Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.Dr. Seuss

“Mom, I know you wanted me to become a doctor, but really, I’d rather be a Rodeo Clown.” Could you be who you are, or would you be what others want you to be?

What does that mean?
Dr Seuss had a certain way with words, didn’t he? “Be who you are” is how the quote starts out. It sounds so simple. After all, who else could you possibly be? Yet, in reality, we so often play the roles expected by others which sometimes they rub off on us, leaving us a little confused, upset, or resentful.

The good son or daughter, the good husband or wife, the good father or mother, the good worker or boss, the good citizen, the good friend. The list is practically endless. And note that the word ‘good’ here means ‘as expected’ or ‘proper’, and is not a value judgement.

All of the above goes double for what you say. In the modern world of political correctness, we have to be ever so careful not to offend anyone, even if it means you have to pretend to be someone that you’re not. But that’s now how the quote says to live our lives, is it?

Why is having integrity important?  
Integrity is defined at as “Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code.” This is what the quote is basically telling us to do. To be true to ourselves, and not to be a confusion of roles that make it as difficult for us to understand who we are as it is for others to understand us.

Now there are some guidelines to this freedom to be yourself, and that is the responsibility for your actions (or lack thereof). If you decided the real you was a lazy bum who was just going to sit around and play video games or watch TV all day, who is going to pay the bills? It’s a nice gig, if you can get it, but most of us have to get a little time in at work to pay the bills, right?

Integrity means that you are not acting a part from time to time, but you are living the as real you. While there may be occasions when you have to play a role (Holiday meals with your least favorite relatives), you are primarily true to yourself.

Where can I apply this in my life?
Like pretty much everything in life, there is a balance between everything, but where that point is will vary with you, your place in society, your needs, wants, desires, finances, and responsibilities. And they will vary with time as well. What does your family, friends, society, and self have to say about where that balance is?

There is a certain joy in feeling good in your own skin. However, there are limits as to what is considered acceptable by society, family, friends, coworkers, etc. The question is how far are you willing to push, and who are you willing to push away from you? As usual, these decisions are very personal, as are the consequences.

Becoming your true self may involve some experimentation, some exploration, and some quiet reflection. Once you have a better idea as to who you really are (and remember, you will grow and change over time, so you might want to leave some options open for later), it’s time to start saying what you feel.

This, of course is where the latter half of the quote comes into play. There will be people who will be disappointed if you are anything other than the person they picture in their head (which you probably couldn’t be, even if they could completely describe that person to you).

The only question left to answer is how they will chose to react overall. Are they going to focus on the parts of you they like, or will they focus solely on the parts they dislike? Realize that this choice is theirs and theirs alone, and says far more about them than it does about you.

This is where the people who don’t matter and those who do ‘self-select’ or tell you to which camp they belong. Those who matter, won’t mind (well, at least not too much). And those who mind, don’t matter (well, at least not that much).

I would caution against burning bridges unnecessarily, as those people change and grow, and as you change and grow, so can they. I would try to be as respectful as I could, and give them the time and space to try to come to terms with whatever it is that they object to.

While breaking with tradition, breaking a family structure, changing political party, or changing sexual orientation are probably the most radical of the possible things for others to have to deal with. And, with all that said, sometimes people will react strongly to things that seem insignificant to everyone else.

Just remember, they have to be who they are just as you do. They are also growing and evolving as you are. Change makes life interesting, doesn’t it? Just try to be as forgiving and as kind for others as you would like for them to be for you. Have confidence, and be yourself.

From: Twitter, @Use140
confirmed at :
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8 Responses to Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.

  1. Maria 10 May 2015 at 12:40 pm #

    Thank you for the analysis of this interesing quote. Integrity you refer to is a very important element of finding one’s self and purpose of life, we can not have what we always want to have, hapiness is after all a longing of repetitive situations while life is a straight road with an end full of changes and surprises; we can however be true to oursleves by remaining loyal to our values and standards, so that others could see what we really are and the need to play different roles expected from others in our everyday life does not feel as confusing rather it helps us realise those who matter and those who don’t having in our lives.

    • philosiblog 20 May 2015 at 11:41 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by, and for leaving such a kind comment.

  2. factual 28 April 2015 at 2:34 pm #

    based on 2 seconds of googling?

    • philosiblog 29 April 2015 at 1:58 am #

      No, it was a bit more than that, perhaps 5 or 6 seconds.

      In all seriousness, you do realize that the page you linked to was published in December 2012, more than 5 months AFTER I published this quote? I’m good and so is Google, but time travel searches are still beyond either of our abilities.

      But thanks for playing.

  3. Emerald Queen 6 November 2013 at 3:03 pm #

    Well-written blog but this isn’t his quote…

    • philosiblog 10 November 2013 at 1:18 am #

      Thanks for the kind words.

      On what to you base the idea that this isn’t his quote? Whom’s is it?


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