Once, the great Hassidic leader, Zusia, came to his followers. His eyes were red with tears, and his face was pale with fear.
“Zusia, what’s the matter? You look frightened!”
“The other day, I had a vision. In it, I learned the question that the angels will one day ask me about my life.”
The followers were puzzled. “Zusia, you are pious. You are scholarly and humble. You have helped so many of us. What question about your life could be so terrifying that you would be frightened to answer it?”
Zusia turned his gaze to heaven. “I have learned that the angels will not ask me, ‘Why weren’t you a Moses, leading your people out of slavery?'”
His followers persisted. “So, what will they ask you?”
“And I have learned,” Zusia sighed, “that the angels will not ask me, ‘Why weren’t you a Joshua, leading your people into the promised land?'”
One of his followers approached Zusia and placed his hands on Zusia’s shoulders. Looking him in the eyes, the follower demanded, “But what will they ask you?”
“They will say to me, ‘Zusia, there was only one thing that no power of heaven or earth could have prevented you from becoming.’ They will say, ‘Zusia, why weren’t you Zusia?'”
Source | Doug Lipman, The Storytelling Coach: How to Listen, Praise, and Bring Out People’s Best. (August House, 2006)
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” | Oscar Wilde
We live in a world that has a very strong opinion what we “should” be. We ”should” be young, thin, beautiful, rich, successful. We “should” have the right stuff — like the right kind of house and the right kind of car. And we “should” act like those around us that look the right way and have the right stuff. Where in all of that is authenticity?
Sometimes, without realizing it, we give up ourselves. We slowly fall prey to the bombardment of the pop culture messages that constantly surround us.