English Translation Examples:  What does it mean to be yourself?

Accept contradictions
When clarifying our values, we often find areas of incongruity. For example, perhaps we love to make money, but also believe that material objects are unimportant. We needn’t feel surprised or embarrassed at these contradictions, however.
The reason is that our value system is like a cooking pot into which all types of ingredients have been placed: cultural, religious, familial, educational, favorite songs, memory of those who previously inspired us, etc. With so much in the “pot,” it is easy to see why there would areas of incongruity. What is important is that we honestly look and reflect on such contradictions. Think of it as a tea artisan choosing tea leaves: pick out what has been imposed on us by others, and leave behind what resonates with us.
停止比較  Stop Comparisons
A person that constantly competes with himself or others is someone that sees himself as a racehorse.
To race means to lose. It doesn’t matter how many times he or she might win, losing is part and parcel of being competitive athlete. No one that can win endlessly. That is an unavoidable truth. 
You are a person and not a racehorse, so please stop competing with others. Stop paying so much attention to other people’s Instagram photos. Stop being envious of the lives of others. And stop trying to beat others at their own game. This will just lose you friends and respect. You will find yourself becoming an internet troll. You will feel ashamed and have trouble facing yourself.
接受生活的起落  Accept life’s vicissitudes
My home is located on a small island outside of Boston. Facing the sea, every day I see the tide come in and out. For me, it is an important reminder that if something as large as the ocean has ups and downs, why should we be surprised that our lives or emotions also have ups and downs. Furthermore, as long as we are committed to being true to ourselves, then what do these ups and downs really matter? Remember, there is no need to justify ourselves to others or argue with them.
Change is the only constant. We cannot avoid changing or being changed as time passes. Accepting life’s vicissitudes is like accepting the changing tides. Only look to change the things that can be changed. There is no reason to waste energy trying to change things that cannot.
Excerpt from Commonwealth Magazine


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