“Be who you is . . .”


by Burt Dubin on October 29, 2009

“Be who you is . . .”

“. . . because if you ain’t who you is,

you is who you ain’t.”

(attributed to Nido Quebein)

1. These words summarize the essence of you radiating your  passion, authenticity and transparency as you speak.

Let’s face it:  None of us mortals is perfect.  We are all flawed humans.  And despite our flaws we can engage our unique ability  to make a difference.

I mean a difference for ourselves, a difference for our loved ones, and a difference for every person in the microcosm we call our personal world.

This includes all the people we know, all the places we go, all the circumstances and conditions of our respective lives.

For those of us who serve organizations this includes the companies, their branches, districts, and divisions for which we speak, train or consult.

2. Let me bring this insight home . . . home to you . . .  wherever you live and wherever you speak, train or consult.

“This above all,” said Polonius to his son in Act I, scene 3, of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “This above all:  To thine own self be true

. . . and it must follow as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”

These immortal words now bring us full circle:  Be who you is;       be your bare, psychologically naked, unashamed self as you speak.

You may then radiate passion, authenticity and transparency as you speak to your audiences and your clients.

You may then stand as tall and as proud as a matador.   You may then allow those before you to experience the essence of your untainted spirit.

And you create a vivid memory for those before you.   You create an unforgettable memory of having been, if only for a fleeting hour, in a presence.

3. This happened to me when I was 21, selling furniture door-to-door for my Uncle’s furniture store while I attended Temple University at night.  (And then studying into the wee hours, sleeping 3 hours a night.)

Milliard J. Bennett was speaking in the Philadelphia YMCA,

(where I then lived.)  In his short talk he included these words to the young men gathered in the lobby:  “Your voice is the instrument on which you play the symphony of your life.”

For me, this was a sacred moment.  His presence and these words were evermore engraved on my consciousness.  He never was to know this.   And my life was forever enhanced.



Elayne Savage, PhD October 30, 2009 at 3:14 pm

Burt, this is such an important reminder to take the time to
discover and know who we are.
To reach deep inside ourselves and share our essence.

Thanks for this.


Brenda Shoshanna October 29, 2009 at 5:59 pm

Thank you Burt for being so deeply who you are and providing the inspiration and space for each of us to find our own voice and sing our own song. . . even as it changes . . . and our days bring new, unexpected calls.


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