Who am I? Who wants to know?

Recently, an acquaintance of mine sent out a newsletter with the question: “Who am I?”

As he confronts a new period in his life, retirement, he finds himself questioning that now as he’s out of the work force. We so often define ourselves by our profession and the other roles we play in our lives as he has. In doing so, we may lose sight of another answer, one that is more accurate.

Then, I ask the question, “does it matter?” What does it matter if one is a physician, a plumber, a writer, or a politician (let’s not get into that last one, it will have to wait for another time).

I offer that it doesn’t matter. What matters, or should, is what we are. Not cultural, race, religion, politics. No. Are we good? Do we look out for others? Do we care about them? How do we help them? How do we make things better?

This is not a screed against work and the benefits it offers. It’s necessary. And yes, sometimes it may do more harm than good and that’s something to be addressed. It should not be a, or the, defining factor of who we are.

Rather, how do we live our lives? Hopefully as a positive force for good in any of the arenas in which we dwell. That’s who we should be. Who we are should be measured by deeds, not occupation.

Me? I’m trying my hardest to live into that.

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