If I Could Change Places

People often ask 'If you could change places with someone who would it be?' The world is obsessed with trying to be someone they're not. This is evident in magazines and television shows:makeovers and plastic surgery and the like will make you look 'better and different'. Hair dye and a new wardrobe can make yo look like a completely different person. We are encouraged to buy name brand clothing by advertisements we see on TV or hear on the radio:We should purchase a certain label of cosmetics because'everyone else is doing so.

These ads and commercials are dangerous because they not only stifle individuality and personal creativity they try to make us conform to a mold that, sometimes, we can never fit into in the first place. We become unhappy with ourselves because we feel we are inadequate--even if we wear the 'right' clothes and makeup have a 'cool' hair style and own all the current technology we believe it isn't enough. 'She's thinner', 'He's taller', 'She's prettier','He's smarter'. When we compare ourselves to 'them' we invariably come up short.

So what do we do? We diet, drink health shakes, get another makeover and study harder. So now--we a re thinner, we are taller, we are prettier, we are smarter. We are happy--until we find someone who is, yet again, better in all these areas--or maybe one or two... What now? We go to a plastic and have several procedures done--a nip here, a tuck there, lipsosuction, collagen injection, a lift, an implant or two, reshape the nose...endless possiblities. The new Frankenstein walks from the operating table a different person--very different.

Still, we are inadequate...sure we are beautiful, but they are smarter. So we take extra courses, read more books, more research, more learning...until one day we learn it will never be enough. Some one will always be better at something than we are, richer, prettier, smarter, thinner, taller, faster...what now?

How can we possibly ever be happy if we aren't different than the way we are? Maybe that's the answer. We are who we are. The way God made us. Unique. Now there's a scarey word. 'Unique.' No one is us...we are not anyone but ourself. 'Flaws' and all. We hold our own opinions We have our own quirks. We are not the smartest, or the prettiest, or the richest. We will never be the tallest, or the thinnest. We might not have the best singing voice, or the most talented piano fingers. We might not be able to recite the alphabet backwards in French or climb Everest without oxygen. You may never read all the books in the Library of Congress. I may never get that gold medal at the Summer Olympics in the Triathalon. Her book may never become a New York Times Bestseller and he may not get that Oscar for Best Song.

We are who we are. That doesn't mean we should stop trying to do our best. It doesn't mean that at all. It means we should be ourself--not be our best at being someone else. You will never be someone else. You will only and always be you. So, the next time asks you 'If you could change places with someone whowould it be?' Maybe you should think about my answer: 'I wouldn't change places with anyone because I like who I am.'