Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Shameless self-promotion of my writing skills or lack there of.

Monday, March 07, 2005

A Moment of Reflection

What really makes us who we are? As individuals, I mean. Is there one thing that stands out in the minds of our family and peers when they hear our name or see our face? Is there several? Is there nothing?

Is it our accomplishments? Maybe it’s our failures. What if we haven’t experienced either that was of great consequence? Will we be known for our moderation?

Will we be remembered for the lives we touched or the people we shunned? Will our name be spoken with a smile or through the sound of grinding teeth?

Will we be judged by the company that we keep? Perhaps, it will be the friends that we have lost. More to the point, who is our harshest critic in this area, our peers or ourselves?

Is it the strength of our convictions that sets us apart? Is it the lack of them?

Maybe, it is something as simple as political affiliation (or affliction depending on which side you fall on), but then I guess that falls back to the company we keep.

Should sexual preference be a defining characteristic? It shouldn’t matter who you love, but too often it does.

Do our beliefs come into play? Our belief in a god, a goddess, something, anything, or nothing, do we wear these beliefs (or lack of them) on a sign around our neck?

Is it our contributions, be they charitable or artistic? Is it our greed or generosity?

Perhaps it is our ambition. Does being a couch potato mean you are successful if that is what you really want out of life? Does continuing to strive for something that we fail at time and again make us admirable or insane?

On a more personal level, am I a good father? When my son is grown, will he remember me fondly or will he remember me as an overbearing tyrant that was too hard on him? Does it matter which as long as he grows into a fine young man?

Will I be remembered as a good husband? When my wife looks back on our life together, will she smile? Will I bring her more joy than sorrow? Will I bring her enough joy that she can’t remember the hardships?

Does my family (other than my wife and son) know how much they mean to me, even though I hardly ever see them? Does it make me a bad person, because I don’t make more of a conscious effort to that end?

Does the image we display for friends and strangers reflect who we are when we are alone?

Does any of this matter? I think we are the culmination of all of our life’s experiences. More simply, it is life that makes us who we are. People will either accept us baggage and all or they won’t. If they don’t, who needs them?

Live, laugh and love, but for god’s sake make the best of it. Life’s too short to be taken seriously.


At 12:51 PM, Blogger Leslie said...

Whoa, man! Who knew you were so deep? I think about the same exact things on a daily basis, and I truly wish I had all the answers. I want to get the most out of my life as well as everyone else, I just don't know how. Life is an enigma. It is also a bitch.

At 3:59 PM, Blogger James Goodman said...

My only advice is to not let your troubles get the best of you. It is not up to anyone else to push you to greatness. Your joy and yes, your misery is ultimately up to you.

I am not saying that you should cut and run at the first sign of difficulty, but if every reasonable attempt has been made to better the way you feel about yourself, then its time to do something different.

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