Who Am I?
After writing that title, my juvenile brain pulls in a picture of Anthony Michael Hall sitting at his desk in the library on a Saturday morning at Shermer High School. The scene in "The Breakfast Club" finds the characters trying to pass the time when all they have to do is...pass the time. My favorite character, Brian, chooses to clip a pen to his lip and, pretending it's the front tooth of a huge water mammal he says, "I'm a walrus."
In the last couple of days I've had more than one "capture the moment then think ahead" article put in front of me. Some had a politic bent to them yet all had the good intention of distraction, perspective and inspiration so I chose to take them at face value as messages of good intent.
As I sat quietly on a Saturday morning reflecting on those posts and the incredible uniqueness of this situation, I didn't think about who I am but rather who we are. To simplify shelter-in-place orders during a worldwide pandemic down to an opportunity to think about who I am would be incredibly selfish but to spin it to an opportunity for all of us to reflect on us in hope of a better behaving society when this is all over - there is value in that.
As I articulated the idea to my wife that we have all been stripped to our core during this time at home and that we haven't been put in situations where we would be tempted to "front" or pretend we are someone else, to behave horribly, to treat others wrong, to make bad decisions, to generally do wrong with our free will, she brought it home in a way only a wife can sometimes and said, "That's your perspective. You have been able to work and earn a living and so have I. We have a nice house with enough space for all of us to have our own space. We haven't gotten sick. We've been able to be ourselves. There are people out there who are in the opposite situation."
The wisdom of the wife.
As I have studied public speaking over the years I was taught the notion that there are three audiences in every audience. If you're speaking to an auditorium of college students, your message will be best received if you understand there are kids in the room who chose their major on their own, others whose parents chose it for them and a third group completely conflicted about what they want to do with their life and, therefore, what to study.
The same is true in this time we are in.
Some of us have the benefit of an environment that has allowed us to simply be ourselves. Let us capture this moment and commit to staying that way once we are allowed out of our four walls and back into the society that pressures us to be someone else.
Some of us have been forced into situations we would never dream of or ask for. This may be a crowded home or a home that is mourning or a job that has twisted from one of joy to one of dread - one that has you saying, "This is not what I signed up for." May you find your way back to you, to the person you know you are.
Some of us are lost, simply going through the motions not knowing who we are, lacking purpose and acting in ways we would never act otherwise. To you I say that we need you. Your world needs you. Find a way to do something for someone else and you'll find the spark that you need to be forward-thinking and hopeful.
Who am I?
You are who you were created to be.
God, let us all be that person when we are granted our release.