Dec 12, 2010

Sunday Special: Be True

As an English major I have read a lot of the classics. It is always amazing to read something that is enlightening and helps you understand a part of life that was previously cloudy before. The example that I want to talk about is from my favorite Shakespeare play, Hamlet.

There is a character in Hamlet called Polonius. This otherwise ridiculous character gives his son Laertes a good piece of advice as Laertes prepares to go off to University in Paris. His speech starts off as a regular and mundane speech, telling Laertes not to party too much, sleep with too many girls, start fights, or be flashy, that kind of thing. But he ends with a rather profound piece of advice considering how stupid Polonius usually is:

This above all: To thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man. (I.iii.78-80)

"To thine own self be true." I wish that I had taken this piece of advice to heart many times throughout my life. There were so many times in my life that I was trying so hard to be what someone else wanted me to be that I lost sight of who I really was. Not only was I being false to everyone else, but I was making myself unhappy.

I think that many fathers want this for their children. Thinking about the scriptures I can think of many times when, essentially, fathers gave their sons this piece of advice. Alma the Elder, Mormon, Lehi; I'm sure Daniel's father told him that, as did David's. They produced strong men in the faith. And then think about the father of all fathers--our Heavenly Father. I like to think that he took each of us aside before he sent us to earth and gave us a speech. Among the things he might have told us, I think one of them was "To thine own self be true." Remember who you are and you, and everyone around you, will see your worth. Unfortunately, we have forgotten about this talk with our father; the veil has obscured it from us. But that is why he has sent prophets, and earthly fathers. To remind us to be true to our selves.

I think I might have rambled a bit, but this is such a profound piece of advice from such a shallow character. In my years in college, I have seen how books can give me a better understanding of the Gospel, which I am grateful for. I am also grateful for parents who have given me pieces of advice, and help through my life. I am also grateful that I have met people who are willing to let me be true to myself. Thank you to everyone who has done this.

Love you all.

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