Two separate conversations about two weeks apart. One with a young man early twenties, the other an older man late forties. The first tried to convince me you are what you do, your title or action. The second was pondering who we are when we are at home and what it means to be one’s self and who you want to be.
At what looks like the end of a pandemic and the beginning of a world war or at the least, a major global crisis caused by an unjust breach of peace with an unprovoked attack on a democratic government. Fucking dictators. Not to forget that our political powers at home are so divisive that it has pitted us against each other and revealed our values. Not only that, but we have an inflation problem, corporate greed run amuck, and climate change that has an impact on our food supply.
In all of that we still want to find love, purpose, and security. We still want to be someone. We want our family to love us, we want our friends to laugh with us, we want our work to enrich us. In all of the shit that is going on we still have to live. For some of us the big world problems are in the background of who we are and what we do, for others it is front and center. The simple truth is all we got is who we are.
Most people neglect who they are becoming. Some don’t think it is something within their control and others believe it is predestined; locked in. There are those that believe it is changeable, and fluid. What I believe is both.
I believe the best thing we can become is loving and outgoing. I know outgoing sucks for introverts, but it is what gets them out to live, it helps them get what they want out of life, and to stand up for themselves. Loving is the most obvious thing in my mind, loving is what makes a person altruistic and compassionate. It is what makes a person live out their values in service to others. It is what makes them want the best for everyone and do what is within their power to help. Loving is doing what is within a person’s means and ability- not more, not less. Loving isn’t always a sacrifice, but most of the time a joy. A struggle with a reward. Like a bodyguard after leg day.
Whatever personality we are born with can be developed to be loving and outgoing. In that we have the freedom to be without trying to change who we are at our core. Yes, personalities clash. Yes, we are not all suited for specific work. Yes, we all have our flaws. Yes, we all will fuck up. Yes, we will all take advice meant for someone else. Yes, life isn’t perfect and we will have to deal with unintended consequences. We must learn to accept our limits and potential and not confuse the two. But what we must all avoid is being a sheep in the pen of someone leading us astray. If you hate more than you love. If you fight more than you build. If you are disgusted more than you delight, you might be fighting someone else’s fight. If someone can point you like a gun, you have missed what it means to think for yourself. If someone can tell you who to hate- but never points you in the way of loving others, even if they are flawed- they are using you. They are taking your personality and molding it with hate into a copy of a copy of a copy. Your ideas have no true insight. But I digress.
I have written a post every day over the last week and never hit publish. I do not think they are worthy of others contemplating. They were venting almost like the last paragraph. My frustration with the world, with my country, with those who would oppress and attack others with whatever means they have is heavy on my mind. The question it makes me ask is no different than the two conversations I had- who am I?
I am always being me to the best of my knowledge, but am I doing what a person like me should be doing? Am I focused on the right things or am I getting distracted by things outside of my realm of influence? Am I playing it safe or just doing what is reasonable for a person in my position? The longer I am alive the more I learn everyone is winging it. That is when I learn who we are and what we value matters more than what we know.
What I know for sure is being a loving, outgoing person is better than being a closed off and despising person.
In the end. The person we are must choose the person we will be and that is the story of our lives. That is the struggle we undertake, even when we try to be passive about what is going on in the world around us.