As far as life is concerned, growth has to happen. It’s one of those things that just happens, you know, like getting stuck in traffic when you’re late. As kids we all are asked what we would like to “BE” when we grow up. It starts all the way before primary starts. Then you get to high school and the same Q pops up. Then uni, then after uni. Even as adults we still get asked what we want to be. This had me thinking, why is it that this particular question is asked in this manner?
In my opinion, we start to “BE” the moment we’re born and this is not something that we randomly acquire at a certain stage in life like you would someone’s phone in a jav after they down talked you; or their wallet even. We have an identity from a tender age and this is what forms who we are as a person. But then if I am already, why is it that people feel the need to ask me what I want to be? Is it that at some point I’ll Vera Sidika my existence and all of a sudden be a rich white dude with gargantuan white privilege?
This baffles me to this day. I believe whatever your career is, it’s something that you do, it’s not what defines you as a human. But still, why do we say “I want to be … when I grow up?” We need to go back to the beginning and define these two things – being and doing. What is being and what is doing? I believe that’s the core of the confusion. Telling someone they “need to be” at a certain point means they have no identity till they get there. Most times it’s tied to career. Does this mean you’re minus identity till you follow a career path?
Let’s look at the definition then come back and look at that in a different light. Doing – the activities in which a particular person engages. Being – the nature or essence of a person; existence. Now with this in mind, what should we ask ourselves and others? “What do you want to do?” OR, “What do you want to be?” One of the best motivational lines ever to exist is, “You can do whatever you want.” But the same person that’ll quote that shit to you will be the same one that’ll tell you to be something. Is it not counter-intuitive?
The confusion has come to be perpetuated through inadvertence. We need to make a conscious effort to flip our mentality and ask what we want to do because who we are isn’t defined by a job or a career or a lifestyle. Even after the careers cease to be, we still are. After the marriage is over, we still are. We’re fired, we still are. We change careers we still are. Most are afraid to let go of their life sucking jobs to pursue their passions and dreams because they have come to think they are who they are because of that job.
It ebbs, it flows, yes, it’s all good while it’s good; but is it what you define yourself by? What happens when you can’t do it anymore? Will you cuss at the fact that you don’t get income from it or the fact that you wasted your time doing it while you could in the stead of your passion? I’ll leave you with this – having kids (what you do doesn’t define) makes you no father if you believe (to who you are) fatherhood isn’t for you; quitting your job (what you do) to stay home and take care of him makes you no wife (is not who you are) if you believe not in marriage.
Strive to do great things because that’s what you want to do in life, not because you want that to define who you are. Who you are is your character so be a nice hooman, be a kind hooman. Don’t forget to remember, it always is arbitrary to logic but unique to you.
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