“Behave yourself,” my parents used to say,
And “Act your age. Who do you think you are?”
Behave and act and be—even today
I ask if my performance is sub-par.
But is the point of life to play a part,
Assume a role, as if upon a stage,
Or is it more to follow where your heart
And soul lead you to go—which is more sage?
Wisdom, I think, requires we not conform
To fixed behaviors, dictates of the times,
Defining us according to some norm,
But to establish our own paradigms:
Not act a role whose playing stunts and blights,
But act authentically by our best lights.