When someone asks who you are, what is your response?
My name is….those are just letters used to make words to make sounds for people to call you by…
I’m from…Thats a place where you happened to be when you entered upon this earth…
The child of….again, that’s not who YOU are, but you made you…
I’ve heard this little ditty for the first time as an anecdote to thrown at Adam Sandler by Jack Nicholson in the movie Anger Management. I hadn’t heard it, or even thought about it for that matter, until watching Dirk Gently on Netflix….Todd’s sister Amanda’s answer was on point. So from now on the only acceptable answer to that question for me is somewhere along the lines of:
I am the consciousness of–that hears through the ears of, sees through the eyes of and communicates through the body of, [Insert Your Name Here]. Everything else is just circumstantial.
At the end of the day everything we take in through our body’s many senses is all CODE. A code that’s translated by the brain into images and sounds or whatever is necessary, based on our collection of prototypes. That’s to say that we know a table as a table by the fact that it has 3+ even length legs and a flat surface on which we can place objects on… Whether its round, triangle, glass or wood–that’s all relative, we see a table and know it’s a table because of it’s simplest attributes.
Who we are, is that simple, we are stardust that evolved a consciousness that developed technologies and changed the world in astounding ways, good and bad. We start off pure and innocent, and slowly we get to know the world we live in, we go to school, become part of the system, become sheep without knowing. With all these technological advancements in the past decade it’s hard to keep up with all the latest apps, trends…. Internet being what it is has made it nearly impossible to keep up with all these new singers/actors/etc that keep popping up… I almost can’t blame people, it’s so easy to get lost in… New clothes, new phones, new cars—social media has become like a computer version of high school on crack–gossip and who’s most popular? Who has the most likes? Who’s working out? Who’s married? Who had babies? Who follows me? Man, I remember a time where if someone had said “hey I’m following you” —STALKER would be the first word that came to mind…now we encourage it. But that’s another topic for another time.
My point is that we’re so caught up in who’s doing what, where and with who that we’re losing track of the fact that IT DOESN’T FUCKING MATTER. We’ve just created a world where it seems that it’s important–without knowing that it’s only as important as you make it. Money, clothes, cars, it’s all temporary and only has as much value as you give it. The people in our lives matter. Our families, given or chosen, matter. Interpersonal relationships, meaningful conversations about everything and anything, THAT matters.
You could have all the likes in the world, Lady Gaga herself could follow you on twitter….If I can’t have a conversation about existence or the universe or the possibilities of life on other planets with you (among other things), the rest is insubstantial. What’s in your head, and how you use it is what makes you who you are…not what you put on your Facebook profile.
Think of that table I mentioned before. Shine it, polish it, have blind nuns carve intricate designs into the legs and and embed diamonds into each corner with golden flecks embroidering the corders in floral patterns. Yet it doesn’t need all that flashy-ness to be what it is… PEOPLE make it that way, because we place value in pretty things. At the end of the day a tables only as good as its ability to hold things up–to balance things. Well…at the end of the day, we’re only as good as the head on our shoulders and the mind that comes with it. So use it wisely.