Are we who we are?
That’s a stupid question. Of course we are! Who else could we be?
Not all of my friends know I did time at a state institution after high school. Yep, four years at Virginia Tech. I LOVE THAT SCHOOL!!! I love my memories of crisp, fall days before a football game. I remember hearing the marching band echoing across campus, their anthems carried by the “Hokie Stone” buildings, in their Gothic styling. I loved the food and the classes. I loved the downtime, and various activities available to students. Mostly, I loved the sociological study that could be made of any walk across campus. What a bunch of freaks college kids can make of themselves. I love it. No better platform for observation could be found than that of being a Resident Adviser. I played that role during my Junior and Senior years. It’s important to say I “played” that role, since I certainly didn’t work at it very hard.
I specifically remember a certain group of guys from my Junior year in O’Shaughnessy Hall. By the end of the year, each individual in that group was completely indistinguishable from the others. You could see this in the way they talked, the way they dressed, the places they went for dinner, their habits, their interests, etc, etc. I began to wonder who any of these guys actually were. How did this happen? Were any of them even aware of it?
It’s interesting, the people we become, primarily as a result of being around the people we’re around. Prolonged exposure to others seems to bring the undesirable possible consequence of eroding your personality, the inherit characteristics and qualities that make you, undeniably you. It would certainly be dangerous to think this was OK, as long as you determined that those affecting you are good influences. Regardless, guard yourself from being made into someone you’re not, stealing the unique gift God has designed you to be to His kingdom.
So, who are you? Are you the person everyone sees from the outside, or is there someone, something inside that you need to let out? Is there a gift that you’ve withheld from the world, from fear of how everyone would respond?
I love, when talking to Moses, that God declares “I AM!” Yes, He is…but who are you?
So what’s your experience? Have you seen this happen in your life, or to someone else? Share your thoughts in the comments below.