Who Am I?
Who you are is determined in part by your name and physical description, but that is only a small portion of you--other parts contribution to the whole being, which consists of mind, body, soul, maybe more.
We are all created by the sum of our experiences as well, beyond genetics. The nature versus nurture conventional argument is put to the test and comes out time and again to show that both play a role, without doubt. Who we are is the experiences that the world and its inhabitants have placed in our paths, either directly or indirectly. Therefore we are a part of the world, and it is a part of us.We are connected.
John Donne wrote these words in 1624, as a part of a larger work entitled Devotions upon Emergent Occasions:
No man is an island, entire of itself every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls it tolls for thee.
I think it is amazing that John Donne created two essentially
everlasting quotations with those words ("No man is an island,
entire of itself" and " never send to know for whom the bell
tolls it tolls for thee"). I feel the truth in his words, despite the
fact that my mind as easily finds arguments against as for the
concept. Evocative of the essence of life, the words have
retained their fame through almost 400 years! Beyond randomosity,
there lies a land of truths, many of which can be grasped by
traveling through the realm of randomosity.
When I was a child, my grandmother had a set of 1958 World
Book Encyclopedias with which I spent many long hours. I
loved the idea of all that knowledge! In the introduction to the
1958 edition of the World Book Encyclopedia, there was
a scenario described that was something like this:
"Imagine a screen with all the knowledge that exists on it, in a
darkened theater. The screen can only be illuminated with your
flashlight, which shows only a little of that knowledge at a time."
That was approximately how it began, but I really would love
to find that quotation, or another set of 1958 World Book
Encyclopedias! I can't remember the whole thing, or the exact
wording of that first part, really. I just remember how entirely
enlightening I found that introductory passage. It made me want
to know, well, everything!
Now, I don't just want to know everything. I desire to understand
the inner workings and the outward connections that run from
every concept and object in existence to all others. It is not about
whether the items or ideas are a part of each other, but how and
where they both fit into the giant screen of life.