This I believe Esse Quam Videri that which translates to “To be rather than to seem,” found in the words across my right arm to the ancient philosophical works of Machiavelli and Aristotle to a postcard in Antioch, IL.
To be rather than to seem came to light as a find on a postcard in a small boutique in my little Chicago suburban town the last cold day of March 28th, 2008. This postcard contained a black and white photo of a man looking into the sunset, sitting on a chair on a dock, with the phrase “To be rather than to seem” on the bottom of the postcard, ending with “I wish to find the happiness in every day life.”
Five minutes before that postcard was found, I couldn’t find happiness in everyday life although I was doing my best to put on the fakest smile I could. I was home for my best friend’s funeral; a fake smile was the farthest thing from the truth that I was feeling. When I picked up that postcard although, and realize what was occurring, I began to learn and believe in a different philosophy.
From what I learned that day, and looking back into her life, I found to believe in to being rather than just seeming. To be fully happy and truthful about life regardless of the difficulty while surrounded in a mass materialistic and commercial world, that seems to only advertise covering up what a person really is, to promoting this fake idealistic idea that one can rarely live up to.
I believe in seeing the tattooed words flicker in the sun from the water reflecting on my arm, as I returned from the Grecian sea, as I backpacked for three months. Without losing my best friend, I wouldn’t have found myself or the courage to be unadulterated and give my dreams a shot, like traveling, because life is too short – I wouldn’t have found the strength to stop faking happiness but to actually find happiness.
I believe if there is not truth, there is a sham and a counterfeit existence is worse than no existence at all.
I believe death ends a life, not a relationship. Losing a best friend but gaining genuineness, a belief that has fueled a fire within my own heart and my little suburban town, to live everyday authentic because without it one can’t know themselves and no one else can either. I believe in doing what the heart desires, to travel the world to give my goals my full effort, to be real with my life and myself and everyone that surrounds me.
Esse Quam Videri, this I believe, permanently on my body, so I never forget to believe.
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