I frequently ponder what it means to be human. What makes me me verses what makes you you.
I often find my ol’ noggin gets itself stuck in a loop like a poorly constructed VLookup #N/A. (Jeepers, those annoy the sausage’s out of me).
I think I have the answer boiled down to 1 million factors.
One of those factors has had the most lasting impact on my wellbeing.
In times of happiness or times of trial, I have to be able to answer at a moments notice, the question “Who am I?”
The Landmark Forum started me on this particular path, they run classes in most major cities in Europe and North America. What I liked about their approach is that no two people came away from the class with the same answer.
“The Forum” was the start, but that was a long time ago, probably 17 years or so.
The question evolved in my little ol’ noggin over the years and the only answers that would satisfy me were based around attributes and values, rather than who I was to someone else or what I did for my job, or where I go on holiday, or how many grandchildren I had or wanted to have.
The “who I am to other people, what do I have, what do I do?” answers were transient, prone to be taken away – particularly in the case of unemployment or relationship changes, house moves, new friendships and so forth. I need the answer to the question “if you were not here, who would I still be?”
17 years ago, my answer to the question was “Passion, Inspiration, Empowerment, Commitment”.
To this day, that answer covers most questions and how I choose to respond. Other attributes have joined the list.
My answer covers my attempts at raising a Daughter, my Employment, Life in General, and Relationships. I am committed to the idea of there being a relationship out there which is healthy and happy and beneficial to all parties involved.
To me, humanity is born of our physiology, our advanced brains, our dexterity, our teamwork, the development of language and communication, our inventive nature, our problem solving skills, our moral code and conduct of acceptable behaviour, our instincts embedded for thousands of generations.
My humanity is enriched by my core values and attributes.
When times get dark, as they frequently do, I am blessed to not get lost for very long.
Sometimes remembering that I stand for Commitment helps me stay the course.
Sometimes remembering that I stand for Empowerment helps me in meetings where I need to negotiate a way to meet the needs of the person I am representing.
If I am lucky, I get 70+ years on this planet.
That’s 70 free goes around the Sun.
They’re going to have to take me from this life kicking and screaming because I love it so much.
They’re going to have to distract me with something shiny so I quieten down for a minute.
Even the crummy days are worth it.
If someone were to ask you what you stand for, and you were not allowed to answer in anything that is corruptible (buildings, organisations, relationships and such) who might you be?