Yen Yuan said to Confucius, "Master, when you walk, I walk; when you trot, I trot; when you gallop, I gallop. But when you break into the kind of dash that leaves even the dust behind, all I can do is stare after you in amazement!"It has been well chronicled that the advent of The Beatles inspired many to pursue a career in the music industry. Not only did The Beatles influence music, but for a time, they influenced hairstyles too!
"Hui, what are you talking about?" asked the Master.
"When you walk, I walk - that is, I can speak just as you speak. When you trot, I trot - that is, I can make discriminations just as you do. When you gallop, I gallop - that is, I can expound the Way just as you do. But when you break into the kind of dash that leaves even the dust behind and all I can do is stare after you in amazement - by that I mean that you do not have to speak to be trusted, that you are catholic and not partisan,' that although you lack the regalia of high office the people still congregate before you, and with all this, you do not know why it is so."
"Ah," said. Confucius, "we had best look into this! There is no grief greater than the death of the mind - beside it, the death of the body is a minor matter. The sun rises out of the east, sets at the end of the west, and each one of the ten thousand things moves side by side with it. Creatures that have eyes and feet must wait for it before their success is complete. Its rising means they may go on living, its setting means they perish. For all the ten thousand things it is thus. They must wait for something before they can die, wait for something before they can live. Having once received this fixed bodily form, I will hold on to it, unchanging, in this way waiting for the end. I move after the model of other things, day and night without break, but I do not know what the end will be. Mild, genial, my bodily form takes shape. I understand my fate but I cannot fathom what has gone before it. This is the way I proceed, day after day.
"I have gone through life linked arm in arm with you, yet now you fail [to understand me]-is this not sad? You see in me, I suppose, the part that can be seen - but that part is already over and gone. For you to come looking for it, thinking it still exists, is like looking for a horse after the horsefair is over. I serve you best when I have utterly forgotten you, and you likewise serve me best when you have utterly forgotten me. But even so, why should you repine? Even if you forget the old me, I will still possess something that will not be forgotten!"
~ Burton Watson translation ~
Those singers and bands that utilized this inspiration to find their own voice and brand tended to be more successful than those who merely tried to be knockoffs. Why? It's hard to be better than the real thing.
It is natural to want to emulate teachers, counselors and idols...but you can't BE them. You must be yourself and, in the end, find your OWN way.
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