Who are you?

How do you define yourself? How do you define others? These are questions that few people ask, yet are answering all the time. The other day I watched a presentation by a woman who was born with a rare condition that prevents her from gaining weight. She was teased about her appearance throughout her life, but decided not to allow her condition and outward appearance to define her. She is focused on what she can do as opposed to what she cannot do.

Her message seems basic, but yet so many of us fail in this regard. Her final plea was that each person ask themselves who they are.

This hit home for me as it's something that I often think about. Throughout my life I've heard the question asked "so what do you do?" This question always annoyed me as if what one does for a living defines them. In addition, of course weight, wardrobe, hair, the cars we drive, homes we live in and all our exteriors are weighed, measured, and scrutinized by those around us to aid them and sadly ourselves in defining who we are. It doesn't help that nowadays a new phenomenon has arisen. We are living in a world of social media in which many view themselves based on how "liked" they are,how many followers they have, etc.  All this makes me wonder who am I?... Am I my job? Am I the handful of likes I get on my Facebook posts? Am I heaven forbid my weight?!? Why do we let others define us? Why do we allow the perception of others, which is based on rules and standards devoid of value and that we did not agree upon, define who we are? Yet most people, as intelligent and insightful as they may be, fall into this trap and walk around feeling undervalued when they are in reality so much more.

Knowing who you are is not always so easy to discover. All the above are merely bits of information about a person, but do NOT inform us about the true inner essence of that person. Each individual has different traits, values, likes, hopes, dreams, beliefs, fears, comforts, memories, past, present and potential future that is theirs alone. Each person possesses a unique combination of these things and more that make them special. People should be valued based on HOW they live their life; not the externals. The measure of ones greatness should be defined by the character of ones being. Are you kind? Are you generous? Are you loving? Are you friendly? Are you patient? Are you considerate? You get the idea. These are qualities by which we need to measure ourselves. These are attributes one can acquire for free. We can all be these things. If we decide as a society to place value on meaningful characteristics the world would be a better place and we'd all be capable of achievement. In turn everyone would feel good about themselves and content people make for a peaceful existence. 

So search inside yourself and tap into the goodness therein. Let it shine and the world will be a brighter place.

p.s. Pleeease like and share. My self image depends on it 😉

About the Author
Aliza Lipkin is a firm lover and believer in her country, her people and her G-d. She moved from the land of the free (America) to the home of the brave (Israel) 10 years ago and now resides with her family in Maaleh Adumim.