Telling Truths (essay)

I’d just like to take this opportunity to encourage you to share yourself with the world. If you have a poem, write it down. If you have a song, sing it out. Take a chance, there’s nothing to be ashamed or afraid of. What are you going to do? Something human. So what are you afraid of? That you won’t measure up? That you’re not ready? You’re always ready. You’ve got thoughts, you’ve got poems, you’ve got songs, write them down! Find a stage if you can and sing them out! They don’t have to be big songs or great songs, just yours. And what could anybody ask? And who’s judging you? Lighten up, enjoy yourself, share yourself. If anybody looks askance it’s only because their limited sense of the spectrum of humanity doesn’t yet include you, so it’s up to you to broaden their sensibilities, and take a stance for that part of the human spectrum that you alone occupy. No one can stand for it but you. Tell the truth, tell your truth, you’ll be surprised, it’s a little different than anybody else’s, it’ll stand out and be distinctly and inimitably ‘you’, you can’t help it, though you’re in the position to least appreciate that fact. Got an idea? Got a feeling? Let it out! Don’t be ashamed. How could anyone judge you or scoff at you? Who could be so ugly and small? If someone is that petty, that’s on them. You’re the brave one just for trying. So what are you afraid of? What are you ashamed of? Do you have dreams? Do you have visions? Write them down! Tell somebody! Do you have feelings for somebody? Tell them! What are you waiting for? Don’t wait. Don’t wait. There’s nothing to be ashamed of. Be yourself! I mean, you already are, everybody can see that, so you might as well be fully yourself. Share yourself! You’re gonna come, you’re gonna go, and who’s gonna say those thoughts in your head? No one else but you. So come on! Think you’re too young or not ready? Well, what if you die tonight? What if she dies tonight, and you never told her how charming you find her? That would be a sin! Don’t hold out on her! Don’t hold out on us! Cuz I’ll tell you, there was a time that I held out on the world, that’s right, I held it all in. I wasn’t going to show the world the paltry, meager, little smudge of a person I felt I was at age 15. I certainly wasn’t going to show my parents, oh no, I gritted my teeth and I told myself, “I’m going to walk out that door a boy and I’m not going to walk back in till I’m a man. Then they’ll be proud of me. Then I’ll be something worth showing. I’ll show them that I’m more than just this”. And I walked out. “You can’t see it till I’m finished” and “I’ll know my song well before I start singing” and all that. I was ashamed to be so young and so small and I loved and admired my parents so much that I wasn’t going to let them see me like that, oh no, so I held out on them. I thought I had something to be ashamed of, because I was so young and small, but I didn’t know what shame was. Now I do. Cuz they died. And I held out on them. I didn’t let them know me. I held out on them. And they died. I held out on them. That’s a sin. That’s shame. That’s shame. And now I’m back. And I walked in that door and I’m a man. There’s no one left but everyone else, but they’re gonna hear what this little man has to say. And I’m here to tell you, that the truths you don’t tell will shame you and pain you till your dying day. So if you have a thought or a feeling or a song or a vision or a poem, I’m begging you, don’t be ashamed or afraid, write it down, tell the truth, tell your truth, tell it to her, tell it to them, get on a stage and tell it to everyone, now, before you die and it dies with you, or you’ll wind up like me, and then you’ll really know what shame is.

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