Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Saturday, August 6, 2016

measuring success

 Isn't it fascinating when others tell us who we are ? It can be infuriating or calming. It is seldom what we believe it to be, or more properly, to have been. The reason is a simple one, they just don't have all the facts. There is much we do not tell and others cannot perceive that make us what we are. Certainly the influences of the past combined with the pressures of the current day combine to create something unique. That uniqueness is you. We all believe we are one thing, while most see something else. Some of us try very hard to project a certain image or picture. We do so with the manner of our dress or speech. Some stubbornly cling to one image while others are like chameleons. No matter the choice we make it will most likely not be what others see.
 It all starts with who we believe ourselves to be. But, that isn't the truth of it. It really starts with who our parents think we should become. How much we rebel against that is our first defining characteristic. Were you the goody two shoes child, always trying to please ? Or were you the rebel, the kids that just wouldn't listen. I believe the vast majority of us are a combination of both. As with most everything it is only a matter of degrees. Certainly the social status of our parents plays the most important single role in all of it. Affluent, middle class or poor. Those are the major categories. Each of them carries advantages and pitfalls. Each group will insist what they have is what the other groups are missing. The rich have wealth and culture, the middle class a strong work ethic and the poor have the struggle for equality. Each group failing to understand the others. It is the manner in which your parents instruct you to behave , inside your group, that will influence you the most. That is my thinking anyway.
 Following that our friends exert a great deal of influence over us. We identify with those we feel a connection with. Then we try to become like them. The old birds of feather thing. These friendships may or may not extend beyond the social status of your parents. It is considered quite unseemly these days to be exclusive. A façade of inclusiveness is mandatory. The fact is we all maintain a façade of sorts, it is a natural thing. It is interesting when we hear what others believe they can see through that façade. Fact is, they can't see it all can they, the details are hidden from view. Sometimes the details are so well hidden we don't even see them ! Sometimes we don't even want to know.
 I think the final stage we enter is when we really stop caring what others see. It isn't that we don't care about them, or ourselves, but that we just stop caring what is seen. The façade starts to erode. It is usually the old and cranky stage. At least that is what others are seeing. To us, we are just telling it like it is. We are giving our view, presenting the picture unvarnished, unframed and just as it appears. We have reached that point where we are comfortable, or at the very least, resigned to who we are. May not be what others think we are and that can be a frustration, hence the crankiness. The consolation is, in the end, you just know you will proven right. Yup, after you are gone people will admit to it. You were right all along. Don't believe that ? Read an obituary. They always say great things about you. They will tell what a great person you were. Fat lotta good that does you. Well, I suppose that is just the way it is. Did you become who your parents wanted you to be ? Is that the measure of success ? If it isn't, what is ? What you wanted ? Just what are you supposed to become ? I'm not sure of that answer so, I will just stay who I am. Could be that is what was intended all along.