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  • Babs Faseesin

Who Are You?

Since the beginning of time, the question of identity has remained a fundamental element for humanity to unravel. Till this day, this age-long question has continued to elicit different reactions in people depending on the culture, mood, race, perception of the person being asked and perhaps the tone, body language and intention of the person who is asking the question.  However, regardless of how we feel about the question, we will have to provide a response at some point in our lifetime.

Have you ever imagined this; every morning when you wake up, life points its index finger at you, looking sternly at you eyeball to eyeball, speaking in a low rough voice saying WHO ARE YOU? This happens every day in different ways, shapes or forms. Many times, this question comes in the form of real life challenges relative to our personal life, business, career, relationship and health. The difficulties of life often bring to the fore this imminent question WHO ARE YOU? However, the bigger question is this, when life comes at you with the question who are you, what will be your response to life?

In an attempt to articulate a clear response to the questions of life, mankind has gone far and wide in the search for true identity. In an article written by Jason Castro, an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Bates College, he reported the findings of a study which concluded that “the way in which we live our lives make us who we are”. When asked, how exactly does this happen? The authors conceded they didn’t know. This further confirms that any experiment that seeks to address something as profound contested and metaphysically tangled as this will only generate more questions than answers. 

Until the question of who you are in answered, life will remain an unresolved puzzle. I perceive very strongly that a deep sense of identity is the key that liberates mankind. Needless to say a lot of people have passed through the surface of the earth and left like a spectator. Many people are tosses to and fro by the prevailing challenges of life, keeping them in perpetual confusion because they really do not have answers to the question who are you. Life will remain a mystery to them who are unable to articulate a clear and concise response to the questions of life.

We often think of knowing who you are as some cursory thing we do when we are bored, it is usually backstage until we get the more important things of life out of the way. We forget what danger it is to walk through the sand of time without a clear understanding of who we are. There is only so much we can achieve in life without knowing who we are. 

Psychologists refer to this as lacking a sense of self. The effect of lack of personal identity is often seen in every area of an individual’s life including health, business, relationship, career and finance.      

All over the world, there is a growing apprehension that existence is a rat-race in a trap. Alan Watt says “We suffer from a hallucination, from a false and distorted sensation of our own existence as living organisms. Most of us have the sensation that "I myself" is a separate center of feeling and action, living inside and bounded by the physical body—a center which "confronts" an "external" world of people and things, making contact through the senses with a universe both alien and strange.” 

Many people think of themselves as a mere product of sexual intercourse. That means, two grown individuals came together (either as one, within the confines of marital vows or otherwise) had sex as expected or by ‘accident’ and the product is the man or woman, reading this book today. The case is even worse for those who have been made to believe that they are only here by accident. Some parents have had to say to their child that they were not planned for, nobody was expecting them. That’s an unfair thing to say to your child though. 

May I ask you to pause for a moment, imagine this, suppose we took everything you own, your cars, house, family, job, the designer outfit shoes and you are stripped of everything including your body. Consequently we arrive at that amazing singularity: the cell that became you. What will that cell represent? If you were to describe that single cell, what will your description me? I bet you wouldn’t call it an accident. So my question to you is WHO ARE YOU? 

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