All the World’s a Stage

And all the men and women are merely players: they have their exits and entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts…

Shakespeare’s As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII

In other words, know your role, play it wisely and well. Realize you have an audience – whether you like it or not. Sometimes life is like a performance and let’s face it; not everyone is a great actor.

Though some thrive on performance and those individuals are ones who like to make grand entrances and exits. The crowd, their admirers, and even the critics look upon them, each with their own opinions. That thriving individual wants to believe that their opinions matter not, but they do. They always do. There is yet another part, another play, another scene to act, all executed flawlessly, resulting in a burst of applause and ample praise. The individual graciously accepts, humbly bowing, wanting to believe the applause and praise matter not, but they do. They always do. Then…the curtain falls, and behind it, in the furthest part backstage, the thriving ceases until the next performance. What a strange paradox. A thriving actor on stage and an unrecognizable recluse off it.

The individual I am describing is more common than you might think. The world sees them one way, and the mirror shows them another. They desire the stage; they need the stage. But what happens when they give their last performance? When they make their final exit? As a thriving individual myself, I must say I believe a choice is before them. They can choose to become part of the crowd, an admirer, a critic…or they can choose something else entirely. Achievements and accomplishments are fleeting, just as a part of a play, temporary parts to a larger whole. The stages of human life are similar to be sure, but no one’s life is the same. No offense to Shakespeare, but all the world is NOT a stage, the world and life are instead whatever we choose to make it.

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