I occasionally wonder why we commonly identify ourselves by ‘What we do’, or rather what we do for a living. As if our job identifies us to strangers. In reality of course it merely reveals no more than what work we perform. Our job will likely give the inquisitive stranger a kind of faux knowing, as preconceptions will instantly kick in. Equally, if I said I enjoy music, art, politics and as a fervent atheist the books of Richard Dawkins you would still know little ‘About Me’.
I could attempt to project the persona that I would like you to see, but it would still not be me. I would defy anyone to package themselves into a few well-chosen words of description pointing to job, age, interests, achievements or nationality. I would argue that the more we can dissociate ourselves from self description the better we will feel and the more liberating it will be. The abandonment of Ego is a worthy and healthy goal in the face of often harsh realities. Coming into regular conflict with other egos is indeed a kind of delusional stupidity, not to mention daily challenge.
So there is no ‘About Me’ per se, just a brief comment on the nature of identity, and a recognition that identifying with nationalities, philosophies, religions or politics may be comforting or useful to some for a while, but it is neither here nor there. It literally makes no difference to final outcomes. Entropy continues apace in this physical universe. Life at a fundamental level is a diverse delivery mechanism for the DNA code contained in the double helix, a spiral polymer of nucleic acids. You and I in the final analysis are just chemicals made from stardust. This is life, and its fascinating and awesome (A word seldom used at the right moment these days). The rest is conversation.
As an allegedly intelligent individual and species, what is arguably important is recognition of our values. These may be highly subjective but it is an indicator of our ethics and philosophy. That which underpins our actions beyond fulfilling our fundamental human needs.
My philosophy might be usefully summed up in the following two statements:
- ‘Individuals may act freely unless their actions harm others or interfere with others’ freedom or with functions of society that individuals need, provided those functions do not themselves interfere with these prescribed individual rights and were agreed to by a majority of the individuals.’
- ‘Every time I open the paper, there’s another example of theocratic encroachment upon free society, which I won’t put up with, …up with which I will not put. I hope that’s clear’ – Christopher Hitchens
For the purposes of this new blog, who I am is simply never knowable or relevant, but my values will be seen here and they may conflict with your own. In the end, it’s just a bit of fun and a welcome distraction. Thanks to Neil and his workessence blog, and Anne Marie at The Smart Work Company for inspiring me to get started.