15 Elul 5775
by Andrea Wasserman
Upon researching readings for my daughter’s Bat Mitzvah I came across this poem by Melanie Katz. I found these words to be so relevant for a young person turning 13, and at the same time for a mom who recently turned 50. At this time of year of reflection and renewal I find these words to be so meaningful and a reminder that it is so important to be yourself.
Be Yourself (Melanie Katz)
For you are the only one who truly knows you,
The only one who can express your genuine feelings,
The only one who can find the sincere meaning of your life.
Not who someone else wants you to be,
Someone whom you do not agree with,
Someone that is not you.
Don’t be afraid to show your true colors,
To be independent
Or reveal to others what you are all about.
It does not matter who accepts you and who doesn’t
Or how many friends you have,
For the ones that love you for you are the only ones that matter.
No matter what your race or religion,
Your gender or age,
You should never hide yourself.
Because groups and cliques deserve no meaning,
Diversity and variation have great importance,
And there should never be anything holding you back.
Because everyone serves a purpose,
Everyone shines bright,
But only you know who you truly are.