By Samantha McKenzie
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
We spend a lot of time defining who we are.
I’m a Christian. I’m Jewish. I’m a Muslim. I’m a Republican. I’m a Democrat. I’m with Bernie.
We separate ourselves by race, by sex, and by organizations. We define ourselves by status quo, by zip codes and district lines. We get so bogged down with trying to carve out our place in this world that we begin to fit neatly into a box we spent our whole lives constructing.
Then we sit there. For years. Comfortably. Caged. And for what?
We’re a nation of label hoarders. A bunch of labels that dull our sensibilities and stops us from learning about new people and new things. But who are we really? And better yet, who do we want to be? What if we abandoned the labels, discarded the veils, and walked proudly into the light of self? What if we shifted our thinking and entertained a new way of being?
Who would we be then?
I’m thinking I could just be me.
I could shed all of the definitions and the predispositions that come along with them. I wouldn’t have to be another single mother or a typical divorcee. You wouldn’t have to presume that a college degree makes any one of us more intelligent or that a six-figure income now means that we can live comfortably.
Although we are shaped by our experiences and guided by personal trials and errors, we don’t have to limit how we live and how we view our world.
We can, if we try, seek new understandings.
We can, if we want to, rethink perceptions and dabble in the unknown.
We can, if we choose to, reintroduce ourselves as humans and that’s all.