What Defines Who We Are?

I was wondering today what defines us as people. What makes me who I am? Do I make myself who I want to be? Is who I am defined by who I think I am or who I want to be? Or is who I am defined but what I do, my actions? I was pondering that today. It seems like the modern American response would be that I define who I am. It’s a very selfish way to look at it and keeps the “I” in command. After all, it’s all about me. That was my initial answer. After all, who doesn’t want to be in charge of who they are? But then I thought about it, and I realized that who I want to be or who I think I am doesn’t count for a hill of beans. I’m defined by what others see in me. I can think I’m a nice guy and want to be a nice guy all I want–but if I’m a jerk to everyone I meet, they’ll see me as a jerk. I’ll be a jerk. My own wants and desires about who I am don’t matter if my actions aren’t in line with them. You as a person are defined by how others perceive you. That’s kind of an interesting way of looking at things, and it doesn’t sit well with me. I’m uncomfortable with it. I don’t want to be a product of what others think of me. Yet I do have control over what they think of me. My actions in front of them will define in their minds who I am. So, in a sense, you do define who you are even though you define yourself through others perception of you. How’s that for a brain twister. I’ll let you mull that one over.

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