Be yourself and choose your ringtones wisely

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By JE Bolton

William Shakespeare once said, “To thine own self be true.”

Now that the holidays are over, it was time for me to select a new ring tone for my cell phone. I don’t know about you, but “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” isn’t exactly what I’d call a beloved, year-round song--no matter how much I love it.

 While going through an entire cavalcade of tones and iconic sounds, I wasn’t sure what to pick out. The possibilities were endless. Then, there it was a song by Louie Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald called, “Who’s Got the last Laugh Now?” Ah, big band music, my favorite musical genre. If you’ve never heard this song, go online and hear it. It’s really awesome and can make anyone’s day a little brighter.

While getting caught up in the old-time medley, ole ugly awareness crept in. I actually asked myself, “I like it, but what would anyone else think if they heard it?”  Yeah, I was that naïve and shallow for a split second.

Then, it reminded me of a certain person in my life.

I went to school with a guy named Charles Jeffries, a.k.a. Todd “the guy who was everyone’s buddy”. He was quite unique and special, because he possessed the type of personality where you could be whoever you wanted to be and it was fine, especially in a world full of people who think this and that’s too “out of place.” To those people, I say what Glenda the Good Witch said, “Be gone, before a house falls from the sky and drops on you!”

Charles was killed in an automobile accident a few years ago. To this day, anyone who knew him still misses who he was, but what a legacy he left behind; the legacy of just being yourself and encouraging others to do the same.

Readers, always be yourself.

I’ve learned that lesson, and unfortunately I learned it the hard way. I was surrounded by people early in life who wanted to change me, while the four percent loved me just like I was. People are never going to understand you, but it’s okay. You are you, God made you unique, and that’s all that matters. It always has and it always will.     

And if that doesn’t work, wear a chicken suit and blow a trumpet through town. They might think you’ve lost your mind of that you’re crazy, but at least you have the guts to honk your own horn.