Friday, July 27, 2012

Definition of Self

What is the definition of self? People spend half their lifetimes trying to answer and fulfill that question. Some people allow themselves to be defined by how other people say they should look or act. Vainly pursuing the latest gadgets or gear, makeup or material things in order to meet or compete with the status quo. Others try to define themselves by what they do. They erected monuments to themselves over the ages in many cultures (pyramids, temples, statues), the same is somewhat true today (look at the Hoover Dam, the Sears tower etc.) They donate large amounts of money to governments, universities and communities to make that lasting impression, and you can find their names plastered on the sides of buildings and on street signs, held in reverence. Some use works of goodwill or social change to leave a long-term legacy; their names become proverbial and synonymous with certain attributes. For example, a person that is kind, generous and noble is a Mother Theresa. A person known for extreme intelligence is often referred to as an Einstein, and so on. Nowadays people act in shocking ways to become famous…or infamous. A sex tape, a video of a person high or cursing profusely, or even doing something dangerous and/or stupid is how people choose to shape the image they leave in the world; and others define themselves by that same crooked image. There are those that define themselves by the things they accomplish, trying to be the very best at whatever they pursue. Think about Michael Jordan (best basketball player), Michael Jackson (king of pop), Michael Johnson (fastest man alive at one time). Okay, so I ran out of Michaels but you get my point. These ones chase perfection in their fields, but often at great cost to their families, their bodies, and often their reputation. Granted, the types of people mentioned have chosen to define themselves in many ways; but were it not for the record books (and Wikapedia) we could easily forget these men of note, for being enamored with the latest greatest person(s) we see. All of these people also fail to define themselves according to divine standards, so what accomplishment do they really have? With him is the source of life, without him is…nothing. So when choosing to define oneself, choose wisely. Because by doing the right thing, it won’t be just your legacy that can last forever.