Defining Who We Are…

Defining Who We Are…

We live in a world full of definitions. Even before we are able to cognitively understand what it means to be defined, our life is a shared collected generalization in which we have no control. We are normal if we coo and smile and mimic behaviors of those who were “successful” before us, and we are told that our acting is just right as we embark on our journey of fulfilling expectations, learning at just the right rate (where average isn’t quite good enough), expanding our minds with facts that we are taught in school, no matter what practical use they may have for us as we grow to seek independence. We are defined by the words we use, the behaviors we portray, and at these beginning stages, we are a flock of geese flying south because that is just what we do. Each mother defines the development of her child in similar ways. Parents are told how to maximize expectations of definitive growth patterns. And yet at the same time our future is being projected onto us with these guided definitions and man-made ideals, we strive for freedom of sorts. In time, we rebel (some more than others), and it scares those who defined us early on. And it scares the collective (society as a whole) because what we don’t understand we are taught to judge, and even worse than that, the behaviors we see from others that we understand all too well, we judge even harsher. Humans are taught this duality. We sometimes cling to the idea of solidarity for fear of the unknown, and yet it’s truly our differences that define us. As we grow to understand this, we must also grow to be more tolerant, and embrace the essence of humanity (which is the raw magnitude of our potential).

It is a challenge to overcome this need for those around us to share the same understanding of things as we do; we are bred to think this way. Ironically, this way of living can be our demise, can suffocate those we love, can determine our own capacity for happiness. This is my own struggle. Our inner most core is what makes us who we are; its what helps us survive in a world we can never fully grasp, where too many ideals are thrown at us from all sides and stress permeates our minds daily. Every so often we all must return to who we are at our core to regroup and hold on. And we have all felt this. The problem becomes when we expect those we love to come along (to meet us there at our own core), and the problem becomes worse when we take such an inability as rejection. We can love someone completely, but never reach that place in which we each must go alone. And we do ourselves and our loved ones a disservice by thinking that we can.