Be you, they said
My simple question is: "is this possible?"
I've been alive 29 years, and in those 29 years I'm hard put to find a time when it was okay to simply be myself. Myself is a fluid concept of the possible 1,001 people I know personally and thousands more I know by name or through online personality - I constantly find myself molding and adapting to those people. To be myself would be to be an island.
First off I have parents. I'm half one, half the other. And yet, I'm a whole new person. This illustrates the concept about the best of anything because it shows that I'm 100% made of other people and yet somehow became a miracle of a whole new person. My DNA is inextricably linked to millions of people, but yet I'm a whole soul, body, and spirit.
What mind-boggling nonsense it is to be told that I must be only me. Yet, how terrible to be everyone else.
Identity is a strange thing
In family relationships we may annoy each a other a thousand times in a month, but yet you're bound for life to being family. You can say, "I'm done," and ignore them for the rest of your life, but guess what. They will always be a part of you, and you of them.
We're all going to be humans for the rest of our life. It's in our DNA. Outside of belief in reincarnation (ain't gonna happen) you can't just decide to be a sloth one day if you're not a sloth. It's biological, and it's a deeper spiritual reality. Like it or not, we're bound to this identity, just as gravity binds us to the earth. We can figure out how to fly, but not by flapping our arms. Likewise we have to accept the reality that we are humans and are going to have to figure out how to be ourselves on a larger scale of identity. Not only that, we have to decide what and who we will be despite of/or for the good of our people.
But first, "to thine own self, be true"
Life is a series of inside outs. When I was five my favorite page of a book read thus:
I knew that book inside and out, but little did I know it was going to show up as a pattern for life 24 years later. The reality we know to be true, when flipped inside out becomes something totally different. My strands of DNA, woven through the history of time, became an individual unique reality that makes up me. I come from somewhere, but I am someone.
The reality of the inside out me is that I am part of a culture of humans, and I must somehow build a whole person out of these billions. There is the key word to this whole thing. Building. It's popular to say "I was born this way," and absolutely you were born, but that was Part 1. Part 2 is up to you: who you become. You are given the start by your parents, but the architecture and design that go into building character and personality as your own is your own hard work. We may start out in completely different places, but one need only look at Dr. Ben Carson, or Maya Angelou to see that bad beginnings don't dictate who we become.
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
Certain truths will stand the test of time, and it is on these things that character is built. This is my message to you; instead of thinking so much about how you can make an impact based on what feels or looks good, build your character on truth and excellence. Test your faith, convictions, and ideals, and decide to stand on these things. This is what makes the real, unique, and invincible you.
May the road rise up to meet you.