Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I am a __________

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 14:  A teenager who colle...
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 14: A teenager who collects bottles and cans and lives in a city shelter walks near Times Square on April 14, 2011 in New York City. Homelessness in New York is at an all-time high according to newly-released statistics by the Coalition for the Homeless, which blames the increase on the policies of Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the recent recession. A record 113,553 different people, including 42,888 children, slept in homeless shelters in fiscal year 2010, up nine percent from the previous year. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

How do you fill in the blank? I am a blogger. Who are you? You might answer any number of ways: I am a homeless person. I am a CEO....

I was listening to A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. He said that he congratulates people who say they don't know who they are. People inevitably ask if he wants them to be confused. He explains that there is a big difference between not knowing who you are and confusion. Confusion means you should know or need to know who you are. Simply not knowing is a place where you can create who you are.

Now, does it help to have a job description? Absolutely. It does no good to call a plumber only to be told, "I don't know who I am. Call back when I'm done creating." The skills you've already created and any job you have are certainly an important part of who you are, but they are not what defines you. If you lost your job or became unable to do what you do now, you would still be you.  

Unfortunately, on all but the most advanced planets you have to worry about food and shelter first and creating yourself second. This is sad because it allows amazing people to become caught up in illness, addictions, and despair because the people with the resources don't see that they are connected to the people without resources. (much like a landowner who clearcuts acres of forest doesn't feel his connection to the forest) To tell a homeless/hungry/unemployed/sick/overwhelmed sentient being to "pick yourself up by your bootstraps" (or whatever phrase you use to deny help to someone in need) is to say that he/she currently has no value (maybe if he/she cures addiction/illness without treatment he/she will be worthy, but no guarantees). All that gets is frustration and too many times the death of a worthy individual who just doesn't know his/her worth.

Even with adequate food and shelter, it is way too easy to get caught up in maintaining or advancing a material standard of living. There is absolutely nothing wrong with money or material comforts, but they are only part of what you can create for yourself.

I am love. I am compassion. I am a being who makes the world a better place.

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