To Thine Ownself

As seen in the HEARTbeat and the Village Voice

“To Thine Ownself….”


            If you had to endure any high school or college classic literature class, you can complete the above title with the word “True.”  These words are spoken by Polonius, a counselor to the King, Claudius, in Act 1 Scene 3 of Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet.  Many people enjoy the plays written by William Shakespeare.  I remember not only reading, but watching the Shakespeare play screenplay Othello.  The main character was played by Anthony Hopkins and the supporting character of Iago was Bob Hoskins; the same actor who played the private detective in the animated film Roger Rabbit.  Both of these actors had a fantastic ability to play multiple roles and were great in Othello.

            Often, we see actors play in roles, some varied, but some are what is called “role actors.”  They play the same type of role in every movie in which they appear.  Sometimes I wonder, “Are these people the same type of character they are portraying in real life?”  In other words, are the villains villainous in real life?  Are the nice people really nice in reality.  Are the wild actors really wild in real life?

            One actor who comes to mind when I think of one being totally ‘out of character’ is the actor Neal McDonough.  He plays an antagonist role in most movies and films in which he is cast.  He has played in Walking Tall, Yellowstone, and in a series a little out of his normal role, Band of Brothers.  What makes it interesting, his normal role is that of villainous, wild, mean person with no loyalty to anyone but himself.  But I challenge you in any of his movies to find a scene where he is kissing a woman.  It sounds insignificant, but you won’t find the scene.  You see, Mr. McDonough has taken his wedding vows so serious, he refuses to do any scene in any movie where he is asked to kiss a woman other than his wife.  He simply won’t do it. And while you might think of his characters as being irreligious, Mr. McDonough is a devout Catholic!

            Talking about being truthful with yourself!  This actor and many more are unwavering in their commitment to being true to themselves, and even going further by being true to God.  If you think about it, honesty with God and ourselves is the beginning of a God-centered, honesty-filled life, one is a lot less stressful and anxiety-filled than the opposite life filled with self-centeredness and untruths – to ourselves, our God, and others.

            Jesus told Thomas, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”  Essentially Jesus is saying He is THE way to eternal life, the TRUTH we must all accept, not only of and to ourselves, but to God, and the LIFE eternal by accepting His sacrifice on the cross for our sins.  There is no other but Jesus.

            Shakespeare may had said truth begins with self, but I propose true, unending, and complete truth begins with being truthful to God.  Start with today, and you’ll be amazed how close you will be walking with God!


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Hot Springs Village · AR 71909

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