Have you ever asked yourself “Who am I?” How can we answer that question? Are we the roles we serve in our lives, fathers, mothers, employees, bosses, students, teachers, man or woman? Are we our job title? Are we athletic or out of shape? Are we talented with words or music? Are we rich or poor? Famous or obscure? Who are you? We wear many hats throughout our lives, often simultaneously. Others often define us by our roles, but if we search inside of ourselves, how do we define our own identity? Do you think about it or do you define yourself by how others see you? Do they truly know you? Do you know yourself?
Yes, I have asked many questions to begin your quest for your own identity. However, the most important question to ask yourself is “Who do I want to be?” What do you admire more, talents or kindness? What characteristics in others do you admire? Our roles in life are not who we are, but they are opportunities to become who we want to be. Our talents aid us in reaching our potential. It is actually our characteristics and our behaviors, rooted in our values and beliefs, that define us. Now you need a moment to absorb all of this. Think. Who Am I?
Christ defined which attributes are valued by God in the Beatitudes of Matthew 5. They include humility, meekness, repentant, merciful, desiring righteousness, pure in heart, peacemaker, and those who are persecuted for righteousness (in other words, courageous). Are any of these qualities among those that you admire? Let’s see.
Humility means that you are not boastful and full of yourself. You always put others first. Meekness means you are patient, calm and self-controlled. You do not anger easily. Repentant means that you admit when you are wrong, and you are sorry when you do not act in love with humility and meekness. Merciful means you quickly forgive those who have wronged you. You think the best of others and you give them the benefit of the doubt. If you desire righteousness, you always seek to do what is right. You have integrity. You are the same inside and outside. You are not manipulative or deceptive. You do not lie. If you are pure in heart, your motivation is always love. You truly love all others. Everything you say and do is motivated by love and a sincere compassion for others. As a peacemaker, you always seek to avoid unnecessary conflict. You do not instigate pointless arguments. You seek to reconcile others with yourself and with each other, when possible. Finally, being willing to be persecuted for your values and beliefs demonstrates courage and conviction. Your courage and convictions cannot be compromised.
Do you admire these qualities in others? Do you aspire to these qualities in yourself? These are the kinds of qualities that can define us. They are “Who I am.” We can exhibit these qualities in any role we serve in our lives and in our society. They are the attributes that make us who we are. They are the attributes required to truly love others. These qualities, or their opposite characteristics, will define us to others. Our talents can be dedicated to serving others or ourselves. We do not have to be humble. We can be self-centered and arrogant. We do not have to be merciful. We can continue to be angry and bitter toward others. We can lie and cheat when it serves our purposes. However, is that who you want to be?