I think at some point in everyone’s life, you ask yourself “Who am I?” I think the question is really spurred on by an admiration people you know (or maybe even a character in a movie) who really owns their personality. Everyone talks about that person and how he or she is so ______ (fill in the blank) And so you ask yourself, who am I? What is it that makes me, me? What am I good at? What do I like to do? What do I believe in? What do I believe in apart from what my parents brought me up believing in? What things do I wear, say or do because it was what mom & dad wanted me to do, or a certain group of friends was into? Am I conservative or liberal? I think you really discover these things through your 20′s. I really think the best way to learn these things is to strip away everything you were taught and told to do and rebuild it all. Play devil’s advocate in your mind to everything you believe. Talk to and really listen to opposing views and…*gasp* consider those views! I think in the realm of Christianity that I was brought up in, there is this mentality that ‘I am right – there is no need to consider anything else – it’s all foolishness” And so what happens is you start to attach traditions and rules that were made up by people to the actual truth of Christianity. There is a reason that Revelation tells us not to add to the Word – because humans are fallible and no matter how well meaning we are, we can still be dead wrong. A lot of rules and philosophies sound great, but in all of God’s wisdom He can see them played out with all of their implications and some of them lead to destruction. Find out who you are, what YOU believe. I discovered that there are many ideas in opposition to the way I was brought up that make sense and dare I say, are even Biblical.
Anyway, that’s a bit of a rabbit trail. I meant to write this about what are the criteria of who a person is? I think a lot of it is what you’re into and how that affects your paradigm. Me, for example – I love music, rock & rock history, I love art and am intrigued by M.C. Escher and Salvador Dali and so I was an art student at Mesa State. Also I am a Christian and attend church regularly. So with these interests and beliefs, I naturally end up around like minded people (somewhat). I’m wondering how blind I am to other paradigms. After being with similar people for a long time you might start to think everyone is like them. If you hang with a crowd of people who are disgusted with smoking and hate everything about it, then if you read articles and see news about how harmful smoking is and how it is being banned in restaurants, it might seem like the whole world is coming to it’s senses in that area. Then for whatever reason you are thrown into a situation where everyone not only smokes, but has no qualms about it, it can throw you for a spin. I could go on and on about this….