This evening I was reading an amazing piece on the late George Carlin in Sunday’s edition of the New York Times magazine.
Very early in his career he got himself suspended for using the word ‘ass,’ then cursed again and got fired; which ended his run as a “people pleaser.” Carlin created his own rules for the next 40 years.
The kid (Carlin) who’d been ejected from summer camp, the high school dropout, the Air Force demotee, “I’ve spent the first 45 years of my life trying to figure out who I am,” Carlin said.
I don’t know about you, but over the years I’ve fallen into the same trap. Always trying to please others; started way back in the day, when I was young. Once I broke away from that epidemic, my life changed for the better.
And as for hardships, please! That’s my middle name. Father leaving at the age of 5, dropping out of High School at 14, falling in love at 15 and not knowing how to treat a great girl; thus losing her. Failing a road test when I desperately needed my license, finally getting into college at 33 only to fail out not once, but twice!
But it’s all about what Sly and The Family Stone said in their hit song, ‘STAND!’
I recall sitting on the floor of my living room in front of our stereo listening to their Greatest hits album when I was 10 years old. The lyrics came with the vinyl so I always sang along with Sly Stone. ‘Stand’ was by far my favorite song.
In the end you’ll still be you.
One that’s done all the things you set out to do.
Lifting yourself after falling down. Never staying down, always getting up and giving it another shot. Working hard, helping those who need it most, chasing your dream, sticking to your life’s philosophy and most of all, being true to yourself.
For the things you know are right
It s the truth that the truth makes them so uptight
All the things you want are real
You have you to complete and there is no deal
Like Carlin said, “Spending all these years trying to figure out who I am?”
It took a while, but I think I’ve finally figured out who I am.
Back in 1979, my girlfriend Maureen bought me a FM-AM cassette Walkman. Fast-Forward 29 years and I’m sitting here listening to an i-pod. Technology is unbelievable!