Who Are You?

Yesterday on Facebook I wrote, “Stop trying to be who you think you should be and be who you are.”  This morning there were messages waiting for me saying how dangerous, oppressive and un-American that statement was.  These messages all missed the question that is inherent in my statement, “Who are you?”  It is indeed dangerous to ask such a question.  Dangerous to the blind acceptance of “I am this and no more.”  Dangerous to preconceived limitations.  Dangerous to being what one is expected to be.

It is easy to see this in the lives of great thinkers, visionaries, explorers and leaders.  They were not “who they should be.”  They did not fit quietly into the mold of expectation; rather, they strode boldly into the realm of Who Am I?  What about their contemporaries who were the farmers, the tailors, the butchers and bakers of their time?  Did these men and women whom history does not remember miss their potential?  Because they did not “change the world” were they any less?  If we use history or fame as the measure of a life’s worth; then yes, they were less but is the purpose of life to gain fame and fortune, to alter the course of history?  What is the measure of a life’s worth?

This brings me to the age old question:  What is the meaning of life?  More than 2600 years ago a man answered that question with this:  Men are, that they might have joy.

Stop fitting the mold of should be and be who you are, but how are you to know who you are?  Look at what brings you joy.  Do you find joy in inventing?  Then invent.  Do you find joy in family?  Have a family.  Do you find joy in teaching or working the soil?  Teach or garden or farm.  As you invent, rear a family, teach or work the earth, do not be lulled into doing it the way everyone else does.  Do not become merely another inventor, parent, teacher, gardener or farmer.  No, be you.  Be who you are and let all that you do be an expression of who you are, an expression of your joy.

Jai Bhagwan