me, with people who have chosen to devote their lives to myself and my siblings with the best out of their circumstances. I won’t lie and say that hasn’t shaped me in who I am, and I would be a very different person having lived a different life. But even then, there is always a choice. I could choose 'to be' whatever the heck I want, any day, right now. It wouldn’t be easy, and it isn’t, but the more we chose the more those choices shape us, the easier they are to make. That choice is one we all decide every day, every second: Who am I going to be?

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