|Posted by Bethanny Lawson on September 29, 2015 at 7:35 PM|
C.S. Lewis, author of the famous “Chronicles of Narnia,” once said that “even in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making. Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be an original: whereas if you simply tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”
I've picked three themes out of this quote: public impressions, originality, and truth. All three work together, but are worth thinking about separately. Sometimes it is easier to think of something as a whole after it's been examined piece by piece.
“You will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you are making.” For some, standing on their own two feet is simple, for others, it is far easier to follow others. Those who are strong and confident have an admirable and enviable stability about them. They cannot be shaken by the public impression of them because they do not care what it is, not are they defined by it. They are the culture shapers. They know what is right for them to do, and they do it.
On the other hand, those seeking to make a good impression on people by seeking their favor, approval and good opinions do not become their own person, they just become another face in the crowd. They don't make an impression, they just make themselves society's slave.
You should be strong in who you are. In your ideas, thoughts, and plans. You shouldn't be afraid to fail, and you certainly shouldn't be afraid to change things. Make an impression. But if you are to make an impression, make it a good one.
“No man who bothers about originality will ever be original.” The thing is, originality is a myth. There is nothing new under the sun. Artists are constantly trying to avoid cliches, to create something new, something never created before. Artists and their art can awaken old, buried ideas; alert people to higher beauty; show people what true art is. But no one can be truly original. One can seem original by breaking through boundaries, the boundaries of public impression, as previously mentioned, and by believing in and telling the truth.
“If you simply tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.” Truth and true beauty never get old. The sunset has always been beautiful. The stars have always been spectacular. Truth is constant while society moves and changes and fights to become new, to become original. The originality of truth is that it is the one thing that stands firm. It cannot be defined by mankind, no matter how hard society tries to redefine truth to match its temporal desires.
In conclusion, originality is a myth. Living free of worries about the impression you make is healthy, admirable, and helps you accomplish more in life. Believing in and teaching the truth, in a sense, makes you original as truth tellers are a rarity these days.
To finish the Lewis quote, “the principle runs through all life from top to bottom. Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it.” My hope for each of my readers is that they will embrace truth and have the courage to live it out every day.
Categories: Redeeming the Arts