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Be the Best of Whatever You Are

by Byron on January 22, 2015


I went to McDonogh school.  Grandpa went there too.  You guys might go there.  One or both of you.  Who knows?

When I went there, there was something of a school poem.  I thought it was corny at the time.  Even as a young kid I thought it was corny.  It’s called Be the Best of Whatever You Are and it’s by a guy named Douglas Malloch.



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 you 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;
It isn’t by size that you win or you fail –
Be the best of whatever you are!

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized how meaningful these words are.  It’s not about your position in life.  It’s about engaging in whatever you are doing and doing it the best you can.  It’s about being the best version of yourself you can be.

Sometimes I’ve been better at it than others.  It’s part of being human I think.  But I’ve benefited tremendously from examining whether I’m being the best I can be.

For me, it hasn’t always been “best” in terms of competition, ie better than someone else.  It’s just about the best version of me.

And, if you’re like me, you won’t always be what you’re being best at now.  I was once a very good bookshelf stocker at Barnes & Noble.  Now I run some shit!  How’d I get from there to here.  By doing the next right thing.

Love you guys!




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