What do I, a married; father of two; middle class; technological; heterosexual; spiritual; human male; fifty-something; British born; Canadian citizen, believe of the future?
The future, anyones future, is defined by what they believe. The above labels appear self-evident and factually based, but are they so? Some are first nature, that is they are true by force of nature or DNA, father; human male; fifty-something. Others are true by force of society, married; middle class; British born; Canadian citizen. The rest are second nature, and are true solely by force of our beliefs, middle class; technological; heterosexual; spiritual. The groups the labels are placed in are defined by me however it is possible that a label might belong in another group or in more than one. Spiritual might be first nature and some would argue that sexuality is first nature. In essence I can see how sexuality could be in all three groups. While the list is divided into three groups, social norms is a subset of second nature and is broken out here to differentiate between what we believe and what society, those around us, believe us to be. There are many more groups I might belong to, many more labels that might be attached to me, by myself or others, be they a single individual or a group within our society.
I am, a non-smoker who smokes; a drinker who believes in abstinence; a drug user when the time is right; a liberal with conservative beliefs; a theocrat who does not believe in god. Some are true today, some yesterday and yet may not be tomorrow. Am I blind; deaf; a theologian; fool; teacher to the masses; student? Yes to all at one point in time or maybe a time to come.
How can I be defined! How can I be labeled! What makes a person any of the above? The issue is, not how can ‘you’ or ‘they’ define me but, why do I define me!? Once we sanction a label, the words of others, and say “yes that is me”, how do we become more than that? How do we grow into the potential that is truly ‘me’?
Here it is important to note that there are two general groups of people who try to define us. First are those we respect or who are closest to us, family, friends or work associates. The second group are the people we meet in our day to day life but are not really important to us. The words of the first group have more of an impact in our lives and developing our self-image. When they tell us something negative about ourselves we are more apt to believe, give sanction, to it. Now if we already have a negative view of some part of our life and a person in the second group tells us the same thing it will almost instantly resound with us and confirm the negative view.
In the end it does not matter who’s words are painting the image because the greatest damage is done not by others labeling us but by how we label ourselves; The condoning of their words so as to hold their image of us as our true self. Once we do this then their words become ours and while it may be hard to deflect the words, labeling, of others it is harder to quiet the name calling in our mind, our own self-talk.
We have the right to be undefinable! We only thrive in the instant, the past is who we were and the future not written.
Raise up and state, “I refuse to be defined by the words and thoughts of others. I will not give sanction to their words and define myself by what I was, or am, I chose only to define myself by who I want to be!”
Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much. Smile!