Thursday, March 4, 2010

356 - The Best You Can Be

Whoever you are, live your life completely. If you are a plumber, be the best plumber. If you are a saint, be the best saint. If you are common, be common. If you are extraordinary, be extraordinary. People only err when they try to be who they are not.
~ from 365 Tao: Daily Meditations, Entry 356 ~
Tonight I have three different comments in reference to the cited quote. For starters, I can easily see how a person might read the above passage and get the wrong idea. The message is not about competing with others to try to be better at whatever than they are. Though it's not explicitly stated until the last sentence, when one is encouraged to be the best, it means to be the best that you can be. Leave it to others to try to discern the best out of all the people in the world.

Secondly, over the last year, I've taken this sort of message to heart. For most of my life I struggled with my form of autism -- Asperger's Syndrome -- and I too often tried to be the kind of person that both the external world and I thought I should be. I have since learned to accept my autistic traits for what they are. So, I now try to be the best autistic Rambling Taoist possible.

Third, while I agree with the overall sentiment of this passage, I do recognize that it could prove a bit problematic in some circumstances. What if you happen to be a rapist or a murderer? In such cases, I certainly don't wish that you would work to be the best rapist or murderer you can be!!


  1. Hi I haven't commented before but on just quickly reading what you have here, I am prompted to say something about your 3rd point:
    The quote does say try to be THE BEST you can so I would say that BEST implies GOOD and it is our responsibility to decide what GOOD is. In area of our lives we often have to make this decision.

  2. hi. i don't know much about autism. serendipitously both your article and this one
    were in my rss feed this morning.

  3. Tramp,
    I guess we read it differently. Thanks for your comment though.

    Interesting video. Of the three types of minds the speaker noted, I have the verbal mind type.

  4. very simple, very true, but it all centers on knowing the self and knowing your own strengths and your own path, which is rather a stumper for me.

  5. Iktomi,
    It's often a stumper for most of us!!

  6. I think you raise a great problem with this passage. It is a great passage for people who have to work out on accepting their traits and personalities, less for those who think that their nature emplores them towards destroying others on their path.


Comments are unmoderated, so you can write whatever you want.