For all who are disappointed about how a person is or isn’t, looking into your soul before looking into theirs might help you see the real answer.
An interesting story told by an ancient Zen master: The Zen master was asked to dinner at the palace in a place of honor. He washed his face and hands and walked to the palace. When he got to the dinning hall the people inside shunned him. The guards outside shooed him away thinking he was a beggar just as the dinning hall did. Though he explained who he was, they did not care. He went back home and dressed in ceremonial robes as he had been taught is the “proper” way to arrive at the palace. When he arrived the two men who chased him away bowed. The entire palace rose when he walked in and bowed as he walked by. He walked to his seat at the head of the hall and proceeded to take off his ceremonial robes and begin to walk out. The king asked, Master where are you going. He explained, “When I came here you shunned me, but you celebrated me with the robes on. Obviously, you would like to eat dinner with the robes and not me.”
Whenever I walk into a corporation or organization in order to speak to their participants I’m always asked the same thing? Are you the motivational speaker? When I say yes, they smile and tell me to motivate them. Their viewpoint is one of humor and chuckling. There are many many jokes about motivational speaker, and there are many opinions on needing a motivational speaker in the first place. In the beginning…I am a “ha ha motivational speaker”, when I walk off stage I’m “amazing”, I’m “a great motivational speaker”, I’m an “inspiration”.
What happened? Have I changed?
Because of my displayed presentation, they now see the title Motivational Speaker as something all together different. They see me as a person who has not only just got up on stage and roused people up; but also, a person who created an emotion, a thought, and an idea into their world. This might be a thought that is so simple, someone needed to push that button of realization. But, me…I am not different. I’m now just treated different. Different because of a change of perspective, a turn of a phrase, or a new way of looking at something normal or what you have already seen.
When some one asks you who you are, what are they asking really? Do they want your name? Or do they want something more? Do they want the social security number, or maybe the driver’s license?( In fact, many of the states in this great US, have the number as the same thing. I’ve always thought this was a bad idea, and now it seems that a lot of hackers who thought this was a great idea, have now exposed it wonderfully.) I think this is a great comment on the fragility of identity and who we are as people and as a person. Are we truly the person we believe we are? If a person has the ability to hack our identity, doesn’t that show us that identity and who we are is created….but by what and whom?
In truth, the question who are you is harder than anyone seems to realize, or appears to care.
The reality of our existence is simple. We are who someone perceives us to be. I am the person YOU see me as. For I know who I am, and I could convey all the people I know that I am. I am an “EX”, a son, a grandson, a nephew, a boyfriend, a step dad, a foster parent, a friend, and a daddy. But those are merely the labels that I have that the people who are in those particular roles see me as.
There have been some who have seen me as a hero, an almost perfection of the human race. Looking into my own soul, I doubted that label. But they persisted, and who am I to disagree with someone else’s ideas, perceptions, and thoughts. For those exact ideas are theirs and no one elses. Then…when I fell from this ivory tower, I was blamed. Blamed for not being what they thought I was. Blamed for not living up to their expectations. Blamed for not fitting the mold they decided fit me in their mind. One quote that stands out: “I really thought you were so great. My favorite. Now I’m sad to see that all completely wrong.” Was I to blame for the perception they put on me?
Some have seen me as a teacher. What is a teacher but a person who teaches you what you want or need to learn. They are a human purveyor of knowledge, just as a book is a non-human purveyor of knowledge. I gave many many people the knowledge they needed and I continue to do this to this day. I gave many the information they wanted. In return, I was supposed to act as they perceived someone who said the things I said would act. Some thought it was saintly. Some thought it was stagnant. Some even saw it as a needed constant in their lives even though I stated that the only thing that is constant is change.
So who created this YOU person?
In reality, you are who you pretend to be. For we are all the people we pretend we are. We pretend we are this mortal husk. We act on the information that we were given. Psychologist will tell you that we are merely acting out the supposed reality that we have decided is the answer to all of the stimuli we have received. If we are told we are something long enough, we become it. This is either good or bad. We think the way society and our culture has told us to think, and then state that we are free thinkers. The reality is that we are who others perceive us as it is their eyes; and in ours…we are the person we decide we are. Who decides? We decide.
Back in your past, there were a lot….thousands of people who created your thoughts, ideas, ideals, beliefs, and truths. Now is the time to take a look back on all the things that you have seen are a “given”. In fact, now is the time to look back and question these truths, these normals that were proposed as reality for so long. For the answer: Who are you…is a question you have to decide. When you decided this answer, you then become that person. Then when you decide who you are, you will begin to lead and educate others at being that way.
It is my opinion that every one of us are changing the world in the mere way we act. Act positive…people around you begin to act positive, and the ripple effect begins. You have the ability to educate and inspire so many just by being the positive amazing person you have decided to be.
Start today…..how to you want to be seen, perceived, and labeled – that is who YOU are!