This above all: to thine own self be true
Polonius to Laertes Hamlet Act 1 Scene 3
I don’t know why this little gem of advice has never gotten the attention it so richly deserves. It may be due to the fact that most of Polonius’ advice is little more than blather, and we take his speech as a whole, never considering it’s various independent pieces. I admit, though I’ve read this countless times, I too skipped over the significance of this statement until recently.
So what is Polonius trying to tell Laertes when he says this? Let’s look at the advice that follows it. And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. It’s simple enough to grasp the second part, right? Don’t lie to others. Maybe, or maybe Polonius is wiser than we’ve imagined.
It makes sense to equate the words false and true with lie. And as every parent can tell you, above all else we want truthful children. We want to fully trust our kids and lying, more than anything else will break our bond of trust. Yet if we look closely at the advice, we see Polonius seems to want more from his son. He wants him to be authentic; to be true to who he is, to be himself at all times. Many of us can do with this advice.
All too often we fall into our own traps of self-delusion, especially this time of year. Of course we all have things we want to change about ourselves; it’s part of our inner-growth. Yet, we seem to go about this in all the wrong ways. Our resolutions usually involve major life changes, but we jump to the goal without the hard work of getting there. We don’t look at our personal strengths and weaknesses to assess how we will achieve our goals. No wonder so many resolutions fall apart on day two.
Polonius’ advice hit a nerve with me. One of my long held goals/resolutions is to post more, yet as my readers know, this has not yet happened. Oh sure, there have been major time issue and school related reasons, yet if I were to be true to myself, there are some other reasons as well. It is time to I stopped being false to others and myself.
Looking back on my blog stats, I see that my Lists are among the more popular of my posts, yet they are not my favorite, nor those that know me well. Some of you may think I’m like the Cliff Clavin character from Cheers, constantly running my mouth and boring my friends with my trivia skills. You’d be surprised to learn that no, my friends do not rely on me to win bar trivia night competitions. No, they rely on my to engage them in critical discussions on current issues and books.
Don’t get me wrong, I love doing the research and putting the lists together as I learn right a long with my readers, but over time they have come to be more of a chore. If I am to be true to myself, I have to write about that which I am most passionate about. I need to focus on my strengths and weaknesses as a writer to meet some personal goals.
So with that in mind, my New Year’s resolution is to be true to my blogging self. I have decided to get back to why I started blogging in the first place, and why I named the blog The View From Sari’s World. It is supposed to be a scholarly yet fun space on a wide range of topics. I hope to start conversations and have the blog be a safe (snark free) place for readers to share their thoughts and opinions. (Yes, Martin, I can hear you clapping way over here)
But I also want to be true to my readers. This is where you come in. Are there topics you would like to see covered? Yes, I will still do book reviews, and once in a while you may even get a list or two, but is there a topic you would like to see expanded upon? And since I am asking you. Should I move my Shakespeare posts to a separate Shakespeare related blog? It is an idea I am kicking around.
One more question. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and did you take it? Okay, that’s two questions. Never said I was good at math. Hey, I am just being honest.
Happy New Year dear Readers!