Tuesday, May 31, 2016
"Emulating" (A Poem)
Note: Normally, I've never been one for posting poems/verse on HubPages, but a few years ago they had a poetry contest and encouraged people to enter. Since, at the time, there was so many online-writers involved in (sometimes heated) discussions about what to write and how to write it, how much following of others' advice/emulating approaches was on my mind (and in my face) anyway. This poem was my kind of half-hearted "contribution" to the contest. (It didn't win, by the way.) Since poetry was NOT what I wanted among my stuff on that site I removed it as soon as the contest was over.
In any case, I dug it up (I should have known better than to wonder if I had copies of it on this machine. I have "a zillion" of them, So, for what it is/isn't worth, I'm posting it here.
Emulating is not a bad thing. People learn by emulating. Babies and toddlers begin to try to their hand at emulating when they mimic those around them and learn by doing so. Of course, as young children grow; while they'll usually continue to emulate those they admire, their sense of self grows with them. Ideally, they learn to rely less and less on emulating others and grow increasingly independent in their thinking.
Most parents hope their child will develop a strong, independent, mind (even if it may not be as convenient for them as their child challenges their ideas). As far as I've ever been able to see, most children begin developing that mind of their own even before that second birthday (which ushers in those "Terrible Two's" we so often hear about).
An interesting and unfortunate thing can take place, though, as a young person continues to mature. That thing is that sometimes as a person matures he learns to rely less and less on that independent and strong mind he once fought so hard to assert and exercise. Instead, he may learn not to trust his own judgment and instincts, and instead to trust the judgment, instincts, and opinions of anyone seen (by him or by someone else) as "more knowledgeable". On the one hand, it makes sense to listen to someone who knows better. On the other hand, it's also important for each person to recognize when there's a good chance the other person doesn't know as much as believes he does.
Knowing when to trust our own instincts and when not to can be very tricky indeed. It may take some people longer than it takes others to even realize that they have their own instincts, let alone trust them. Some folks never get to where they truly trust their own instincts and judgment.
There's something to be said, I guess,
for watching those who have success;
and aiming to do things as they've done them,
and learning something
worthwhile from them.
But sometimes someone else's way
can lead a person well astray.
For others' shoes don't always fit;
and also, if you think of it,
that someone else's lessons learned
and someone else's wisdom earned
came in ways that can't be borrowed,
bought, bestowed, bequeathed or shared.
What someone else has dreamed about,
thought about, and figured out
is often learned in tiny moments,
bits and pieces, scars and yearnings
in the form of puzzle pieces
joined to make the picture whole.
It may be easier to follow,
borrow someone else's ways,
or try to copy his achievement.
After all, that's how one learns:
find somebody else who's done it,
do the same; you'll do it too.
Do it his way - never your way.
To that person's way be true.
Never dare do something new.
nor ever something different.
That someone else knows what he's doing,
how he did it, and how you can too.
He'll show you the ropes out of ego or kindness,
or share what he knows out of friendship or greed.
And you'll make sure you don't suffer from blindness
that comes from refusing to learn or to heed.
That person's a leader, trailblazer, trend-setter,
experienced, smart, and a real go-getter.
You could be just like him one day
if you just do things that person's way.
You can follow that guy's lead
and walk the trails he's blazed for you.
Follow trends he's set for you
and all of those who follow too.
Forget your style.
Forget your plans.
Forget your way.
His way is better.
Learn the things that got him there.
Learn them right down
to the letter.
One day you may be like him too.
Why keep struggling to stay you.
Why stay true to your uniqueness.
Following is safe, you know.
Following gets you where you're going
with fewer bumps and fewer bruises;
Don't worry if it's you who's growing,
or mind if you're the one who loses.