Friday, October 21, 2011

Learn to Love Yo'Self

Next month, one of the most important lists in the history of lists will be unveiled. And that’s really say- ing something, because there has really been some important lists out there.
There’s the 308 a.d. list “Top Ten Most Eligible Roman Emperors So Far.” Septemius Severus barely edged out Commodus to take the top spot on that list. Commodus was credited for bringing hip-hop music to the Roman Empire after hiring Maximillian “D.J. Master Punch a.k.a. Slick Wack” Edwards for his State of the Empire Address after party. A good time was had by all that night.
In 2000, there was a list for everything: Best Song of the Century (“Faithfully” by Journey), Best Invention of the Century (The Slinky), and, my personal favorite, Best Snack Cake of the Century (Twinkie, duh).
But next month is the one everybody has been waiting for all year.
In November, People magazine will announce the winner of the 2011 Sexiest Man Alive competition. I only know this because I did a lit- tle research on The Internet — The Source Of All Truth. I haven’t received a call at this point on when my photo shoot might be scheduled but I can only assume it will be in the next few days.
I finished just out of the running last year when Ryan Reynolds was named the magazine’s 2010 Sexiest Man Alive. The year before that it was Johnny Depp. And in 2008 it was Hugh Jackman. In 1990, Tom Cruise was the sexiest man alive. In 1992 it was Nick Nolte.
What do we all have in common?
First, we are all men. Second, we are all sexy. Third, and maybe the
most startling commonality of all, we are all still alive.
You may ask if Tom Cruise was the sexiest man alive in 1990, why is he not still the sexiest man alive today? If Nick Nolte was the sexiest man alive in 1992, why is ... wait, why was he voted sexiest man alive at any time? What are the criteria of this list? Why haven’t I gotten a call yet?
I guess my point is, there is always somebody who comes along and is sexier. I know, dear reader, that is a hard pill to swallow, especially as you gander at my “mug shot” photo in the center of this column, but it is true. There are people, although only a handful, who are sexier than me. And there might even be a few who are sexier than you.
I tried to teach my kids that at an early age.
When my kids were little they were good at every- thing. I mean everything. They must take after their dad in that aspect.
If there was a writing com- petition, they were always at the top. If it was reading, they were right there. Grades? Yep. Sports? Come on, what do you think? They were just talented, I suppose.
Sometimes they would get discouraged. I tried to help a little by telling them somebody out there is always going to be bigger, stronger, faster, smarter, hit a ball farther, drive better, and, heck, maybe even be better looking (although it was highly unlikely, since they look a lot like their mother). All of that didn’t matter though. The important thing, I told them, was to do the best they could do. Don’t compare yourself to others. It’s a no win situation.
It’s true in sports, Holly- wood and even truer in real life.
Even if you are at the top of your game, you aren’t going to be there forever (I’m looking at you, Tiger Woods).
But I have learned it’s still important that I love me, just for being me. I want to be the best me I can be.
That concept has been around for a while, just like The Golden Rule.
In Ancient Greece, Isocrates said, “Do not do to others what would anger you if done to you by others.” Confucius once said, “Never impose on others what you would not choose for your- self.”
In the bible, Jesus tells his followers that “So in every- thing, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matt. 7:12).
For years I looked at that verse and I saw it has a guide on how we treat others. To- day, I think it should be flipped on its head.
I can’t treat other people well if I don’t like myself. I’m supposed to do to “them” like I would have them do to “me.” How I want to be treated is important. If I don’t feel like I’m worthy to be treated well, then I’m probably not going to feel that other people are worthy being treated with love and respect. If I don’t like myself, I probably won’t like others too much either.
Learning to love me has been a challenge at times. In junior high and high school I didn’t always believe that. Why? Because I always found somebody else who was better at me than something.
For many years I had the belief that I would never be the best at any one thing, so I wasn’t as good as I should be at any one thing. Then I realized that I wouldn’t be worth two cents to anybody unless I knew I was just as good as everybody else.
I am worthy of love. I am worthy of success. I am worthy of respect. I am worthy of abundance.
And so are you.
Now, if I can just get that call from People magazine. What are they waiting on?
To read more of Rodney Hays’ humor, check out his blog at him on Twitter and become a friend on Facebook.

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