Who Versus What

Life tends to box us in with limiting definitions of who we are based on the roles we play or the strengths and weaknesses we have.

We do well or badly at something and we remain identified by that thing, forever typecast and stuck within a narrow range.

But then there’s who we are: the sum of the varied parts that make up our distinct self.

Who overrides what, because what is just a singular manifestation of our inner complexity within a timeframe.

What cannot define who.

So the stigma of a bit part or a small-time role can’t stick because it’s not who we are, just what we are in a moment (however long that moment is).

And I know that life gives us several bit parts and seemingly small-time roles to play. It can be frustrating, but it’s how we grow and become better at being who we are.

We can’t profit from giving these temporary things power over our lives or capitulating to fickle definitions demanding to be turned into a lifetime bio or an introductory line or a thin defence against being seen as a nobody.

People in transit aren’t nobodies.

At every point on the neverending learning curve of life, we are worthy of acknowledgement as a sum of parts.

Today’s role may not make people sit up and listen but that’s okay. There’s enough raw material inside us to make crowds stand up and clap tomorrow if that’s the sort of response we want.

Forget definitions. Let’s start refining who we are instead.