Be yourself. Act on the sage advice that Irving Berlin gave the late George Gershwin. When Berlin and Gershwin first met, Berlin was famous but Gershwin was a struggling young composer working for thirty-five dollars a week in Tin Pan Alley. Berlin, impressed by Gershwin’s ability, offered Gershwin a job as his musical secretary at almost three times the salary he was then getting. ‘But don’t take the job.’ Berlin advised. ‘If you do, you may develop into a second-rate Berlin. But if you insist on being yourself, someday you’ll become a first-rate Gershwin.’ Gershwin heeded that warning and slowly transformed himself into one of the significant American composers of his generation.How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie page 135
I recently went to a concert where I heard someone playing Gershwin. I’m going through Dale Carnegie’s book again, and this time the name “George Gershwin” stood out to me. What a great story!
We live in a world where people want to imitate people on social media, actors, athletes, and others.
And yet we have to be comfortable with our talents and what we can offer!
I will leave you with this poem.
If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill, Be a scrub in the valley – but be the best little scrub by the side of the rill; Be a bush, if you can’t be a tree.
If you can’t be a bush, be a bit of the grass, And some highway happier make; If you can’t be a muskie, then just be a bass- But the liveliest bass in the lake!
We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew, There’s something for all of us here. There’s big work to do and there’s lesser to do And the task we must do is the near.
If you can’t be a highway, then just be a trail, If you can’t be the sun, be a star; If isn’t by size that you win or you fail – Be the best of whatever you are!Douglas Malloch
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