It was 1997 and I was 11 years old. My teacher handed us a copy of a poem which we need to memorize and deliver for our speech contest at school. I read it again and again until I memorized each line. Soon, I successfully delivered it in front of a large audience. I didn’t win the first place though but I managed to settle for second. Good enough, I thought. It might just be one of many contest pieces that I memorized in my entire time at school, but little did I know that it is the only piece that I fully understood and and made even more sense when I became an adult.
Douglas Malloch once wrote “Be the Best of Whatever You Are.”
If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill
Be a scrub in the valley–but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.
If you can’t be a bush be a bit of the grass,
And some highway some happier make;
If you can’t be a muskie then just be a bass–
But the liveliest bass in the lake!
We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew,
There’s something for all of us here.
There’s big work to do and there’s lesser to do,
And the task we must do is near.
If you can’t be a highway then just be a trail,
If you can’t be the sun be a star;
It isn’t by size that you win or you fail–
Be the best of whatever you are!
The world has unfairly defined a person with the line of work he or she does. For most people, they would associate a person with his/her 9-5 job. The society has been shaped to believe that a person’s job is synonymous with the kind of person he is. And along with this mentality is the inevitable hierarchy and comparison of one’s work to the other. Most would look down to those who do blue collar jobs or simply those who are on the lower part of the pyramid.
But what most people are not aware (or perhaps do not believe) is that we are more than our 9-5 jobs and never should define who we are. We are all unique individuals and created masterpieces. We all seek for the best and strive to be our best versions all the time.
In October last year, Connect invited to talk about my current work and how I can inspire or at least motivate others (most are young adults) to be the best at work while remaining a faithful Christian. As I am well aware that my audience might not all be Christians (yet) and comes from diverse fields of work, I chose to discuss something generic yet everyone can personally relate.
In everything that we do, we have to do our 100 percent best not only for ourselves or for the people around us. More importantly, we seek to our best versions because we are masterpieces of the Lord and are created according to His likeness. We are His reflection and we should stay motivated to be our best selves for Him.
Watch the video below to know more not only WHY but also HOW can we be our best version always.
How about you? What keeps you motivated? Why do you strive to be your best version? I’d like to hear your thoughts.