Be the best you can be

My entertainment tastes have changed over the years. But they always have fallen into two broad categories: going to fine restaurants and attending live theatre.
So for me, the perfect evening always has been going to an excellent theatre production, either preceded by dinner or followed by dessert with friends.
In the early 1960s when we lived in Edmonton, Alta., my favorite theatre productions were in the summer at a small outdoor theatre tucked away between two tall buildings on the University of Alberta campus.
It was named Torches Theatre–because the space was lit with flickering torches.
After moving to a small college town in Kansas in 1966, I loved my new home immediately. It was a wonderful place to live! But I missed two things badly–our Edmonton friends and semi-professional live theatre.
So in the fall of 1967, I decided to do something about it and suggested to our newly-found friends, Bob and Vernette, that we buy tickets for the Wichita Community Theatre together.
That began a long-term fun time of excellent theatre coupled with exploring the many restaurants in the city.
But times change and our tastes change as we age. Now I prefer staying closer to home.
I enjoy eating at my favourite restaurant–Water’s Edge, preferably for breakfast, “chicken night,” or its gourmet Sunday brunch. And I love watching old movies (mostly comedies or romances) and old sit-coms on television.
When it comes to sit-coms, my all-time favourite is “Green Acres,” a far-fetched show starring Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor with a supporting cast of well-known actors and actresses of the time.
Very well-written, the show is pure fun.
But there are many other sit-coms from the 1950s, ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s that I enjoy. And one I’ve quite recently become enamoured with is “Father Knows Best.”
This was an early 1950s’ award-winning radio show that was good enough to transition into television. Amazon.com says that the popular television show premiered in October, 1954 and has been “part of the American cultural fabric” ever since.
In “Father Knows Best,” Robert Young plays the part of the all-wise father, Jim Anderson. In one episode, Jim, who is an insurance salesman, is dreaming at his desk about doing what Oliver in “Green Acres” had done–leaving it all behind and buying a small farm in a rural community like Hooterville.
As he dreams, Jim notices the happy maid cleaning his office. Jim knew that she had worked at the same job for 35 years and she still seemed upbeat.
Curious, Jim asked what her secret was. Whereon, the woman said, “Don’t try to be what you ain’t. Find out what you are and be the best one of it.”
Ponder those wise words. What do they mean? Do you sometimes try to be “what you ain’t” and does it work? Why not find out “what you are” and become the very “best one of it.”
Just for today, forget what other people think about you and focus on becoming your authentic self.
Staying true to yourself is the best way to live a fulfilled life and to bring joy to others, as well.
Marie Snider is an award-winning health writer and syndicated columnist. Write her at thisside60@cox.net

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