Thank you, Dennis Giersch, for this seed sentence:
I am, as I foremost believe in myself!
And so the story begins…
A man stepped forward from the crowd and approached. Someone you wouldn’t notice particularly until you saw his eyes. They shone with a known truth, a mystery solved, a clarity resolved, an insight illuminated. What was I to do but to acknowledge his presence?
“What can I do for you? Who are you?” I asked.
And he replied, “I am, as I foremost believe in myself!
“I am. Isn’t that a miracle? I am…me. Not you, them, society, rules, a puppet, a follower, an actor trying hard to remember memorized lines in the role of being human.
“I am. The precise reason I was born is to be me. Everything came together to create me. My personality, hair, color of eyes, likes and dislikes, failures and successes, favorites and fears, my interests and the stuff that bores me senseless – all of these are who I am.
“The challenge of life has been to figure out who this ‘I’ is.
“When someone asks me to ‘be more like other people’, a warning bell goes off in my head. What’s that mean? Who are these other people that I should be like? Is it the perfectionist who lives in fear of being misunderstood? A relative who complains about everything? The man who eats junk food and drinks a six-pack a day and then gripes about his doctor because his doctor gripes about him? A sports star who turns her back on a normal life to work out sixteen hours a day? The man who doesn’t hold down a regular job but somehow finds the time and means to travel the world? A child born into abject poverty who successfully survives until disease or drugs destroy her body? Someone who is born, lives, and dies an uneventful life yet whose last thoughts are ‘this was a life well lived’?
“I come to tell you a secret. Each of these – these independent souls who forge their own path – each seeks their own I am. They believe in the right to live life their own way regardless of whether it is judged right or wrong in the eyes of the world. So, when someone says to me ‘be more like other people’, what they are really saying to me is ‘be more like you’.
“I realize that few of those who speak those words to me will agree with my interpretation. But that’s okay. I am, so I interpret it as I choose. I am, as I foremost believe in myself.”
“One more thing,” he added, “Such a thought necessarily leads to this: You are, as you foremost believe in yourself.”
And then I replied, “I’ll go have fun with that.”
– Ellie Hadsall, April 23, 2018
From the author: “This story is part of my “Random Sentences; Random Stories” series. Individuals have contributed random sentences from which I write a short story. I never know what the sentence will evoke until I begin writing. The results are greatly varied and take me on adventures of insight. I hope you enjoy them!”
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