I didn’t know Psalm 23 when my second grade teacher, Mrs Skippers asked the class to recite it. She asked everyone to stand, while she stood at the front of the class, ogling at every moving mouth. Those who didn’t know this renowned Psalm, was called to the front of the class and everyone already knew what would happen to them.
I was terrified. We never read the Psalm in class. I had never heard of it before. And so I lip-synched. I lip-synched even harder when I saw Mrs Skippers’ gaze move towards my mouth. I concentrated so hard to try and fool her. I so badly didn’t want to get a spanking. I wanted to be a part of the smart group of students who knew the Psalm like the back of their hand.
My friend Jo-Anne, who sat opposite me, recited it with so much confidence, almost bragging. For a moment she looked at me and I wasn’t sure if she saw that I was faking it. But truthfully, I didn’t care. All that mattered was that Mrs Skippers didn’t pick up on my dishonest ways.
In the end, Mrs Skippers never saw my fake attempts and never called me to the front of the class. Jo-Anne told me during interval that they had learned the Psalm at Sunday school. We were in different churches and subsequently, in different Sunday schools.
In life we often find ourselves lip-synching, trying to fit it. We fake it to be part of the ‘cool’ crowd, the smart crowd, the pretty crowd. We are so terrified to be called out to stand on the big, brown rug in front of the class that we exhaust all our resources just to try and fit in.
We often lose sight of our own uniqueness because we so desperately want to be part of something, or someone. We put on red lips and high heels in fear of having our true selves rejected by others. We despise being alone. And yet it is only when we are alone that we are able to fully connect with our inner-selves and explore our deepest thoughts.
Lip-syncing through life may make you feel like you are a part of something. It may bring you friends and popularity. Lip-syncing is comforting. It feels good and warm and cozy. But you will never be truly happy until you reveal your true self. Stop being threatened by what the world perceives as being popular and cool. Be brave. Step into your own greatness.
“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
Till next time, hugs and high5’s!