“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde
To be oneself, one must first of all know himself.
And so I ask the ancient question – Who are You?
I have found this to be the hardest, toughest question ever to be posed. And I have also found that many – myself included – approach this question with a sense of wariness and bewilderment.
At almost every job interview you have attended… and may still attend in future… one of the key questions always is, ‘Tell us about yourself.’ It is simply a roundabout way of asking, ‘who are you?’
A whole lot of people have responded to that question in a whole lot of different ways. But many are they – once again me inclusive – who have responded to this simple yet arduous question with a step-by-step recitation of their names, where they are from, what they studied in school, their job experiences, skills and proficiency and blah blah blah.
But I dare to ask, is that truly who you are? Who I am? A collection of name, origin, age, qualification and abilities?
If you have had the misfortune of having a fight with a braggart even just once, then you would have heard the famous braggadocios question – ‘do you know who I am?’ Most often when I’ve heard that oh-so-silly question, I’d wondered to myself – ‘do you?’
In situations such as this, the response to the question is usually a recount of status, bank balance and seeming achievements. So again I ask, are we just a collection of social status, wealth and achievements? Is that who we really are? All we really are?
I think not. I say no.
I do believe that a person is defined not by social standing or status, not by wealth or position or the lack of it, not by educational qualifications or none, not by age or sex or height or weight. I believe that who we are is determined by the beliefs and the principles that shape us; by the virtues or vices that guide our actions; by the strength and faith that make us individual.
Simply put, I believe that who you are… who I am… flows out from within us. It is simply that inner beauty or courage that cannot be seen by the human eye, but is most often felt by the human touch.
I believe that who we are began even before we became. Vironika Tugaleva in The Love Mindset said – ‘You are eternal, beautiful and real.’ I agree with her. Who we are is beyond a mere temporal existence here on earth – we are not just body, we are soul and spirit too. And we all have in us a breathe of life that make us truly beautiful and real.
So while you continue to respond to this perplexing question of who you are by just tossing out your status and qualifications, I ask that deep inside of you – where the true you really lives – you know indeed who you are.
I end with the words of Dr Seuss –
“You are you. Now, isn’t that pleasant?”