Saturday, September 18, 2010

Being who you are instead of who you think you should be

I heard an interview today on NPR (Fresh Air) and the person being interviewed has been a paraplegic for 20 years -- he's 56. He was in a car accident and broke his neck. He said that once he had that accident and came so near to death, plus he knows that his life will be shortened, he realized he was going to be who he was and not what he thought he should be.

He talked about how he thought he should be a successful business person and the perfect father and that kind of thing. He has done fine with his life and all that but he says he spends more time on things that are important to him than on things others might think are important.

The idea of spending time on things that are important to you is something I resolve to do often. It's why I've started this and my other blogs, for example. I want to spend more time reading and writing than watching t.v.. The thing I think about, though, is what it means to be the person I am in other ways. You can't just follow all your own impulses. You should think before speaking, discern what is the best action to take and so on. It's a balance between squelching what comes naturally and being true to yourself.

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