Who is the best me?

“I’ve Gotta Be Me” — I’m borrowing that title and later the lyrics from the old song that was sung by many recording artists, including Steve Lawrence and Sammy Davis Jr. and others.

This title to the 1968 Walter Marks composition that first appeared in the Broadway musical “Golden Rainbow” does send a message for most of us who, during our lifespan, just hate to be changed around and turned into someone we’re not or ain’t, and beg to be just me. We sometimes feel more comfortable just the way we are without altering our appearance and thoughts and dreams.

If we are bald, short, heavy or skinny with a raspy voice, so be it. Maybe our beards look a bit straggly at times. So what? Successes in life could be another story.

Back to the Walter Marks lyrics: “Whether I’m right or whether I’m wrong / Whether I find a place in this world or never belong / I’ve gotta be me, I’ve gotta be me / What else can I be but what I am.”

Sometimes we expect too much from ourselves trying to compare ourselves with others who have achieved the top rung in the ladder of success. But we have really done all right in this thoroughly competitive world. When we take a look back at our own successes, maybe they aren’t great, but they aren’t all that bad either.

We all have dreams of successes that don’t seem to die.

Lyrics again: “I want to live, not merely survive / and I won’t give up this dream of life that keeps me alive / I gotta be me, I gotta be me / The dream that I see makes me what I am.”

It would be sort of nice if we had a world of success with everything at our fingertips, but is that real happiness? Maybe. Maybe not!

Lyrics: “That far-away prize, a world of success / Is waiting for me, if I heed the call / I won’t settle down, won’t settle for less / As long as there’s a chance that I can have it all.”

I think we should sometimes relax. Even with high hopes, we are usually better off without becoming something we’re not, and may never find that success that we are looking for. We can work ourselves into a frenzy and fail. Dreams are dreams, though, and we will usually take that risk, regardless of the outcome.

So here we are, still trying to be just us, but also reaching out for the successes at hand and, we hope, reaching that plateau while just being us.

But which one is me? Is me the plain guy or gal who just wants to just hang out and enjoy what he or she has, or the other me driven for success at any cost and won’t really settle for less? Hmm, is this a problem?

Fame or prosperity perhaps is on all of our agendas along, along with satisfaction and happiness. We must all choose which one will fit mostly into our own very lives. But just being me regardless of the outcome is truly the winner.

Ordinary or average (excuse my language) ain’t that bad, and we mortals that exist on this green planet cannot always have it all, but as long as we are not a replica of somebody else and can actually say that we are really, truly me and nobody else is a godsend. Enjoy what you have by being me.

Here we go this last time going back to the lyrics. Ready? “I’ll go it alone, that’s how it must be / I can’t be right for somebody else, if I’m not right for me / I gotta be free, I’ve gotta be free, daring to try, to do it or die / I gotta be me.”

Contact Whited at olebert1@aol.com

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