Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Being Labelled”

Out of Context

Is it just me or does it seem like everyone seems to want “action” on things when someone says something that doesn’t agree with the common thinking.3D Glasses


Who has decided what is the “common thinking” anyway?  Is it who has taken the latest opinion polls ? or is it the loudest voice in the crowd? I always get apprehensive when a public figure ( politician, celebrity, or whatever)  uses the term “we” … like they are representing majority of people whom that have all conferred with and clearly understand.

I guess now a days that’s easy to do. Everyone with a computer or a smartphone has the pulpit of the Internet in which to say stuff. Is it stupid or ignorant? Is it misquoted or out of context? How many times does it get repeated by another someone on the Internet that feels the same way. Before you know it those hundreds of people seems to represent thousands. And the ball of bad taste just seems to propagate from the center of it. .

They can say remarks in context, out of context, with a total different intention that delivered. But if enough people like it, they will quote it as fact and then color it with their own intention. In fact measuring someone’s “intention” rarely seems to be considered at all- just immediate lambasting or flag waving ( depending on the reasons for doing it).

Advice to my kids: Intention doesn’t matter I guess.  It is all subject to criticism. And a few viral minutes later we can all agree that something has been pointed out as thoughtless, or heroic, or shameful or patriotic   A mere shadow of the real reasons of the real people who lived it.

Lately I have become much more aware I guess. Maybe that is something that I will promise myself. Don’t jump to the conclusions that others have provided, they could be wrong.


“Who Are You?”

Not to get all Freudian or something, but i constantly continue to meet  people who are struggling to understand themselves better. So I am bringing it up again.


It seems that people may not be able to personally define who they are perhaps. They have a lot of friends, family and lovers (past and present), around them who are more than willing to tell them how they define them.

But the reality is:  if you could not ask the people around you…how would you define yourself?

Easy to put on different costumes and personalities to show to others, through different phases of a relationship with someone, different pieces of the “real you”  may not be immediately exposed.

Asking the question “Who do you believe you are?” without parroting back what others say you are is hard to do and seems to require inner inspection. Are you the same person inside as you appear to others?  So easy at first to say “yes”- but the last person you should lie to is yourself and it is easy to do ( at least I can say that personally in a truthful way).

So go ahead…ask yourself who you are. Be honest. Are you a singer, a lover of horses, a follower of sports? Labels.

Are you someone who thrives on interaction, or just likes interaction to validate who you are… letting that define the real you.

Deeper, who are you spiritually? Sure there are labels: a scientist, a teacher, a lover, a friend. That’s easy to do… just add it to your Facebook profile already… but who are you when the world and others don’t label you.

Worse yet, once you think you know who you are– try comparing that to how others see you.

Some of my closest friends have lost marriages, significant family relationships and friendships because they realized that they were  trying to become someone they weren’t ever going to be, or worse yet were trying desperately to fit into something someone else wanted them to be.  We always evolve from the foundation of who we are- but before you can really grow- you need to know what that foundation consists of.

I sound like a bunch of songs from the Who (queue “Who Are You” or “The Real Me“) or like the dozens of philosophers from my college classes.  Seems like we are always in need of introspection.

My advice to my kids:

In this busy world – with constant input coming from so many different places- with almost instant feedback [more than any other time before in history], we need to be sure our first definition of ourselves is ours.

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